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Bass Finding Tactics

By Nic DiGravio

Bass FishingBelieve it or not! Sitting in the doctor’s office one evening I noticed something in the adjacent hallway that got my attention, pronto! I even asked the doc to hold a minute while I focused on an excellent picture of, get this, an old stump imbedded in rock, in a lily covered shore line surrounded by nothing but grade ‘A’ Bass cover. It even had a ‘Bass live here’ sign! Anyway, I woke up to the sound of my wife calling my name. As I came to, the doc and every one else who watched me stare a hole through this picture thought maybe I would be more ‘at home’ down the street, in a “padded room”. I know my wife had ‘agreement’ in her eyes!

Many anglers stick to one lake, because they get to know it and think it will help them do well in up-coming tournaments. But myself, I love the adventure! Staring at maps of new lakes, and then exploring the areas penciled to see the outcome! What looks good on paper many times looks even better when fishing.

Bass Fishing TacticsLooking at the maps, there are many areas we can hit. I do not like to clutter my maps, so I just focus on the main areas on paper and leave the dissecting for the days fishing.

When looking for Largemouth real estate I generally look for shallow bays with or near weed growth. For example, when I labeled these Largemouth areas here in LM I hit the jackpot! All along this weed line was prime ‘bucket mouth’ cover. What the map shows compared to what I saw was similar only in terms of potential. On paper, it looked good but in reality, it was excellent! Smallmouth Bass were not here in good numbers as I suspected, but in the selected areas there were a few.

Bass Fishing TacticsNarrows are good Bass bets! Notice the steep drop offs for the Smallmouth here. A good sign of Smallie terrain is deep water close to spawning beds around boulders and flats, weedy or not. In the hot months of the year, they will travel shallow to deep in certain parts of the day because temperature drives them to do so. In the morning and evening, I fish shallow but the middle of the day deep.

The good thing with steep drop offs is that during the hot months Smallies utilize these areas throughout the day because the depth keeps their comfort zone consistent.

Largemouth, on the other hand, were also there. Pencil reeds lined up all along the shoreline especially on the north shore, Bass heaven for any Bass angler in my books! Both species of Bass were in abundance and eager to smack the baits!

Bass  Fishing TacticsShoals are not to be overlooked when searching for Smallmouth. Even the slightest change in depth or irregular contour should get our attention. Weedy points proved good, as did the shallow points for both species in the beginning of the season and mostly Largemouth later in the year. At first glance I would think that the Smallmouth that inhabit this body of water do a great deal of traveling. There are flats, points and shoals all within a 5 to 6-mile radius so it does require traveling for Smallmouth success. Largemouth were found in only a few choice areas.

Maps do not always pave the way to ‘Bass land’, but it definitely gives anglers a starting point. When you go to the spots you picked out on the map and are successful it not only feels great, it’s an accomplishment. In addition, no one will think you‘re nuts!

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