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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Fishing Deep #13558461 05/15/20 06:33 AM
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TheGreatOutdoorsman Offline OP
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Hey everyone, I consider myself a pretty experienced bass fisherman, but I'm not a tournament angler. I know how to catch em shallow, but don't have the slightest clue in how to fish deep. It's a daunting task to me, and I'm so used to throwing at docks, trees, or pads that I have a hard time fishing in 10-25 feet of water. I know a lot of times the big ones are deep, and I want to learn how to catch them. Any/all tips are welcome and much appreciated. Thanks!!

Moritz Chevrolet - 9101 Camp Bowie W Blvd, Fort Worth, TX - Monte Coon (817) 696-2003
Re: Fishing Deep [Re: TheGreatOutdoorsman] #13558495 05/15/20 10:31 AM
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Do a search for the screen name Donald Harper. He is 13 or 14 posts in on a series that explains his approach to deep water. Myself and other members here have benefitted from his decades long obsession.

Also keep in mind, and this is not an original thought by me, that even if you are fishing from a smallish boat by today’s standards from bow to back of motor it’s probably close to 20’ long. So stand in front of your boat and look to the back and you will realize 20’ isn’t that deep.

Re: Fishing Deep [Re: TheGreatOutdoorsman] #13558543 05/15/20 11:48 AM
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^^ I second what was said above! Mr. Harper has helped me out a LOT with explaining things and all for fishing deeper water.

Other simple things to do are-
take your normal shallow water weight and throw it in the deeper water and just count it down and see what it is. Then change your weight "up" some say from 3/8oz to 1/2oz and count it down again. At some point you'll reach a "comfortable" time frame where you don't feel like you are waiting forever for the lure to reach bottom and can then cast and fish things more effectively. At least it helped me out some doing it.

idle over something that you have graphed and then turn around and fish it. feeling the structure/cover is instant feedback that you are actually working the structure that you can't "physically" see but its the same as beating the bank structure that you could see.


"I'd Rather Be Fishing"
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Re: Fishing Deep [Re: TheGreatOutdoorsman] #13558630 05/15/20 01:07 PM
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Last edited by ReelSlow; 05/15/20 01:09 PM.

GOD is good!
Re: Fishing Deep [Re: TheGreatOutdoorsman] #13558822 05/15/20 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by TheGreatOutdoorsman
Hey everyone, I consider myself a pretty experienced bass fisherman, but I'm not a tournament angler. I know how to catch em shallow, but don't have the slightest clue in how to fish deep. It's a daunting task to me, and I'm so used to throwing at docks, trees, or pads that I have a hard time fishing in 10-25 feet of water. I know a lot of times the big ones are deep, and I want to learn how to catch them. Any/all tips are welcome and much appreciated. Thanks!!



I pulled this off of a similar thread in regards to this topic. Once you begin to a successful angler in deep water you may find it awfuly hard to return to fishing the shallows.

Learning how to interpret your 2D sonar on your marine electronics is key to making the most out of fishing offshore. I will not stop and fish any areas offshore where I do not see many baitfish and bass close to the bottom. Idle over large mainlake points, roadbeds, humps, and ledges in a zig zag fashion to get a good idea of the primary depth where most of the fish are located at and more specifically where active bass might be holding at. The best weather conditions for fishing offshore are generally during sunny and windy days. When you locate some fish, which will appear as an arch like shape on your 2D sonar, try a variety of lures through them for no more than 20 minutes before leaving for another area. Oftentimes and especially during early May to mid June when bass are beginning to school up offshore and are feeding quite heavily you will catch a bass within the first few casts. Make sure to try 3/4 oz Carolina rigs, football jigs, flutter spoons, deep diving crankbaits, and heavy top hook swimbaits before moving onto the next areas. As you begin to catch fish in deep water and also do not get any bites offshore you will continue to learn more about how the position of the fish on your sonar will indicate how willing they may be bite your lures. I like to start with bottom dragging lures like the Carolina rigs or football jigs first then move onto fishing swimbaits, spoons, and crankbaits as these lures can often times pull the schools of fish off of the bottom which will result in less fish being caught. Recheck areas throughout the day as schools of largemouth can often move onto a deep offshore area within minutes. One offshore structure may be completely empty early in the day then loaded with bass a few hours and sometimes even sooner. On sunny days without much wind a dropshot fished vertically with very little movement seems to be productive when other lures are not.

