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#12764879 - 05/22/18 09:33 AM deep water bite
hawkeye442 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/15/12
Posts: 92
I've done this quite a bit, but never with a whole lot of confidence.. I'm more of bank beater I guess.. Don't get me wrong, I've caught fish off of deeper structure, but I guess I lack the proper knowledge to make this a go to technique, which I know is probably a must in the hotter months, especially on the lakes that I fish that have a good offshore bite.. What do you guys throw? How about the rest of your set-ups? I swear I'm gonna grab my deep water stuff and throw everything else out of the boat until I get it figured out. During the Legend this Weekend, we caught fish, but not as many and consistently as the guys offshore.. My boat is a smaller craft, so I know that doesn't help.. I'm just trying to gain some confidence in all aspects of this deep water thing. Any tips or tricks or even smart@#$%! comments are welcome!!

Thanks

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#12764895 - 05/22/18 09:43 AM Re: deep water bite [Re: hawkeye442]
5PounderOnAFrog Offline
Angler

Registered: 12/03/10
Posts: 354
Loc: Conroe
https://webapp.navionics.com/?lang=en#boating@4&key=qs%7BdE%60nqqQ

Go here, find your lake, look for the tightest contour lines (big flats that drop 10-15 feet into a creek channel are a good option right now), mark on your gps (phone, ipad, fish finder, whatever), drive out there and toss a marker buoy out and troll around casting a deep crankbait in every direction. Try a few different spots and eventually you'll find one that is holding fish and you can replicate that pattern. Jigs and carolina rigs work great for determining bottom composition.

Example of a flat that drops into creek channel and how i would fish it. not the only offshore structure that holds fish but one of the easiest types to find and target when first starting out in my opinion.



After you get the hang of it you can start getting more technical with your use of electronics and such, but this is an easy and basic explanation to getting started. I'm not an expert at all and am still getting the hang of it myself but I know I was always intimidated by offshore fishing due to the many intricacies involved in it, as well as the emphasis that is always placed on having high end electronics, which i didn't have at the time (I used an ipad for mapping and an old, cheap sonar-only unit). Once i started thinking about it in more basic terms it became much less daunting and i finally gained enough confidence to go out and start catching em offshore.


Edited by 5PounderOnAFrog (05/24/18 11:56 AM)

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#12765166 - 05/22/18 12:40 PM Re: deep water bite [Re: hawkeye442]
Donald Harper Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 15013
Loc: Justin, TX.
My goal has always been to study maps and learn to recognize the coves, creeks, flats, and structure that is required to find bigger Bass. Once you learn this you will have no trouble following them to their comfort zones as mentioned below.

In most reservoirs, bass reside on ledges and drop-offs adjacent to shallow-water feeding grounds. They travel along these areas in search of food. On the deep side of the ledge or drop-off, bass experience comfortable temperatures and better oxygen levels. The depth provides shelter while the shallow side provides food sources such as Minnows, Bluegill, and Crayfish. To determine where to start your search, look for ledges and drop-offs with a significant edge. The faster the drop from shallow feeding grounds to deep water, the more comfortable a bass feels in its environment.

Keep your boat in the 20 depth range following the contours that you have studied before your trip. For safety and to preclude outside disturbance, bass will always move back to positions near deeper water when not actively pursuing food. The depth range that I have found to be most productive is between eight and 15 feet. Therefore, the most potentially productive ledges will be within that range. I think isolated cover is always the deal. It doesn't matter whether you're fishing deep or shallow, wood or grass, clear or dirty water; bass are going to be holding around isolated cover. Use baits that will search for these pieces of cover along that route to the shallows. You must select the ones that can be cast long distances from the 20 ft. contour to the Irregular Features that the Bass will be using toward the shallows.

Cover consists of weeds, brush, grass or timber, and is used for ambush. It is not used for his protection. Bass will develop a route from there comfort zone moving from one piece of cover to another until they have fed up then return. Sometime they have to continue along this route all the way to the shoreline. Structure is for resting, comfort, security and for feeding just outside of the cover. The best of two worlds is finding a piece of structure as shallow as possible with cover on it.

A productive structure feature is one which provides ready availability of food or serves as a reference point during periods of inactivity. In most cases, the bigger bass will be found on the best piece of structure that has cover and baitfish. When a bass experiences fear or senses danger, his instinctive reaction is to dash for deep water.

