Almost every creature does it. Our world is full of examples. Gamblers, tournament competitors and athletes all try to get it, it’s using the edge. To consistently catch bass in every kind of water, in each season and under all conditions, understanding the fish and how it relates to its environment is important. Most anglers, in any watercraft understand this but some ignore some less obvious possibilities to getting the edge on bass.
SHORELINES= everyone who casts for bass sees the shoreline as a distinct edge. Giving definition to the body of water you are fishing, shorelines are the comfort zone of bass fishermen. Generally you can count on catching bass along any shoreline. Frequently food sources are found along the shoreline, with ample food brings several bass into the shoreline area. Fish will move in and out to follow and find food and shorelines almost always offer some sort of bass snack. Objects along the shoreline are a huge plus and make great targets for your bass lures. Best Bait – spinnerbaits imitating minnows and baitfish. A willow leaf / Colorado combination is a consistent producer.
CREEK CHANNELS – very few people think about underwater contours as edges. They are important in the life of bass of all species. Creek channels primarily serve as highways for fish. During seasonal migrations bass travel the creek channels. Post spawn fish move off shore and in many instances on specific bodies of water this means dwelling in channels to rest and feed up after the exhausting spawn. In river system lakes the creek channels offer relief from heavy current that is more intense as you get closer to the surface. Best Bait – Wide wobbling crankbaits, shad patterns and crawfish colors are great.
MANMADE DAMS – dams again are obvious edges that are ignored by many bass casters. Large or small bodies of water in the form of lakes or ponds have dams that create edges that bass will often visit. Because many have a factor known as rip-rap (rock distributed to minimize erosion) dams can draw crawfish (highly prized bass food) using the rock as a hideout and will pull bait fish in cooler temperatures because the rock radiates and retains heat from the sun. Any change around dams in the edges, small points, indentations and drop-offs also can be enough to hold fish. Best Bait – Jigs and soft plastic craws are very effective for bass on the rocks.
THE SURFACE – Surprise! Most anglers never view the surface as an edge but it is one of the most important. When bass push schools of bait fish to the top they have nowhere else to go. As the bait jumps, if the theory of gravity is still in full swing, what goes up must come down and the bass are waiting in major predator mode. Schools of bass in many instances will work together to huge pods of bait to the surface to start a gorging, feeding binge. When bass are busting the top action can be fast and furious. Best Bait – cup faced topwater poppers shine in this scenario- bone colors or chrome are hits with the bass and the bass angler.
Why do bass use edges?
Using the herding natural mentality, bass and other game fish will “pin” their quarry against any edge. With no alternative the potential food source tries frantically to escape which only brings out true “cat and mouse” predatory relationship to the scenario. Largemouth bass are notorious for using edges to chase and trap single large meals or swallow as many shad, minnows or fry of other species. Corralling food sources in any edge type environment is a normal and frequent activity of all bass. Armed with this knowledge you can reduce your search time and recognize the best potential hot spots for your kayak angling adventure. Now you have the edge