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Choco Taco

Deeper Water Tactics

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Guys,

I am looking to improve my deeper water fishing approach. If you are dealing with weedlines in 15 FOW or more, how would you fish it? I have been dropshotting and caught some fish that way. Some deeper cranks like a DT6 and deeper divers haven't yielded much for me. Same thing with jigs, not much luck. Just curious what you guys do. Thanks.

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Drop shot is good for catching fish but not super effective for covering water to find fish. I use it when I go back through a spot the second or 3rd time. I stay at about 3/4 of a cast from the weedline and at about 45 degrees. Crank good for covering water, but if weedline is 15' you need a crank that goes at least that deep. My top 3 are a jig and pig, worm (either texas or jigworm) and a texas rigged tube. Let the fish tell you if they are outside, inside or on edge of weeds.

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Rattle Traps can be necessary If your weed line is over 15 feet deep just to get to the strike zone.

My question is how do you identify a hard bottom on a color sonar like the HDS series?

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i had good luck this weekend in the 10'-15' weed edges on a dropoff throwing a storm wiggle wart. It dives from 7-13 feet and follows the drop nicely. picked up smallies and largemouth as well as a few pike with it. Freelining a jumbo leech has done well for me also.

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Guys,

I am looking to improve my deeper water fishing approach. If you are dealing with weedlines in 15 FOW or more, how would you fish it? I have been dropshotting and caught some fish that way. Some deeper cranks like a DT6 and deeper divers haven't yielded much for me. Same thing with jigs, not much luck. Just curious what you guys do. Thanks.

All the things you mentioned including a c-rig, football jig, shakey worm, and still some other techniques will work... The main thing is to be fishing where the fish are. Sounds really simple and obvious, but I have watched people fish right through a school of nice bass before and pulled up after they left and start catching them. Sometimes its not so much what you use, but realizing that it is a good spot and slowing down to catch them... smile

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So how heavy of a weight do you guys use in 15 fow. Do you want a big weight so it goes down quickly or something small and slow

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Hiya -

Sounds like you're fishing fairly clear water, with a 15' weedline. So you have quite a few good options, and you've gotten some good suggestions already.

I fish lakes with 15-16' weedlines all the time, and day in and day out it's pretty hard to beat a combination of deep diving cranks and jigworms.

I use crankbaits as a search lure for both fish and structure. You can cover a lot of water and find all the little ins and outs on a weedline and (hopefully) find some fish. What crankbait to use can kind of depend on how fish are relating to the weedline. If they're up high and over the top of the weedline, a crankbait that just ticks the tops like a DT-6, DT-10 or Poes 300 might be the way to go. If they're off the edge at the base of the weedline, a deeper bait like a DT-16 or Poes 400 might be better. I tend to parallel the weedline when I fish cranks, and use it to find little coontail points, etc., on the weedline. It's an awfully fun way to catch bass if they're biting.

The other technique is a jigworm. I know a lot of MN bass anglers that snickered when 'shaky worms' became all the rage on the national scene, because jigworms have been a staple tactic here since the 1970s. It's ideal for deep weedlines. I fish jigworms on a 6'6" fast action, medium-heavy spinning rod with 8# fluoro. I'll drop down to 6 if it's really clear water or after a front though. Pitch the jigworm to the weedline, and let it drop on a semi-tight line. WATCH YOUR LINE - most hits come on the drop and all you'll see is a twitch, or your line will start moving to the side. Lift-drop until you clear the weedline, then reel in and cast again. If you hang up on a weed, shake it loose if you can, or snap your wrist, then let it drop. Lots of hits come after you shake off a weed stalk.

If there's one mistake I see guys making with jigworms, it's using too heavy a jighead. I use a 3/32 oz head 90% of the time. If it's windy I'll go up to 1/8. Very rarely do I use a 3/16 oz. Lots of the shakey heads on the market now are too heavy for jigworming weedlines - or maybe it's more correct to say they're designed for something else. Guys use a heavier head because they want to feel the jog all the time, but really, you just fish the weight of the jig and watch your line. You don't feel it unless it hangs up - or gets eaten.

