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Tips for locating deep water bass?

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The fish that I usually pass over the top of are waiting patiently for my attention.  What are some good tips or techniques in locating those 15-25ft bass?  Other than rip-rap or a lake dam, how do you find structure and then determine what will produce?

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Electronics is obviously the key paired with a good topo map.If you know where some structure is already,get on it and see if they are there.If not,you'll have to study your map and locate some decent looking spots.Obviously where the lines are real close together on your map,that indicates a sharp drop or ledge.Lines that are further apart indicate a milder drop in depth.I'd try any ledges that you can find for starters.Bass tend to stack on or beside ledges in the winter.If the ledge is close to the main channel,thats great.If there are shad schools in your chosen area,that's even better.

If you go to any of these spots and you see fish on your graph,notice at what depth they are hanging and throw out a buoy.Once you've marked the fish,back off,make long casts with baits that put you in the strike zone (good choice: suspending jerkbait)....fish slow and dont be afraid to dead-stick it.

As you are fishing,ease your way in closer to your buoy if you're not getting bit and once you are over the fish again,hit 'em with a jigging spoon.Count it down by seconds to the fishes depth and start jigging.Try your best to get the bait at the right depth so it will be in their face as much as possible.Try not to fish below the depth they are holding.Be patient with 'em but dont sit on 'em forever either.

If you happen to mark fish that are on the bottom and can pinpoint the spot,try a drop shot and let it soak for a while.

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To expand on what fivebasslimit said, when I find structure I like to idle around and look at my electronis to see if there is any cover on the structure. 1 stump or rock on a piece of structure may hold all the fish. If I cannot seem to locate any cover via electronics I'll simply fish it with a bait that will tell me the bottom's composition, good choics are deep cranks, carolina rig, football jig.

I had an older gent tell me one day that all he does is finds a sudden or drastic depth change and he fishes it. This old boy was known for catching some big ones in his day. I got to thinking about what he said and really, that's what structure fishing is, fishing changes in depth etc.. as opposed to visibly targeting shoreline or other cover.

Also key is to remember the seasonal movements of bass. Targeting deeper offshore structure is going to be more productive at certain times like in mid summer.

1 more word for you, POINTS. Some of the best structure I have ever located was on main and secondary points.

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Another suggestion: humps surrounded by deep water.

Several years ago a friend of mine took me to a spot in what seemed to be the middle of Green Bay on Lake Michigan. My buddy had a Stratos bass boat, not the kind of boat you want to be in too far offshore. This particular day the wind was calm and my friend got very excited. He had the area identified on his map and had the GPS coordinates, so off we went: seventeen miles out!

The spot we fished was approximately 100 X 200 yards and the water was nine feet deep. The surrounding water ranged from sixty feet to a couple of hundred. This was the first time I had ever done this (and it won't happen again in a small boat). Anyhow, we fished this spot which appeared to be in the middle of the ocean for two hours, catching smallmouth bass on virtually every cast. We didn't catch any monsters, but man did we catch some fish!

This isolated island is rarely fished because the winds are rarely calm and the lake is usually rough. When the wind picked up, we made a beeline for the shore, but it was almost too late. That was a harrowing trip that I don't ever want to repeat.

Hopefully you can find similar structure in your river or lake that is not quite as dangerous to fish.

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I would hope that you're either fishing a manmade reservoir or fishing for smallmouth bass.

In a natural lake, if you limit your largemouth bass fishing to the 15 to 25 ft depth zone,

you'll be fishing over a very tiny percentage of the bass population. Mossbacks are shallow-oriented fish

that go no deeper than necessary. The controversy over deep-water versus shallow-water is hotly debated.

However, the weight of the evidence suggests that the largest bass hail from shallow water, where life is in high gear.

Exceptions are some deep clear lakes in California and deep impoundments that lack natural vegetation

due to pool level fluctuation. In situations where largemouth bass are forced into uncharacteristic depths, the story is the same.

They seek the "most vertical structures" in the form of bottom drops, standing timber, underwater ridges, submerged dwellings,

sunken cars, artificial reefs, railroad levees. All that really matters is the abrupt change in depth, for example

a point in the shoreline that is not associated with a drop-off in depth is totally useless.

Roger

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Another suggestion: humps surrounded by deep water.

Several years ago a friend of mine took me to a spot in what seemed to be the middle of Green Bay on Lake Michigan. My buddy had a Stratos bass boat, not the kind of boat you want to be in too far offshore. This particular day the wind was calm and my friend got very excited. He had the area identified on his map and had the GPS coordinates, so off we went: seventeen miles out!

The spot we fished was approximately 100 X 200 yards and the water was nine feet deep. The surrounding water ranged from sixty feet to a couple of hundred. This was the first time I had ever done this (and it won't happen again in a small boat). Anyhow, we fished this spot which appeared to be in the middle of the ocean for two hours, catching smallmouth bass on virtually every cast. We didn't catch any monsters, but man did we catch some fish!