Also keep in mind that you are more likely to be successful in areas offshore that show balls of baitfish on your marine electronics as opposed to baitfish widely scattered over an area as when the bait is clustered up tightly that means that they are being fed upon. Whenever your sonar shows you that the bait is widely scattered that typically indicates that they are not being chased and fed on by bass. Begin your search for productive deepwater areas in 15 to 30' of water. Usually depending on the time of year the majority of the fish will be using a particular depth range plus or minus about 5'. A Carolina rig is one of the absolute best lures for fishing in deep water on many fisheries in Texas, I like to use a 3/4 oz weight the majority of the time but on days with winds over 15 mph I find that a 1 oz weight will help you to maintain contact with the bottom. Use either a slow dragging and pause retrieve or a slow steady drag for the best results and make sure that after you cast out your Carolina rig you allow it to fall on slack line so that it does not pendulum back towards your boat. Giving your bottom bumping lures an opportunity to fall on slack line in deep water will enable you to cover even more area during your retrieve. I recommend keeping a marker buoy on the front deck of the boat with you so that whenever you do set the hook on a bass you can throw that bouy far from the boat which will help you to pinpoint the area in which that bass came from. Also on many lakes the absolute best deep water bites occurs after 5 p.m., especially during the late spring and summer months.


Respectfully,

Stephen Fatherree
www.lakeforkguidelanes.com
Re: Fishing Deep [Re: TheGreatOutdoorsman] #13559189 05/15/20 08:08 PM
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Also pull up ken smith youtube video fishing with Albert collins. It's a 4-5 video session. To help put fishing in 20' of water into an easier perspective, next time you are on the water stand at the front of the boat and look at your motor, of imagine 2-3 rod lengths. Key is fishing where there are fish. Go to points where you catch them shallow early and when the quit biting turn around and cast deep with a Carolina rig or texas rig.


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Re: Fishing Deep [Re: TheGreatOutdoorsman] #13559316 05/15/20 10:06 PM
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Great information here that is very helpful. As well as Donald's articles.

My question is regarding creek channels..........in these older reservoirs where there are dozens
of creek channels marked with all sorts of bends and turns, are most of them silted in now with no
real defining structure anymore or do they hold the shape still? ( I know, find one and go graph it
to see yourself) Just wondered if anyone has thoughts on this?



PM me to let me know how it was!
Re: Fishing Deep [Re: Rockfisherman] #13559318 05/15/20 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Rockfisherman
Great information here that is very helpful. As well as Donald's articles.

My question is regarding creek channels..........in these older reservoirs where there are dozens
of creek channels marked with all sorts of bends and turns, are most of them silted in now with no
real defining structure anymore or do they hold the shape still? ( I know, find one and go graph it
to see yourself) Just wondered if anyone has thoughts on this?



You answered your own question

Re: Fishing Deep [Re: TheGreatOutdoorsman] #13559341 05/15/20 10:22 PM
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Find some decent structure, a creek bend, road bed, hump, ledge, etc.. then find the bait. Fish the structure at the depth you are finding the bait at. Be patient, be prepared to fish all day for a few bites. Eventually you will get better at it, and have those epic moments when you are catching 6-8# on every cast for awhile. And those opportunities to catch DD's. I'm not that great at it, but I have gotten better and it is one of my favorite ways to fish. What I love is setting the hook on a deep bite and you never really know how big the fish is on the other end. It is so addictive


PB 10.58 Joe Pool

Re: Fishing Deep [Re: TheGreatOutdoorsman] #13559397 05/15/20 11:09 PM
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Few comments, questions. I don’t understand how current weather, sun , wind, etc has any effect on deep fish. Shallow yes. That’s why big fish are deep to begin with is to spend time in the stable areas.

9 times out of 10 when I see a picture of deep fish sonar the fish are on perfectly flat bottoms. No structure at all beneath them.

And last. I don’t understand the follow the baitfish idea all day long. Early and late afternoon when fish are feeding yes I get it.

Re: Fishing Deep [Re: Rockfisherman] #13559545 05/16/20 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Rockfisherman
Great information here that is very helpful. As well as Donald's articles.

