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Targeting bigger bass

19 posts in this topic

Where do you look when you are targeting bigger bass? When i have caught bigger fish they have been shallow but that is where i fish the most often. Do you target a specific cover or structure? Deeper water or shallow? What has worked for you?

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i think big bass utilize different cover. Deep weedlines, rockpiles, and shallow slop have all produced nice bass for me

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I fish lakes that are known for producing big fish. Some lakes just have better populations of big fish. Most of my biggest fish have come less than 8 feet deep. As far was where they live. Where ever they want.

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the biggest bass i've ever seen caught (not mine) came off a dock in the middle of july. that said most of my bigger ones came in less than 10 FOW

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I'd have to agree. I think nearly all the 20 inch and bigger fish Ive caught the past 5 or so years have all come in less than 4 feet of water. Usually near or in pads, millfoil, or reeds. I have had a bit of success fishing deeper but I don't think I've ever ecliped the 20 inch mark fishing deeper weedlines or other structure deeper than say 10 feet. I'm sure they are there at times... tough to say why there is such a discrepency. I'm sure someone could answer it though.

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my biggest ever came right up by shore in amongst weeds and a downed tree, but there was a dropoff right off the end of the tree, so deep water was close.

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could it be due to the fact that the majority of your fishing is done in water 10ft or less or do you fish deep often?? I know there is a certain person here who enjoys fishing the dropshot quite a bit, he seems to get some big girls in deeper water....

I fish shallow alot, hence most of my big fish come from shallow water.

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Good point and I think there is some truth to that. The past two summers (this year and last) I've spent probably 2/3rds of my time deep and subsiquently haven't caught too many big fish. A few years ago I basically did the same thing on nearly every lake I fished. I'd fish around and under docks with shallow cranks, t-rigged worms, senko style baits, and Buzz baits. Currently I am forcing myself to fish deeper in order to eventually become more well rounded and not an angler that is forced to pound the shore every time out. I now use deeper cranks more often as well as jigs. Haven't had success with the drop shot yet. I will say that I'm getting better and hope to get better results with the big girls out deep sooner than later.

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Good Post - I too fish shallow. I really like casting to targets for some reason. I feel lost out deep say 15 feet plus. And I'm not a drop shot guy at all, so it's jigs and cranks if I'm out deep. That being said all the 20"+ except one came from pretty shallow 5ft or less.

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Depends on your idea of big fish. The guys trophy fishing for the next state or world record will fish differently than a tournament guy looking for, not one huge fish, but five big fish.

For me, getting a big fish shallow is not out of the question, but these fish are more likely to be just a single big fish.

To catch multiple big fish, deeper water and/or off shore structure is the place to be. Nothing better than finding a school of big fish off shore; that, on some lakes, you can have all to your self.

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Tim, that is THE reason I've been forcing myself to fish deeper. I can't wait for the day where in my league or in a tournament I hit the jackpot out deep catching 18's, 19's and some 20's left and right on a crank then a jig... It will happen.... I just know it will.

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Great question.

Am constantly amazed at how shallow 20" bass go even in the heat of the summer. I'm in a constantly detoxification process from being a bank beating addict. I love beating shallow water. I'm addicted to the shallow water blow ups and how close and personal things get in shallow water. Have ever so painfully and slowly been retreating to the 5-8' depths. I think a lot of guys fish those depths and have always tried to go just a bit shallower or just a bit deeper from what it seems other guys are doing.

In most lakes bass over 18"s are not a large percentage of the population. Fish over 20"s are even more rare. Targeting them is challenging to pin point.

Something that hasn't been brought up yet is time of day and time of year. Typically I do better earlier and latter in the year and earlier or latter in the day. Weekdays are better for avoiding not only fishing traffic but also recreational traffic.

