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Article 32 - Suspended Bass #13626402 07/10/20 11:15 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
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Donald Harper Online Happy OP
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Article 32 – Suspended Bass

It is that time of year again and fishing for these fish requires some knowledge, experience and good electronics. Working independently with each one of these takes an enormous amount of time and practice. If you are short on time; you will be money ahead to seek a guides help that does this for a living. Write everything down that he tells you from how the fish are setting up on structure and over deep water. Take note of the electronics that you will need to purchase in order to locate, identify and position the boat to catch them when the feeding is taking place.

You will find Bass suspending at all seasons of the year once they are finished with the shallow water rituals. During the Summer many lakes will show you a thermocline line across your graph. With the lake stratified below this line there is a lack of oxygen. All the activity will be above this line with the bait and the different species working the balls of bait. As long as the thermocline is deep like at 20 ft this will put a lot of Bass withing range; but not relating to the bottom or even a good piece of structure close by. Bass will chase the balls of bait below this line on a regular basis; but they are not going to stay below in the oxygen depleted column for very long and neither will the bait fish. Structure close by is still your key for searching the best areas that you have mapped before your trip to the lake. Look at the areas just off of the best irregular features on main lake points, ledges, underwater humps, deep bluff walls and deep outside bends on creek channels. With electronics having such capabilities like live scope you will be able to see the movement of the fish working in and around the bait balls. This tells you that they are active and not sitting in a dormant state. We want schools to be firing on the bait no matter the depth. If the Bass are pushing the bait to the edges of these pieces of structure they will even be easier to catch. With the lesser electronics we are looking for the bait balls with fish suspended all around them which gives a good indication that they are feeding. Select the clearest body of water to do your searching. Open water fishing requires you to downsize everything from you line to your baits.

Suspended Bass all have the same factors in common. They are lazy and want to be in a comfort zone. Chasing bait is not what is taking place here. Moving slowly into the schools of bait is more of their style and letting the other species praying on the school do the work for them. This is all tricky and changes from one day to the next just like any other patterns that you try to establish on all kinds of structure in a lake. These suspended fish can be made to bite as you gain more experience. Choose baits that stay in the strike zone as long as possible and fish slow through the schools. You will gain confidence in what you are doing and will find your success getting better and better if you stick with two or three techniques. All the different techniques that fishermen use on suspended Bass depends on the depth that they are feeding and the wind. Bass have to be very active to chase a moving bait through these schools. They had rather have something DEAD Sticked to engulf. You can say what you want about the HydroWave. Use this piece of electronics to confuse the bait fish which causes them to act erratic. This is best done by setting the interval on a one minute delay. Erratic behavior of the bait causes all the species to start acting out of the ordinary and the Bass cannot stand that action. You will notice that the suspended schools of fish will be at the same depth over most of the lake and will be best relating to the same drops in contour. One day this may be on deep ledges and the next day they may be suspended on the gentle slopes of points.

The wind will also determine or limit you to some of the techniques that might be the most effective on suspended fish at a particular depth. A little wind is a good thing to break up the surface and will help keep the boat from spooking the bait. Heaver wind will call for heavier baits instead of those that float down through the school. Make your adjustments depending on what the wind is going to do. I always use as light of a rig as we can get away with. There are all kinds of presentations and techniques that will work.

- Bass suspended in the upper water table from 10 to 15 ft can be caught on the suspending Jerk baits, crank baits, slow rolling spinner baits, and a 3.75 light swim bait. Vary your speed, let them pause, give them the erratic behavior and work all edges of the school. My favorite is a pinch weighted Fluke or Senko using the Dead Stick method in the calmer water.

- When Bass are in the middle column work the heaver jig heads with the small swim baits through the school at all angels; above, to the sides, through the school and let it fall out the bottom for the dead effect. The spoon and flutter spoons in the smaller sizes work great for casting in and around the schools. You will definitely find out quick what is feeding on the school; as the spoon will catch them all.

- Bass relating to deep water structures like bluff wall or deep humps can be best caught on the slower presentations such as vertical fishing. Use the Drop Shot Rig holding it very still in the deep water school. Some times they will prefer a larger plastic when stacked against the wall. I use a 1 oz pegged bullet and brush hog; again holding it very still in the strike zone. My favorite way to dead stick deep is with a homemade spoon similar to the Akuna Spoon pictured below; but it is silver. When you fish it vertical the twist in the line will be enough to get the reaction bite along with the slow turning of the bait and the movement of the two small blades attached. You will also see this spoon working while casting through the schools of bait on the Video in the mid-range depths.

Here are a few Screen shots and the Akuna Spoon. Hope you enjoy the Video.

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Re: Article 32 - Suspended Bass [Re: Donald Harper] #13626655 07/11/20 03:46 AM
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Yet another AWESOME post. Thanks for sharing. thumb

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Re: Article 32 - Suspended Bass [Re: Donald Harper] #13627029 07/11/20 05:50 PM
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Thanks once again Don for another great post. clap

Not retired, self-employed -- paying myself to do what I like to do!

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