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Not sure how to start this topic...so I'll just jump in with how I see it and am more than willing to be corrected here.

 

So people talk about targeting suspended bass, but aren't all bass suspended? I mean... they dont have legs walking around. So they are suspended somewhere in the water column...anywhere from right down by the bottom...to up close to the surface when we get lucky to see them busting shad. I also graph a lot around that mid-level..in 20 fow, its common for me to see them in that 10 ft range.

 

So the ones up high are more likely to be active..right...using the surface to trap baitfish? And the ones down close to the bottom can also be a good target. Its the mid-level ones that most people are referring to here when talking about fish being neutral. And isn't that where they spend most of their time..not feeding, just hanging out. Its kind of like us...we only eat a few times a day.

 

Do they suspend higher or lower in stained water vs clear? Do Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spots suspend differently?  Are Bass that are suspended next to trees, bridge pilings, etc., more active than ones in open water?

 

So many questions..and so little time before my ice melts...lol

 

 

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All Black bass have air (gas) bladders that allow them to have neutral bouyancy and suspend at whatever depth they have neutral bouyancy comfort zone. Activity level is a separate but related topic. Very active, active, neutral, inactive and very inactive. Very active bass are chasing and feeding on prey, active bass are hunting for prey to eat, neutral bass are inbetween active and inactive, inactive are not feeding and very inactive are in a state of sleeping or sick. 

Suspended bass could be active positioning for passing baitfish schools, however if the bass are not near structure or under cover and suspended in the water column they could be inactive and not catchable. If the bass are not moving and suspended they are usually a waste of time trying to catch. Activity levels change every few hours with individual bass, the entire lake population of bass are not on the same schedule.

Tom

 

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1 hour ago, WRB said:

 if the bass are not near structure or under cover and suspended in the water column they could be inactive 

 

Thanks Tom, I've got a lot of standiing timber and newly acquired brushpile way points  that I'm chomping at the bit to get to try to pick some off.

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15 hours ago, WRB said:

Activity levels change every few hours with individual bass, the entire lake population of bass are not on the same schedule.

Thats what I tell my partner when I am sitting at my spot for 1 hour with no bites and I dont want to go to his spot! :D

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17 hours ago, Todd2 said:

Do they suspend higher or lower in stained water vs clear? 

 

 

 

The clearer the water the deeper the bass will go, so in a clear water reservoir bass may suspend deeper than bass in a murky reservoir. I read that in general bass won't go deeper than the maximum level of light penetration, so if the sun light is only penetrating down to 15', than a majority of bass will at 15' or shallower(I'm hoping some of the deep water experts here can give their thoughts on this).

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Troy1985s said:

The clearer the water the deeper the bass will go, so in a clear water reservoir bass may suspend deeper than bass in a murky reservoir. I read that in general bass won't go deeper than the maximum level of light penetration, so if the sun light is only penetrating down to 15', than a majority of bass will at 15' or shallower(I'm hoping some of the deep water experts here can give their thoughts on this).

 

 

 

 

What about when its night with no moon and cloud cover? 

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17 hours ago, WRB said:

Activity levels change every few hours with individual bass, the entire lake population of bass are not on the same schedule.

Tom

 

I guess I knew this but now I'm rethinking targeting suspended fish at all. If they're suspended and not active where I'm at somewhere else they could've moved up onto structure and feeding like crazy. Shouldn't  they be roughly at the same depth on a given day? I always hear that depth is the most important question to ask where they were caught at.

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Bass can move up,and down within the water column at will as long as that upward movement isn't too fast or exceed about 25'-30', then their air bladder over expands as they don't have pressure valves to release the gases like some fish like trout have.

Generally the bass stay within the neutral suspended depth or life zone. Bass don't move very far from where they are resting, depends on the prey type like Shad that are pelagic fish that move from cover to open water to feed on plankton and return to the protection cover. 

Prey like crawdads can be any depth, terrestrial near the surface and dermasel near the bottomor cover.

Tom

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8 minutes ago, CroakHunter said:

What about when its night with no moon and cloud cover? 

I'm not sure, this is stuff I just read about in the past week.  Maybe they don't feed much on those nights and maybe why they feed more on clear nights with a full moon.  What I read was talking about daylight activity.

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Well said

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37 minutes ago, Troy1985s said:

I'm not sure, this is stuff I just read about in the past week.  Maybe they don't feed much on those nights and maybe why they feed more on clear nights with a full moon.  What I read was talking about daylight activity.

Bass are primarily sight feeders but use all their senses to hunt prey, the lateral line being extremely important to detect sound/pressure waves underwater. There is a reason prey hides in cover and bass hunt there, bass can se better and have good low light vision then the prey. 

Tom

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In highland reservoirs like Table Rock and Bull Shoal if I'm fishing suspended fish they are normally related to the thermocline. Fish and bait will congregate at that depth.

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I have one spot that I catch suspended bass on routinely .  Its on a extended point about 12 foot deep and one area is almost a sheer drop off to 20 foot . Bass like to set up in open water near that drop   .I   hit it with deep diving crankbaits and catch lots of  bass  after the bait has quit making contact with the bottom . Some days I catch them on the point , some days suspended and more often both .

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1 hour ago, dblades said:

In highland reservoirs like Table Rock and Bull Shoal if I'm fishing suspended fish they are normally related to the thermocline. Fish and bait will congregate at that depth.

Yep . . . . and submerged treetops.  And by the way, @dblades, welcome to Bass Resource!

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On 1/26/2018 at 11:10 AM, WRB said:

Bass can move up,and down within the water column at will as long as that upward movement isn't too fast or exceed about 25'-30', then their air bladder over expands as they don't have pressure valves to release the gases like some fish like trout have.

Generally the bass stay within the neutral suspended depth or life zone. Bass don't move very far from where they are resting, depends on the prey type like Shad that are pelagic fish that move from cover to open water to feed on plankton and return to the protection cover. 

Prey like crawdads can be any depth, terrestrial near the surface and dermasel near the bottomor cover.

Tom

Hi Tom ..... Can you please elaborate on their movement if you will? My Crawdad knowledge is weak.

 

"Prey like crawdads can be any depth, terrestrial near the surface and dermasel near the bottomor cover."

 

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