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Brett Strohl

Bass In Deeper Water?

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I've been bass fishing a lot this year, which I'm reasonably new to, and I was wondering if there are any good ways to find and catch bass in deeper water (without a fish locator)?  I know to fish points, but I haven't had any luck with it.  As of yet I've really only been able to catch fish in extremely shallow water with poppers and wacky worms, so I'd like to learn to fish deeper water (when and how etc)

 

 

All the places I go to fish have a lot of pressure, so I feel like the bass there have seen spinners and diving cranks a million times and I don't really have any faith in them.   There is plenty of deep water but I don't even know how to start.  Any advice is welcome! Thanks!

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Do you have a boat?

Tom

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Texas & Carolina Rigs ;)

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Yeah we have a boat and can fish deeper water, but we can't ever do anything to catch fish in anything but right around the edges of anywhere I fish.  I've tried cranks, plastics, spinners, etc.  

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TBH I'm guessing a lot of the problem is fishing pressure b/c we live in Indiana, and absolutely everything public is over-fished (on top of a lot of other problems). 

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I agree with Catt that using soft plastics is your highest percentage technique to catch bass on deeper structure, however where I fish finesse presentations work very good for highly pressured bass.

Tom

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A Texas or Carolina Rig can be just as much a finesse technique as any!

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I'd also try a shaky head out deeper and maybe a silent crankbait for heavy pressure.

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It would be hard to fish deep without an electronic aid. Seagulls are a good clue as to where fish are , all kinds of game fish , bass included .They gulls know where the  feeding opportunity will arise , their lives depend on it ,  and  bass are   often close by. Even when they are not actively feeding , they are waiting patiently while a few scouts are in the air watching for food . 

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It's going to be tough without some sort of finder. Sure, you can tell somewhat what the bottom is like from where the shoreline enters the water but that only goes so far. If $ is an issue, I'd find some cheap fish finder on Craigslist. And remember, it's called a fishfinder but really you want to use it as a structure finder. I just bought a Lowrance Elite 4X from Craigs, brand new in the box for $100; there are deals out there if you are patient. You don't need anything fancy to get you going finding humps and ridges offshore. A Humminbird 597 Ci di is one of the best bangs for the buck and should be able to be bought for between $150 and $200. 

Then get out there with some marker bouys, find some structure, drop a bouy and hit em with a t-rigged worm, jig, drop shot etc... Then in the fall you hit the same places with a blade.

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Without depth finder, using a C-rig with a heavy sinker is a great way to not only present a bait to deeper fish, but for learning the bottom and what is there as far as it's composition and the presence or lack of cover.

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If you're fishing a bigger, more popular lake, check out the Navionics webapp. That will give you a fairly detailed look of the bottom structure to give you a starting point. Then go toss around a Carolina rig or Dropshot to pinpoint all the minor details of the bottom.

I just finished a write up on a blog I've been working on talking about everything I know on deep diving cranks. There's also a write up from a couple months ago on fishing a dropshot in deep water. Check it out if you're interested: http://davejakesfishin.blogspot.com/2015/07/details-of-drop-shot.html?m=1

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Locating bass without a depth finder is not difficult, it is however time comsuming.

First I would find a Topo map, this will provide a sense of direction as well as what to expect in structure.

Second I would purchase a tri-fluted river anchor, adequate in weight to hold you boat on structure.

Third I would purchase 30' of 3/8-1/2" braided rope

Fourth I would select an area of that lake and using my anchor I would pick it apart with mid-depth and bottom lures.

Fifth once convinced I'm familiar with that area I would select another area and repeat. Divide & conquer!

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Deep water is relative to where you fish, the seasonal periods, everyone has a different idea about what is deep water. You are located in Indiana, it's mid summer and the upper layer water is at it's maximum temps.

Let's establish 20' as deep water for this thread. How deep to fish is always the question and without sonar you are guessing. A lake topo map with depths shown in 1' increments is ideal, 5' is better than nothing.

Points are attached to the bank and easiest to locate.., start there.

Search for posts on split shot or mojo rig, drop shot and finesse C-rig or slip shot. Work those rigs with 4 1/2" to 6" worms all around those points from 1' to 20' depth range.

Tom

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I'd also try a shaky head out deeper and maybe a silent crankbait for heavy pressure.

This especially the shaky head.

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If docks are present, try positioning your boat out off the deep end....say, one cast length away. Concentrate mostly on the deeper dock poles and/or floating docks. Sometimes the fish will suspend, sometimes they'll be close to the bottom. Feel for brush off off those dock ends. Try a texas rig, jig, or Senko type weightless worm. Also, steeper shoreline banks are indicative of deeper water as opposed to flatter ones.

Until you get some type of depth finder, it will be a slow process, but it can be done.

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Deep bass are very often related to deep structure.  You can take advantage of this by putting in some hard work with hard wood brush piles on secondary points, creek channel edges, humps and docks that tend to hold fish. You can also use a carolina rig to find structures others have put in.  I fish Lake of the Ozarks  that  could be argued as being the busiest and most pressured lake in the nation. I have 8-10 brush piles between 15-20'  deep in a specific area or creek arm. I fish them as a route.  I have five brush routes in the  area of the lake I fish the most.  In the dog days of summer I fish mostly at night.  I also use fluorescent tape on  tree trunks and docks to position the boat quicker.  It is very seldom that my partner and I don't find fish. I am certainly not alone. Every Friday night there are  forty or fifty other guys fishing the local weekly night tournament out of the Grand Glaze ramp. The same system works at Pomme De Terre  Lake that is only about 1/10 the size.

Maybe a bigger loop in your lasso would help.

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Most bass anglers that fish from a boat use that boat to travel to areas and fish the shoreline. For reasons unknown those boat anglers nearly always stay a casting distance from the shoreline and cast to the bank at visual targets while sitting on top of the bass they are trying to catch. I see this everyday on the water and wait for those angler to continue down the bank leaving the bass behind for me to catch, if I am not off shore.

The bank angler is casting out into deeper water and working the lure uphill, the boat angler is casting towards the bank working the lure down hill. The boat angler rarely casting outwards or up and over structure fishing uphill where the bass are located in deeper water.

When you fish a point with a boat approach the point close to the bank and cast outwards working the bottom bumping lure uphill, paralell, up and over as you boat into deeper water, then work back the opposite side of the point towards the shore. This way you cover the entire point, learning what depth and direction the bass are reacting to your lure.

Invest in a inexpensive* sonar unit, saves you a lot of time and knowing how deep you are is valuable.

Tom

*anglers are always updating units and excellent used units are available at a fraction of the cost of new units. Make sure the TD and power cord is included or available.

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