This isolated island is rarely fished because the winds are rarely calm and the lake is usually rough. When the wind picked up, we made a beeline for the shore, but it was almost too late. That was a harrowing trip that I don't ever want to repeat.

Hopefully you can find similar structure in your river or lake that is not quite as dangerous to fish.

Roadwarrior,

Does that apply to submerged humps in rivers as well? There are some of these in the Potomac. They rise from about 30' to 8' - 15' deep. In fact there is a relatively small area ( maybe a square mile) with almost a dozen of these structures, and it is the only stretch of the river where such structure exists. I've read a good deal from professional guides on places to fish around here, but this place is never mentioned.

I've been meaning to go there, and would have went today except for heavy fog that lasted into the afternoon prevented it. Think it's worth the trip?

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Ok one more time  ;)

Underwater islands, mounds, or humps are a deep water angler's delight; these spots are especially productive when power is being generated at the dam, causing a current in the reservoir. Bait fish will gather on the upper end of these mounds and the bass will bunch up to feed on them. When located near a creek or river these areas can be your big bass hole. A tail spinner or Rat-L-Trap fished across these areas or a 7 to 8 worm can fill your stringer quickly. Position your boat shallow and fish deep with Texas Rigs or Jig to find the bigger bass.

Submerged bridges are excellent holding areas for big

bass, many times these bridges have been blown when the lake was built, creating structure in the form of pilings, concrete rubble (rock piles). This form of deep structure can be a summer and winter glory hole.

Outside bends of a river or creek are common hangouts for deep water bass. Because of the water flow in the river or creek a ridge has been formed on the outside of the bend. Find the point of these ridges; anchor the boat in 12' to 18, cast deep with Texas Rigs or Jig to find the bigger bass.

Spots where two creeks intersect or where a feeder creek intersects with the main river are areas experienced deep water anglers seeks. Inside the Y created by the intersection is where you want to anchor the boat in 12' to 18, cast deep with Texas Rigs or Jig to find the bigger bass. In winter months fish these areas with jigging baits in 20 to 30' of water.

Submerged roadbeds should never be overlooked, locate these on a topographic map, then pinpoint with your depth finder. These are common migration routes to and from spawning areas in the spring, they also hold feeding bass in the summer. Seek out 12 to 18' depths where a sharp drop off occurs on each side of the roadbed. Fish plastics or deep running crank baits across these roadways. Ideal spots are where two roads junction or where the road makes a noticeable turn.

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Does that apply to submerged humps in rivers as well? There are some of these in the Potomac. They rise from about 30' to 8' - 15' deep. In fact there is a relatively small area ( maybe a square mile) with almost a dozen of these structures, and it is the only stretch of the river where such structure exists. I've read a good deal from professional guides on places to fish around here, but this place is never mentioned.

hmmmmm.......I wonder why its never mentioned?  :-? I dont know many good fisherman that will give up such hot spots. I would definitely be checking that out.

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Roadwarrior in 1999 I was on team Ontario in Greenbay. B.A.S.S. ran the tourney out of Greenbay and it was a 44 mile run in the worst snotty 5-6 ft crap I've seen My draw guy from the Ohio River was never the same. By the third day 4 of our boats took 8 limits off that spot including 2nd overall.

How to find deep bass:

You start in the spring, were is the best spawning. and then you just keep fishing deeper go to the first break and idenifiy objects stumps rocks gravel areas weed areas.

then move to the next break and by  then you should be working underwater Pt. the side with the pervaling wind will be rocky (smallies) on the leyside will be sandy and weedy (largies).

Of course theres no hard and fast rules but when you get past 10 ft when you catch a fish you expext to catch a limit quick in a small area so knowing were you caught a fish and getting back are big.

Garnet

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Sounds like some thing Al Linder wrote   ;)

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Garnet,

I don't know much about Green Bay, I wonder if there are other places like thay or if we are talking about the exact spot. Wow! That's pretty cool to think about. I, however, willl never go back unless I'm in a big boat with plenty of freeboard. I'm sure some of our members from the Great Lakes region fish from bass boats, but not me. Certainly not away from shore like that anyhow.

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RW Greenbay is reel bad because it's 178 miles to Big Bay Bnoc and theres zero to get behind even if you  run the ley shore if the wind blows hard one way the whole bay starts bouncing 8-10 ft'ers.

From the city Greenbay the first decent smallie area is 25 miles and your're still 5 miles fron Stugeon Falls  (or Bay) from there to Deaths Door is 15 miles that puts you between Grean Bay and Lake Michigan and you better have very large gonads or no brain power.

My wife and I had our best vaction every at the Northern Div. for B.A.S.S.

Garnet

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