3 min to read
Deep Presentations From The Back
Category : BACK DECK
Fishing deep from the back can be a challenge for Co-Anglers depending on how they look at and approach the situation. We are not just along for the ride hoping to get a bite; we are there to compete as well. That is why it is just as important for us in the back of the boat to be aware of our surroundings, weather, and electronics as it is for our boaters. Weather has played a huge role in our fishing this year, most notably the Bassmaster Northern Open on Douglas Lake in Dandridge, TN. Fish were caught up against the bank, in 40+ feet of water, and everywhere in between. I could tell a few days into practice that the deep bite was not as good as it normally is that time of year, not to mention more than half of the field made the run towards the dam targeting the same long rocky points and drops. Throughout that tournament, I chose a few different deep presentations that are always a good choice if you are on the back deck.
We always hear “give the fish a different look” when the bite slows down. I opted to change up my presentations on day one. Fishing as deep as 38 ft at times, I rotated a ¾ and 1oz Strike King tour grade football jig with a straight tail worm, an Ocho instead of the traditional craw imitating trailer. This rig was critical for me in catching my biggest fish each day out of the back while my boater was cranking and throwing swimbaits. It was critical to watch the graph for rock and brush on either side of the boat and make long casts. Your equipment is a very critical element when fishing the depths of 30ft and deeper. I deployed 15lb Seaguar Abrazx, Abu Garcia MGX 7.9:1, and a 7’2 MH Denali Kovert, or a 7’4 MH Rosewood rod. Once the jig would hit the bottom I would reel the jig along the clay bottoms until I would hit brush, or locate a rock pile, then I would dead stick it, and only would hop it a foot at a time. When I couldn’t feel the structure any more, instead of dragging the bait all the way to the boat, I would burn it back to the boat and fire another cast. That is where the fast gear ratio MGX comes in, for taking up slack and getting the bait back to the boat equating to more casts per day.
When the sun gets high, boat traffic starts to take a toll, and the bite slows down, I like to break out a big shaky head. We are not talking about small finesse worms, I like bigger bodied straight tail worms with no action. For this technique, I will utilize the same equipment as with the football jigs. For a head size I will start with a 5/8 oz and go up from there letting the conditions dictate my weight selection. I usually don’t go heavier than a ¾. Just to change things up, I will from time to time throw creature baits on the big shaky heads, like a Rage Hawg or a Smoking Rooster. Use this rig in the same areas you would throw the football jig, and if your boater is throwing a football jig, don’t be scared to clean up with a big finesse shaky head.
Once you have your limit, whether that is 3 fish or 5 fish, it’s time to start upgrading. That’s all fine and good, but you can also catch a limit on swimbaits, especially when the bass start to suspend. Let’s be clear, we are not talking about swimbaits that look like they belong in the women’s shoe dept, we are talking about small swimbaits in the 3.5” to 4” category. For these, I prefer the Strike King Shadalicious or the swimming Caffeine Shad on a light exposed jighead, 1/8 or 3/16 oz. I will fish this on 6 or 8 lb. test Seaguar Invizx with a Revo sx spinning reel, and a 7’2 Denali Kovert spinning rod for long casts. I will count it down to the depth where I saw them suspending on the graph then begin my retrieve. Experiment with your retrieve and let the fish tell you what they want. Typically I will start off with a slow steady retrieve and go from there. Remember, pay attention to your surroundings and conditions.
Circuits Fished: Bassmaster Opens, FLW BFL, ABA Weekend Series, CBC (Carolina Bass Challenge)
Years Co: 5
Favorite Technique: Flipping
Hobbies aside from Fishing: Creating new landscapes