Sometimes it’s tempting to roll into a promising fishing area, fire away with your favorite presentation, and if nothing happens after a few casts, pull up stakes and move on. While that’s a good way to find fish that respond to your go-to tactics, you’ll consistently catch more bass by quickly dissecting cover and structure with a variety of baits and techniques.
For example, when I pull up to a feature-rich area like a slow-tapering weedbed that eventually falls off into deeper water, I go right to the shallows with topwater baits, looking for large, active bass. If the fish are there, they’ll show themselves.
If they’re not hanging out in shallow cover, I slide out into the deeper weeds, pitching jigs. If that doesn’t work, I move to the outer weed edge and look for fish that have either moved out of the shallows or are heading in from deep water. After exploring that option, I use sonar to look for hard bottom such as gravel veins and rocks lying just offshore from the weeds. Once I find hard bottom, I throw deep-running crankbaits, roller jigs and Carolina rigs.
Wherever I find bass during a systematic search, I slow down and focus on the fish-holding area. Following this plan of attack helps me catch the most fish from every area, no matter the conditions or mood of the fish. I’m sure it will help you boat more bass as well.