Along with too heavy a jighead is too heavy a hook. On spinning gear and fluoro or mono driving a heavy hook in with a snap hookset is pretty tough, especially on a long cast. A light wire hook sticks a lot better for fish that pick it up off a weed stalk or hit on the drop. I use Northland jigworm heads and they have a great light wire Ultrapoint hook.

Really, spend the time to learn jigworming. Awfully effective on most MN bass waters.

Cheers,

Rob Kimm

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Thanks for all the great advice guys. A couple of questions.

-What weedless search baits would you recommend? While I love crankbaits but when I am close to the weedline, the treble hooks can get snagged? I use spinnerbaits but they don't seem to get deep enough into the strike zone.

-On the jighead worms, when would you use a weight greater than 1/8 oz? For some reason, I thought you wanted a heavy weight jig to get down and possible punch through some stuff near the bottom.

Thanks for the responses.

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1. Swimbait, spinner bait, get some 3/4 ounce ones.

2. If you were in really deep water or the wind was really bad. You might want a heavy jig to get into the stuff, but on a jigworm, you want to not get down in the stuff. It will get caught up on the weeds and you want to snap them off.

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1. Swimbait, spinner bait, get some 3/4 ounce ones.

Check out the strike king bottom dweller spinnerbaits. Make em in 1 oz. and 3/4 oz.

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Rattle Traps can be necessary If your weed line is over 15 feet deep just to get to the strike zone.

My question is how do you identify a hard bottom on a color sonar like the HDS series?

You will also notice that a hard bottom will give you a thicker line than a soft bottom.

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I use a 1oz Spinnerbait alot when I am in search mode, my favorite is all white with a single white willow, can be retreived at moderate speeds down into the 20' range if you let it drop before retreiving it.

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I've been throwing a jig worm more and more the past couple years and am curious what worms you guys use... I've primarily used the 7" zoom trick worms and haven't tried much else. I know some use senkos, is that popular with most of you? What length worm do you like, 4"? 7"? Does it really even matter?

Curious angler...

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Hi Bob -

I buy 7" Berkley Power Worms in 100ct bags, if that tells you anything. smile Seriously, Power Worms or any other ribbon tail worms like Culprits, Zoom U-tails, etc., are my go baits for jigworming, for Largemouths anyhow. If it's after a cold front I'll sometimes use a smaller worm like a 4" power worm or a small straight tailed worm, but most of the time it's a 6 or 7" ribbontail.

Cheers,

Rob Kimm

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Bob,

I do throw senko-style baits frequently as the plastic on a jigworm combo. I have been throwing them on 1/16th oz head lately to try to slow down the fall. I think the bait blows through the "high-riders" too frequently with any heavier of a head.

I still throw lots of 7" ribbon tails and 4" ringworms on 1/8 oz. mushroom head jigs. And, I probably have 25 other styles of plastic in the boat that all spend time on a light jig.

I pick up a jigworm 75% of the time before anything else.

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I've been throwing a jig worm more and more the past couple years and am curious what worms you guys use... I've primarily used the 7" zoom trick worms and haven't tried much else. I know some use senkos, is that popular with most of you? What length worm do you like, 4"? 7"? Does it really even matter?

Curious angler...

I like 7" Power worms too. Black/Blue tail & Blue Fleck are good. Culprits are good. An old school (often overlooked) color is the purple/white tail. I like the Mister Twister brand. They are good for bonus walleye action.

I have been struggling in the wind this summer trying to fish jig worms deep. What are ya all using for line? Maybe too much coffee...but it seems like it takes 5 minutes for the jigworm to hit bottom in 16 FOW. I tried some 10# braid with a flouro leader but I'm not sure I like it.

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i think braid floats. that may slow the fall. i know flouro sinks. maybe try all flouro. i'm not sure if the braid floats though. i just think it does when i use it.

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