Finding a Bass Fishing Spot | Using Fish Behavior, Topo Maps & Experience
By: Dylan Hayward
It’s about that time of the year where any avid outdoorsman is only thinking about one thing; bass fishing. Most people will probably have their favorite spots to catch bass in, I know I do. However, it’s always fun to get out and try to find a new spot that you’ve never fished before. I’m a far cry away from being what some would consider a bass expert. Having said that, I have had great success catching large bass from just knowing where to look for them. There are a lot of factors to consider when finding that ideal bass spot, but there are a few golden rules that I try to look for when I am scouting for a new spot.
If you can familiarize yourself with the behavior of bass, you will confidently be able to pick out spots where they might be hanging out at. One of the most common places to try your luck would be by a dock in a pond. This is especially true if you’re fishing in a pond that doesn’t have much cover. This seems obvious, but it’s a spot that a lot of anglers won’t even mess with. I always like to throw out a half ounce jig in some of the tougher to fish areas that edge a dock. Another great spot to look for would be where there is secluded weed cover. It’s not uncommon for me to catch several bass in even a small amount of secluded cover. Could be from weeds or even a rock pile will attract a group of bass.
I feel like whenever someone mentions topographic maps, they are strictly referring to using them for whitetail scouting. Most people don’t even consider using them to find ideal bass spots, but those people are really missing out on an excellent tool to increase their fishing success. There are tons of apps out there that will show you topographic features of lakes and small bodies of water, that will give you so much insight into how to fish them. You can easily use topo maps to find lake drop offs, riverbeds, creeks, and more. This will take all of the guesswork out of finding bass and put you in the right spot based on the time of the year.
Fish The Spot
This sounds like a contradictory statement based on the previous points that I have touched on, but one of the best ways I have found good fishing spots is to just fish them. Throw out some of your most reliable baits and see how the reaction is. When I am testing some water out for bass I like to throw my most successful baits out. I usually start with some square bill crankbait, find some cover and test out some quarter ounce spinnerbait, and I love checking the action with a ribbontail worm. This can be a great way to find out if a spot is hot or not, and you’ll be having fun fishing while you’re essentially scouting. The mentality to go in with is this, don’t give up and try to look for a new spot after a few casts. Grind it out, switch your bait selections up, and do your due diligence to determine whether or not it's a great spot. Depending on the time of the year, the quality may very much surpass the quantity of your fishing success. Enjoy your time fishing, get creative with your scouting, and you’ll be sure to land some lunkers.