Third in a series from shallow water, to mid range and on to deep water.
- I always tried to find the best 3 Shallow Water Spots before going any farther. Fishing and taking a look at 60 spots seemed to me my magic number.http://texasfishingforum.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/11250497/#Post11250497
- After finding the best shallow water spots then I would do everything possible to follow those fish out to the Mid Range Spots in those same areas before looking at other areas of the lake.http://texasfishingforum.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/11255879/#Post11255879Deep Water Spots:
Same pattern; stay with your fish. Never leave fish to go find fish. At noon if I still need a couple of larger fish and couldn't get it done shallow or mid range then it was off to deep water. I started looking in the same area as my shallow water fish; but most of the time I had to move out toward the mouth of the cove a little farther. Fish every point and the sides of every ditch that drops into the creek channel at 15 to 30 ft. The sharper the drop the better. Again check the pH; it will be a perfect 6 on the scale to hold the largest Bass.
You next have to understand that fish move around and through a body of water using the same set of highways every day. That may be a creek channel, contour line, or a brush line that extends out into deep water. The key is to find this feature where the fish move toward the depth where they feed. You will see them on the hard map and visually on the points, which ex-tend farthest out into the deepest water in the area. You have to learn to read the shoreline and the cover that is in the water. Then I would make the search with the electronics and a set of marker buoys. You are targeting the longest, deepest, narrowest point that extends the farthest into the deep water for that area. I bet you remember a great fisherman saying that. Ha...
I have found even on an old do-nothing bank there will be points that extend out into deep water. Odds are those fish are untouched. Using your big motor, idle across the point and mark the shallow top of the point in 5 ft. of water. Move out to 10 feet and do the same thing across the point, keep moving deeper until you have a row of markers on this point and where it is leading to. Keep doing this until your last buoy is on the spot where it drops off into the deepest water in the area at 25 to 30 ft..
Watching that dept finder for fish at all times will put you on them. Now if you've done it right, you've got a marker on top of the point where the fish are holding. Pull up all the rest of the markers except this one because the one that's left is where you're going to catch fish. Another way that is very handy is with the new trolling motors. If you are using a Ipilot positioning motor this whole process is easy. Just head off the points until you find fish, set the depth track at that many feet and let it track until you find the longest point extending out into the deepest water. This will be where your larger Bass will hold up. What you will notice while driving around looking for fish, you will find them suspended say at 15 ft.. Two dollars to a nickle they will be connecting to that point at that exact depth and you can catch them there.
We all know about reading the map where the closer the lines are on the chart, the more of a drop you have in depth. And where there is a steep drop in depth there is usually a contour of some sort that makes this a nice ledge. Instead of a slow drop to deeper water, the quick drop is a ledge, and it will hold big fish. Ideally, the ledge will run in a line on that contour. Drop a marker on one end of the ledge when you find it. Then motor around to see which direction the ledge runs, and drop a second buoy at another part of the ledge. These two markers now give you a perfect surface visual to use while either drifting or anchoring up.
If the wind and current are perfect, it is possible to drift and have your boat moving directly over and in the same line as the ledge. I have had a few days like that, but they are few and far between. I have found to it to be the most productive to use deep running crank baits, large spinner baits, my custom Baby Doll Jig, and Carolina Rigs to fish the drop side of the ledge. Whichever one you are using make sure it is searching for cover at all times.
Just like shoreline fishing, preparing for the search of productive ledges in open water begins with a good topographical map on which I pick 60 areas to look at just to find my best 3 spots. Pick an area of the lake you are going to target for your search near your shallow water spots first and then by following the old creek channels, note those areas that have irrigular structure variations such as you would do if looking at the shoreline areas. That is, look for points, cuts, creek channel junctions, channel bends, etc.. These are the areas that have the possibility of holding big fish if there is good cover available as well as food supply near. In using your electronics, finding these spots then just becomes a matter of following the edges of the channels with your electronics and comparing the feedback you are getting from them with the map you have already marked. Always be aware that everything is not on your map, so be on the lookout for irregular features they missed.
Once you have found a irregular feature, ledge on contour with cover you need to mark it on your map and make notations of what you found in a ledger and how to locate this spot again. If you have a GPS unit, finding this spot again becomes simply a matter of marking the spot with your unit so that you may return to the spot using GPS navigation. If you do not have a GPS unit, then you can pinpoint the location by using the triangulation method of identifying the location. The triangulation method is taking at least three or more shore line objects that are preferably close to 90 degrees in different directions from your boat and using them for references to put you on the spot.