Current and Bass Locations
by Mike Gerry
If there is one thing you can count on turning on the fish, it is the effect of current, where they locate is very predictable.
Bass do predictable things when TVA is pulling water and if you have good electronics, and some reasonable knowledge of the bottom structure, you can easily go to these predicable locations. The key is where do they go when this happens and what drives their activity during the flow of water.
There are many things that moving water does to create activity and make the bass feed. The first thing is that the current helps create oxygen in the water. The bass move from suspending to being more active when there is more oxygen in the water. When it is hot, and the water temperatures are in the high eighty’s, current is a big game changer. The next important thing to remember is current is also a by-product of wind and waves as it deflects the sun and allows the bass to stay more active on sunny, windy days.
One of the most important aspects of current is it gathers up scattered bait fish into bait balls, as there is safety in numbers for bait fish and as they gather up to hide from the current it puts them in areas together and the bass follow the bait fish constantly. The aspect of current that most do not realize is that current creates water flow directional changes. This acts as a whirlpool for bass to stack up around the eddies and ambush bait; this is an ideal location to find a monster sack of fish!
Current also creates movement to the flats, as bait will move to these areas and stack up behind bottom structure like stumps and rock, or drops on the edges of the flats. Their movement will generally travel on old roadbeds or hard bottom areas as they migrate to the flats. I also check manufactured structures, as current will push the fish to the barge tie-ups, bridges, rock jetty’s and or boat houses, especially along main channel areas where the current is more noticeable.
Study the current, check the times on the TVA.gov web site and look for the areas that the fish move to, and you will be more successful when they’re pulling water.