Shortly before dawn, veteran angler Ed Aycock thrust his hot foot down. The Skeeter boat popped up on plane, and we were on our way for a day of fishing on Wolf Lake.

In just a few minutes, we were pitching and flipping for bass. It didn't take long for the accomplished angler to make believers of us, either. Aycock suddenly reared back on the rod, and drove the steel hook deep into the jaws of a bass, only seconds after pitching a worm next to a cypress tree. He quickly boated and released the fish, and went right back to looking for another hungry one.

"They're hitting it on the way down," Aycock said as he pitched his lure back toward another cypress tree.

A few casts later, he set the hook and landed another feisty Wolf Lake bass.

This oxbow lake is located 8 miles northwest of Yazoo City, and provides excellent bass fishing almost year round. The action has been hot on Wolf this year, almost as hot as the weather. And Ed Aycock was more than willing to show us a good time on the lake.

"The best thing about this lake is that you can catch good numbers of quality bass in the 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-pound range almost year round," he said. "You might not catch a lot of lunker bass, but you could easily catch 25 to 30 bass by yourself in a day's fishing."

Aycock is a knowledgeable up-and-coming tournament angler, and has a wealth of knowledge gained from spending a lifetime in the outdoors fishing and hunting. These days, the Brandon angler is putting his knowledge to good use in his day job as fishing manager at Van's Sporting Goods in Brandon. Not only does he get to fish regularly, he also enjoys working in the sporting-goods venue and meeting other anglers.

As we fished the cypress trees and laydowns, we continued to draw strikes from the bass. Sometimes they hit on the fall and sometimes we had to finesse them before they struck, but strike they did.

"The thing about this lake is that if you find a bank that's got a little water with cypress trees growing out into the lake a ways, you ought to be able to catch some fish," Aycock said. "Just go fishing and keep that lure in the water, and you'll catch fish in October."

While Aycock's favorite type of action is topwater fishing, and it's usually hot as a firecracker on this lake in the fall, his favorite style of fishing is pitching and flipping. And on this day, pitching and flipping was the key.

Once we found what they wanted, the bass kept striking all day long. They hit almost any type of plastic, as long as it was a Zoom plastic.

Aycock quickly established a pattern of fishing large worms around the cypress roots and stumps. In fact, almost all of our bass came on either a junebug, watermelon red or black-pearl Zoom Ole Monster worm.

"When the water temperature drops in October, the shad will move up into the cypress trees, and bass will follow them right up there too," Aycock said.

And once the shad get hemmed up in the shallow waters around the trees, the bass will attack and hammer them with a vengeance.

"Once October rolls around, most of the fishermen have gone hunting, and that's just fine by me," Aycock said.

As we rounded one point, Aycock spotted the wind blowing around some cypress trees, and promptly started working that area. It only took a few minutes for us to catch and release several bass and miss a few more.

"I thought that there'd be some baitfish and bass up in there," he said.

Aycock also likes to fish topwater lures after the water cools off and the fish start actively chasing bait and smashing the surface.

"I'll throw a Sammy or a Yozuri Banana, a Spit'N Image or a Zara Spook," he said. "But the Spook has about the most action, and it usually draws the most strikes around here for me."

If you're looking for some fantastic fall bass fishing with plenty of room to do it, look no further than Wolf Lake. Try a few of Ed Aycock's favorite spots, find a few similar locations of your own and you will likely spend a nice autumn afternoon catching and releasing Wolf Lake bass.

 

No. 1: N32 54.702 x W90 30.233 - Leave the landing, head east under the highway bridge, travel approximately ¾ mile up the lake and stop on the left-hand side right at an opening in the cypress trees.

We began our morning casting topwaters, but quickly realized the topwater bite wasn't happening quickly enough. After working a short distance down the tree line, Aycock turned the boat around, and we fished in the other direction. This time Aycock covered some of the same water, and quickly drew a strike on his Zoom Ole Monster junebug worm.

A few casts later he set the hook with a quick snap of the rod, and our fishing day had begun in earnest.

"I'll usually start out on topwater early in the morning and then switch to a large worm or jig if the bass aren't actively striking on top," said Aycock. "I'll target the cypress tree roots and any other available cover I can find."

 

No. 2: N32 57.339 x W90 29.020 - Leave No. 1, and run up the lake until it narrows with cypress trees growing well out into the lake from the right-hand side. Though the water is shallow along the cypress trees, there's a 5- to 6-foot ditch running between the cypress trees on the right-hand side and the flat.

"The shad pods will move through, and bass will follow and attack them at will," Aycock said.

Sure enough, the cypress trees and surrounding water were full of shad and small fry. We hadn't gone very far before the young angler set the hook and boated another hungry bass.

As we continued working the shallow cover, the bass became more active and began feeding on shad and other baitfish.

A few minutes later, Aycock drew another strike, and his third fish of the day was history. He had found a pattern, and the Ole Monster worms were producing very well for him.

 

No. 3: N32 57.350 x W90 29.141 - After covering No. 2, turn back west, and travel on the left-hand side of the lake until you arrive at the first house. Anglers should fish about 100 yards on either side of the house.

