While it’s not as hot as it is going to get later this year, now it’s warm enough to get our attention. Early Friday morning, I spent a half day in a friend’s boat as we searched for enough fish they could catch to place in Joe Copeland’s Future Bass Tournament out of Alberta Creek Saturday.


I guess I did good as out of the 78 teams entered; my friends placed 16th just hundreds of an ounce out of making the top 15. The early morning trip started cool and by the time we quit it was getting warm.


I came home and helped Susan mow and weedeat the yard and do some more things for her. Then I got my boat ready for the night trip I had coming up. After a cold one on the deck with the fans and our water cooler running and music playing I went in and took a long nap.


A friend of mine, Jason Squires, and his son Jaxson, had been wanting to go night bass fishing for smallmouth for some time. I had put him off until summer set in. From now until September is my most consistent period to fish for numbers of small jaws.


Winter is better for big ones but as Friday night proved to us they get big in summer too. I had made a couple of night trips some years ago for TV shows and we always caught some smallmouth but we also had spotted and largemouth bass come in the boat. Now my night trips seem to be mostly smallmouth with an occasional spot now and then.


We arrived at my starting spot a little early, I wanted to look what we were going to fish over. With the lake high there are a lot of big rocks just under the surface and you need to get an idea of where they are, it sounds bad when you put your boat on one.


I also made a note of where some trees that must have washed in and hung up were. On a dark night like we fished they are lure grabbers. A little after 9 p.m. we started and first fish honors went to Jaxson as he brought a nice keeper smallmouth to the boat. He was throwing an old Arbogast Mud Bug I had painted black, don’t look for them in stores as they have been taken out of the lineup.


I still have a few and they make an excellent night time bait as they are hard to hang up and make a loud raddling sound that helps the fish locate them in dim light conditions.


We continued down the bank, then Jason caught a fish. I was still fishless. Not long afterward a big smallie hammered my black Booyah Moon Talker spinnerbait. It was a big fish and I got it to the boat went looking for my net and he got off. We moved on down the bank, I had my moon light plugged in and It gave us a soft glow that made the bank easy to see as we moved along.


All of us still caught fish as we moved. I set the hook and had the water explode as another big smallmouth came roaring out of the water. He broke me off, not long after I had another big smallie kicking up a commotion and he broke off. I didn’t mind them getting away but I wish they had left me my spinnerbaits.


We fished on, Jaxson caught a nice smallie and it destroyed his Spinnerbait. I had to rebend it and line it up, you can’t believe how strong those golden fish are. Jason caught a fish, I caught fish and Jaxson caught fish. We quit at midnight as Jaxson had a baseball game Saturday at 9 a.m. It was a great three hours with us putting 12 in the boat, not counting the three I lost.


After 10 p.m., the swells from passing boats ended, the air got cool and the lake quiet. Try it this summer: you might be surprised at how much fun it can be. Remember to keep your running lights on, it can result in a ticket — been there, done that.


Joe Copeland’s Future Bass Tournament Saturday had 78 teams fishing. There were 35 five-fish limits, 11 more teams with 1-4 fish each and 32 teams zeroed.


Winning was Jeff Reynolds and Johnny Thompson with 25.5 pounds and a hog of a big bass weighing 9.46 pounds, second was Tracey Large and Jacob Dunlap at 20.65 pounds, third was Kayle Ward and Jeremy Whitson had 18.84 pounds, fourth was Cory and Casey McCollum with 18.83 pounds, fifth was Kevin Hitt and Jack Marshal at 18.2 pounds.


There were 195 fish bought to the scales. Joe has built this tournament into one that grows more each year as new teams are joining in.