When quite a few 25-pound-plus stringers were weighed in by bass club anglers last year at Enid Lake, it invariably raised questions in the minds of state fisheries biologists.

It didn't compute that this flood-control reservoir in North Mississippi that is more famous for crappie fishing could produce such draw-dropping limits of bass. While the lake doesn't receive the big-time bass-tournament pressure of some of its neighbors, it is very popular among local bass clubs.

In fact, according to District II biologist Keith Meals, Enid is the No. 2 lake in the state for bass-club-tournament-winning weights.

"We've got a good bass population out there right now," he said. "We had three low-water years the last three years where the reproduction hasn't been as good, but it's not heavily fished for bass. It's not big enough to get the tournament pressure that Sardis gets, but it's right at the top for winning weights."

The number of 25-pound-plus stringers weighed in last year was so surprising to some that Meals said the fisheries biologist who is responsible for compiling the tournament information called him to make sure it wasn't some kind of joke.

While many casual observers may associate these heavy stringers of bass with spring fishing, there probably isn't any better time to put together a heavy sack than the summer months. As most any deep-water structure angler can tell you, when bass stack up in their summer holes they provide periodic action that can fill a livewell to overflowing in short order.

And there is no better place to find deep bass during the summer at Enid than on the many main-lake points that extend from the shore out into the lake. Bass that had been shallow just a few months before to spawn began their post-spawn move back to deep water by first holding on the secondary points inside the coves and creeks.

From there, they eventually found their way out to the main-lake points, where they will hold until it's time to move back to shallow water to feed during the fall. Before that move back to shallow water, anglers who are capable of using their electronics to find these out-of-sight hotspots can post their own 25-pound bags.

"Bass find more comfortable water temperatures out on the points," said Meals, "and they also find a lot of bait. The points become ambush points for the bass, which will feed on the balls of shad that get constricted as they swim around the point."

The fact that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will open the gates on Aug. 1 to get Enid down to its conservation pool of 230 feet may also help concentrate bass on the main-lake points during August and September. Bass have a natural instinct to move deeper when they feel the water is falling so they won't get stranded.

Whether the Enid Lake drawdown is that instrumental in the summer bass patterns is somewhat up in the air, though. It's generally recognized that the drawdown has some effect, but the extent isn't definitive.

"The water is supposed to be at 250 for our summer pool," said Corps of Engineers Park Ranger Chris Hannaford. "We try to maintain it at 250, but on Aug. 1 we open the gates to get it down to 230 - a 20 foot drop, which we try to reach by Dec. 1."

A 20-foot drop in four months means that the water level is not going to drop very fast. Hannaford says the lake drops maybe a 10th of a foot a day, which isn't strong enough to create the current often seen at power-generating lakes. Therefore, while the drop may have some effect, it probably doesn't have the effect anglers think it has.

Bass in power-generating lakes often don't even move onto points until the water starts pulling hard enough to create a current. They instinctively know that the current will create an opportunistic feeding situation of which they can take advantage. In Enid, the bass are already on the points before the water starts falling.

"I wouldn't say the falling water pulls them to the points," Meals said. "Bass are already out on the points before Aug. 1. And while the slight drop may have some effect on the fish, it's nothing like the on-off patterns seen at power-generating lakes.

"Anglers who fish those lakes can get a schedule to see when the water is going to pull, and adjust their fishing accordingly. Here, it's just a slow and steady drop that happens 24/7. You can't say it affects the bite at any given time because it's falling all the time."

Since the main-lake point bite can't be determined by a generating schedule, Meals said the best way to determine where the bite is would be to use electronics to locate the thermocline, which is the layer where there is an abrupt change in temperature that separates warmer surface water from colder deep water.

Anglers can often spot the thermocline on their electronics by looking for a band of what might look like static or interference at the same depth on their fish-finder screens. It can also be located by noticing the general depth at which all the baitfish seem to be holding.

"The thermocline at Enid varies from year to year, and it is usually somewhere between 12 and 25 feet deep," Meals said. "During a low-water year when not much grass is flooded, it's going to be deeper. During a high-water year like we've had this year, there is a lot of flooded grass, which uses lots of oxygen as it decomposes. That makes the thermocline set up shallower."

Being able to determine the depth of the thermocline is important to anglers who want to load their livewells with big bass because the most productive spots in Enid during the summer are the main-lake points at the depth of the thermocline.

In other words, if the thermocline is at 15 feet, anglers should fish 15 feet deep on the main-lake points as that is where most of the shad, and thus the bass, will be located. The only thing better than this is finding some kind of cover like a brushpile 15 feet deep on a point when the thermocline is at 15 feet. This is the situation that turns limits of bass into heavy limits of bass.

