When the weather turns sultry, it’s critical to know which terminal tackle will get the best results when bass fishing on big reservoirs. This year, according to guide Joel Richardson of Kernersville, go light. The relatively cool summer has put a new twist on the accepted heavy-weight approach to bass fishing in deep water.

“It’s been really crazy,” Richardson said during a recent fishing trip on Randleman Reservoir. “The baitfish think it’s fall, but the bass think it’s summer because they’re still deep. Just look at that depth finder. All the baits are from 1 to 5 feet from the surface, but look at the bass on the bottom.”

“It’s still a (plastic) worm bite, but the way things are now, it’s not a deep bite like everybody’s used to in summer,” said Richardson (336-803-2195). “The key equipment change is small Texas-rig weights. You want to have your worms falling as slowly as possible. You don’t want to use ½- to 3/8-ounce bullet weights. I’m gonna use a 3/16-ounce bullet weight.”

Because he wanted his bait to fall slowly, he fished a 7 ½-inch Zoom Mag 2 plastic worm at the business end of his Texas rig. Using that lure, Richardson quickly found success around Randleman’s laydown tree tops that extend over creek channels and standing timber, such as the dead cedars on either side of the US 220 bridge.

“You gotta cast or flip the worm right up against a tree, and the light bullet weight lets it fall slow,” Richardson said. “You hope for a bite, and you have to set the hook quick to yank him out of there before he wraps your line. If he don’t bite, you pull the worm over the limb and let it drop down to the next limb.”

After putting 10 bass in the boat in a 2-hour period that ended just after noon, Richardson had proved a spring pattern works well when the summer weather is loony.