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Offshore Bassin ??

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This topic is something id like to learn a little better, feel free to throw anything at this or share your advice

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I have a question. How far will a bass travel from the shoreline to deep water? Say you're on a huge lake, can or will bass post up smack dab in the middle if the structure and food are to their liking? Also could they cross a big lake?

 

 

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Absolutely they COULD… I think it's more a question of whether or not they would WANT to.  If you have a comfy spot with nearby food, why would you want to leave (other than to reproduce)?  A bass has simple instincts - as we all do - find food, shelter, and booty.  In some lakes, these instincts might be met locally, while in others, fish might have to migrate.

 

There was a study done at my hometown lake several years ago.  They marked all the fish that were released after weekly tournaments, and then tracked when/where they were re-caught.  Most fish were caught within a short distance of the release zone (within a mile or so), but some were caught as far away as 7 miles.  http://www.seafwa.org/resource/dynamic/private/PDF/GILLILAND-144-149.pdf

 

In regards to the original post about offshore fishing.  What are you curious about / where are you at now?  Wanting to know what it is, how to improve?  Do you have a specific offshore structure or technique in mind?

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Definitely a weak part of my fishing. Feel very comfortable beating the banks, but locating, or predicting that the bass will be deep is totally new to me.

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I taget a Ton of off shore smallmouth, that is about 90% of the fishing i do. 

 

ill talk smallmouth here, others can fill you in on Largemouth

 

1. when targeting a SM bass offshore, there are 2 main things i look for, points and ridges/humps

     -Point, is where a point in a lake continues under water and there is deep water on both sides, Sm love to hang on the sides of these points, specifically on gravel or sand areas. also if you notice a stump or downed log, or a small seedbed, that is a big bonus!

     -Ridge/hump is usually located on a flat or it can actually be anywhere but it where the bottom is flat and all of a sudden it rises up. On a lake i fish a ton, there is a underwater hump that is about 100ft long by about 25ft wide.  it is in about 55-60ft of water and the top of the hum is about 30ft deep. big SM hang all around it, and i can spend a day going back and forth on it picking up 15-30 bass  mostly 2-3LB but a few pigs in there every once in a while 

 

Once it hits July around here ( i live in WA, spawn is later here than rest of country) almost all the bass in this lake move offshore, its really hard to find anything other than dinks around docks and shore. 

 

LM can be found offshore, same locations as SM, but LM tend to like Muddy flats with Stumps and wood nearby, at least around here they do.

 

look at this picture for reference, this is a really clear water lake i fish and the dark areas are deep water and the green areas are shallower (10-25)

 

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I'll check my maps of Tappan and Seneca and get back to you on that. I know they aren't very deep. As far as the Ohio is concerned, your best bet is to fish the drop in that 9-10 FOW range. Those smallies will sit there and wait to ambush prey coming by. Around the damns you can find some deep boulders for current breaks and hit those with tubes or heavy spinner baits. 

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This topic is something id like to learn a little better, feel free to throw anything at this or share your advice

first off I suck at offshore bass fishing. What I did learn is that it all relies on your ability to interpret a map or sonar. If you can find the humps or ledges you can find the fish.

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I am addicted to fishing offshore. I rarely, very rarely,  fish a bank anymore. Offshore just offers so much more than a bank. Everyone can see the same things on a bank but not so offshore. First off, you need decent electronics with gps. I've tried the old "Ok, line up with the camp with the red door, that big rock and that huge pine with the broken limb"...it don't work. You just can't find that VW size spot again without gps. Second, I have found that deeper, offshore fish seem less affected by pressure changes than shallower, shoreline fish. When the bite slows down on a bank, I can go to humps and continue whackin em. It just seems easier to find biting fish on humps than down a shoreline.

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I love fishing offshore structure. Fish located offshore see far less pressure then fish that are relatively shallow. I have my best luck offshore in the early early spring, mid summer and late fall. My favorite structure to fish is isolated offshore structure. A single log or a 5 by 5 foot section of weeds. If you are lucky enough to find isolated offshore structure there is a good chance that there will be good quality fish there that seldom see lures. Fish can stack up in such spots too.

