Techniques Anyone Can Use – Guaranteed to Catch Bass with Jack Wingate
Trolling for Bass for Younger and Older Anglers with Jack Wingate
Editor’s Note: “Too-many people have tried to make bass fishing so difficult and complicated that some folks believe they can’t do it. That just ain’t so,” says Jack Wingate, owner and operator of Wingate’s Lodge on Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, Georgia.
Jack Wingate’s philosophy is that anyone who wants to can catch a bass using the right method. “We have fishermen who have fished with us for 20 or 30 years,” Wingate explains. “They have grown older, but each year they come to Seminole to try to catch that one big bass of a lifetime or a mess of bass to take home to their friends. We have one elderly gentleman come who is 80-years old. He doesn’t eat fish, but he catches bass for a week, has them cleaned and takes them home to neighbors. Older fishermen like this can’t chunk and wind like they could 30-or-so years ago. And some have had strokes, but they still like to fish so we take them at Seminole.”
Wingate is a firm believer in younger and older anglers trolling for bass. “If my fishermen can sit in the boat and hold their rods, I can help them catch bass. Trolling has always been and will always be an effective way to catch bass. You cover a lot of bottom, expose your bait to more fish and don’t have to worry about setting the hook when the fishstrikes. So trolling is made-to-order for the angler. The guide or the boat operator is the key to successful trolling. The baits he selects, the way he handles the boat, and the waters he chooses to troll are all critical ingredients to the success of a trolling party. As Wingate says, “On Seminole we troll big lip, deep-diving baits;Rebel’s Deep Wee R and Maxi R; and Model A Bombers. We want baits that can get down about 12 feet. The old lures we’ve once used won’t get down or work properly trolling as fast as the big engines we use today will troll. So we have to use lures that can be trolled faster.” To get maximum depth, Wingate trolls his baits 150-feet behind the boat on 12-pound test line. Wingate uses the lighter line to get down deep with smaller lures.
Twelve-foot sandbars just off old river channels are areas where Wingate’s customers have been the most successful, and these same spots will produce fish for you. The worst area to troll is a slough that has a rambling 12-foot ledge where the boat operator has to zigzag to keep the baits on the ledge. “Often this zigzagging will tangle lines and frustrate the fisherman,” Wingate reports. “But there may be a school of bass on that particular ledge and so you have to troll the best you can. By staying in 12 feet of water, so your baits can dig the bottom, you will catch more fish than trying to fish water that’s deeper than 12 feet or more shallow.”
To learn more about Wingate’s Lodge, visit www.wingateslodge.com, or call
Tomorrow: Jack Wingate Tells How the Depth Finder Is a Critical Ingredient to Successful Trolling for Bass