by Mike Gerry
Nothing is more enticing to the avid fisherman than fishing the ledges; it where the big fish are in the heat of the summer and its where you can load the boat with a big school of bass.
The lore of ledge fishing is a request I get many times a year from the avid fisherman trying to find that summertime school of big fish! We here on Guntersville are blessed with some great ledge fishing and if you know what to do and how to approach it you can put some winning stringers in the boat by understanding how to fish the ledges!
The first thing I do is approach ledge fishing with some knowledge, in other words I study maps; the topography maps or your Navionics chip loaded on your computer can share the secrets to the ledges. The key is to learn to separate the community hole or spots from the difference makers on the ledges. In other words, the spots that others would not seem to know about, the turn or drop or sunken pond that may not get the attention the common points and drops that everyone knows about might get! Looking for these unique spots can be long and tedious but when you find the school of fish you have been looking for its worth it!
After I have studied the maps and start looking for that difference maker area, the first thing I do is start testing the areas with baits you can cover ground with. Search baits, like spinner baits or crank baits and jigging spoons. These allow you to fish quickly and cover enough territory to find a key spot holding big fish and could very well be the sack you’re looking for!
Many times, it is the subtle drops of one or two feet in depth that hold the fish. The key to this can be a slight change in boat position, where things like wind and current and approach all enter into this spot producing. Do not just fish over the spot you have spent time researching without considering boat position; approach it from many angles before you move on!
The ledges can produce some big catches and the time of year to fish them is now; persistence and patience will pay off.