Unless actively feeding, a bass will always hold near the edge of the drop into deep water. Of all available structure features, ledges and drops are the most common AND the most continuously productive. A drop is a contour change resulting in deeper water and has a downwards angler of decent of 30 degrees, or more. Any change less than 30 degrees is considered a slope and will not be as productive.

A ledge is the upper lip, or edge, of a drop. While ledges and drops usually exist throughout a body of water, those associated with submerged channels and the deepest water in the area are always more consistently productive. Ledges are a strange beast—sometimes you can fish a mile without any bites, then find several quality schools of bass in the next mile.

The quickest way to locate good ledges and drops is to consult a well-defined topographical map. Start your map analysis near river and feeder creek channels and look for strong bottom irregularities and rapid contour (depth) changes. Key in on those that fall within the 8-15 foot range. You will survey the general area for indications of cover close by as you fish these spots. The final step becomes to prioritize the list. To do this, I select the locations with the sharpest drop-off and deepest adjacent water and number them. Then they are rated using about 25 different factors that make a spot the best it can be. You now have a plan of attack which has been thought out in a logical manner. It is OK to use your instincts. I find a lot more fish with a rod and reel than I do with a depth finder.



I took a look at this screen shot and this is what I see. Before the lake was impounded farmers would dredge the river channel especially near the bends to open up the river and make it deeper. This kept some of the crops from flooding. The area to the NW is that kind of spot. I am seeing piles of rubble all in a row and those are man made deposits on somewhat higher ground. It makes for good fish if the contours toward deep water are excellent.

I am outlining the 22 ft. contour to get a better feel for how it lays. The best high spots are then RED Circled. This is an easy spot to side scan before fishing. Many spots that I pick on some lakes can not be scanned for fear of spooking the fish. Open water ares like this can be scanned; just keep the boat in 20 ft. or more to do so and only make one pass. 9 times out of 10 I am going to see a couple of fish then turn around and fish it. So with that being said just fish it to begin with. If they are going to bite it will happen pretty quick.

This is how I do it: Man in front of the boat cast to specific shallower water spots that will be marked with the RED X’s and RED Circles. Major protrusions will be Circled. The man in the back will drag a Crig as you will be keeping your boat on the deep water contour out and around each of these irregular features in 15 to 20 ft. of water. My baits of choice for casting a Trig or weightless bait to the shallows are: 7” Power Worm in Pumpkin Seed to the bushes, Senkos, Grande Fat Baby Ring Fry and Flukes to the rocks. Crig bait is the Baby Brush Hog and Grande Ring Fry in Watermelon Red.

The contours outside the row of rubble HUMPS are not super contours. They are wide and basically flat for long distances. The humps are all you have and there is nothing to bring fish to those humps. It takes super contours to deliver the fish. Side Scan to see them then fish for them. I have set up 3 controlled drifts with the SE wind only using the TM to stay on the RED Lines. You are drifting across the top of the humps and on the sides of some. Two long drifts going NW should do it. The short line drift is across the top of the 3 humps that are not in line with the others. Some humps range in an elevation rise of 7 ft.. others only 3 foot rise. Just don’t see much here to make fish feel at home and safe. The river channel is off the SE end of the formation; but the river at this section of the lake does not have river channel definition. It is just a wide depression which is narrow in some spots and wide in others.

Now the Shoreline RED Spray line is a different story. I have BLACK Lined the ditch that cuts through the Rubble field. On each side is a FUNNEL POINT marked in WHITE Circles. This is where your fish will be. Put the boat on Contour at 20 to 22 ft. and follow that line making cast to all the RED Circles. Slow way down when you get to the Funnel points.
_________________________
Each person you work with holds some promise to your future success.
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#12765188 - 05/22/18 12:50 PM Re: deep water bite [Re: hawkeye442]
Thad Rains Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 10/09/01
Posts: 3195
Loc: Lubbock, Texas.
Excellent advice above. Pay attention to what they said and try to implement it when you can. Me, I am a different breed of cat. My confidence is in MYSELF, not a technique. I have caught fish using all kinds of techniques and figure I know (I HOPE) how to figure them out. Fishing Lake Alan Henry, you BETTER be good at deeper water fishing or you might get skunked, some times of the year. My 2 favorite ways of fishing deep water is a C-rig and a spoon. That covers a LOT of territory and gets a lot of bites. I am adding the drop shot rig to the arsenal this year as well, fishing a 1/2 or larger weight and putting a big bait on a 3/0 hook. Heard it called several things, but you get the idea. GREAT way to catch deeper fish, if they are biting. Hope this helps. Tight lines, keep safe and good luck.

