Time to change-Thoughts on summer time ledge fishing Time to change-Thoughts on summer time ledge fishing
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    Time to change-Thoughts on summer time ledge fishing
from fatzso #19093  
7/19/2012 9:37:51 AM


 I know I can look this up but would like to see from people on here their thoughts or what they do. I do not have the high end ds/ss unit as I do not fish tournaments but I do fish 4 or 5 times a week. I'm trying to start branching out to more things and challenges.
Thanks, Fatzso

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   Equipment from Wayne P.  7/19/2012 12:52:29 PM
I don't tournament fish either, BUT I have the Side Imaging equipment so my recreational fishing can be more productive. My goal is to catch fish and I have to find them to catch them. That equipment saves time and resources to get to that point.

   Side Imaging from Cougarcat  7/19/2012 2:57:23 PM
What do you look for on the ledge to identify fish with side imaging?

   Si from Wayne P.  7/19/2012 4:33:51 PM
FISH and baitfish
Once you see them and they are deep enough that you won't scare them with the boat, recheck by passing over them with 2D and DI

To check quickly along a ledge, use the Green/Red pallet to find shell beds/hard bottom areas and then scan with a color pallet that looks good to you that shows fish. That color may be different for different persons and the time of day.

   206 views and no thoughts from fatzso #19093  7/20/2012 9:55:52 AM
I thought for sure some of you season veterans could help out. At any rate it changed the posts to something different. Thanks for the help.

   sorry but there are no ledges here (except saltwater) from MikeF  7/20/2012 12:39:48 PM
I have not done that type of fishing. I can say that the first step for catching any fish is to find where they are but you already knew that.

   Thanks Mike from fatzso #19093  7/20/2012 1:01:18 PM
I know where you are from but was hoping some others would gives some thoughts. I know how to bass fish and catch plenty but not much in summer months. If something new doesn't come along on the tactics page it sits idle. I have a Lowrance Pro mark 5X finder so was looking for like minded people who had some thoughts.

Long time ago we didn't have the DI/SS units so we hunted and pecked to find them. Oh well I'll just continue with the norm.

   you would think someone would from MikeF  7/20/2012 2:00:55 PM
It's odd the threads that don't get a response when you know there are people on here with that knowledge

   its really pretty simple from landm #19856  7/20/2012 3:50:06 PM
Sort of!! First, to be able to locate fish on ledges then SI unit is almost a must. Here on Gville you could fish ledges for weeks and not get a bite, you must be able to find the sweet spots. If you dont have one, i would suggest idling around till you see alot of bait. Getting them to bite is another challenge but i can assure you if you dont find bait you will not find bass. When you get good at reading your gps unit you can figure out how to tell if they are bass or not and even if they are heavily feeding or not. This obviously makes cathcing them a little easier. As far as baits go, fish are fish, and one day a jig will wear em out and the next day they wont look at it. I usually keep a big 3/4 or ounce fball head, big worm, spoon, deep crankbait, and swimbait on deck and ready. usually one of those will get it done. Ledge fishing is like anything else in this world though, sometimes is so easy you think you could go pro and some days(most for me!!) it makes you wanna quit fishing! I have ssome spots where i have caught alot of fish and they tend to hold fish every year and i have other spots that i have done well on before and gone back hundreds of times and never seen a fish there again. Ledge fishing is kinda like a puzzle that ou can never fully solve! It makes it fun but frustrating so you just have to keep trying. Hope this helps!

   Summer doldrums!!! from BassBrain  7/23/2012 8:38:09 PM
Can't add anything to the excellent advice already provided!!! Even the guides are posting pic's of 3#'s!!!

   Definately! from landm #19856  7/24/2012 9:59:33 AM
It definately is that time here! I havent caught a fish deep in about a month AND I try every time I go. I have found fish and bait on several locations and even gone to the dreaded drop shot and cant get a bite!

   Fatzo. from TroyJ/Angling Alabama   7/30/2012 4:10:34 AM
I've guided for over 30 years, and over half of that full time. I've always loved ledge fishing. My dad was one of the best, and in his day all we had were flashers. I still know some guys whom I swear can read a flasher better than most people read SI. I fished a lot of deep stuff with guys like Billy Ledbetter on Guntersville, and that was long before SI. You do not have to have super high-dollar gear to have great success fishing out. A lot of older LCDs work fine.

I just finished the production of a television show (Timmy Horton Outdoors) where we filmed him ledge fishing Pickwick. He exclusively used the LCD and not SI and put together one of the most informative shows I've yet seen on locating ledge fish. Airing is slated for 2013 but I'll pass on a little. (Grin).

