Fishing offshore for bass usually requires a boat, mapping, and good electronics in order to get dialed in on bass hangouts far from the bank.
Bass anglers relying on their electronics have found the secret ledges, drops, and humps that produced heavyweight stringers for a handful of offshore experts. Since most of their secret spots have been revealed, savvy open-water specialists try other tricks to stay ahead of the competition.
Boat positioning gives offshore experts one of their biggest advantages over the newcomers. Bank-running anglers can easily position and hold their boats within casting distance of visible shoreline targets, but structure completely surrounded by water presents more of a challenge. The ability to position in open water over or near an invisible target has become the key to success for offshore experts.
Fishing Structure: Hump It Up
Three variables that determine how to position your boat around structure like an offshore hump. They are depth, current, and water clarity. Certain humps will top out at a depth of 20 feet or less in clear water it is best to stay back off the hump then as far as you can. Determining which side of the formation to target depends on current or wind direction.
You should usually position your boat on the down-current side and cast back towards the structure. The wind has little effect on deeper structure but does create some current on humps that rise within 6 to 8 feet of the surface, so point the nose of your boat into the wind to control it easier and cast in the same direction.
Fishing Structure: Channel Breaks And Ledges
After finding the sweet spot on a channel break or ledge with your electronics, position your boat in deep water and cast to the structure’s shallow section. Holding in deeper water allows you to stay farther away from the break and use the depth and distance to muffle any excess noise emitting from the boat that could spook fish. When current exists, position your boat on the down-current side of the structure.
Fishing Structure: Locating Roadbeds
Concentrate on ambush points along the roadbed, such as corners and ditches on each side of the structure. Position your boat at a 45-degree angle on either side of the roadbed–never on top of it though–and cast upwind past the structure.