(Above: Deep bucket pulled out of the slop. This fish hit a 6” solid black stickbait fished weightless. Cast to the edge of the weed villa and let fall effortlessly to the bottom. The bass hit about halfway down and then went straight into the weeds.)
The first thing I look for is structure and then I look for baitfish. Leaning on the fish finding unit can be key to locating some crucial areas such as submerged rocks and other things below that you would not see otherwise. Even if I don’t get “fish-blips” on the screen, tasty looking spots will always get a cast or two.
(Above: This fish came out of nowhere on a spinnerbait search cast through a school of baitfish suspending in the middle of nowhere for no good reason.)
(Above: This is a sample of one of the big baitfish presentations that I use. Sometimes a plastic trailer can dress up a sexy skirted spinnerbait to be even more delicious.)
In the rod department I like a 6’6” or 7’ heavy action stick. The heavy action helps me pull fish out of the weed-villa and other thick cover. My preference for line is very light. This can get me into trouble in the summer time as line strength is also crucial against heavy cover. I tend to upgrade from 6 to 8lb test (Hi-Seas Grand Slam) or 15lb Fireline braid for thick conditions. This is the same stuff I use for my fly-bassin’ lately. Note: Whoever is leaving huge wads of braided line out at Ward Pond should probably just give up fishing altogether. Perhaps look at other sports like basketball or shuffleboard.
Smaller bass will often group up in the shallow water that is open and has less cover. These little fish are hungry and ultra-aggressive I tend to avoid these schools of smaller bass but immediately fish the water several yards deeper. My theory here is that the larger fish use the smaller ones to herd prey to them. The larger fish will often move in early morning or late evening to try and pick one of the smaller bass off especially if it is injured.
(Above: Just as soon as I get all yackity-shmackity about deep fish, a big chunk comes along in the shallows. There is always an exception to the rule.)
Hopefully this post helps some folks find the deeper fish that dwell in summer while allowing me to milk a few recent bass pictures.