Jump to content
mattk22

When Do Bass Hang At Edge Of Flats/points And When On Them?

Recommended Posts

So, I have been finding a lot of bass on the edges of points lately, and a question has arose in my mind, when (besides spawn) do LM or SM hang out on top of the flats versus out over the edge? I fish a mostly vegetation free reservoir that ranges from 50 ft in the old stream bed in the middle, out to 10 foot points that extend out from the sides of cuts that have very small streams feeding them. I am just looking for some more information on where to find bass when. I do use my electronics, but I want to get a better understanding for where to start my search and more about bass patterns. Thanks in advance.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suggest you get Bill Murphy's book In Pursuit of Giant Bass. This book has a lot of good info on deep structure lakes and basic bass behavior that should help to answer your question.

Think of the bass calendar year this way; Winter, Pre Spawn, Spawn, Post Spawn, Summer and Fall.

Bass tend to locate at specific areas during each seasonal period and their movements can define the transition between each seasonal period.

Winter is the easiest period to define; it's the coldest water period. Bass locate where the warmest water is located and in deep structured lakes that is deep water or where under ground springs are located. The primary prey during the winter are bait fish and crawdads. During the winter the bass suspend and migrate horizontal.

Pre Spawn; this is a transitional period, the bass start to migrate vertically from deep water to staging areas near where they intend to spawn. The water temperatures dictates the spawn cycle, pre spawn usually starts approximately 55 degrees and ends at 62 degrees at the depth the bass are at, not surface temps.

Spawn; the water temps are now between 62 to 67 degrees, bass migrate horizontal into protected areas from wind make nest sites, lay eggs, the males stay, the females move back toward deeper staging areas.

Post Spawn; the bass leave the nesting sites and migrate horizontal to summer areas, after recovering from the spawn, water temps 67+ degrees.

Summer; the water warms to 70+ , the bass establish summer holding areas depending on available cover and prey sources like young of the year fish of all types, baitfish like shad and other minnows, frogs, Crawdads, worms, etc....lots of prey choices and locations.

Fall, the days become shorter, nights colder, the water cools to below 70 degrees and the bass start to migrate horizontal away from their summer holding areas. This is another transitional period where the bass follow the prey and slowly into deeper water as it continues to cool to about 60 degrees, then the bass move vertical, deeper seeking warmer water as the winter period starts.

Breeks where the water gets deeper quickly are areas bass use as migration routes throughout the calendar year. The bass will move onto shallower flats to feed if prey is there and they may move in the opposite direction to seek the shelter of deeper water. Think of breaks as holding or staging areas for bass.

This is a condensed answer to your complex question.

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont know for sure but I think the bass will move on top of the points at unpredictable times.Its only a short move. I have recently found the fish off the edges of points suspended. I caught them with lipless crankbaits worked at their depth. They would not hit a soft plastic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WRB gave you a textbook explanation.

Follow what he said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WRB gave you a textbook explanation.

Follow what he said.

I agree, great answer WRB....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The question about points that baffles me is how to catch bass on the steep side . A lot of points have a channel running along one side and the other side a more gentle slope. If on the shallow they are easy to catch, just like if they are on top. If they are hanging on the steep side they are more difficult.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The question about points that baffles me is how to catch bass on the steep side . A lot of points have a channel running along one side and the other side a more gentle slope. If on the shallow they are easy to catch, just like if they are on top. If they are hanging on the steep side they are more difficult.

If the bass are holding tight to any structure, including the sides of a point, they are active and catchable.

Bass can get conditioned to boats approaching a point head on from deep water and move away from the structure and suspend. To avoid this try approaching the point like you are on the shore quietly and present your lure from shallow water out to deeper water so it moves parallel, slight up or down hill. The other option is what we call up and over; you cast over the point from one side and work the lure uphill toward the opposite side of the point. Bass holding against the side are waiting to trap prey as it approaches the point. This is a classic swimbait presentation.

Tom

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the bass are holding tight to any structure, including the sides of a point, they are active and catchable.

Bass can get conditioned to boats approaching a point head on from deep water and move away from the structure and suspend. To avoid this try approaching the point like you are on the shore quietly and present your lure from shallow water out to deeper water so it moves parallel, slight up or down hill. The other option is what we call up and over; you cast over the point from one side and work the lure uphill toward the opposite side of the point. Bass holding against the side are waiting to trap prey as it approaches the point. This is a classic swimbait presentation.