Knew a guy who had a great schedule and fished mostly weekdays for more than a couple summers and was able to fish none peak recreational times. His 20" fish totals were huge. Then he got a normal job and was forced to fish weekends. He really thought he had the big bass figured out then he got a dose of reality. Even Fridays get more pressure than they use to. Doesn't mean they can't be caught just everything becomes a bit more challenging.

Deep water compounds everything from boat control to casting accuracy. Hate to admit it but have been doing more walleye fishing before the bass season opens. Am amazed at how much just a couple feet in or out of the break line makes as far as fishing success. It takes a tremendous amount of continuous concentration that gets very taxing on you mentally and physically in deeper water. But the pay off is when you find that depth or zone the fish are at and it pays off big. Inside turns, points and sunken islands can be great areas. Deep water is harder to fish and takes longer to learn with a good commitment needed to do it even when things aren't working and you know you can go in shallow and at least catch a few fish. A good depth finder can help the process a bit. Most bass guys myself included don't have the patience for deep water and are drawn to bass fishing because of the more instant gratification of the sport vs walleye or muskie fishing.

Fall is my best go to time for bigger fish. One of my better days was on a north east metro area lake on a cold windy spitting rainy day. Two of us boated 6 bass over 20"s with good numbers of 18-19" fish and some very good pike. Most on buzz baits or bigger spinner baits. It is a very popular bass fishing lake. Best part wasn't the fishing but that we were the only boat on the lake.The half hour after sunset is a close second to the fall for me.

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This topic really got me thinking...

My top 2 bass, both 5 pounds, came off of shallow reeds in midday in summer and a very warm post spawn day. Not the place I would expect the fish to be. The thing I did not think about until now is that they were both feeding. One of them turned around on a bad pitch and just demolished my bait. The other swam from I dont know how far and killed my senko.

With that in mind I think the big girls come up shallow to feed but the consistancy sucks in comparison to fish relating to deeper structure. In Summer at least.

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It doesnt really seem to matter how deep the water is but most of the big fish spots I have all have one thing in common. Rocks. It dosent matter if its on a dark water shallow lake in 5ft or a clear deep lake in 15-20. If you can find a rock pile off the beaten path that doesnt get pounded day in and day out you will find monster bass.

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I have found that you can catch Big bass shallow and deep. The strategy I use for big bass is to use BIG BAITS. I really like 7" senkos (7" may not seem big but the senko is a monster)and I have muskie topwaters I use for smallies) I agree that to find schools they will most likley be on rocks in water 8' or deeper. The key is to find spots that dont get pounded regularly. There are many known rock spots on tonka that I would call community spots. Almost always a boat on the majority of them. It is the lesser known ones that will produce more consistantly.

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I have found that you can catch Big bass shallow and deep. The strategy I use for big bass is to use BIG BAITS. I really like 7" senkos (7" may not seem big but the senko is a monster)and I have muskie topwaters I use for smallies) I agree that to find schools they will most likley be on rocks in water 8' or deeper. The key is to find spots that dont get pounded regularly. There are many known rock spots on tonka that I would call community spots. Almost always a boat on the majority of them. It is the lesser known ones that will produce more consistantly.

I agree completely! I have caught my best fish using a large bait and patience. Both in shallow and deep water. My friends will use smaller stuff and usually out catch me easily, but my fish are almost always bigger. The other part is quite true also, I go to a lot of spots that are not "known" hot spots. It takes a lot of exploring and trying, but when you fish away from the pack you catch fish in places no one else expects. Today I went to a lake that a friend of mine had taken me to all the known good spots, and I avoided them and caught some nice fish just by reading the terrain.

Rick

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I agree with bigger baits and i use them quite a bit especially swimbaits but it seems bigger bass can be anywhere. So what are the favorite big baits? i like mattlures baits along with some i make myself.

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I've caught big bass on big and small baits. I've caught lil bass on huge baits before.

I remember on lake Rebecca tossing muskie baits and got some 18-19" bass. Then toss on a 7" power worm and caught not one but two 38" skis.

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