Pay attention to water level

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bass fisherman casting to shallow cover

Another factor Christie focuses on is how the water level is changing day by day. Whether the water is rising or dropping, and how quickly it’s doing one or the other helps Christie figure out where the fish may be.

“If they are pulling the water level down by two feet a day it might not eliminate the shallow fishing, it’ll put them on the points or the outer edge of cover,” Christie said. “If the water is coming up, the fish will often want to have their nose on the bank, so shallow you can hardly believe a fish could be there. Knowing what the water level is doing gives you a good idea of where to look for the fish.”

More than knowing what the lake level is doing, having an idea of what’s under the water as it rises or falls is hugely beneficial, too. Whether that’s from prior experience of a fishery or simply by studying different lake levels on Google Maps before ever laying eyes on a body of water.

Back in June of 2013, Christie won an FLW Tour event on Grand Lake in northeast Oklahoma and he caught every fish flipping to flooded cover. Throughout that tournament they were rapidly pulling the lake level down. Knowing this, Christie focused on a large, flooded island. It was so thick you couldn’t get a bass boat to the middle of the island but every day as the water dropped, it pulled new fish to the outer edges where he could get to them. By paying attention to the water level, Christie banked on fresh fish coming to him, even in a shallow-water setting. His hunch paid off to the tune of $125,000.

While it can be daunting, high-water scenarios completely change the look of a lake and how it fishes. Instead of being overwhelmed, keep Christie’s tips in your back pocket and look at the water with an open mind. You’ll have plenty of targets to cast to and flooded conditions can result in some amazing days for bass fishing.