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Publication: Bass Matters
Deep Water Strategies

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><> ><>        BASS MATTERS - March 8, 2006          ><> ><> 

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Comment The Post Below...

Hello Anglers,

If you practically have to wait in line to fish your best 
spot, try these ideas. 

* Get a map and look for areas farthest from both launch 
ramps and houses. Either the upper tip of the lake or down 
by the dam may have less pleasure craft and bass boat 

* You may catch more bass from an area only considered fair 
if you are the only one fishing it. 

* If every one on your lake throws a worm, try a jerk bait. 
Be different. 

* Find an area where obstructions like stumps keep pleasure 
craft out. 

* Try the upper end of the lake where it becomes river, 
specially if there is current. This water will have more 
oxygen and bass may be more active. 

* Go early to your best spot before the pleasure craft come 
out. Then go somehere else. 

Remember you can comment on any story or read comments   
by visiting: Bass Matters Blog

Enjoy a week of fishing!
email Brock

Deep Water Strategies
From Extreme Bass Lures

There are times when bass abandon their shallow water hide-
outs and seek the comfort and shelter found in deep water. 
Anglers who are determined to remain successful throughout 
the season must abandon those shallow water tactics used in 
the spring and fall and switch to techniques that will take 
bass holding in deep water. 

During early spring, anglers can expect to find largemouth 
and smallmouth bass cruising shallow water flats in search 
of suitable habitat for spawning. Not only are these fish 
easy to pattern, but because of the shallow depths of water 
in which they're holding, locating them and presenting a 
lure to their nest is a rather simple task. Nature instills 
an instinct to protect their eggs and thus makes the bass 
vulnerable to anglers presenting any one of several baits 
within the vicinity of the nest.

Fall finds the bass once again targeting shallow water areas, 
this time in search of baitfish. As a lake's surface 
temperature drops in the fall, layers of water above the 
thermocline are mixed are mixed and cool until they match 
the temperature of the thermocline. During this period, 
phytoplankton begin to congregate in bays and other areas 
of shallow water, as do the small fish that feed on them. 

And as the baitfish go, so go the larger game fish. Standard 
stick baits such as Rapalas, Thundersticks and Rattlin' 
Rogues become the bread and butter lures for fall bass 
anglers. Again, locating and catching these fish can be 
fairly simple. They've abandoned their holding areas in deep 
water to prepare for winter by gorging themselves on the 
baitfish that are in the shallows. 

Although the seasons of spring and fall bring plenty of 
action to bass anglers, avid anglers must rely on techniques 
that allow them to put fish in the boat during the summer 
months as well. This is the time when the vast majority of 
largemouths and smallmouths aren't in the shallows. In fact, 
during much of the summer, most large, mature bass can be 
located along deep points or submerged river channels or 
holding within deep water structure. 

Deep structure can be the most consistent place to fish 
during the hottest times of the year. These fish will be the 
least molested bass of all and are out in deep water where 
the temperature is probably the most comfortable. Success, 
however, is not automatic. Unfortunately, when bass are deep, 
those anglers who have become accustomed to catching them in 
shallow water may now have a tough time locating them. That 
doesn't have to be the case, however. By pinpointing key 
structures that attract and hold deep bass, then presenting 
lures and baits correctly, anglers can successfully fool 
fish in their deep water sanctuaries into striking as easily 
as they can in shallow water.

Deep weed edges are prime locations for bass waiting in 
ambush for the schools of baitfish found skirting these 
edges throughout the summer. Points and areas where weeds 
form pockets are especially good bass holding areas. 
Although presentations of weedless spoons, spinnerbaits and 
Texas rigged plastic worms are often preferred by anglers 
in these locations, such lures can't provide and angler with 
the important deep water information that a jig-n-pig can. 

Naturally, jigs with exposed hooks will foul up in weeds, 
but that is precisely why it is of great value to anglers 
seeking deep rooted weed bass. Using these jigs, astute 
anglers learn to map deep edge contours of vegetation and 
discover productive bass hangouts. Learning to pinpoint 
distinct breaks between thick weeds and open water can give 
anglers a definite advantage over those who simply cast 
blindly over a location.

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With large schools of mature bass often found along these 
deep edges, anglers will want to present their jig in a 
manner that allows it to spend the greatest amount of time 
in the strike zone. Thus, casts made parallel to the edges 
are the most productive. When a typical stand up style jig 
hangs in the weeds, a sharp snap of the rod tip frequently 
jerks it free. It's best when a 6 1/2 to 7 foot heavy fast 
action rod is used in these circumstances. 

The stiff action in the rod's tip is quick to snap the jig 
clear of any weeds that may cling to it and hang up. Short, 
quick jerks should be attempted at first and gradually 
increased until the jig falls free. Often, this quick dart-
ing of the lure from the weeds will trigger bass into 
striking. An exposed hook also increases the number of 
hooked fish per hit when compared to using baits, such as a 
weedless Texas rigged plastic worm. 

When choosing the proper size and style of jighead, one 
needs to consider such factors as depth, water clarity, 
bottom composition and current. For most deep water present-
ations, particularly in off colored water, football head 
jigs in the 1/2 to 3/4 ounce range are preferred by many top 
anglers. Moreover, the football head jig bouncing and thump-
ing on the bottom can actually help call bass to the bait 
in a manner similar to that of a Carolina rig weight. 

