The Deep Secret For Schoolers
For those of you fishing post-spawn conditions right now, here's a little tip that might help you score a bigger bag.
Early mornings are a great time to find "schooling" bass. Many times the smaller bass are the ones chasing baitfish out of the water. Your first instinct is usually to throw a topwater plug or shallow-running crankbait to catch those you can physically see. This is where an experienced angler will change up and fish for the bigger ones hanging down under the schools.
Big bass get to be big for a reason. They won't feed nearly as often as a younger, less-experienced bass. Now's the time to go big and deep. The bigger bass in a school will actually hang out under the main school, waiting to feed on injured shad or other wounded baitfish that don't take as much effort to run down.
Large, deep-diving crankbaits with a wide wobble will resemble this type of forage. Even when fishing shallow ledges in the 6- to 10-foot range, deep-diving crankbaits are very effective. Though you may want to change up your equipment to suit the current condition, it's just a matter of changing the line size instead. Heavier line will force the crankbait to run shallower.
So remember, next time you're out and the bass come up schooling, break out the deep-water crankbait and dredge up some bigger bass. And don't forget to ALWAYS wear your life jacket while boating.
Cliff "JR" Mundinger was a yankee before he moved to the deep south 15 years ago. He calls Tallahassee, Fla. home and is currently the TV host of New South Outdoors. He also provides content for newpapers, magazines and various Internet outlets. He competes in bass tournaments and still guides for bass. You can catch up with him at FishTallahassee.com.