Perhaps one the most difficult types of Bassin’s structure to fish is the sheer rock bluff, particularly one which extends exceptionally deep. The normally helpful depth finder seems to be of virtually no use. There appear to be no discernible features to help us pinpoint where the bass might be located. And, to top it all, few of us are comfortable Bassin’ unless we are feeling the bottom or some obstruction with our lures.
Accordingly, these highly productive areas are often bypassed in favor of more easily fished locations. Understanding how to approach the bluff structures and present lures upon them can add a most lucrative dimension to your Bassin’s success.
Fishing a bluff bank in Pickwick is no different from fishing bluffs in other waters. Probably the only real factor, outside of the time of year that dictates the actual approach is water clarity. If your body of water is clear, the bass will normally be deeper than if it were stained or off-color. The seasonal considerations do not seem to affect the depth of bass holding on bluffs, but they do have a governing effect on the lures used.
For example in a reasonably clear lake, such as Pickwick, bluff bass are normally found 12-20 feet deep. This is the same condition I have found on similar lakes, such as Sidney Lanier in Georgia and Lake Powell out West. The exception seems to be that in the early spring, just before the spawn, they seem to move shallower. I expect this is to bask in the sunlight, raise the body temperature and hasten the ripening of their eggs.
My lure choices are deep crank plugs and spinnerbaits, except during the colder months. Then, the choices would be spoons and tail-spinner baits jigged vertically. I like best game Pubg pc game, to work a Little George in the dead of winter. Done slowly and with some finesse, the George closely resembles a shad dying from the cold. Bass love to feed on these easy meals as they flutter towards the bottom.
The grub is a great lure for suspended bass. No matter what time of year, it will produce. I like to jig it straight up and down against the bluff, bumping it into the side whenever possible. Another good choice is Charlie Brewer’s ‘Slider’. Simply cast it to parallel along the bluff face, let in the sink to the desired depth and just retrieve it slow and steady. If the bass is there, they’ll take it. Once you have established their depth, taking bluff bass with that lure it a piece of cake.
While even the sheerest of bluffs may appear to have smooth faces, a close inspection will normally show that there are some projections, however slight. Additionally, the submerged portion of the bluff, being constantly subjected to currents and water flow, will invariably have holes cut into its surface. These holes we must faithfully assume are there since we can’t detect them. However, the projections can be discerned. The larger one can be seen with a closely observed depth finder, while the smaller is found using grub lure.
I like to cast the grub parallel to, and right up against, the face of the bluff. By allowing it to drop on a tight line, I can feel anything it bumps. What I want to find is a small ledge down there. These are where the larger bass, exerting their size dominance, will stake a claim and hold. Bass always prefers to have their bellies down against something, and any ledge on the bluff structure is ideal.
A special technique is often found very productive when using crank plugs along with bluff faces. This involves bending the eye-screw in the lip of the lure a fraction to make it run slightly to one side. This causes the lure to run up against the surface of the bluff face, creating both an attractive noise and an injury-suggesting action game Pubg pc. We know that crank plugs, in normal use, are most effective when just clipping the bottom or structure feature, and this little trick compensates for that when working a deep bluff.
If the water is exceptionally dingy or stained, buzz bait or spinnerbait pulled just under the surface, can be deadly on bluff bass. This same tactic holds if the early spring bass is found to be up shallow, even in clear water.
You can also be highly productive during the colder months when worked slowly with a stop-and-go, yo-yo retrieve. The lure is pulled with the rod until the rod is in a near-vertical position. Then, the rod is slowly lowered back down, while at the same time taking in the slackline. 99.9% of the strikes will come when the lure is dropping. They will normally be discernable only as a very light ‘bump’ and possibly the line will simply go slack. It is a productive winter technique, but you have to be very alert.
With sheer faces, are the worst-case situations when fishing these types of structures? Many bluffs will have what is referred to as “slides” on them. These are areas where sections of the face have broken free and formed rock piles on the bottom. These can be easily identified with a depth finder and, if they are not deep, can be excellent places to find large schools of bass. A plastic worm, grub or a jigging spoon can be excellent for taking this bass. Those bluffs that are found to have a series of ledges, similar to stair-steps, on them are the easiest of all to fish, with the depth of the bass being the main factor to determine. On stair-step bluffs, a jig and pig worked slowly down each succeeding ledge, can fill a Livewell in short order.
The potential productivity of any bluff is often determined by the way it is affected by water currents and wind. If current flow moves continually across the face of the bluff, it will normally be a habitual feeding area. However, if that flow is strong, it will probably be used only by smallmouth and Kentucky spotted bass. Winds also create water currents and blow plankton and other small elements of the food chain up against a bluff. This, in turn, causes the baitfish, followed by the predator bass, to move in. Although bluffs can often be difficult to fish on windy days, this is when they are normally the most productive.
Learning to fish bluffs effectively takes time and practice. But, they are the least fished of all structure features. Suffice to say, the overall lack of Bassin’s pressure on them is to our benefit and can greatly improve our success rate.