Offshore Bass Fishing

Back in the 1960s, a famous angling theoretician by the name of Buck Perry along with tournament pioneer Bill Dance proved that the bass fish may not be drawn to the shoreline nearly as much in comparison to the bass fishermen. Their remarkable catches from ditches, offshore ledges and humps, gave the phrase “structure fishing” a new meaning. After reading their adventures, many anglers started to check out offshore bass fishing to see if it is that rewarding as Buck and Bill “advertised”.

For those of you that are interested in the subject of offshore bass fishing, we invite you to continue reading the article. We will start by describing the subject of baitfish movement.

Baitfish Movement

The most important reason why the bass moves to offshore is to follow forage, as you know the bass has a very strong appetite. The fish simply enjoys hanging around cover but they are known to be opportunistic predators that will gravitate where their chances of satisfying their tremendous hunger are bigger and better. Wondering where you can find them? Everywhere, starting from alewives, drifting plankton bottoms, ciscoes to lakes, reservoirs, and herring roam water and in many cases, miles from the actual shore.

Fishing Pressure

Just as you might have thought, if you put dozens of anglers against the shoreline bass, the chances of actually catching something are reduced because the bass will most likely get away from that area where the chances of staying alive are very small.

Habitat Modifications

Over the last 30 years, many reservoirs were constructed through the entire United States of America.  When freshly inundated, these reservoirs were replete with logs and brush in shallow waters thus providing top-notch habitat for bass and as a conclusion, serious chances for great bass fishing. However, wood cover rots away over this time and as it disappears, the bass moved and still move to offshore premises.

Depletion of O2

Especially during the summertime, the oxygen quantity reduces in shallow waters which means that the baitfish along with their predators move towards offshore where  the wind and the water currents usually create higher dissolved oxygen levels.

Forage Base Modifications

Simply put, sometimes there is not enough food to go around. For example, if the shoreline weedbeds are sprayed, it is highly probable that the bluegill and shiner populations will reduce which means that the bass will focus all of their feeding efforts on prey species that are larger in numbers, some of which live offshore.

In the following, we will be offering a list of places where it is highly probable that you will find bass. Although this is not a general rule, the chance of finding bass in the following locations is high:

  1. High spots – submerged islands, saddles or humps; to the bass these are fishing pressure heavens and ideal areas to find baitfish schools.
  2. Points – are the most heavily fished offshore structures for obvious reasons. These points are important holding as well as feeding stations for offshore bass which means that they should be a top priority.
  3. Channel structure – river channels, flooded creek and in reservoirs as they offer plenty of brush and increased amount of oxygen. More than that, they offer great hiding places like stumps and timber. For the bass these are great because channels are known for being important “highways” used by the migrating baitfish.
  4. Reefs – for example Erie, a natural lake which is the home of enormous schools of bass that are suspended over offshore reefs.
  5. Baitfish schools – in many cases, the bass does not relate to offshore structures at all, they rather relate to schools of bait. This is most probable during winter and summer because this is the period when a generous number of bass may suspend near schools of ciscoes, alewives and shad.
  6. Isolated weedbeds – considered by many to be the perfect offshore structure in most natural lakes as well as some selected reservoirs. Very often, the largest bass in a lake will hold in isolated clumps of grass far from the bank. The lunker predators are aware of the fact that these small and scattered beds very often produce better in comparison to large expanses of offshore grass

All things considered, if you have not considered offshore bass fishing before, we advise you to give it a try after reading our tips regarding where they can be found and we are certain that your offshore bass fishing day will be more than rewarding.