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by John Neporadny
Before becoming a superstar on the national bass tournament trails,
Guido Hibdon honed his skills on his home waters of
The pro angler has seen the lake change drastically since his
guiding days, but he still considers it a top-notch bass fishery. “
Hibdon scales down to a 1/8-ounce jig and 8-pound test line to catch wintertime bass at home.” We catch a ton of them on a regular crappie jig.” says Hibdon, who favors a chartreuse jighead with a white 2 3/ 4-inch homemade tube. He throws the little tube around docks and brush piles and sometimes sets it a couple of feet below a bobber. Another concoction Hibdon uses to catch wintertime bass is a trimmed white Mr. Twister twin-tail grub and a white skirt attached to a 1/8-ounce jig.
The fish will be anywhere from 2 to 15 feet deep along the main channel bluffs on the lower end of the lake. “We can catch a lot of them around the docks and actually see the fish bite,” discloses Hibdon.
During the prespawn, Hibdon relies on three lures that he fishes 10
to 12 feet deep around brush piles on secondary points. He favors a
1/8- to 1/ 4-ounce jig (melon pepper, green pumpkin or
black-and-blue hues) tipped with a small plastic craw or Yamamoto
twin tail grubs in the same colors, which he works on 8- to 10-pound
test line. The
The clear waters on the lower end of the lake are Hibdon’s favorite areas to try during the prespawn. He believes bass move out of the wintertime haunts to the shallows from the end of February through March when the water temperature ranges from 40 to 55 degrees.
During the spawn, Hibdon likes to “go looking for them.” He sight fishes for nesting bass and skips tube baits under the dock cables. Using 10- to 12-pound line, Hibdon skips a 4-inch plastic (green pumpkin, grasshopper or watermelon/red flake hues) that he attaches to a 1/16- or 1/8-ounce jighead for fishing in open water or Texas rigs the tube with a 1/16- or 1/8-ounce Eagle Claw HP weight and 1/0 Eagle Claw HP hook for throwing behind the docks.
“The bass will spawn anywhere,” he says. “I have caught spawning fish off of bluffs, but pea gravel banks pretty much are the main spawning areas.” He suggests the middle of April is the peak of the bass spawn when the water temperature rises to 62 degrees. His favorite area to catch spawning bass is around the Tan-Tar-A Resort area if the water is clear enough for sight fishing.
During the postspawn, Hibdon runs to the upper end of the lake from
Proctor Creek to the
The tournament veteran works his lures fast and covers a lot of water. “The big males are just following the little fry around and they are just easy to catch then,” says Hibdon, who runs this pattern sometimes until the first week of July.
Slowly working jigs and plastic worms through main-lake brush and along bluffs down to 30 feet deep produces bass for Hibdon during the summertime. In the hottest part of summer, Hibdon usually fishes from the Grand Glaize arm to Proctor Creek on the Osage.
His favorite summertime lures include a Dion's Classic on a 3/8 or 1/ 2-ounce jighead, a 3/8-ounce to 1/ 2-ounce live rubber jig tipped with Dion’s Classic grub (blue-and-black, green pumpkin, melon pepper or chartreuse pumpkin hues) or a 10-inch black plastic worm. He works all three lures on 14- to 20-pound test line and employs a drop-shot rig for the worm (4/0 Owner wide gap hook and a 1/ 2-ounce weight set about 10 inches below the hook).
About the middle of September, Hibdon fishes “wherever the wind is blowing”, especially if baitfish are present in the area. He jerks a black-and-chrome topwater popper on 20-pound test line or runs a 1/ 4- to 3/8-ounce spinnerbait (white-and-chartreuse or white with gold and silver blades) tipped with the tail section of a Dion's Classic around cover. If he’s fishing open water, Hibdon wakes a 1/ 2-ounce spinnerbait. Another topwater lure that produces for Hibdon in the fall is a white buzz bait (3/8- to 1/ 2-ounce body) with gold or copper blades.The fall patterns usually work for Hibdon until the first week of December, and then he goes back to fishing the crappie jig.
For information on lodging and
other facilities at the