It’s just dam fishing – how to catch every bass off a dam.
Whether it’s a small earthen berm backing up your local pond, or a hundred feet of concrete holding back a massive reservoir, dams are great places to catch bass. They hold some of the deepest water in any impoundment, provide ample cover in the form of rocks, and host tremendous populations of baitfish and crayfish.
So – if you’re fishing a new reservoir, or just plain struggling at your usual haunts, don’t be afraid to spend some time fishing the dam.
Here’s a 1-2-3 guide on how to thoroughly fish the dam area of any impoundment, from small to large.
Dam Fishing Step 1: Throw topwater along the whole length
If you’re on the water early, start out by throwing a topwater walking bait or popper along the bank of the entire dam face. Look for surface activity, and focus on any irregularities like rock slides, washed up wood, or high spots. Under low light conditions, bass cruise the dam face looking for baitfish – and a topwater is a great way to get bit.
Dam Fishing Step 2 – “Grind” a crankbait through the rocks
If the topwater bite fizzles, or the sun climbs into the sky, pick up a mid-depth crankbait (5-9 foot diver) and reverse course. Parallel the bank going the other direction, and make sure you’re making contact with the rocks each cast. The goal is to generate a reaction strike from any bass hanging out in the shallow rocks.
Dam Fishing Step 3 – Work the bottom transition
Once you’re done cranking the face, you want to back out and work a bottom bait like a jig, shakey head, or worm along the transition where the dam hits the lake bottom. During the hottest part of the day, or in really clear water, bass hang out along this transition and can be caught by anglers using a slow methodical retrieve. Concentrate on “feeling” every rock and boulder with your bait – and get ready, as some of the biggest fish along a dam can be caught this way.
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