2. Soften up. Crayfish are the best late-August bait, and the bass will stay on them into September-as long as the water remains warm. (The warm temperature increases crayfish metabolism and growth, and they molt frequently, making them not only abundant but soft-shelled and desirable, as well.) Get soft-shells when you can; if only hard-shells are available, use smaller ones and remove the front pincers. Fewer bait shops sell crayfish after Labor Day, but you can seine your own. The muddy creeks that trickle through golf courses sometimes have great numbers of them, and they may be in some stage of molt. If you turn up a bucket of soft-shells, you can prolong the molting by refrigerating them. My own experience has been that this is the sort of decision you may want to clear first with other family members.