Jump to content
IgotWood

Help fishing offshore structure

Recommended Posts

I made a very quick kayak outing this week in search of some offshore humps on my local lake that are rumored to fish very well from fal through spring. I found the humps! They are in the middle of the lake and go from 16’ straight up to 4’, firm mud bottom with no grass. There were fish and schools of Shad all around the humps. Water was 58 degrees. Most fish seemed to be suspended in the middle water colum in 10’-12’, with a few good marks on the bottom. There is a slight current running down this lake and the fish were staged on the upstream side of the humps. 

 

I was unprepared for the situation. I tried some lipless cranks and jerkbaits. Also tried dragging a swimbait in the bottom. No bites! I plan on revisiting this spot this weekend. What should my game plan be? Positioning, baits, retrieves, etc? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A spoon or maybe letting a fluke sink down to them slowly?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe a dropshot. Spybaits if the water's clear. Lot of options really. Depends on where you're located, water clarity and a host of other things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you know the running depths of your crankbaits, pick on that runs at, or just above the level that you're marking fish.  Don't think that just because a crank isn't bouncing off cover or the bottom, they won't produce. The most productive retrieve I've found in sub 60 degree water is to crank the bait down to its running depth and then work it with the rod tip in short to long sweeps until you figure out how they want it.  BTW, the best baits for this are either suspending or slow rising cranks.

This is also a situation where jigging spoons really shine. You can target both the suspended fish and those on the bottom and they really shine in the cooler water situations.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Verticle structure spoon, darter head 1/8 oz jig w/4 1/2" curl tail worm and drop shot w/5" to 6" straight tail worm. Underspin w/baby fluke. 1/2 oz chrome/blue Kastmaster spoon. Roboworms in Shad colors. Owner dater jig. Sworming Hornet 1/4 oz, 4" pearl white fluke.

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of great info here, and I really appreciate it! The spybait is completely foreign to me, but i'm intrigued. Also, the spoon. I did also try throwing a small swimbait with an underspin, which I'll continue to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second what papajoe said.  I fish several quarries and find that underwater structure and cast/retrieve parallel to it. A lot of the times I have three crankbaits and one swimjig tied on.  The crankbaits are to cover three different depths from top to bottom, the swimjig can hit them all.  

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update... I went back yesterday. High pressure and bluebird skies. Water was 55 degrees, just a tad colder than last week. Fishing was much the same. Fish suspended and scattered around and on top of the humps. The 8’-11’ depth seemed to be where most fish were, and most fish were suspended just above the middle water column. So frustrating. I tried many different cranks, some different jerkbaits, swimbaits, etc. Also tried a spybait, and a spoon as recommended. Also tried dropshotting, as there were a few fish near the bottom. 

 

Spoke to a guy at the ramp. He was fishing about 100yds from me. I saw him catch a few. I saw a couple rods with shakey heads rigged up. Interesting...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

55 degrees is prime silver buddy or tailspinner temperature for me.

When I fished these in Ohio a yoyo retrieve worked well as did slowly grinding them across large flats near deep water

(I remove the treble hooks and use a single hook on the rear)

 

Here in TN many of the "locals" will bend the tail almost 90 degrees so it will spiral on the way down as they vertical jig it over schools.

 

I will also fish the damiki rig if I am marking a bunch of suspended bass.

However, fishing that is as boring as it gets and most days I'd prefer working around the house if thats the only bite happening

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Suspending in 10-12 ft sitting over 16 feet of water....Smithwick Suspending Rogue the 8ft Version . If that doesn’t generate interest, then try a Damiki Rig hovered just above the schools; although I’ve never fished a Damiki, I’ve seen anglers do well in similar situations 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Are you fishing clear water ? ,because around here 55 degree  stained water is prime time to cover water along the banks with spinnerbaits and crankbaits .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Targeting mid water column suspended bass not feeding on baitfish can be a waste if time. 

First you need to determine if there is baitfish nearby and bass feeding on them. If the baitfish are in a ball shape school they are in a defensive position, scattered like a cloud they are traveling unmolested, no predators attacking the school. When a school approaches a underwater structure near the depth they are in that is prime time for predators to attack them.

So what "spoon" did you use? And how did you present it?

Sounds like there is a soft plastic jig bite.

Tom 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The humps I fish are usually made of small rocks and gravel. When I fish them I start by parking the boat downwind from the hump, but I make sure I'm close enough so that I can cast all the way across to the opposite side of the hump.  I'll be casting out a jig, or a t-rigged plastic.  I reel slow and just drag the bait up the far side of the hump, across the top, and down the side closest to me.  I may have to reposition the boat a few times, but I can usually catch bass.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, J.Vincent said:

Suspending in 10-12 ft sitting over 16 feet of water....Smithwick Suspending Rogue the 8ft Version . If that doesn’t generate interest, then try a Damiki Rig hovered just above the schools; although I’ve never fished a Damiki, I’ve seen anglers do well in similar situations 

I tried a few deep Shadow Raps that go to about 8’. I am unfamiliar with the Damiki rig. 

