Break your lake into sections

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Each lake is different, but Huff goes a step further and breaks down an individual fishery into 3 unique sections. Spending the majority of his time on man-made reservoirs, Huff typically sorts a lake into a dam segment, a mid-lake area and a river (or rivers) section. Huff knows bass in each of these areas will be on different seasonal timelines in the spring.

The average depth, water color, structure types and even water temperature is likely different in each section. Generally speaking, bass in the deepest, clearest water near the dam or lower end of a lake is where Huff looks for the first wave of spawning bass. This is followed by mid-lake and lastly the riverine zones. Allowing fishermen to follow the spawn “up the lake” if they so chose.

For 95 percent of us anglers, bass are easiest to find in the spring when they are in relatively shallow water. Therefore, Huff looks at this time of year as a way to locate large groups of fish, with hopes of staying with them and ultimately following the bass out to their offshore haunts.

“After you start seeing empty beds or stop catching fish shallow in the lower end you have a couple options,” Huff explained. “The first option would be to head up the lake using the same patterns looking for fresh fish in shallow water. Or you can look for closest deep water to where you were catching shallow, spawning fish and try to follow them out.

“That could be a channel swing, a point or even a suspending boat dock here in the Ozarks. But those fish have to go somewhere when they disappear from the shallows and in my opinion I feel like they largely move together. Those fish don’t just vanish.”