When that water temp starts to dip into the high 40's, it's time to be on the water and chasing tank browns! Once you find them they don't usually move far, but in typical smallie fashion they can pull a fast one on you at any time. I love to check out lots of structure at different depths and once you stick a couple of fish you can usually pattern them the rest of the day. Using the Humminbird 360 lets you figure out pretty quickly if the structure you are fishing is active or void of fish.
Logan and I ran around to check some deep spots. All 3 spots had fish on them. The best spot had a bunch of coontail growing out into 10-12', then turning to rocks. We used Swagger tungsten dropshot weights in 1/2oz and 3/8oz weights. Most of the fish bit after shaking the bait fast in place, then killing it and letting the roboworm fall to the bottom. One other technique that worked today was slowly dragging the dropshot back to the boat, almost swimming it. Late July is such a fun time of year to fish offshore. When you hook a bass they come rocketing to the top so they can try and throw your lure. Logan has been doing a great job of keeping his rod low as they come up to try and prevent them from jumping.
On the 3rd cast of this trip he cast out after looking at the 360 for the rocks. Right as it hit the bottom I heard his drag and he said "fish on". The tank largie came flying to the top and launched 2' out of the water and came crashing back down. I had the net ready and Logan fought the fish perfectly to the boat. I scooped it up and when it hit the deck he came flying on top of me hugging and screaming. We got it on the scale and it hit 5lbs 12oz. I've fished this lake since 1991 and that ties my big fish out there. Pretty cool fish for my 9 year old!
We hadn't been on this lake for a few years. The first thing we did was run to an offshore rock bar to give it a quick scan. It's about 1/4 mile long and we marked 3 key spots on it. There weren't any weeds but certain areas had a gravel, large rock mix to it. The shallowest part had 12' of water and the deepest structure we marked was 18'. All 3 waypoints we laid down gave us some healthy largemouth. We picked them off using the 360 and making precise casts with our drop shots to the target. A leader between 12-18" seemed to work pretty good on this day. One thing that really stood out was how the fish wanted the presentation. Some days a fast little shake of the bait sets them off. Today it was holding it still and then slack lining the drop shot so the bait would flutter to the bottom. If you are fishing cover that has fish on it, make sure to mix up your retrieves, it's amazing how much difference it can make some days.
It seems like every trip out lately has the offshore fish biting good. 75% of our rock/gravel/weed spots have biting fish. We literally move if we don't have a bite after a few casts because when you get on the active spots it yields fish on almost every other cast. Logan has been learning how to use the drop shot and really putting a beat down on the fish. On this short evening trip he had me down 6-1. I watched him a little closer and quickly noticed he was letting his bait hit the bottom then slowly reeling it back to the boat. I usually shake mine, move it a little, let it fall,etc. The fish wanted it swimming horizontal real slow and he took advantage of it. At the end he wanted to do some scanning and drive the verado so he jumped in the seat and I sat next to him as took us around a few spots.
We found a really tough bite but after hitting a half dozen spots we found a school that was active. We were both throwing a drop shot rig with a small roboworm on it. The best area was a large patch of gravel with a bunch of softball size rocks scattered around. It was like a dinner table.
My little man crushed a huge bag of bass this morning!!!! His best 5 went 20.98lbs, all on a drop shot. The fish were going nuts when we got there at 7am and continued until we left at noon. Was a great time fishing offshore rocks/gravel and picking off a bunch of fish. Every spot that had gills attacking our drop shots also had big bass on them!
Smallies are in a funk right now. I used the Humminbird Solix Mega Imaging to scan offshore areas of gravel and large rock. After marking a few waypoints I pulled up to them with the 360 and once in place hit the spot lock on the Minn Kota Ultrex. This trolling motor is as good as it gets. It kept me pegged and allowed me to focus on lining up my casts to individual rocks without worrying about the boat moving. Nailed a 5.24 humped back beauty.
Great day on the water picking off fish with a dropshot. Was too windy to sight fish so used the 360 and pinpoint casts to find the beds. Using a tungsten weight was the key to feeling when your rig came into the little clean rocks on the bottom of the newly created bed.
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