6 hours ago, scaleface said:

 Are you fishing clear water ? ,because around here 55 degree  stained water is prime time to cover water along the banks with spinnerbaits and crankbaits .

The water is typically clear here with about 6’ viz, however, yesterday is was stained with only about 2’-3’ viz. I think this is where I failed. I concentrated on those non-active fish all day and neglected the banks. When I was paddling back, I saw several fish chasing bait on the banks. Made a few casts with minimal effort, but no bites. 

3 hours ago, WRB said:

Targeting mid water column suspended bass not feeding on baitfish can be a waste if time. 

First you need to determine if there is baitfish nearby and bass feeding on them. If the baitfish are in a ball shape school they are in a defensive position, scattered like a cloud they are traveling unmolested, no predators attacking the school. When a school approaches a underwater structure near the depth they are in that is prime time for predators to attack them.

So what "spoon" did you use? And how did you present it?

Sounds like there is a soft plastic jig bite.

Tom 

There was definitely bait all over the place. Is mostly was scattered, but there were a couple of times when I marked the bait all balled up with fish underneath. Ultimately, conditions were against me with high pressure and sunny clear skies. Perhaps if it were cloudy or a dropping barometer, the fish would have been acting differently. Maybe I should have switched gears and beaten the banks a little bit. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bass feeding on baitfish are already active and catchable. Whenever bass are focused on a specific baitfish you better try to use something that looks like what the bass expects to see. A structure spoon falling through the baitfish looks like a wounded Shad is easy pickings. You want the spoon to flutter down to the bass, not swim fast away form them because they will not case it with hundreds of Shad in front of them.

Tom

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, BassNJake said:

55 degrees is prime silver buddy or tailspinner temperature for me.

When I fished these in Ohio a yoyo retrieve worked well as did slowly grinding them across large flats near deep water

(I remove the treble hooks and use a single hook on the rear)

 

Here in TN many of the "locals" will bend the tail almost 90 degrees so it will spiral on the way down as they vertical jig it over schools.

 

I will also fish the damiki rig if I am marking a bunch of suspended bass.

However, fishing that is as boring as it gets and most days I'd prefer working around the house if thats the only bite happening

 

 

Spoon fishing is boring?

Several years ago during a early fall bite I was fishing a local lake where a tournament was being held and tried to stay off areas other boaters were fishing. I spent most of the morning and early afternoon jig and swimbait fish targeting big bass without success. Noticed a few grebes working tight to the bank along rock walls and decided to catch a few school bass using a Megabait structure spoon and it worked. I planed to get off the lake before the tournament weigh in so wouldn't be in the way retreiving my boat but having fun catching spoon bass I was late arriving.

As I motored passed the marina log boom I metered a big school of Shad with big marks around it, stopped dropped the trolling motor and made a cast where the baitball was with my spoon rod still on the deck. The 1st bass was big for a spoon fish about 7 lbs and some of the guys weighing in watched from the dock about 200 yards away. The 2nd bass was my largest spoon bass ever at 9 lbs, now everyone was watching and a boat came over to see what I was doing. The bite lasted about 10 minutes, all the bass were over 4 lbs. 

The tournament guys had a long day weighing only 13 lbs to the winner, none of those anglers had a structure spoon. Shad in the fall is always prime spoon time.

Tom

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, WRB said:

Spoon fishing is boring?

 

Sorry for not being a little more precise, Damiki rig fishing is boring.

You spend hours idling around to mark these suspended fish and then spend hours just hovering a tiny jig in 25 feet of water over fish that are suspended in 30 feet for 3-5 bites a day is boring to me.

As we transition into winter more of the fish are suspending without really relating to anything.

(not sure if that just a TN thing or not but Douglas, Cherokee and Norris lakes all fish this way in the winter)

Catching these suspended bass are tough and the Damiki rig works pretty well around here.

Just not well enough to prevent it from being boring.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drag a football with a swimbait or drag a Carolina rig around the humps.  Drop shot too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/19/2018 at 6:29 PM, WRB said:

Bass feeding on baitfish are already active and catchable. Whenever bass are focused on a specific baitfish you better try to use something that looks like what the bass expects to see. A structure spoon falling through the baitfish looks like a wounded Shad is easy pickings. You want the spoon to flutter down to the bass, not swim fast away form them because they will not case it with hundreds of Shad in front of them.

Tom

Tom, what spoon do you prefer? Size/weight? 

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 forum

    fishing

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing forum

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×