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Spinnerbaits» In addition to ripping these rotary fish alarms through weeds, try bumping dark-colored baits along the bottoms of lakes just fast enough to turn their willow-leaf blades. They’ll imitate crayfish or salamanders in waters from central California to Arizona and north through the intermountain West. (;

Topwaters» The venerable Zara Spook still fools big California bass. A typical walk-the-dog retrieve will work, but some anglers have discovered that a dead-stick approach with an occasional twitch that imitates a dying trout will draw strikes from big bass. Rainbow trout patterns are effective in lakes where those fish swim. (

Soft Plastics» On low-water Lake Mead and other big reservoirs, drop-shotting or casting Texas-rigged plastics is effective. Roboworm’s 4-inch Zipper worms–as well as Senkos and Berkley Gulp! plastics–work well, but be sure to fish them on light line (6- to 8-pound-test) in water 12 to 50 feet deep. Stick with blue, black, purple and brown. (