Thad Rains
_________________________
Tight lines, keep safe and good luck.

Thad Rains

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#12765544 - 05/22/18 04:24 PM Re: deep water bite [Re: Thad Rains]
Big Kahuna Fishing Online   content
Angler

Registered: 05/21/17
Posts: 440
Loc: Mcgregor, Texas
Originally Posted By: Thad Rains
My 2 favorite ways of fishing deep water is a C-rig and a spoon. That covers a LOT of territory and gets a lot of bites. I am adding the drop shot rig to the arsenal this year as well, fishing a 1/2 or larger weight and putting a big bait on a 3/0 hook. Heard it called several things, but you get the idea. GREAT way to catch deeper fish, if they are biting. Hope this helps. Tight lines, keep safe and good luck.

Thad Rains



Ahh, the Bubba shot or power shot.

Isn't this essentially the same basics as the Carolina rig ????
It has the weight on the bottom and the lure suspended up in the water column.

Any advantages ????
_________________________
Living the American Dream in central Texas !

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#12765608 - 05/22/18 05:01 PM Re: deep water bite [Re: hawkeye442]
Donald Harper Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 15013
Loc: Justin, TX.
Two advantages that I like:
- You have a direct line to the hook to feel the strike.
- You can move the bait without moving the weight; keeping it in the strike zone longer is a big PLUS..
_________________________
Each person you work with holds some promise to your future success.
www.eletewater.com - Staying Hydrated
www.lakeoviachic.com - Booking Mexico Trips
20 Hot Spot Mapping - GPS Contour Chips - Custom Spinner Baits - Jigs -Spooks
Pure Extracts - Minnow-Night Crawler-Crayfish-Craylic



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#12765943 - 05/22/18 09:08 PM Re: deep water bite [Re: hawkeye442]
Bas-ii-tis Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 12/10/06
Posts: 770
Loc: W.Falls, TX
Carolina Rig.....JIG JIG JIG.....12" Worm
_________________________
PB: LM Bass 8.75


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#12766538 - 05/23/18 11:40 AM Re: deep water bite [Re: hawkeye442]
redskeet100 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 2244
The pics are great helpers in this conversation. I have been trying to understand the deep water fish and I get out on the lake and it seems I am driving in circles over the abyss sometimes. I guess it is probably a lot more confidence than anything.

I guess finding the right spots to graph and look for deep water fish is key. When the lake you are on has a couple miles from the main lake to the creeks where they go up to spawn, do they travel that far or find areas in the arms that have these structures? And if the humps are 35-40ft, do they sit that deep or does it become more work ledges game at that point? Then what ledges work better than others?

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#12766698 - 05/23/18 01:38 PM Re: deep water bite [Re: redskeet100]
Donald Harper Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 15013
Loc: Justin, TX.
Originally Posted By: redskeet100
The pics are great helpers in this conversation. I have been trying to understand the deep water fish and I get out on the lake and it seems I am driving in circles over the abyss sometimes. I guess it is probably a lot more confidence than anything.

I guess finding the right spots to graph and look for deep water fish is key. When the lake you are on has a couple miles from the main lake to the creeks where they go up to spawn, do they travel that far or find areas in the arms that have these structures? And if the humps are 35-40ft, do they sit that deep or does it become more work ledges game at that point? Then what ledges work better than others?


- Find areas in the ARMS that are close to the spawning flats. Lots of things happening there year round like shad spawns, Crayfish on the flats if there is any cover or rock, staging areas for fish that are pulling out to the secondary points and etc..
- Big Bass do not travel far. Research the areas in the arms close to deep water with joining flats.
- They will suspend over that deep water at times; but are very hard to catch. Locate the ledges if possible or the steepest drops off the flats. Look for inside bends in the major creek channels with 30 ft. of water in the creek. Usually this is about half way to the back where the deep water begins to step up from 30 to 20 ft..
- You want to find every hump in your lake. Learn every inch of those HUMPS. Each one will have an Irregular Feature somewhere around that hump that the fish will like. Now, when they will be using that area is a different story. You have to visit often and keep a time table and good records.
_________________________
Each person you work with holds some promise to your future success.
www.eletewater.com - Staying Hydrated
www.lakeoviachic.com - Booking Mexico Trips
20 Hot Spot Mapping - GPS Contour Chips - Custom Spinner Baits - Jigs -Spooks
Pure Extracts - Minnow-Night Crawler-Crayfish-Craylic



