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Go-To Baits for Ledge Fishing – Braxton Setzer
Category : BACK DECK
After the spawning season is over, the bass are getting ready to leave the shallow water on a lot of lakes. As these fish move out, so do our Pro’s who are running the boat. While different boaters may try different strategies, a lot of them are going to head to the ledges, especially on TVA Lakes. Braxton Setzer, an experienced FLW Tour Co-Angler, knows exactly what to pack for this time of the year.
“When the fish start positioning on the ledges and deep structure, it really opens things up for us Co-Anglers,” said Setzer. “You have a lot more water to fish, and this ups your odds at catching limits of bass.” While a lot of FLW tournaments are scheduled on ledge lakes at this time of the year, Setzer tells us that other lakes may be more grass-oriented or focused on the shad spawn. In these situations, he brings more shallow-water and weedless style baits. “If my Pro heads shallow rather than deep, I am going to let the cover and structure dictate what I am throwing,” said Setzer. “Generally, I like to throw a lot of jigs and finesse presentations this time of year. If there is a shad spawn, I will also throw a swim jig or a small crankbait.” Setzer also noted that he always likes to throw something different than his Pro, and it is never a bad idea to throw finesse baits.
When Setzer hears that his Pro is going to focus his efforts offshore, however, he has several different baits ready to go in his box. Lures that are good to have include football jigs, spoons, Carolina Rigs, deep-diving crankbaits, drop shots, shaky heads, and many other heavy bottom-bouncing baits. “Personally, I really like to fish a football jig, a big shaky head, and a small shaky head or drop shot.” noted Setzer.
When it comes to the jig, Setzer lets the fish tell him what action they want on any given day. He will alternate between stroking it, dragging it, or small-hopping it until he gets bit. As far as a jig choice, he prefers to use Fat Daddy Jigs, made by his friend Timothy Hatcher. “Because you are offshore, you don’t need to make accurate casts, but you need to make long casts, so I always use a long rod, generally a 7’7 Heavy Phenix Ultra MBX,” said Setzer. Aside from that, Setzer uses high speed reels spooled up with 10-15 lb fluorocarbon, and uses anywhere from 1/2 to a 1 oz jig.
Next, when it comes to the finesse gear, Setzer likes to throw big shaky heads on casting rods and smaller shaky heads on spinning gear. He also likes a drop shot, which he throws on the Phenix Maxim Spinning Rods – either the 7’2M or the 6’10ML. For both of the spinning rods, he likes 10 lb braided line with a 6-8 lb fluorocarbon leader. Finesse worms in the 4 to 6 inch range are generally the way to go with these presentations. Many anglers prefer Roboworms, Zoom Trick Worms, and many other various thin, straight-tail worms. Setzer uses the Mister Twister Poc’it Shake’R, which is 6.5″ long and features a slim, quivering tail.
When it comes to ledge fishing, you are generally fishing for large schools of fish. “It is key to stay positive, stay confident, and maximize your fishing time,” Setzer noted. “You know the fish are there, you just need to throw a confidence bait and stick with it.”
If you find yourself offshore fishing ledges in the back of a Pro’s boat this summer, remember these techniques and Setzer’s advice and you will be sure to put fish in the boat.
Circuits fished: FLW Tour, Local tournaments
Years co: 3
Favorite technique: Fishing deep or flipping/punching grass
Hobbies aside from fishing: Hunting