Most savvy anglers know that when the summertime sun begins to heat the water, the majority of the bigger bass tend to move offshore. There they can find cooler water and tend to feel safer from the surface distractions of jet bikes, ski boats and party boaters. Today’s electronics with precise GPS topo maps and crystal-clear imaging can locate areas quickly that have the right ingredients to hold schools of deep water bass. Ledges on the edges of bluff walls, creek channels, humps and old roadbeds can be found relatively easy. Not all ledges hold fish though. Usually it is a combination of current, external structure along the ledge, or oxygen content that controls the availability of baitfish and therefore the predators like bass. There are a few lure choices that seem to be favored on these deep water spots.
Big deep diving crankbaits have proven their value in many tournaments for example. We have several cranks that will dive past the 25ft barrier. But it wasn’t always that way. Paul Elias has been a crankbait specialist for many years and even has a technique named for his kneeling and reeling style of fishing. By kneeling on the bow of the boat and extending a long crankbait rod all the way almost to the reel his crankbait can dive an additional 7-8 feet which can make a major difference.
Big slow rolling spinnerbaits also work well in this situation. Most times these giant spinnerbaits have enormous willow leaf blades or multi-blades for added visibility and vibration.
Big hair jigs hopped along the ledge walls have also been used effectively over the years.
This can be a great time to use a big swimbait on a lead head and fished parallel to the drop offs for a big fish.
In all these situations the idea is to cast on top of the ledge and stairstep your bait down the edges covering as much water as possible.
Next time you are in the heat, have a variety of bait choices that go deep. Remember to swap your choices occasionally before leaving a spot. Bass can change their feeding choices during a days fishing.