Team Toyota’s Brandon Lester endured more stress in the final days of August than a lone goby surrounded by a school of fat smallmouth.
Three days after learning he probably would not qualify for the Bassmaster Classic for only the second time in his fantastic 10-year career, his mega-cute young daughter was hospitalized for a horrible stomach virus, and then, just hours after she began to heal, his father was hospitalized over serious pulmonary concerns.
So, here’s to hoping September brings far more smiles and some time on the water to decompress for Lester. One thing’s for certain: the next time he launches his boat, there will be two time-proven topwaters tied on.
“No matter where you live, September signifies the first month of fall. It’s that time of year when we get our first cool nights, and lots of things start kicking into a bit of a different gear. To me, that means you better key on baitfish imitators and a trolling motor that’s in fairly constant forward motion,” says Lester.
Covering water with baits that appeal to bass looking skyward is the key, so Lester chooses a buzzbait and Super Spook Jr. as two lures all bass anglers should try during the calendar’s ninth month.
“A lot of folks don’t realize it, but bluegill will spawn several times each summer. So, you still have a lot of them in the shallows in September, and a 5/16-ounce gold-bladed buzzbait appeals well to bass that are up there eating them,” he says.
Lester likes a skirt to bulk up his buzzbaits during the colder water pre-spawn, but in autumn, he prefers a sleeker-bodied toad trailer tied to 60-pound Vicious No Fade braided line and uses a rod with a generous amount of flex in the tip.
Super Spook Jr.
This 3.5” topwater is as much Lester’s favorite surface lure as Peerless Price was Peyton Manning’s favorite receiver during the Volunteers’ undefeated 1998 season.
“It’s been my confidence bait for 20 years. It’s a perfect size, with a sound that can call ‘em up to the surface, and when I decorate it with #4 Mustad treble hooks, they seldom miss it,” smiles the bearded country music lover.
He also uses braid for his main line with this topwater too. However, he warns that you should tie a short monofilament leader to its nose because braid has a tendency to tangle on the front treble hook if you don’t use a monofilament leader.
Be it explosive bites on either the buzzbait or Super Spook Jr., let’s just hope September brings far better days than late August did for the highly likable family man from Fayetteville, Tennessee. If you’ll take his topwater advice, there’s a strong chance you’ll have a healthy start to your autumn days on the water too.