"I'll concentrate on the shallow cover with worms, spinnerbaits or jigs, depending on what the bass are doing that day," Aycock said.

It wasn't long before I nailed my first bass at this spot as well. Before leaving, we had also boated a fat 3 1/2-pounder.

 

No. 4: N32 57.108 x W90 28.797 - Leave No. 3, and continue back up the lake in an easterly direction around the curve for about 1/8 mile. Stop on the left-hand side, start fishing along the laydown and work your way up the lake targeting the cypress knees, roots and any laydown wood structure that is visible.

"I'd cover the next couple hundred yards thoroughly until you get around the next point," said Aycock.

We hadn't gone far before Aycock reared back and snatched a bass slam out of the water and into the boat. A few minutes later, I caught my second fish of the day on a watermelon/red Zoom Ole Monster also. In fact, before we left the spot, we landed several bass and missed a few more just hitting the high spots.

 

No. 5: N32 56.511 x W90 47.296 - Continue up the lake until you get to the upper end where the lake stops.

"You may want to stop and fish the pilings and the area around the bridge that you pass under before arriving at the upper end," said Aycock. "Bass will gang up in this area and attack unsuspecting shad and baitfish moving through."

After arriving at the end of the lake, it's easy to see why the upper end holds bass in October. Many times the shad migration will carry them back into coves and the upper reaches of a lake such as this where the bass will have an easy time attacking and herding them into the shallow coves and pockets. When that happens there usually will be fantastic fall fishing.

"Fish the cypress trees on either side and then fish the middle of the cove on the back side where the cypress trees make a point," Aycock said. "I've caught some big bass right in that area on a black or white buzz bait."

Before we left, we also caught a couple bass in this area.

 

No. 6: N32 56.734 x W90 30.406 - Leave No. 5, head back down the lake to the west and stop on the outside corner of a bend on the right directly across from a row of houses and small pasture area that has horses.

We stopped on this spot around mid morning and worked the cypress line across from the A-frame house. Aycock went to work dissecting the cypress trees with his Texas-rigged worm.

We had only fished a short time when he set the hook on another bass. After a short battle, the tournament angler boated yet another bass. In fact, he'd already gotten a tournament limit in no time flat. The bass were biting pretty well, and we were catching them everywhere.

 

No. 7: N32 55.520 x W90 29.808 - Continue back down the lake until you get to the next GPS stop on the right. Once again, you'll want to fish the right-hand side while concentrating on the cypress roots and knees.

"I'll pitch my lure right up to the bases of the trees and work those cypress root systems and just bang that lure around until I get bit," said Aycock.

Once again, it didn't take him long to catch another bass. Minutes later, he had on another one and landed it quickly as well.

 

No. 8: N32 54.566 x W90 30.502 - After leaving No. 7, continue back downlake toward the ramp area, and stop on the inside bend on the right side at No. 8.

"Oxbow lakes like this are basically the same, and offer the same pattern all over the lake," Aycock said. "It's just a matter of finding what they want that day and translating it around the lake.

"If they are active and want a Bang-o-lure twitched and worked around the wood cover, or if they want a faster buzz bait type lure, you've got to find it and give it to them. And sometimes they just might want a jig or large worm, like today."

Find out what they want, keep you lure in the water and feed them what they want. Stop No. 8 was just like all of the previous stops for us, as we caught bass and several at that.

We kept the bait in the water and kept getting bit. It was as simple as that.

 

• No. 9: N32 53.460 x W90 31.557 - After finishing No. 8, head back down the lake until you get to the Broad Lake opening on the left-hand side of the lake. Turn left, and go up into the chute until you get to a house on the right. Continue past the house and start fishing adjacent to the metal buildings and equipment sheds on the right-hand side of the lake.

Be on the lookout for any shad or baitfish on the move as that will be a key in this area.

"I'll fish the shallow cover on the right and the row of cypress trees in the middle of the lake while looking for baitfish and any bass that might be following them looking for an easy meal," Aycock said.

According to Aycock, this area is hit or miss, as it is pretty shallow. If the shad and baitfish move up in there, then look out; if not, don't spend too much time in the shallows.

 

• No. 10: N32 53.783 x W90 31.850 - After fishing No. 9, head back toward the mouth of the chute where it connects back into Wolf.

"There's a pile of bricks right on the point on the left-hand side that go all the way down the bank into the lake," said Aycock. "Work that rocky point with an assortment of lures, and you just might catch a lunker or two."

Anglers should try spinnerbaits and shallow-running crankbaits, and bounce them off the rocky bottom first. If that doesn't work, try a worm or jig with a slow retrieve. Sometimes they'll gang up off this point, and sometimes you might catch one or two.

But one thing's for sure: You better be ready for a fight if one hits because the bass in the Wolf have "shoulders" as one angler told us, and they'll try to take your rod and reel away from you in a heartbeat.

 

For more information on fishing Wolf Lake, contact Ed Aycock at Van's Deer Processing and Sporting Goods (601) 825-9087.