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Article 14 - Outside Bends #13558829 05/15/20 03:05 PM
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Donald Harper Online Happy OP
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Article 14 – Outside Bends

What do Outside Bends have that Inside Bends do not? Most outside bends will produce fish year round. When and outside bend swings against the shoreline there will be deeper water involved. The main target is the added depth change from the lip of the creek to the bottom of the ditch. Bass will bunch up better on the outside bends on the steeper drops. Add wind, rock, hardwood and a lay-down or two; you have found a honey hole. You will also find a bluff wall on some of the rocky lakes like Amistad on the outside bends back in the creeks. Bass will suspend during the Winter months against the walls waiting for bait fish to swim down the wall. You will find the same thing true for bends off shore in the creeks where the drop is only 5 ft on top to 15 ft to the bottom of the creek. One bank is found to be taller than the other with a steeper slope. These fish are confined on the outside bend and can be detected with the depth finder much easier than fish sitting on the inside bend flat with lots of open water behind them. Concentrate on small areas from your maps and take care of the creeks one at a time. There are as many techniques to fish for these fish as there are fisherman to tell the tail. One thing is for sure; not many fish will be caught while you are running all over the lake.

Many creek channels twist and turn all the way to the back of the creek; bouncing from one side of the cove to the other and back again. You will encounter lakes that the mapping is not great and have to do your on the water research to keep up with the turns. For many fisherman this makes for a very frustrating day of fishing and no catching. Sometimes visuals come into play with timber above the water with larger trees marking the lip of the channel. When this is available look for the leaning trees that once grew at an angle off the banks of the creek channel. This still becomes difficult in our older lakes; as the trees have broken off and the stumps are all under water. Satellite Views of low water imaging is always a great help before getting on the water. The most important factor in finding the fish is not the depth of the creek as much as it is in finding the bends in open water and the swings against the bank.

Everyday on the water cannot be about fishing. You must do some graphing to locate the best bends in a shallow and deep creeks. You depth finder will locate the fish grouped up in the bottom of the ditch, sides of the ditch and on the lip of the ditch. Working this with the big motor will just destroy the day of fishing; but there will be another day and all the work will be done as you drop WayPoints along the trail on the fish you are seeing. Most of them will be hanging out there during the season until it is time to make the next transitions into the next season. You will find that the schools will be larger during the Winter and more tightly grouped on any irregular feature on the bend. Use both the side and down imaging while idling the creeks. The one exception to outside bends during the winter is Bass do not like a lot of current flow. The outside sharper bends will have more water flow and you will see those fish move to the still water on the inside to that same bend. It take lots of energy to fight any current and Bass want to do during the Winter is remain still. Take your time and search every foot of the main ditch and side drains of the cove. You will even find flats that support spawning in the Spring to have gouges called washes that cut into the flat. Find one of these depressions that is deeper than all the surrounding drops to the creek and you will have intercepted the spawning fish when you come back next spring. The gouge is a great irregular feature that will pay off when the time is right.

Bass follow these creek channels like underwater highways and stack up against any irregular feature. Any channel that touches an underwater hump or the end of a long point will be the most productive spot in the creek. To mark the outside bend of the channel that may be in the middle of the cove, always carry several buoy markers to drop out and around the bend so you have the visual of how the creek lays. This will allow you to say off the fish that may be holding along the lip. I have worked to put these out knowing that the fish have been disturbed. Just go and fish something else or do some more searching and come back to the area an hour later. They will be settled down and back to business.

[Linked Image]

Presentations:
The wind is the determining factor for the presentation that I will use on the outside bend that touches the shoreline. With the wind blowing into the bank it delivers more bait and oxygen to the small area before the creek channel leaves the bank. I will fish more parallel with the steep drop to a 45 degree angle back to the boat with a suspending Jerk Bait that can be fished slowly. The bait can be worked through a school of suspended fish leaving it in the strike zone for longer periods of time. The colder the water the slower the presentation. Again run down imaging and side scan to help locate fish. The bait fish will show up best on the side imaging and once you find the bait switch from down scan to 2D sonar to see the Bass. A bluff wall with the creek against it not only provides shade; the wall is full of cracks which house a variety of food sources above and below the surface.

Fishing the bends that are off shore once you have located the fish; I like to throw the spinner bait and a Shad colored grub on a jig head. Slow rolling both of these work super well along the lip, parallel with the lip and along the bottom of the ditch. In the deeper water creeks the Blade Runners and Tail Spins work good on suspended fish. During the Spring throw the lizard on a Trig next to the larger stumps and trees setting on the lip of the creek. Your favorite jig will also come into play and I like a heaver 5/8 oz even in 5 ft of water. The farther back you go in a creek the more difficult it is to keep up with the depth changes. With the shallow water comes the silted in creeks with ever so slight of a depression. Don’t get me wrong here; as many times it only takes one foot difference to produce a pile of fish in a bend depression especially when there is cover like bushes and grass pods on the bend.

We are looking for those deeper off shore bends where the water once cut deeply into the bank as it flowed around the sharp bend. With stumps sitting along the lip of the drop to produce a Bass haven. Keeping the boat in the creek bed make cast to the lip of the channel with your search baits and let it free fall off the drop into the creek. Huge Pecan trees that grew from the bottom of the creek bed right next to the bank is a real bonus for Big Bass seeking that shelter with the tree on one side and the channel bank on the other.
Following a creek that twist and turns is very difficult; so when the channel seems to disappear don’t let it get to you. The channel probably bent in another direction and the odds are your setting very close to the mother load.

Fishing the shoreline constantly will also bring frustrations once you get past the Spring influx of Bass. Many get discouraged wondering where the fish went and tend to blame the warmer weather, rain, low water draw downs, high water, muddy water, water too cold and a multitude of other reasons. You are not going to be successful unless you find the fish. They are there; so take your time and pick that creek apart from the mouth of the cove to the back, following every turn it makes. Back in the 70’s a very well know fisherman by the name of Tom Mann had these same feelings until he stumbled upon a creek bend in really shallow water which produced him 10 Bass that weighed over 100 lbs.. All were caught on a Little George. Never quite and stop trying to force feed fish that are not there. Keep this in mind; 50 years after Mr. Mann found those fish, you can do it also.


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Re: Article 14 - Outside Bends [Re: Donald Harper] #13558847 05/15/20 03:17 PM
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Thanks Don


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Re: Article 14 - Outside Bends [Re: Donald Harper] #13558906 05/15/20 04:01 PM
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Good stuff!!


Tony

Re: Article 14 - Outside Bends [Re: Donald Harper] #13559187 05/15/20 08:08 PM
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Don -- thanks again for the information! thumb


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Re: Article 14 - Outside Bends [Re: Basscat8263] #13559765 05/16/20 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Basscat8263
Good stuff!!





Yes Sir! cheers


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Re: Article 14 - Outside Bends [Re: Donald Harper] #13560080 05/16/20 02:43 PM
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Thanks, very interesting!

Re: Article 14 - Outside Bends [Re: Donald Harper] #13560237 05/16/20 04:41 PM
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rockonrockonrockon

Re: Article 14 - Outside Bends [Re: Donald Harper] #13561132 05/17/20 12:34 PM
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Frustrated after the spawn wondering where the fish went, and they may be right under your boat, hiding in plain sight. Another good article Don, thanks for the effort you put into helping those of us that haven't had the experience that you have and are trying to learn how to have more fun on the water.


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