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Article 25 - Ledges #13599951 06/18/20 08:29 PM
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Donald Harper Online Happy OP
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Article 25 – Ledges

A ledge comes in all sizes and forms. Just like any other structure they must have something different about them to be the best that they can be. Look for ledges with an irregular feature. A ledge can very from a 5 ft drop to a 100 ft drop. Ledges come in different lengths from just a few yards long to 100’s of yards long. Here is a visual that I enjoy looking at while traveling down the road. I like to be in the passenger seat so I can look the hills and mountains over that are coming up as we drive through the Hill Country. Every large hill or mountain that you observe will have a header the runs off the mountain down to the basin. Start your observation on the header which is a long point that comes off the mountain. If you were going to walk up there you would use the header and not try to clime the face. Look at the side of the header. Everyone of them will have an Irregular Feature. This may be a large rock cropping that is only a few yards long and it is a bluff or ledge. The side of other mountains will have a ledge that runs the full length of the side of the mountain. It looks like a Water Line where the waves beat the side of the mountain when it was under water a million years ago. You will see small gouges or Auroras that are drains on the side of the mountain. Many of these are full of brush and greenery; making for the heaviest growth on the mountain. You will see all kinds of protrusions on the sides of these long points that come down the mountain. You will see a large high hump sitting off the end of some of these points on the basin floor. NOW imagine that this is all under water in your favorite lake. Through observation of the country side above water, gives me a knowledge of what is under water off a long point and on the side of that point.

We have to rely on maps and our Electronics to find these underwater structures that will all hold fish year round. I cannot count the number of times that I have observed a heavy rock formation sitting on shore and out in the lake there will be another one just exactly like it that is under water. There can be any number of structures from a flat vain of rock, gouges, protrusions, a large hump and a long razor back. Never pass up a Razor Back which is a rock ledge on shore that runs out and into the lake forming a ledge that gradually gets deeper and deeper. These are usually found in the larger coves or canyons and are on the inside bend of the creek channel as it bends around the point. Everyone of them can produce a potential 10 lb Big Bass hole. A long ledge or razor back will hold Shad. The life of a Shad is swimming in schools up and down the deeper ledges all the way to the river channel and back to the shallows. Our Bass are there for the food supply and the habitat providing them with access to to deep water. The Crayfish live and thrive in the shallows where the ledge may begin. It is an excellent place to come just after the spawn to intercept the Bass that are using this highway to return to deep water. Now that we have seen all of this above water on our drive through the hill country; we are looking for that one Sweet Spot on the side of the point or ledge. Ledges have Protrusion and Gouges just like a point in all the other articles that you have read. These irregular features are relatively small and setting on a vertical wall or fast slope. A 100 ft ledge may have a shelf that sticks out at 10 ft down from the top of the ledge. No map will show these small protrusions. Once this razor back leaves the shoreline and extends out into the lake follow the wall with down scan as you fish out toward the channel. You will not believe the number of big fish that will be grouped up on the smallest of irregular features along that wall and they may be at more then just one depth. On lake Amistad after all the grass went away, I saw layers of Bass on these deep ledges. A 100 ft wall might have 3 shelves and the bass would be stacked at 30 ft., 50 ft., and 70 ft.. There would be thousands of fish and very hard to catch.

Once you have picked the ledges that you want to target, whether it be a shallow ledge at 5 to 10 ft on the outsides bend of a creek, a razor back that runs out to the creek channel or a deep wall running out of a canyon at 100 ft.; do some side scanning and determine the depth that the fish are holding. This will help you in selecting the right baits for the job. Ledge fishing is very time sensitive. The Bass are going to suspend and they will move to the ledge to feed at different times of the day. Being there at the right time is the problem. Have plenty of ledges to run and gun. Fish for a few minutes with no takers; then move to another spot which could very well be on the same ledge if it is long enough. More than likely this is going to be from one area to another until you locate feeding fish. Shallow ledges can quickly be fished with search baits like the Crank Bait, Swim Bait and Spinner Bait. I always slow down on them especially on the very best Hot Spots with the Carolina Rig or Jig when a few fish are holding there. The big fish seem to bite quickly on the first few cast and the longer you stay the smaller they get. Move frequently and search with that deep crank bait until you get bit, then slow down, if the big Bass did not bite. You will want to search the best irregular features that you have found mapping the lake. Do a lot of scanning for schools of Bass and fish for the quick bite when stopping to fish.

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Re: Article 25 - Ledges [Re: Donald Harper] #13599969 06/18/20 08:51 PM
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Another great write up Donald!


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Re: Article 25 - Ledges [Re: Jpurdue] #13599970 06/18/20 08:52 PM
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Great info!

Re: Article 25 - Ledges [Re: Donald Harper] #13600660 06/19/20 12:49 PM
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Very nice, thanks Don


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Re: Article 25 - Ledges [Re: Donald Harper] #13601674 06/20/20 03:00 AM
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Nice, thanks!

Re: Article 25 - Ledges [Re: Donald Harper] #13601690 06/20/20 03:27 AM
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As always. Awesome post. thumb


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