During recent years, anglers have been intrigued by the 
success that tube baits have brought to bass fishing. 
Although effective for both largemouth and smallmouth bass, 
tubes are particularly effective on smallmouths. Tubes can 
be jigged, popped, dropped or crawled through weeds, rocks, 
wood or open water. Few lures are more versatile than tube 
baits, and few can be easier to fish. When changing from 
shallow water techniques to deep water tactics, simply 
going to a heavier lead jighead can be all that's required. 
Many of the same patterns that are successful while working 
shallow water in the early spring are just as productive 
when using tubes in deep water.

Combining one of bass fishing's oldest techniques with these 
new tube sensations can be one of the hottest methods in an 
angler's arsenal. Carolina rig fishing is normally 
associated with using 6 inch plastic worms or lizards ahead 
of the standard weight, bead and swivel. Adding a 3 inch 
tube bait in place of the longer plastic worm and shortening 
the standard Carolina rigged leader from 36 inches to only 
12 can be incredibly effective for deep holding smallmouth 

The smallmouths are instinctively drawn to the clicking 
noise caused by the weight tapping small rocks along the 
bottom, thus sounding like a crawfish, the smallmouths' 
preferred snack. Upon investigation, the first thing they 
see is the trailing tube and what they perceive to be an 
easy meal.

To locate the weed edge, cast and retrieve to find where the 
weeds are thickest, then cast deeper to hit areas where the 
weeds are sparse. Continue until you locate the defined edge 
between weeds and open water. It's along this edge that 
anglers should concentrate their efforts, because this is 
where the most bass can be found. This isn't a very 
sophisticated deep fishing technique, but definitely one of 
the more productive for mature bass.

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Standard Carolina rigs begin with a stout 7 to 7 1/2 foot 
flipping rod and reel combo loaded with 25 pound test main 
line. Attached to that are a 3/4 or 1 ounce bullet weight, 
two beads, a barrel swivel, a 3/0 or 4/0 high performance 
hook, and a leader of 17 pound test line. With weights and 
line that are as heavy as this, it's easy to understand the 
need for such a long, stout rod. The rod's length and power 
permit the angler to pop the weight free of most obstruct-
ions that may be encountered when working deep water 

Crankbaits are among the most versatile deep water bass 
lures. They can be worked slow or fast, deep or even deeper. 
They come in an incredible variety of sizes, weights, colors 
and actions. Generally, the larger a crankbait and the big-
ger and wider its lip, the deeper the lure will dive during 
the retrieve. 

Also, the crankbait's big lip enables the lure to dig, bump 
and bounce off deep cover like brush, logs and rocks, which 
are all typical bass holding structures. To maximize depth 
from deep divers, long casts are essential. Testing crank-
baits in tanks has shown that deep divers often require one 
third of the length of a cast to reach maximum depth when 
retrieved at medium speed.

Walleye anglers have used metal spoons and blade baits for 
years as effective tools in their sport. Bass fishermen, 
however, have often overlooked these baits. Spoons and blade 
baits can be especially effective on bass that are suspended 
along deep river channels or manmade structures such as 
channel markers or breakwalls. Since they usually have treble 
hooks, these lures are poor choices as bottom probing tools. 
They will easily hang up in deep cover and are difficult to 

Fish spoons and blades on a 6 to 7 foot medium to heavy 
action baitcasting rod with reels that are spooled with 10 
to 14 pound test line. Use a 1/2 to 3/4 ounce lure under 
most conditions and attach the lure to your line with a 
split ring or snap. 

To work these fast sinking lures for suspended bass, 
position the boat directly over your target area while 
noting on your electronics the depth at which the bass are 
suspending. These lures are best when worked at or just 
above the fish zone. Holding the rod tip at 8 o'clock, 
sharply snap the tip up to 11o'clock. This will pop the 
spoon or blade upward. As the lure falls, lower the rod tip 
back to 8 o'clock. The most critical part comes as the spoon 
is falling. 

Try to keep the line as taut as possible while still allow-
ing the spoon to fall freely. Most strikes will come on the 
drop. It's important to maintain contact with the blade as 
it falls to detect a strike. Proper spoon or blade jigging 
is a matter of timing. Lowering the tip too quickly causes 
you to lose contact with the spoon and miss strikes. Lower-
ing it too slowly diminishes its desired fluttering action. 
Try to visualize the lure falling as you lower your rod. 
This often improves your ability to detect strikes.

Deep water fishing may seem difficult, especially when you 
can't see the structure you're casting to, but the fish are 
there and in abundance.

        GopherCentral's Question of the Week

Do you think the UAE (United Arab Emirates) should be in 
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Question of the Week

                  FISHING JOKES CORNER

Fishing season hasn't opened and a fisherman who doesn't 
have a license is casting for trout as a stranger approaches 
and asks: "Any luck?"

"Any luck? This is a wonderful spot. I took 10 out of this 
stream yesterday," he boasts.

"Is that so? By the way, do you know who I am?" asks the 


"Well, meet the new game warden."

"Oh," gulped the fisherman. "Well, do you know who I am?"


"Meet the biggest liar in the state!"

Questions? Comments? email: Email brock
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