As I have taught for years in seminars, the map is your 1st resource. Study it. There are three key features I like. 1. the heads or upriver ends of humps or submerged islands. 2. Outside bends where the old river channel creates a steeper slope on the ledge. And 3. Any place a creek channel intersects with the main ledge. When you study your map, try to find these three key features and really try to find some of the various features in the same area of the lake so you can look at and fish several patterns without having to run long distances between them.

Ask or check reports to get a general idea of what target depth to start looking. Such as, ledges or humps that top out at 12 feet, or 17 feet. A key note here is time of day. Baitfish often are shallower during low light periods, so if it's cloudy or early or late in the day, you may find feeding bass on shallower ledges. Under high sun baitfish will often go deeper, especially in clear water and we often find the bass a lot deeper. (25+feet).

See if you can see the blips or bait or fish on your sonar and pattern those depths. Sonar don't lie, if you see nothing, there probably is nothing down there.

You may see schools of carp, gar, catfish, whatever. You'll be able to learn which is which usually by simply finding the depth the bass are in.

Typically I do reduce the sensitivity a little on LCD sonar to reduce "clutter", but even the cheap units of old will show fish well if they are set up correctly.

Schooling fish that are feeding especially in current are usually grouped up near or on the bottom. So, try to focus on groups of fish that you see grouped up on the bottom. Scattered, suspended fish that show up off of the edge of a hump or slope are typically not as easy to catch. If you see hooks or bigger blips under wads of baitfish then you are on to something though. Sometimes you can see the lines as they swim up into the schools or wads of bait. We see that a lot on the Coosa with the spots.

Cover water and don't waste time. If you see what looks to be a school of fish on a location that looks good, it won't take long to find out if they are really feeding bass. If I feel I'm set up right and getting the bait into the target zone, they get 8 to 10 throws max before I'm outta there.

The deep cranks of course are great search baits if the bass are within reach of the bait being able to contact the bottom. Otherwise a 1/2oz jig is usually my deal. But, I also love a rip-bait. (3/4oz horse head jig with a spinner blade underneath and a big Money Minnow for a trailer). I love to rip it off the bottom and let it fall. A big spoon has been wearing them out for us on Pickwick this summer, and of course a 10" worm with a 3/8oz bullet weight.

Perhaps the best piece of advice, when you find some fish that are feeding and you are catching them. Drive over them to see what they look like on your particular unit. Then you will know for sure what you are looking at.

It doesn't matter where you are at in the country, learning to use the sonar you have will be an advantage. It's mostly about paying attention and study of all assets. (Map, sonar, current local conditions and info etc). An expert with a flasher will beat a dunce with an SI. And don't get me wrong, I love the new units, but a lot of guys are still sticking with LCD, and I'm here to tell you that a lot of new SI guys are being beat out there by guys who have a lot less.

Good luck and some other good advice above. If you need more info email me at troysoutdoors@gmail.com

   troy, i agree but cmon! from landm #19856  7/30/2012 5:46:42 PM
"an expert with a flasher will beat a dunce with SI"?? you are very correct, BUT and xpert with SI will blow the doors off of a expert with a flasher! i understand your point about the old timers and i know several very well myself, and i dont have to tell you that they hATE the new SI units, or "them dam machines" as i have heard them called. wonder why they dislike them so much? They are levelling the playing field of local knowledge very quickly. I truly respect the guys that used to win all the tournies when the fish went deep but it aint the same 4 or 5 winning them all anymore and it will never be that way again because of the new SI. I have heard many of the old guys cusiing the new units AND the alabama rig because they are unable to dominate the deep stuff like they did a few years ago. I dont know if its good or bad for fishing but their aren't many "secret" spots anymore and tournies are now much more competetive than in years past.

   Lol landm. from TroyJ/Angling Alabama   7/30/2012 7:11:18 PM
You may be right about an expert with SI blowing the field away. I first used SI to look for bodies. (Murder victims thrown in the lake). I thought man, this has to be the deal for fishing. But, a number of pro's I've ridden with use the SI units only for mapping, and still go back to their regular sonar for detail. A lot of them have a Humminbird on a RAM and a Lowrance in the dash that they won't part with. Idk, personally I like the Humminbird regular sonar better and I definitely the Humminbird mapping.

From using all these units in different boats, my take is that the much advanced mapping has done a lot more to level the field than the advances in SI sonar. Things like shading, and just being able to see at a glance every hump, ledge and feature near you is incredible. You just drive right to it. And of course being able to transfer the waypoint information to anyone easily has really had some impact. It sure has changed I agree.

But as for just going out and catching them, even if I have every toy in the box, an old timer with a lot of knowledge and a good flasher will still make me nervous. ! (Grin).



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