Bass love edges
by Mike Gerry
As we progress into the post spawn bite nothing can be simpler than locating fish on edges along structure. It is a pattern that has held up for many years once the bass come off the bed. Your knowledge of where to fish and what type of structure can be limited to just finding edges. Doing this gives you a chance, on every cast, to catch a bass. It puts you in position to find bass feeding. Add in edges with a little current, and you can have a great day on the water.
When you have current, structure, grass and the edge of a hump or drop, you have the best opportunity to catch fish and put some really good bass in the boat. It is easy fishing. You do not have to search much. Fair electronics with sonar showing drops and the edges will pay dividends that will put you on the fish. It is bass fishing 101, and the most inexperienced bass fisherman can have some fun, catch some fish and leave the lake with some great memories of their day on the water. Regardless of age, fishing experience or time on the water, you can be a successful bass fisherman by just locating edges and looking for bass. Sometimes the type of edge makes a difference.
One tip I can give you is to be observant when you catch a fish on an edge. Is the edge a steep drop, a gradual drop, does it drop into deep water or into a flat? These are keys to look for that should determine what type of edge you should choose in order to get your next bite. On lakes like Guntersville often the type of grass edge is also a good indicator for you to get the next bite.
Guntersville has several types of grass, milfoil, hydrilla, coon-tail, eel grass and star grass, and many times bass prefer one over the other. It also should be noted that this preference can change daily, so don’t be stuck on one grass type for long periods of time, or many days in a row, as bass will relocate when pressured and change the structure they adhere to. Edges, structure and current are all parts of an easy way to locate bass.
Habits of bedding fish
by Captain Mike Gerry
As we approach the bedding time of the largemouth bass, I thought I would spend some time talking about the habits of bedding fish as I see them on today’s crowded lakes. Make no mistake about it, the habits of bass on today’s busy lakes is quite different than it was ten years ago – maybe even fewer years than that. Today’s bass are much more pressured than ever before, and finding what was once easy bedding locations is now difficult.
The basics of bedding bass have changed considerably. We used to be able to bet on the fact that the bass would bed in many of the same locations year after year. Today, that is not necessarily true. What was once a good bedding location has changed considerably for many reasons. Not only the fishing pressure but the enormous amount of rain we seem to get in the spring changes where the bass bed, because it causes much more current than we used to get in the pre-spawn era.
The current changes the bottom. It pulls out the structure and moves what was once the ideal bottom area for fish to spawn on. It moves around the silted-in areas, pulls bank rip rap off the edges and changes to where the bass move for their annual spawning ritual.
It is also obvious to me that the depth in which bass spawn can change drastically on a lake. To me, this is a direct result of fishing pressure. If you are used to fishing an area that is constantly being pressured by fishermen, I find that the bass move to depths that are away from the heavily fished areas for the spawn.
his may only be a depth of four to five feet in depth, but it moves them off the banks where the fishing pressure is consistent. It’s always been a well-known fact that bass like to spawn on hard bottom areas. Many times that hard bottom can change, as one year it might be around stumps, but the next year it might change to shell beds, lily pad stems or clay banks. I’ve seen them change to under boat houses one year, and the next year they can’t be found around them. Point being, change with the bass and examine different areas for spawning bass.
Big Fish Time
by Captain Mike Gerry
I realize that most anglers prefer the warmer winter day; I certainly understand the more comfortable feeling of a better day when the temperature has warmed in the middle of winter. The problem is, if you’re after a trophy size bass, they are now in the feeding mode. We constantly change weather in the spring, and it always presents the chance of that trophy fish.
Sure, some days are a challenge in North Alabama, as the temperature changes, and weather pattern swings are constant for at least another month. The downside is, it’s hard to stay focused and continually work the proper depths and structure to find that trophy fish. The elements fight against you, your hands are cold, it’s hard to feel a bite, the wind challenges you many days in a row during this constant change. Steadying the boat enough to feel those slow methodical bites during this late pre-spawn is not easy.
Don’t waste time. Fish where the big fish should be in this type of weather. In my opinion, this is extended off the long deeper points. I find that in a bad, cold, winter day, the bigger fish extend themselves off under water points from the first break extending down to ten feet or more of water. The reason for this is there is generally still grass near the shallow top and stumps with muscle beds off the deeper points. These are all ideal locations for that big trophy bass, and with some patience and hard fishing, you just might find it.
It is also true that many of the big fish are in the shallows already, moving up to the hard bottom areas of the lake. Look for red clay banks and work them thoroughly.
Lastly, fish small baits. Work them slowly and make very precise casts. Use your Lowrance structure scan to find the structure where the big fish have the best chance to hide. Work those pieces of structure very thoroughly. Make several casts so you cover every angle. You won’t feel big bites, you’ll just feel a twitch or heavy rod tip, make a good hook set because it could be the fish you have been waiting for!
by Mike Gerry
Often, on any lake, I find that the sensitivity of the line you’re fishing with can make a big difference in how many fish you can actually feel the bite and, hence, get to the boat.
Line size in winter
by Mike Gerry
Believe it or not, line size matters, and in the cold water it matters even more.