Summer bass

Lester’s Ice Cream Treats for Back to School Bass

Late summer bass baits

Team Toyota’s Brandon Lester loves ice cream. Chocolate chip cookie dough, as well as butter pecan top his list. But if you want to go next level, he’s picking a Dairy Queen Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard® with extra peanut butter cups blended in.

Lester’s passion for fishing is on par with extra peanut butter cups too. Between Bassmaster events, you’ll often find him on Lake Guntersville or Tims Ford Lake near home, and when on vacation at the beach, you guessed it, he chases saltwater species in the Gulf.

“I try to fish at least two days a week between tournaments. And this morning, as I was launching at Alred’s Marina on Guntersville, I spotted them busting shad, and I’ve been catching 3-pounders on a Super Spook Jr. ever since,” grinned Lester amid our phone interview.

The Super Spook Jr. is actually one of Lester’s top three choices for catching largemouth as kids prepare to head back to class while daytime highs are still well into the 90s.

He graciously shared his wisdom about how he fishes the iconic topwater, along with insightful thoughts on two of his other favorite lures for back-to-school largemouth.

3.5” Super Spook Jr.

“Anytime you get into late summer there’s gonna be bass schooling on bait near the surface. And while ten pros might tell you the names of ten different topwater lures they love most, I’ll tell you with zero sponsor affiliation a Super Spook Jr. has always been the one I can count on to catch August and September schooling fish,” he shares

Lester adds a #4 Mustad feathered treble to the rear of this time-proven topwater, and stresses the importance of improving your hook-to-landing ratios by using 30-pound Vicious No-Fade braided line.  

Deep Crankbait

“If I was going to try to win a tournament on a Tennessee River impoundment like Pickwick or Guntersville in August, there’s a strong chance I’m going to be throwing a deep diving crankbait first,” says Lester.

He strongly believes the heat of summer keeps plenty of winning schools positioned in the 12 to 20-foot deep zone during August, and a crankbait tends to catch bigger bass than most lures.

Neko Rig

Lester’s not the only one who pounds on summer schools with a crankbait. In fact, thousands of other anglers have joined him since the post-spawn days of May to show largemouth a menu full of diving plugs. As a result, largemouth often grow leery of smashing diving baits by this time of year.

“A Neko Rig on a spinning rod is a ‘bite-getter’ in August when they’ve seen every crankbait in the book all summer long and start getting really finicky,” says Lester.

“And the best part is, a Neko Rig also catches big ones like the 6-pound 13-ounce beast that helped me win the Elite Series on Pickwick,” he smiles.

He picks apart finicky August schools from 5 to 25-feet deep with a Neko-rigged finesse worm with a 1/8-ounce Mustad Tungsten nail weight inserted in one end.

As we began to hang up from our interview around 9:30 a.m., Lester promised to send me a photo from the water when he caught a big one later in the day. And I won’t be shocked if his Tundra pulls into a Dairy Queen near Huntsville on the drive back home for a Blizzard with extra Reese’s.