Getting Over The Hump Of Clear Water Fishing
Fishing clear water lakes can be a daunting task for many anglers. Just the idea of dropshotting 20ft of water or slowly dragging a jig along a deep ledge can be a grueling, not to mention tedious task. Thankfully there are ways to tackle tough clear water bites. There is more than one way to successfully fish a clear lake.
One key to fishing clear water lakes is fishing structure. Clearwater fish relate to an offshore structure like river channels, points, and humps.
What Is A Hump?
A hump is basically underwater hill that consists of either sand of rock and can hold some amazing fishing opportunities for bass anglers. Humps can be incline at a gradual rate or be extremely steep. Each hump is unique and holds a wide range of fishing opportunities for clear water bass.
Positioning Your Boat When Fishing A Hump
Positioning is the most important aspect when fishing main lake humps. Keeping your distance and remaining undetected by the fish is an important skill to have before coming up on the fish. Maintaining a sense of stealth is what makes or breaks a good hump bite. Making sure you’re nearing a hump at a slow speed is necessary. If you’re approaching a deep hump too quickly you risk exposing yourself which can result in a fish to scatter. The closer you approach a hump the shallower the bottom will get. Some humps can go all the way from 20ft to a mere 2ft.
Where To Get Started
To begin position your boat at least 10 to 15 yards away from where the hump begins to incline. Once you’ve reached the beginning of the hump make a few long casts all the way to shallowest area and work your way back to deep water. If the hump’s shallowest point is 4ft and the base of the hump is 20ft fish from the 4ft spot until reaching 19-20ft of the hump. Depending on the conditions and layout hump fish will sit around, on top of or at the edge of a hump making important to cover as much area as possible.
3 Of The Best Bass Baits For Fishing A Hump
Three baits to always have on the front of your boat when fishing humps is a finesse worm, rigged on a dropshot, topwater lures such as a frog or and a deep crankbait.
If you plan to fish humps in colder weather than ditch the surface bait and opt to dragging a 1/4 football head jig along the rocky slopes of a hump.
Topwater baits will come into play when water temperatures and stable and warm on a hump for heavily feeding, aggressive fish that tend to push baitfish into shallower water. Humps serve as natural baitfish traps for bass. Fish looking to feed will push baitfish up, over and on top of humps into shallow water reducing the playing field. It’s easier for a bass to corner a school of shad in 4ft of shallow water opposed to 15ft of open water which give baitfish more room to escape.
The dropshot is the rig to throw when you first approach a hump. Make a long as up onto the hump and slowly work your way down until you reach the base. Not only can you cover water with this technique but its a sure way to locate where the fish are in relation to the hump. Never hesitate to throw the dropshot in the shallows of a hump. Just because you aren’t getting hit on your popper doesn’t mean the bass won’t commit to the subtle action of your dropshot in 4ft or 3ft of water.
If fishing a dropshotting a hump is too tedious for you try covering more water with a deep diving crank bait. Start off by casting a deep crank in shallower water than its rated for and grinding it up against the bottom. Eventually the crank will reach open water and pick off fish sitting slightly off the slope that you normally couldn’t reach with a dropshot or popper.
Timing Is Everything
Timing is another important aspect of hump fishing as well. There are times when humps are as bare as deserts and pose no real purpose for fish.A few seasonal periods that pose for outstanding fishing is when water temperatures begin to rise. Fish in deep water have to travel less when a shallow hump sits adjacent to their cold water holes. Fish will travel up in the shallow parts of hump to access warmer water and potential feeding or spawning grounds.
Early Summer is the best time to fish humps. Bass have the option between staging up in shallow or deep water without having to waste stored energy to travel great distances. Unlike deep drop off or ledges, humps give the fish 360 degree access to shallower water.
Bonus Pro Tips
***Humps with mixed in sand and grass are great for fishing lures like dropshots and jigs. Humps lined with cobble stone and chunk run are ideal for cranks and more fast moving baits. The gravel and rocky humps will heat up much faster during cold months giving a warm spot for fish to hang out.
Updated May 12th, 2020 at 4:18 AM CT