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#12766702 - 05/23/18 01:40 PM Re: deep water bite [Re: hawkeye442]
Jake Shannon(Skeet4Life) Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 10/31/10
Posts: 8369
Loc: DFW
Grab a Finch Nasty victory jig in 5/8oz put a rage craw on it and get to dragging. Use your electronics to search on long main lake points, humps, ledges and creek channel swings for cover like rocks, brush or timber. When you graph some fish toss a buoy out either past the fish or to the side of the school, set the boat up facing into the wind and make cast dragging your bait from shallow to deep. If that does not work set up throwing deep to shallow the fish will tell you which one they prefer. Usually the most aggressive fish will bite first! Deep diving crank bait is also one of my favorites make sure you have a long rod that will toss your crank a mile and use 10-15lb line depending on how deep it is. Cast far past the school and get the crank down into the strike zone they will hammer the crank while it is banging around on the bottom.
_________________________
http://finchnastybaitco.com/

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#12766721 - 05/23/18 01:50 PM Re: deep water bite [Re: hawkeye442]
Thad Rains Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 10/09/01
Posts: 3195
Loc: Lubbock, Texas.
I agree with Donald Harper on WHY it changes things up. COMPLETELY different technique than Carolina rigging. On redskeeter100, I have a few observations, but cannot answer his first question. When Ralph Manns did a electronic tracking test, the fish moved a lot more than what they anticipated, but I do not know if they move that far or just go shallow there, It may be a little of both, dunno. As far as sitting on a hump, I believe they do, about 2-6' off the bottom, in most cases I have seen, on graph anyway. They do swim around the structure quite a bit, but if they find a comfortable spot, they will sometimes set down in it. The last question is an age old question that no one knows the answer too, or no one I know of does, including Ralph Manns. If you do not know who Ralph is, you are missing out, he was one of the originators of the Sharalunker program and dedicated his life to bass fishing in Texas. Experimenting and trying to figure the bass out. He once spent a week fishing with the graph on and with the graph off for 1 hour increments. He discovered that highly pressured fish react negatively to the graph and stop biting, takes about 30 or so minutes to get them to start back up, after you turn it off. THAT is why I turn my graph off when I get to where I am going, not that it makes a difference, but what Ralph says is almost pure gold. Hope this helps. Tight lines, keep safe and good luck.

Thad Rains
_________________________
Tight lines, keep safe and good luck.

Thad Rains

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#12767290 - 05/23/18 09:12 PM Re: deep water bite [Re: hawkeye442]
brewski Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 11/27/01
Posts: 1102
Loc: southlake, tx, u.s.
anyone how do I get gps waypoints from the navionics webapp?

thanks

randy

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#12767374 - 05/23/18 09:49 PM Re: deep water bite [Re: 5PounderOnAFrog]
Chad Jones Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 08/25/17
Posts: 9
Loc: Stephenville, Tx
Would you idle over it with your graph first to see if there’s even any fish there?

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#12767396 - 05/23/18 09:58 PM Re: deep water bite [Re: hawkeye442]
Donald Harper Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 15013
Loc: Justin, TX.
By using your Nav. Chart on your depth finder. Webapp does not give WayPoints. Do your search on the Webapp and save the screen shots to your desk top. Screen shot a lake map and number the spots. Run copies of each of the screen shots and go out to your boat, then pull up the lake on your depth finder. You get the same picture with contours; with cursor on Zoom in and drop the WayPoint.
_________________________
Each person you work with holds some promise to your future success.
www.eletewater.com - Staying Hydrated
www.lakeoviachic.com - Booking Mexico Trips
20 Hot Spot Mapping - GPS Contour Chips - Custom Spinner Baits - Jigs -Spooks
Pure Extracts - Minnow-Night Crawler-Crayfish-Craylic



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#12767404 - 05/23/18 10:02 PM Re: deep water bite [Re: Chad Jones]
Donald Harper Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 15013
Loc: Justin, TX.
Originally Posted By: Chad Jones
Would you idle over it with your graph first to see if there’s even any fish there?


There are some spots that you can Side Scan if you keep your boat in 20 + feet of water. If I have done the home work and know that this is the best Irregular features that this area has to offer, then I am going to fish it.
_________________________
Each person you work with holds some promise to your future success.
www.eletewater.com - Staying Hydrated
www.lakeoviachic.com - Booking Mexico Trips
20 Hot Spot Mapping - GPS Contour Chips - Custom Spinner Baits - Jigs -Spooks
Pure Extracts - Minnow-Night Crawler-Crayfish-Craylic



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