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Don't feel alone 90% or more of bass anglers never fish more than a casting distance from the shoreline.

This is so ingrained in bass anglers that few venture away from the shoreline.

We talk about pioneer bass anglers like Buck Perry who tried to educate bass anglers that a fishery lies over their shoulder on outside structure, most anglers still refuse to even look off shore for bass.

Tom

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I know i beat the banks to death last year and it didnt do me a bit of good, i was so close so mant times on placing in events i half wonder could i have done better with offshoring. I know this year im going to be doing a lot of practicing with this technique, i have good electronics and the baits to do it. thanks for all the input men!

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Oh, a couple of tips I forgot earlier. You will need a couple of marker buoys. If I'm on a big hump or ridge, I'll throw one on top of it and typically fish the sides. If it's a smaller piece of structure, I'll throw it away from it just to use it as a reference point. Once you start using buoys, you will be shocked at how you float around and move off your structure without realizing it.

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Other than in the spring, if I'm a half mile or less from the bank, I feel I'm too close! Smallies on Erie move in to 8-12' in the spring, but some chose to spawn in the 20'+ range too. Normally I'm 1 to 4 miles off shore. Good sonar, a few marker buoys and a good dropshot setup are all you need.

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With good GPS sonar units you don't need physical marker buoys, you mark fish and structure elements using way point markers/icons. Buoys are OK if you need a visual reference on the water.

Learn to read your sonar unit and maps, they are essential tools to fishing off shore structure. Back in the past we had to learn landmarks and triangulate to find structure with depth finders and mark spots with buoys to stay on them. Today you have good nav maps with way points, saves a lot of time hunting for isolated structure.

Tom

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I don't care how good your GPS is, you're not gonna hold yourself on a boulder or mussel bed 4 miles off shore in 50' of water. Marker buoys are far superior where I fish. The GPS gets me to the location, but beyond that, it does nothing once I'm there.

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I don't care how good your GPS is, you're not gonna hold yourself on a boulder or mussel bed 4 miles off shore in 50' of water. Marker buoys are far superior where I fish. The GPS gets me to the location, but beyond that, it does nothing once I'm there.

That's it! ;)

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Here's the better question to this whole thread:

Have the majority of the offshore fish you guy's have caught been larger than the fish near the bank?

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Here's the better question to this whole thread:

Have the majority of the offshore fish you guy's have caught been larger than the fish near the bank?

For every bass you catch near the bank there is 5 behind you waiting to be caught!

Offshore your quality & quantity will go up ;)

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^ That doesn't answer my question, though. Care to answer my initial question based on your experience?

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And dont be afraid to drop anchor.

 

G

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What part of "quaility & quaintity will go up" don't you understand?

Quaility: size

Quaintity: number

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You might try reading the Toledo thread in the central section. There is a lot of information on this topic there. It might not be focus on the lakes you fish, but the principles should be the same.

 

G

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What part of "quaility & quaintity will go up" don't you understand?

Quaility: size

Quaintity: number

When I ask a direct question, I expect a direct answer, not a quote that is left up to interpretation. I like to deal in absolutes as much as possible.

Is that clear enougu for you?

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And dont be afraid to drop anchor.

 

G

 

It took LMB guys decades to figure out to use a fish finder to find fish and read bottom, and they just now now plunge a glorified stick  into the mud to hold their boat in place. You really think they're going to be anchoring any time soon? What will we call the technique? "Stationary tethered presentation" (cause you know every technique needs a name right?) I'm not holding my breath, what's next? casting umbrellas?....Oh wait,....never mind... :)

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When I ask a direct question, I expect a direct answer, not a quote that is left up to interpretation. I like to deal in absolutes as much as possible.

Is that clear enougu for you?

 

Deep breath please...

 

I think Catt's response was quite clear and your last response aggressive and uncalled for.

The Toledo Bay thread is a "must read" for anyone interested in fishing deep structure, not

just for that particular lake.

 

-Kent  a.k.a. roadwarrior

Global Moderator

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