"Many anglers are already doing this without even realizing it," said Jackson-based Bassmaster Elite Series Angler Pete Ponds. "They ride around on the points to see what depth the shad are using, and that's where they start fishing. Well, the depth the shad are using is generally going to be at the thermocline depth."

There are some exceptions to the thermocline rule, though. Ponds said shad would frequently move up to the surface early in the morning and late in the evening. Knowing that the shad are near the surface, bass will follow them up and feed on the surface. Anglers who fish the surface with topwaters like Zara Spooks or Pop-Rs will catch the actively feeding bass.

However, with the exception of those two times, anglers will fare much better using deep-water techniques. The first two presentations that come to mind are deep-diving crankbaits and Carolina rigs.

However, Ponds says that a technique that he frequently uses during professional bass tournaments is dynamite for fishing deep at Enid Lake.

"A drop-shot rig can be deadly at Enid," said Ponds. "And a drop-shot is something that not very many bass anglers, other than tournament anglers, are using. It's very similar to fishing a Carolina rig, but it has one very important advantage.

"To move your plastic with a Carolina rig you have to move the weight. With a drop-shot, you can move your plastic without moving the weight. That means you can shake your lure in one spot without moving it forward."

Ponds rigs his basic drop-shot by tying a 1/0 or 2/0 hook to his line while leaving about a 14- to 16-inch tag to which he ties his weight. He finishes his rig by threading a 4 1/2-inch V&M finesse worm on his hook. The finished product resembles an old catfish rig with the finesse worm suspended over the weight.

"There is a misconception that you have to vertically fish a drop-shot," Ponds said. "That's not the case. You can cast a drop-shot and fish it just like you would a Carolina rig.

"It doesn't have to be deep either. I've caught bass as shallow as 1 foot on a drop-shot. I can't stress enough that being able to move your lure without moving it forward is a huge advantage, especially when fishing pressure goes up like during a tournament or during the weekend."

Other than a drop-shot, Ponds recommended anglers get used to pulling big, deep-diving crankbaits. Lures like the new Bandit 700 Series that are designed to run at 12 to 14 feet deep are perfect for bumping cover on the points in that same depth range. The key is to make a long enough cast past the cover so the lure has reached its maximum diving depth right before it reaches the cover.

And make no mistake about it, the points at Enid Lake are literally covered with things like brushpiles, stumps and even concrete house foundations. While the lake may be very low during the winter months, that is the time to either enhance a favorite fishing spot or learn some new ones.

"The corps has maintained a very active brush planting program for years," Meals said. "They'll have anywhere from 100 to 200 volunteers who get out there and plant brush on the points and in the coves while the lake is low. These places will be underwater when the lake comes back up, and they provide some excellent fishing holes."

Ponds concurred, and said that in the past he has walked the exposed lakebed during the winter with a hand-held GPS unit. When he locates a good piece of cover that he knows will make a good fishing spot when the lake fills back up, he marks it by saving the coordinates on his GPS. Anglers can build up a sizeable database of great fishing spots by following suit.

Being that Ponds is such an effective deep-water angler, he passed on a few more pieces of advice for those looking for any little advantage they can get over their bass-club buddies.

"If you can see a point, that means everybody else can see it, too," he said. "If everybody else can see it, that means everybody else is fishing it. Keep an eye on your depthfinder as you idle down a shoreline, and look for places where the bottom comes up on your depthfinder. If you can find a point that isn't obvious by the contour of the bank, you've got something that most people haven't found."

Ponds also explained that while the points themselves are dynamite pieces of bass structure, the areas of the lake where points meet some other kind of structure like a creek channel or a flooded road bed are even more productive. One of the best would be a point that has a creek channel that either brushes its side or cuts across its tip.

"Those are the kinds of areas that provide the best of both worlds," he said. "Anywhere you can find two kinds of structure that intersect with each other, you're going to have the opportunity to increase your catch."

And the last thing that Ponds passed on was that deep-water structure fishing is a situation in which anglers should be prepared to maximize an area by staying put after catching a fish.

"This is the kind of fishing that takes a lot of time to find the fish because they are deep," Ponds said. "But when you find them, the rewards are great because you can usually catch anywhere from 10 to 20 fish off the same spot. The bite might come in spurts, but it will come, and if you aren't sitting there when they turn on, you aren't going to catch them."

Ten to 20 fish in the same spot? At Enid Lake? During the middle of the summer? Yes, yes and yes. It might not compute in your brain right now, but spend some time at Enid the remainder of this summer, and you'll figure out Enid's bass equation - hot weather + main lake points + cover + shad = bass.

Sometimes 25 pounds plus.