Without question, the toughest bass to catch are the ones suspending over deep water. Without definitive cover to target, anglers find it difficult to reach and entice fish that are typically in a negative mood.
The challenge is to find a bait you can keep in the target zone long enough to convince the fish to bite.
“Late summer, early fall, the fish tend to suspend a lot,” said bass pro Russ Lane. “They set up over the humps and ledges at night to feed, but when the sun comes up, they rise off the bottom and suspend over the drops. They’ll be close to where they fed at night.”
Lane’s top choice for suspended fish is a 4-inch Big Bite Baits BB Kicker or a 3½-inch Suicide Shad on a ¼- to 3/8-ounce Buckeye jighead. He’ll use a countdown technique to get the bait down to wherever he’s seeing the fish on his recorder.
“If they’re suspended 10 feet over 30 feet of water, you let that bait go down to a count of 10 and then slow-roll it back to the boat,” Lane said. “That’s a great way to catch suspended fish when they’ve seen lots of traditional baits. The swimbait just looks more realistic, like a shad swimming past them.
“You can make long casts with this bait and downsize your line, because the water is generally clear that time of year. Fifteen to 20 years ago, nobody fished for suspended fish, but now guys go out looking for them because a swimbait is such an effective way to fish for them.”