Fish ledges with a variety of lures for 25- to 50-fish outings
If you have quality electronics, catching 25 to 50 bass a day isn’t uncommon this month at Pickwick Lake. They will be holding on underwater river ledges.
But to load up on those bass, you need to find them holding on points of underwater creeks and ditches running into the main-river channel. I’ll locate these places with my Garmin electronics, using LiveScope. Bass also may be holding on mussel shell banks.
Your chances of catching bass will be best when the current’s running. However, with no current, either drag a black/blue jig along the bottom or fish a drop-shot rig with a worm hooked wacky style.
Fishing the ledges
I’ll start off deep cranking with Mann’s 20+ and 30+ crankbaits. I prefer the gray ghost color with pearl sides and a gray back. My line will be 20-pound White Peacock fluorocarbon on a 7-foot-6 cranking-action FX Custom rod with a Bruin ELS 6.2:1 reel.
I’ll begin at the mouths of the underwater creeks or ditches and fish about 100 yards down the left side and then down the point’s right side. If I pinpoint a school of bass on my LiveScope, I’ll concentrate there. Once I find a school, a crankbait will fire them up. But after catching several bass from that school, I’ll change tactics. I realize that bass in a school often follow the bass that’s hooked back toward the boat, eventually causing the school to scatter or move.
I won’t leave that spot until I’ve fished up and down that ledge with a drop-shot rig. I’ll use a 10-pound fluorocarbon leader tied to 15-pound bass braid on a 7-foot-4, medium-action spinning rod and reel. I’ll attach a 1/4-ounce weight on the end of a drop-shot rig with a watermelon seed 5-inch SpringR worm, rigged wacky style, up the line. I’ll work that drop shot rig slowly. Once the bass takes the worm, I don’t use a hard hookset but instead will pull the hook into the bass as it swims off. That drop shot hook allows the bass to almost hook itself.
With my LiveScope, I usually can see where the scattered bass have begun to hold on a ledge. I often can get right on top of them and fish the drop-shot rig vertically to catch more bass. My boat usually will be sitting in 25 to 30 feet of water. I’ll be casting to the top of the ledge, perhaps in 15 to 20 foot of water where the creek channel meets the river channel. Bass may be sitting on top of the ledge, suspended off the ledge or holding at the ledge’s bottom. My depth finder will pinpoint where the bass are.
I’ll also fish a Stone Jig on 25-pound fluorocarbon with a 7-foot-7, heavy action FX Custom rod and a Bruin 7.3:1 reel. I’ll drag the Stone Jig over the shell beds and off the ledges slowly.
More ledge secrets
By finding three to six underwater creek-channel openings to the main river before I start fishing, I can rotate the spots I’ll fish. Then, I won’t have to try to milk all the bass off my hot spots in that area before moving to the next place.
Two other lures I keep tied on my casting deck rods are topwaters: a popper like the Pop-R and a walking bait like a Zara Spook. Even if bass are holding on the bottom or suspended off the bottom, when they spot a school of shad on the surface, they’ll come to the top and start feeding. That’s when I’ll cast one of these two surface lures into those bass schooling on the water’s surface for some fun bass catching.
Don’t get me wrong. You may not catch 25 to 50 bass in a day of June fishing at Pickwick. However, those days aren’t uncommon. Don’t be surprised if it happens to you.
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