My question is regarding creek channels..........in these older reservoirs where there are dozens
of creek channels marked with all sorts of bends and turns, are most of them silted in now with no
real defining structure anymore or do they hold the shape still? ( I know, find one and go graph it
to see yourself) Just wondered if anyone has thoughts on this?


The creeks and drains catching run-off form the land around the individual creek will determine how quickly it will silt in. Lots of farm land out in the country side around a particular cove will silt it in twice as fast as other coves with creeks that may not have as many feeder drains coming into that cove. After big rains one of the best ways to find the ones that are holding their own as far as silt; is go and take a look. You have to run from one to the other to really find out. The ones that are very stained after a big rain will be on the list of silt. The clear covers about half way back are holding their own and you will find that the creek channel and the drains will have more definition as far as the depth in the creek near the back of the cove.

The other way to tell without waiting for the rains to come is to run to the back and idle from one bank to the other watching the depth finder. You are looking for the depression of the creek and making notes. Then quickly get out and run to another one. Like I said it all depends on the tillable fields around that cove out in the country side.


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Re: Fishing Deep [Re: franchi] #13559600 05/16/20 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by franchi
Few comments, questions. I don’t understand how current weather, sun , wind, etc has any effect on deep fish. Shallow yes. That’s why big fish are deep to begin with is to spend time in the stable areas.

9 times out of 10 when I see a picture of deep fish sonar the fish are on perfectly flat bottoms. No structure at all beneath them.

And last. I don’t understand the follow the baitfish idea all day long. Early and late afternoon when fish are feeding yes I get it.


You are spot on on the deep water fish not being affected from weather. The current in the river channel is another big factor. Big Bass hold tight to the cover as close to that channel as possible. When the rains come of course the current picks up and depending on the time of the year it will cause them to move out of the current. It takes a lot of energy to hold at rest in current. Bass will seek calm eddies to get out of that in the Winter months to save that energy.

We all see these sonar pictures and every fish over 10 lbs that I have caught in 20 ft of water; I never saw her. I always stop and fish a slope when I see a couple of fish. You have to understand that you are only seeing a small portion of the bottom and not the big picture. Big Bass are masters at hiding from the Depth Finder. I assure you that every large school of fish is closely related to a channel that is very close by. They slip up on the lip of the channel and the picture you are getting is FLAT ground. All the big stringers of fish caught in deep water are relating to the drop toward the channel that is VERY close by.

Bass follow the bait fish just like all the other species that are eating them. The Bass seems to be the smarter of all the other species that totally school in groups. Big Bass very seldom do that. They will group together to have a hay day in the shallows very close to the river channel on occasions and it is a wonderful thing to be there with a Spook when that happens. It is my belief that the Bass are not really interested in the Shad. Hell they can eat Shad any time they want; as the lake is full of them. They are watching these other species like Crappie, Sand Bass, Striped Bass and others killing the Shad and feasting. Bass cannot stand any species acting out of the ordinary and when a feeding frizzy takes place with these other species the Bass will swoop in and take one of them out; because of the erratic behavior. Many times during the Shad run to the back of the creeks with the Bass following they run into a smorgasbord of Crayfish that have just left the mother and the shells are soft and the Crays are small. This is why I never throw a Shad bait that often unless Bass are grouped up pushing them to the shore and I just happen to be at the right place at the right time. I had much rather get on the same flats that these Bass spawned on and mimic the Crayfish during the Shad run.


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


Re: Fishing Deep [Re: TheGreatOutdoorsman] #13560094 05/16/20 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by TheGreatOutdoorsman
...but don't have the slightest clue in how to fish deep. It's a daunting task to me...

Good thread you started. I feel the same way. Lots of good info here!

Re: Fishing Deep [Re: TheGreatOutdoorsman] #13560178 05/16/20 03:52 PM
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need your opinion on fishing deep tomorrow with the wind change. Been doing well on north bank (not deep) during shad spawn and later in the day with a S wind. Tonight and tomorrow wind is out of the N. Should I change and focus on S targets with the N wind?

Last edited by LeonSulak; 05/16/20 03:53 PM.

Re: Fishing Deep [Re: TheGreatOutdoorsman] #13560244 05/16/20 04:46 PM
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If you are in a cove that is narrow near the back and the fish have been biting along the North shore; just move to the South shore with a North wind. The warmer water and the Plankton will be moved to that side of the cove.


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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