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"How Low Will You Go?"
Curt Strutz / "The Bassmeister"

It is a common fact that bass spend the majority of their post-spawn summer months in deep waters. Why, you ask? Simple. There are a whole variety of reasons that this is done by the fish - with the two main reasons being a better and more secure environment, as well as the fact that the water in the deeper layers of the lake will stay a bit cooler in those hot summer months. Being fully aware of this, as well as not being afraid to experiment in some deeper water will greatly benefit you in your quest for bass throughout the year.

The primary element needed to locate some deep water bass is to do your best to locate different types of underwater structure. This can either be done by using your electronic depth finder, or (if the water is clear enough) by using a good pair of polarized sunglasses to see for yourself "what lies beneath."

Typical structure that you will need to look for will typically be in 6 foot or deeper water. You want to keep your eyes open for brushpiles or sunken logs and/or stumps. If the floor of your body of water is a bit bare - seek out old roadbeds, current channels, or deserted ditches dug out from old creeks. The main goal is to locate something completely different than what the surrounding environment provides to the fish. This will not only provide shelter for the bass, but can also be an attractant for certain types of food that the fish eats on a regular basis.

One important thing to remember when fishing deep structure is the fact that you can't always be sure where the fish will be positioned in the structure itself. Many well noted anglers will instruct their pupils to reel their lure through the structure right along with the current (if any exists). Truthfully, this will (in most cases) generate the strike(s) from the fish - but one can’t rely on retrieving with the current in every situation. In many situations, you want to circle your boat around the piece of structure and hit it from all different angles. Doing this will not only ensure that you present the bait right to the fish regardless of where it is positioned - but it can be a very important tool in learning how to establish that particular day's pattern for bass.

With deep structure fishing, many anglers believe in throwing deep diving crankbaits. I do agree with them in saying that they are great for the job, but I personally prefer two different lures for my needs. The thing that I find somewhat difficult with deep crankbaiting is the fact that it takes a lot of time, energy, and space to crawl a crankbait down to deep waters below. I prefer using either a heavy spinnerbait or a Zip Lure.

Spinnerbaits, the ever-so-famous go-to lure, can be of the best benefit here. If you tie on a heavier model (I use a Lucky Strike Baitworks heavy spinnerbaits), it will reach low depths with ease. The spinnerbaits are also nice for the simple fact that they are less likely to get hung up on underwater structure items, as they are typically more weedless that the other types of deep water fishing lures.

Zip Lures are more commonly known as "blade baits," and come in a variety of different color patterns. The Zip Lures (manufactured by Bitzer Creek in Wisconsin) are a thin piece of metal, either silver or gold, cut in the shape of a fish's profile. Bitzer Creek then adheres a durable decal to both sides of the lure, giving all different types of color patterns and shades. There is a heavy weight sinker molded right into the lure's nose that helps to pull the lure down into the deep water very fast, as well as helps
to create a unique vibration while under water.

One other important tip is to try to use as light of a line as you can. The reason for this is that the lighter line will assist you in getting extra depth because of the slender design and lack of resistance. Typically, I find myself using lighter line (8-10 pound test) and spinning tackle under such situations. Besides, there is nothing more thrilling than pulling a deep lunker out of the depths of your favorite lake - requiring every bit of skill you have to prevent the line from breaking. It is a thrill and challenge like no other.

As the end of summer approaches, and fall starts its way into this half of the hemisphere - do not get discouraged when the fish are heading deep. Just be prepared, rehearsed, and ready to head down as low as you can go!

Curt Strutz
The "Bassmeister"

For further information on the above mentioned lures, check out the following web sites: www.bitzercreek.com< & www.luckystrikebaitworks.com<.