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Publication: Bass Matters
Covering Water Effectively

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><> ><>       BASS MATTERS - March 29, 2006         ><> ><>   

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Hello Anglers,   

Spring is upon us again. The time for non-stop summer 
fishing is at or doorstep. I'm ready, are you?

Remember you can comment on any part of this issue or read   
comments by visiting: http://blog.gophercentral.com/bass.html 

Enjoy a week of fishing!   
email Brock   

Covering Water Effectively
By Don Applegarth

I have been asked by several people what I do to cover 
water whenever I am fishing, say a new lake or whenever I 
am trying to locate some fish, and put together a pattern. 
This is a subject that is very broad, and can be discussed 
at great length, I will try here to list some of the things
that I consider when choosing a bait, and an area to fish.

The first thing that I consider is the time of year. By 
this, I try and figure out where the fish should be. If 
it is late winter or very early spring, then I know the 
fish are going to be relatively deep, and lethargic. 
Therefore, I will try to find ledges, and drop-offs, 
that are at the mouths of creeks, and river bends.

I will usually try fishing these areas with crankbaits, 
and spinnerbaits slow rolled first. If I can not get any 
takers, then I will try using worms, or jigs, and fish 
slower. If it is later in the spring, but still pre-spawn, 
I will use faster moving baits such as a Rat-L-Trap or 
crankbaits and spinnerbaits, but moved a little faster. 
I will also move away from the deeper ledges, and start 
to look in the first half of some major creeks. Start at 
the channels, and work toward the shallower water. Many 
times fish will move up onto flats in these areas and 
feed, then return to the depths. Look for places where 
there is a drastic depth change from say 6' - about 10 or 

Another consideration, is the weather. If it is windy, I 
always fish the windy side first. That is where the bait-
fish are usually located. While it is not the easiest way 
to fish under these conditions, it is almost always the 
most productive.

For these conditions, I use a fast moving bait like a 
Crankbait, Rat-L-Trap, or a Spinnerbait, and work the 
areas quickly. It is very important to cast into the wind 
whenever possible/ This can be a nightmare, but it gives 
the bait a more natural presentation, and the fish are 
usually feeding facing into the wind, like a current in 
a river. While these little details seem unimportant, 
they make a huge difference in the size, and numbers of 
fish caught.

During the summer months, and warmer weather conditions, 
I usually start out with topwaters, and then switch to a 
Buzzbait, and then crankbaits and blades. Once fish have 
been located, I will slow down, and work these areas with 
slower baits like a Carolina rigged Lizard, or a Texas 
rigged worm.


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If you are fishing overcast conditions in warm weather 
months, I recommend that you try a topwater bait all day 
long, as well as other faster moving lures, and keep moving.
Fish are prone to be feeding all day long under such 
conditions, and can be caught.

Soft Jerkbaits are always tied onto one of my rods, just 
as a Spinnerbait is. I use these to search areas as well. 
They can be worked very rapidly, and will draw strikes 
from less aggressive fish just as well as the more 
aggressive ones. If you are fishing a soft jerkbait, and 
a fish misses the lure, stop it! Let it fall, sometimes 
all the way to the bottom. About 50% of the time, that 
fish will come back and get it. If it doesn't, twitch it, 
and then jerk it back to the top, and let it fall again. 
A few feet, and return to your retrieve.

I think that soft Jerkbaits are one of the most underrated 
lures on the market today. If you have not tried them, you 
should. You are missing a lot of fish, and a lot of BIG 
fish as well, especially during the spring months.

Covering water is important, but you have to be able to go 
slow enough to work the areas effectively as well. I will 
use a stop and start technique with my trolling motor. I 
usually keep it on a relatively high speed setting then 
move about 10 - 15' and stop. The boat will continue to 
drift while I make several fan casts to the areas around 
me. If not takers, then I go another 10 - 15' and so on. 
Many people prefer to use a slower setting and keep moving
constantly while searching waters for bass. I think they 
cover a good deal of water, but they miss a lot of targets, 
that I always try to hit, until I come across a pattern.

By this I mean, that if I see after a few minutes that I 
am only catching bass on stumps, I will move faster, and 
only slow down whenever I am fishing stumps.

I hope this article has been of some help to you all in 
understanding effective ways to cover water.

Good fishin'...


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