Article 13 โ Deep Water Coves
Your deep water main lake coves will be your target areas for hot Summer time Bass. These coves will have a little of everything you are looking for in every season and even tracking the Bass form the shallows to deep water. The deeper cove will give you the opportunity to run across humps, feeding flats, ledges, cove blocker points, inside bends and channel swings. All of these pieces of structure is an Article within itself and it is difficult to write about such a cove without touching on the hot spots that may be coming up in future articles. The first thing that comes to mind is the oxygen levels during the Summer months. Warmer water in shallow coves just carries less oxygen. You will find that all species that Bass are after will concentrate in deeper coves where there is good oxygen levels and better shade off the steeper drops. You will be working to locate the best routes that fish take in these coves toward the shallows and the irregular feature that Bass stop to feed on along that route.
Start your search by looking at your Contour Maps for the best Irregular Contours in the cove. An irregular contour is very crooked, some tight lines, turning into large drains, gouges and around protrusions all in one relative small area. It is important to have the main creek channel very close with flooded timber mixed in to house the off shore Bass. With at least 30 ft of water between the channel and the shallows is my favorite place to look first. Many of these coves will support water deeper and will house lots of Bass close to the hot spots that you have chosen. Early morning at day break somewhere close to the irregular contour will be an excellent top water bite if the shoreline cover supports the food sources for Bass to chase and hide for ambush. When the bite stops move to the 20 ft contour and start the trail following this irregular contour out and around all the feature that will hold deeper water feeding fish. You will be able to throw search baits to the mid-range hot spots along that trail from the front of the boat. You double the chance of hooking up with the big fish if there is a second man in the back that is dedicated to the Carolina Rig for the rest of the day. This gets into Developing A System which will be introduced in a later article. Good choices of Crig baits are creature and Crayfish plastics.Best Irregular Contour:
The man up front has a full day of keeping on the best contour and throwing some of these search baits to the specific irregular features that have been found and studied before getting on the water. He must be selective on some of the baits as discussed not to be working too slow and get the man in the back off his game. One of the best Big Bass baits is the Jig in Crayfish patterns and Bluegill. Choose the weight depending on the drop of the structure from 1/2 oz for mid-range to the 3/4 oz out to deeper water. Mimic the pray to the best of your ability. If you choose to mimic the Crayfish; use two very short hops, letting it lay at rest then feel for the load up and slowly drag the jig for a few feet. This represents the fleeing action of the Crayfish. Repeat this sequence parallel with the slopes, across protrusions and along the sides of the gouges. Fish the drop-shot when you are seeing fish stacked on an irregular feature that is deep at the base of the slope or ledge. This is more of a vertical presentation. If I am going to drag it; then I will switch to the light Crig to accomplish that technique. The drop-shot is a great choice over deep roadbeds, rock formations and brush piles. The deep diving crank bait will bounce off the irregular features, cast long distances and mimics the bait fish like no other bait can. The key here is staying in contact with the bottom for as long as possible on the retrieve. The flutter spoon is effective in the deepest water on schools of suspended fish and can be cast long distances hopping it along the bottom back to the boat. Your favorite swim bait on a heavy jig head creeping along the bottom has the side to side roll and tail action that will produce like no other deep water bait which is prefict for covering ground.
When fishing an area for the first time there is absolutely nothing wrong with idling along the 30 ft contour to take a look at what you are eventually going to fish. Always keep buoy markers ready to help with the off shore irregular features and the twist/turns that the contour line may take. The key here is to gain as much knowledge about each of the things we are looking for before we fish the area. Donโt forget that you can make notes on your depth finder about all the conditions of the day and the area you have chosen. Pay closet attention to your onshore visuals; as I still use the old school triangulation of land marks that are usable. All this will help the next time you come back to the area in locating these sweet spots quickly and fish that may be holding on them.
You will find that a Summer time pattern for feeding fish will come on gradual slopes other than steep drops. If there is a steep drop and tight lines involved this means more shade for Bass at rest. Bass at rest is a different ball game as opposed to feeding fish. Position your boat on the up-hill side and anchor up with a real anchor. I keep one in a 2.5 gallon bucket and it fits nicely in a compartment. It also helps in keeping mud off the carpet when making a quick move a few yards away to finish out the steep slop. Turn off all electronics and you are able to stay off the TM. Bass position looking up-hill and bringing a Crig up behind the fish will produce that reaction bite; as they do not like anything sneaking up behind them. Work these small sections of the drop very slowly using the up-hill approach that they have not seen before.