Tom

X2

Especially if there is a current running over a given point, the fish will stage on the calm side of that current no matter how slow or fast the current is and wait to ambush their prey.

Approaching a point as WRB suggested is key, dropping your trolling motor in as quiet as possible will also help in getting you even closer to your target, you would be suprised at how much little things like that will increase your odds on catching not one fish but multiple fish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have taken the deep to shallow approach to points this fall with my lure retrieval, which has dramatically increased my catch rate.

I fish a 30 acre private lake that is a typical highland type, with clear water and hard or rocky bottom areas.

I now try to sneak up on these points from the shore side and cast my offering out deep, then retrieve it uphill. I remember that Tom said, a school of bass is less likely to follow a hooked bass up onto the shallow part of a point.

edit on 10/29.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bass I was referring to that are hard for me to catch, hard but not impossible, were the fish you can see on a depth finder , suspended near the point but not on it. A month ago I caught a bunch of these fish by working a Rattle Trap through them . I found them again my last trip but only caught one. Of course they are not always bass but i think these fish were. Im thinking one of those weird Alabama rig things might work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are quite a few things that will work on those fish. Spoons, dropshot, swimbaits, A-rig, float n fly, senko's, etc... and don't rule out top water especially in clear water. I have found that suspended fish generally tend to feed up. But at times you have to put the bait right on their nose for extended periods of time to get them to go. I am in complete agreeance with the idea that bass use structure to pin prey. I use the deep to shallow approach often. The surface is another barrier where prey is pinned. Shadows also create cover. When you approach these fish you have to think about "what can they use in their environment to their advantage?".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suggest you get Bill Murphy's book In Pursuit of Giant Bass. This book has a lot of good info on deep structure lakes and basic bass behavior that should help to answer your question.

Think of the bass calendar year this way; Winter, Pre Spawn, Spawn, Post Spawn, Summer and Fall.

Bass tend to locate at specific areas during each seasonal period and their movements can define the transition between each seasonal period.

Winter is the easiest period to define; it's the coldest water period. Bass locate where the warmest water is located and in deep structured lakes that is deep water or where under ground springs are located. The primary prey during the winter are bait fish and crawdads. During the winter the bass suspend and migrate horizontal.

Pre Spawn; this is a transitional period, the bass start to migrate vertically from deep water to staging areas near where they intend to spawn. The water temperatures dictates the spawn cycle, pre spawn usually starts approximately 55 degrees and ends at 62 degrees at the depth the bass are at, not surface temps.

Spawn; the water temps are now between 62 to 67 degrees, bass migrate horizontal into protected areas from wind make nest sites, lay eggs, the males stay, the females move back toward deeper staging areas.

Post Spawn; the bass leave the nesting sites and migrate horizontal to summer areas, after recovering from the spawn, water temps 67+ degrees.

Summer; the water warms to 70+ , the bass establish summer holding areas depending on available cover and prey sources like young of the year fish of all types, baitfish like shad and other minnows, frogs, Crawdads, worms, etc....lots of prey choices and locations.

Fall, the days become shorter, nights colder, the water cools to below 70 degrees and the bass start to migrate horizontal away from their summer holding areas. This is another transitional period where the bass follow the prey and slowly into deeper water as it continues to cool to about 60 degrees, then the bass move vertical, deeper seeking warmer water as the winter period starts.

Breeks where the water gets deeper quickly are areas bass use as migration routes throughout the calendar year. The bass will move onto shallower flats to feed if prey is there and they may move in the opposite direction to seek the shelter of deeper water. Think of breaks as holding or staging areas for bass.

This is a condensed answer to your complex question.

Tom

Man, this is a perfect answer!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i am thinking about getting that book. any other good books out there that are worth the read?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Especially if there is a current running over a given point, the fish will stage on the calm side of that current no matter how slow or fast the current is and wait to ambush their prey.

most often times that is the case but there is always the exception...i've fished blown points where the fish were not behind the point as one would expect but on top of it positioned on the front side as the chop/current was blowing over it, the calm side was basically fishless...i've learned to always keep an open mind and never rule anything out...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

one other thing that i wanted to add. i noticed that tom mentiond bass moving horizontally in winter. here in my area, in the winter, bass tend to begin using more vertical structures and move more vertically to feed. bluff walls hold bass, and so does steep walled creek channels. winter bass here tend to just elevate up and down instead of the more horizontal migrations of summer time.

i am sure that different geographical areas can be different.

bo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×