Bass in the Deep End – Tactics for deepwater bass

Tactics for deepwater bass

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By Joey Monteleone

Most people require visual confirmation. Whether pictures on an electronics screen or a shoreline object, we like to see things to cast a bait toward. Many anglers fall into the category of “bank beaters.” There is comfort in throwing at objects that have previously yielded bass.

However, when fish abandon “thin” waters, you must make adjustments. Much to the chagrin of power fishermen, you have to explore new territory and most likely go off the deep end. In some instances the same baits fished in a different place will still produce. There might still be some necessary adjustments to lure type, weight and size required.

Offshore fish are often in a neutral or negative feeding mode. Additionally, they might be suspended–bass in 15 feet of water, hovering six feet off the bottom. Kayak positioning is critical. To place the lure in front of the fish in a way that draws a hit, it is often more advantageous to position the kayak in a deeper spot, casting shallow and fishing “downhill.” In the deepwater tackle box there should be jigs/plastic worms, single-bladed spinners and deeper diving crankbaits that float up at rest. These baits are capable of covering each water column, shallow, mid-level and deep. Bass in deeper water have a minimized strike zone. Because of their less aggressive feeding mood, their chase instinct isn’t as intense. A slow-moving, slowly falling bait is more like to draw a strike from the lethargic largemouth.

By adding a larger trailer to a lightweight jig, you slow the descent of the lure. By using a single-bladed spinnerbait, preferably a Colorado or Indiana blade, it will again drop at a diminished rate of speed, making it appear vulnerable and easier to catch. Lastly, a crankbait with a larger lip dives deeper and, when paused, begins a slow rise toward the surface, making it look injured and getting away from the fish.
Trust your instincts, keep in contact with the lure, and be ready to set the hook on some bass gone off the deep end.