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Ledge Fishing Season is Here

Posted by jacob on June 2, 2016

Jacob at Livewell 2016 June.jpg

This week I’ve been a mix between pro bass fisherman and handy man.  I’ve been working hard to get everything in my house updated: from hardwood floors to countertops and cabinets.  It has been a long process, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Once I get everything done, it’ll be ready to sell quickly which was the goal all along.  Although I’ve been hard at work getting my hand man on, I did manage to sneak out to a little weeknight tournament with my girlfriend at Geist Lake.  She was extremely patient as it was a very tough bite. We only managed to boat about seven bass from offshore, but they were the right quality.  This was a great lead into ledge fishing season which is upon most of the country.

Mid May to about June is when a lot of the bass around the country transition to their offshore homes.  The few tournament anglers that can be the first to figure them out as they begin that move can reap some serious rewards.  The question I get most on the matter is why the fish head out deep at this time of year.  There are a couple reasons…

The spawn takes a toll on bass and a lot of the time fish move out deeper to places where they can sit and not have to expend a lot of energy.  It doesn’t take much for a fish to sit deep off of a point and wait for an easy meal to swim into their laps.  The other primary reason for the fish moving deeper is the heat.  As the shallow waters warm, the deep water provides cooler water refuge.  For example, a lake may have a surface temperature of 78 degrees in June, but the temperature in the twenty plus foot range could be a much more comfortable 65 degrees.

I just fished the final Bassmaster Southern Open at Douglas Lake, Tennessee where this transition was in full effect.  At Douglas this time of year there are a good deal of fish shallow and deep.  I enjoy fishing deep, but my biggest strength is fishing shallow.  My strategy going in because of the time of year was to mix it up between the two and try and find some sneaky offshore spots that wouldn’t get as much pressure.  What I looked for in this case was not your traditional obviously sloping points, but a lot of bluff ends and flat spots along channel banks that were not as much of community holes.

Day one of the event I attempted to start on what I thought was my sneakiest offshore spot, but to my surprise, there was another boat sitting on it.  I began running around getting in a rotation on the offshore spots and got on one of my spots where I caught about thirty, but they were all in the 1.5-2 lb range.  I kept trying to get on prime spots and finally was able to.  I worked the spot from different angles and got them to fire up.  I caught a 2.5 and then a 5 lber which kept me in the game with a middle of the pack beginning to the event.

Jacob Frog Douglas.jpg

Day two I decided to mix in a lot more shallow fishing.  I started on my prime sneaky spot but only caught a 14 incher before heading to a shallow area to throw a buzzbait.  I started throwing the buzzbait around near some bank grass and put a 3.5 lber in the boat.  I kept pounding away before heading back in a pocket where I had shook off a biggin' in practice.  I started heading back and saw another competitor fishing along the one bank and started idling in towards the very back.  He didn’t seem to be interested in the back and was focused on the bank, so I got on the good stuff.  I threw my Terminator Frog under a limb and a game changer 5 lber sucked it down.  I continued to put things together junk fishing shallow to jump up far enough to punch my ticket to the Elite Series.

I’ve tried for four years to make the Elites and have been close before.  Believe me, it is not easy.  It feels good to cross one goal off the list this year and now I have a lot to consider.  Ultimately, I’d like to fish both the FLW Tour and Elite Series if it worked out.  This is what I do for a living and the more tournaments the better in my opinion.  FLW has been very good to me and I am who I am because of them.  I’ve got to sit down with my family and sponsors and do a lot of soul searching before I make my decision.

Until then, we’ve still got two Tour events and a number of other events to fish this season.  Next up on the plate is Kentucky Lake and like Douglas, the ledges will be a big factor.  There was a big Triton Boat Owner’s tournament there not too long ago where they primarily caught them shallow, so by the time our event starts, it should be a full blown offshore deal.  I enjoy fishing Kentucky Lake and being in the top ten in points these last two events are very meaningful. -JW