|In this issue:
ONTARIO BOATS FOR
Robin's Prop & Boat Repairs
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"Work The Flats for Wandering Largemouth"
By Justin Hoffman
Flat fishing for largemouth bass can produce predictable and
exciting action for anglers searching for fruitful days on the
water. Not only do flats hold tremendous numbers of fish, they also
hold a large number of trophies, hidden from prying eyes throughout
this great expanse of "nothingness." Learning when to hit the flats,
and what to use, will be your greatest strength when it comes to
limiting out on the water with this tried and true technique.
Identify Those Flats
Flats are quite easy to identify and occur in virtually every
lake in North America. Basically, a flat is a large expansive area
that is uniform in depth and makeup. The one other common ingredient
is that they are generally shallow, between three and eight-feet
deep. On some of the lakes I fish, the flats can reach up to a
half-mile long and wide, contain water that is five-feet deep, and
similar weed varieties are present. This is flat fishing at its
Bass like to roam flats for one main reason - food. They can travel
easily throughout these "feeding shelves," gorging on any baitfish
or crustaceans they happen to come across. Flats also provide safety
and concealment, both for ambushing prey and hiding from predators.
Largemouth bass will utilize the flats every single day, but
depending on the time of day and the weather, they will be found in
many different places.
Early Morning and Evening
This is a prime time for flat fishing, as largemouth are
extremely active and hungry during these periods. They can be
scattered throughout the entire flat, but will generally be in the
open, and out and away from the weeds and vegetation.
Fast presentations that cover a large amount of water are the way to
go for these wandering fish. The flats are big, so working as much
surface area as you can will connect you with the largest amount of
fish. Remember, these fish are actively feeding, so they will strike
out at the majority of the baits you will toss their way. There are
a few standbys that work tremendously well that are a must in every
flat anglers tackle box.
Spinnerbaits and buzzbaits are my top two choices for working over a
flat. Both of these lures can be worked extremely fast, can be
readily seen by the fish, and provide a flashy target that
largemouth have a hard time passing up. Each lure is virtually
weedless, and both are designed for the shallow water you will be
facing. I tend to toss buzz baits earlier in the morning, especially
during overcast conditions, but will switch over to the spinnerbait
if fish seem uninterested or are short-striking.
There will be times that fish will be too lazy to chase down one of
these fast moving baits. During these periods, a switch to a Zara
Spook or soft-plastic jerk worm can pay off big dividends.
The Midday Period
The midday period can offer two types of conditions to the flat
angler. One of these is stable, sunny weather, while the other is
overcast and cloudy conditions. When faced with the latter,
utilizing the techniques I discussed for early morning and evening
will be your best bet for success. The overcast skies will keep the
largemouth out and away from the weeds, scattered and searching for
food. They will remain in a primarily aggressive mood, and fast
lures while covering lots of water will put bass in the boat.
Stable, sunny weather is another game altogether. Largemouth will
begin retreating into the dark recesses of the weeds when the sun
begins to shine brightly, making a switch of tactics necessary in
order to stay with the fish.