Sinclair November Bass With The Git-Bit Guys
In November, key on shad moving into skinny water.
It had just turned cool. A long-sleeve shirt was comfortable as Kevin Barwick and I motored down Little River headed toward a pocket that fills up with shad, and bass, this time of year. A deck full of rods strapped down revealed we’d be firing spinnerbaits and working an assortment of plastic lures as we searched out early fall bass on Lake Sinclair.
“The bass have been up shallow for about two weeks now, and the bass will stay shallow in pockets and creeks on up until December,” said Kevin.
Our first stop on that Oct. 13 morning was on a 3- to 5-foot deep point laden with stumps. This is an area to try this month as fish hold shallow. It sits on the western bank about 1 mile below Twin Bridges Landing. The house on the point has gray siding and a metal roof.
“In the fall I’m always looking for shad on the surface,” said Kevin. “I wish you could see when these shad really get on top. There are so many it’s amazing you can even catch bass with all the shad they have to eat. Shad will be flickering right on top. Look for blue herons, too. I’ll pull into a pocket, and if I don’t see shad or birds, I’ll leave.”
When Kevin and I fished, the winds were pretty strong, making it very difficult to see any shad on the surface. However, with a water temperature of 73 degrees and thick cloud cover, we couldn’t have asked for much better fishing weather.
Kevin was working an Ol-Nelle buzzbait across the point, and I was slinging a Git-Bit Baits 3/8-oz. spinnerbait.
Kevin and Chad Holcombe are co-owners of Git-Bit Baits. The lure company got its start in 2007 as a way to fund their addiction — tournament fishing.
“That spinnerbait has a No. 4 deep-cut Colorado blade on the back,” said Kevin. “You get more thump out of it that way, and it’s good for slow-rolling. We also build our baits with thinner wire, which adds vibration.”
Even though lighter-wire spinnerbaits won’t last as long as heavier-wire ones, Kevin greatly prefers lighter wire on his baits. The added thump they produce results in more strikes, he says.
“That’s a regular No. 2 Colorado blade up front and a chartreuse-shad skirt,” said Chad.
The No. 2 blade was gold, and the No. 4 deep-cut Colorado was copper.
“Copper’s not a color a lot of people use. There’s a guy who’s just going to love that you print that. He swears by copper,” Kevin sarcastically said.
My bait had a small No. 4 Gamakatsu trailer hook on it but no plastic trailer added to the main hook.
“I’ve just always had luck not having to use a trailer,” said Kevin. “I do use them on a buzzbait.”
We worked around the point to the south and into a small pocket. Kevin said it’s an excellent pocket to find shad this time of year. The area has several docks and blowdowns where shallow, fall fish can rest between shad ambushes. A few minutes later, Kevin connected on a 14-incher that was sitting on a dock post.
“Look at how fat that fish is,” said Kevin. “He’s been eating those shad.”
To catch the bass, Kevin had put down the buzzbait and switched to a Zoom Super Speed Craw in cinnamon purple. The plastic bait was threaded on a 5/0 Mustad hook on a 3/16-oz. Git-Bit Kicker Sticker Jig-Head. Kevin’s setup consisted of Stren 20-lb. braided line tied to 24 inches of 15-lb. fluorocarbon P-Line leader material.
“This leader material is pretty much invisible, and it doesn’t nick up like regular fluorocarbon,” said Kevin.
Kevin reached into his rod locker and pulled out another craw.
“I’m not that picky on colors at Sinclair, as long as it’s a dark color, like green pumpkin, black and blue, cinnamon purple or Bama bug,” said Kevin.
He applied a coating of Chompers garlic spray and went back to fishing.
Later that morning we were at the mouth of Bear Creek, just south of the Hwy 72 bridge. The dock on the right usually produces a fish for Kevin.
“I watched a couple of kids fishing there one day from the dock with bobbers and wigglers, and I bet they caught 10 or 12 bass,” said Kevin. “It’s usually good for at least catching a fish. These fish just usually stack up around this bridge.”
Although he didn’t connect the day we fished, Kevin skipped the craw several times, getting the bait way under the dock. He said the dimples they add to their jig head actually result in better skips under docks.
“Everyone always asks, ‘Why did we make dimples in the jig heads,’” Kevin said.
Besides one heck of a marketing idea, since anglers’ curiosities are often piqued by new and innovative lures, the dimpled jig head serves two purposes. One, it results in fewer hang ups when fishing around rocks. Since small jig heads are easily hung in rip-rap, Kevin and Chad’s dimpled jig head has the same circumference as a bigger jig head but weighs the same as a lighter one. The dimples simply eliminate the added weight, thus meaning fewer hang-ups when fishing rocks.
“And, these bigger jig heads are a lot easier to skip under docks — the second reason we made jig heads with the dimples,” said Kevin.
The jig heads come with double barbs, which allows the bait to stay on the hook better, an important factor when skipping Sinclair docks all day.
“Skip this dock, and work under the bridge. Fish docks on the left-hand bank; it’s the deeper side,” Kevin said.
We fished these docks staying in about 9 feet of water. After switching to a Zoom Ol Monster worm, a few more small keepers made it to the boat. The big worm was fished on the same 3/16-oz. jig head used for the craw, which had a painted black head.
“I’ve always used unpainted jig heads, but we realized real quick that people like painted heads,” said Kevin. “Along with the unpainted, we have black, brown and green pumpkin. We have a chartreuse one that’s dynamite for spotted-bass lakes.”
We headed down Little River from Bear Creek and pulled in to the first main creek on the left. The creek splits in the back.
“The left fork is full of shallow stumps,” said Kevin. “The shad usually stack up in here.”
Look for fish to stack in this area through November. Several stumps are marked with poles, making them easy targets to fish. However, there are plenty of unmarked stumps that’ll be holding fish this month.
By the end of the day, Kevin wanted to share one other tidbit with me that will start toward the first of December. Git-Bit has a Super Spoon, a 5 1/2-inch spoon that looks like a big dying shad as it flutters down. Fishing with big casting spoons is quickly gaining popularity in the bass-fishing world, but Kevin has been using one for a few years.
“We haven’t really tried it here, but we’ve done real well with the spoon at Oconee,” said Kevin.
As we came back out of the creek to the mouth of Little River, he pointed to the point on the right, or north.
“That point comes out, drops off and then comes up to a hump,” said Kevin. “It’s about 6 feet on top, and it has some brush.”
After locating the hump and marking it with a buoy, we began fishing.
“Throw it out there, and let it fall to the bottom,” said Kevin. “Then pop it as hard as you can, and let it fall back.”
While I got a workout retrieving the spoon, Kevin fished the hump stroking a 1/2-oz. coffee-colored football jig.
Likely the fish weren’t there with water in the low 70s, but it’s a technique to tuck away when Sinclair temps falls into the high 50s. Look for high spots with quick access to deep water, the same places you’d fish a Carolina rig.
Kevin caught the best fish of the day, a 4-pounder, several hours before dawn on a dock light. This is a great nighttime pattern, even in the fall.
To order some Git-Bit Baits, you can buy them at R&L Tackle in Covington, Shaddix Marine in Forest Park or The Dam Store in Buford. You can also buy lures from their website at www.gitbit.net. You can contact Git-Bit at (678) 758-6567.
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