In June, the ledges at Pickwick Lake on the Tennessee River in North Mississippi heat up for bass fishing, and catching and releasing 40 to 50 a day isn't uncommon. To catch these bass, you'll have to fish the mid-river section, targeting humps, ledges, mussel bars and the secondary bars just off the river. You'll find the bass from 17- to 23-feet deep.

I'll primarily be fishing for largemouths, but you occasionally will catch a smallmouth. The bass on Pickwick generally hold considerably deeper than the bass on the other Tennessee River lakes in June.

I'll be using a Mann's 20+ crankbait with a blue back and chartreuse sides, as well as a Strike King Sexy Spoon in the sexy shad color, a 3/4-ounce Mann's Stone Jig and a 10-inch Mann's HardNose Worm.

To catch the most bass in a day, I'll fish when the current's running. However, you still can catch bass on the ledges and the mussel bars when the current's not running. I've found that bass usually will congregate on the ends of bars and ledges and on the points of the mussel bars. Sometimes the fish will be holding on top of the bars, while at other times they'll concentrate off the ends. During the day, you may have to move around to find where the bass are holding, but they'll most likely be in 17 to 23 feet of water.

When you're fishing the bars and ridges at Pickwick, you always want to cast upcurrent and bring your lures with the current. To get that Mann's 20+ down to 17 to 23 feet, I use the kneel-and-reel technique. I'll make a long cast upcurrent using 10-pound-test Berkley Trilene fluorocarbon line and a Pinnacle 5:1 gear-ratio reel on a 7-foot, 11-inch Pinnacle cranking rod. When that Mann's 20+ crankbait hits the water, and I start my retrieve, I'll kneel down, put my rod all the way under the water, almost up to the reel, and start cranking with a medium retrieve.

When the bass takes the bait, I'll pull the rod, set the hook, bring the rod up and reel the fish into the boat, just like I will when using any other type of bass-fishing technique. I catch more bass that hit my bait using the kneel-and-reel tactic because when the rod's under the water and I set the hook, the resistance of the water slows down my strike and allows me to get a better hook set than if I'm holding the rod out of the water.

If the bass aren't taking the crankbait, or they stop taking the crankbait, I'll use a 3/4-ounce Mann's Stone Jig. I'll cast the jig as far as I can upcurrent and let it fall all the way to the bottom. Then when it hits the bottom, I'll snatch it up high in the water column, allow it to ride the current and fall back on a slack line. Most of the time the bass will take the jig on the fall.

My favorite color Stone Jig for June is black/brown with a green-pumpkin/red-flake Mann's HardNose Flippin' Craw. I'll be fishing the jig on 15-pound-test Trilene fluorocarbon.

I fish the Strike King Sexy Spoon the same way. I let it fall all the way to the bottom, snatch it up and then let it flutter back to the bottom.

I've ledge-fished most of my life, but I didn't start fishing the big Strike King Sexy Spoon until recently. I've caught a number of big bass on that Sexy Spoon since then, and my favorite color is chrome without any pattern on it. When a bass takes the spoon, the fish often will hit it coming downstream and throw slack in the line. Other times a bass will hit it, and the bite will feel much like the bite you'll get on a jig or a worm. I use the same line with the Sexy Spoon that I do with the jig.

There are two ways to fish the 10-inch Mann's HardNose Snake - on a Texas rig with a 1/2-ounce slip sinker and on a Carolina rig with a 1-ounce weight. I like to fish the 10-inch Mann's HardNose Snake on a Carolina rig, because it will float a No. 5/0 hook. When that heavy weight comes through those mussel shells, it makes a clattering and clanking sound that attracts the bass. When the bass come to the sound and see the Mann's Snake floating up off the bottom, they just have to eat it.

I use a side-pulling action to drive the weight through those mussel shells, and I don't ever lift the weight up off the bottom. My favorite color is black/brown.

When I feel the bass suck in that worm, I immediately set the hook. I fish the Snake on 30-pound-test braided Fireline, and I use a 25-pound-test Big Game leader that's about 2-feet long coming from the barrel swivel to the worm. Although Texas-rigging this worm produces bass, I prefer a Carolina rig because the bass can see this worm better when it's floating up off the bottom.

This month, on Pickwick, I expect to catch 50 bass, mostly largemouths, that weigh from 1 1/2 to 5 or 6 pounds each in a day. I've caught my two biggest smallmouths ever while fishing Pickwick. On one day of practice before a tournament, I caught a 6-pound, 13-ounce smallmouth and a 6-pound, 5-ounce smallmouth.

The best part of the lake to fish is the area from Natchez Trace to Yellow Creek. The easiest way to locate the ledges is to use an avionics map on your GPS. However, you also can find them by using your depth finder and looking for them. But for numbers of big bass, bet on the ledges this month at Pickwick Lake.