If you're like most bass anglers, you probably consider yourself pretty adept at fishing
down to 10 feet or so, maybe a little deeper if you throw a lot of big crankbaits or live near
a highland reservoir. Deeper than that, though, and most of us struggle. Sure, we can
wind a crankbait or drag a Carolina rig, but confidence in the depths eludes most of us.
Here are a few important factors in deep water fishing:
1. Quality Electronics
With today's sonar and GPS units, we have better access to deep water information than
ever before, With a basic understanding of your depthfinder and GPS and a little time
spent looking at maps and some of the terrific tools that are available online, you can put
yourself on deep water fish faster than ever."
The thing that creates the biggest problem for most bass anglers trying to fish deep
water is that they can't see what they're fishing. In the shallows, they can watch their
spinnerbait bump the stump, but in the depths they're lost.
3. Current Counts
Just because you don't see the riffles and pools like you would in a shallow, fast moving
stream doesn't mean that your favorite lake or reservoir doesn't have current. It almost
certainly does, especially if it's a reservoir with a hydroelectric dam.
Current does several things that stimulate fish activity. For one, it oxygenates the water.
For another, it moves forage. Bass benefit from both, and any bass angler worth his salt
knows that current stimulates feeding among bass both shallow and deep.
Look for areas that benefit most from any available current. Main lake points and humps
are obvious choices because they'll likely be in strong current areas and they offer drops
and ambush points that the bass will hold behind as they wait for baitfish and other
forage to pass. Be there when the current starts and bring your lures by in a natural
manner — with the current.
4. Get in Position
Boat positioning is a critical element in shallow water fishing, but too many struggling
deep water anglers forget all about it when probing the depths. Never lose sight of the
importance of boat positioning — and the angle of your presentation — just because
your target is too deep to see."
There's a lot of hit or miss with deep water fishing, but when you get on a really strong
offshore pattern, you can catch them in numbers and with size like you may never see in
the shallows. You've just got to stay after it."