When bass aren’t schooling out deep or marauding the shallow reeds, weeds, and pads, late-summer bass often hold on deep break lines, humps, points, ledges and other structure. Start your search by locating the depth of the thermocline on your fishfinder – the point on the water column where warmer surface water meets the cooler, deeper water.
Because cold water is denser, it’ll often show up prominently on your sonar. If the thermocline on your lake is currently at 15 feet, for example, find areas where significant structure like channel edges, points, or humps intersect that depth and you’ll often find bass in the neighborhood.
Iowa bass pros, Clay Torson and Jacob Maloney, say one of the most effective ways to target late-summer bass relating to structure is with deep-diving crankbaits like a Strike King 5XD , or with 3-inch to 5-inch swimbaits.
“Getting down and deflecting off that structure is the key,” says Torson, who has the luxury of watching the structure, the bass living there, and his lure in real time on his Garmin Panoptix LiveScope. “When using crankbaits, you’ve got to cast past the structure, crank down to it and make contact. Bass often slash the bait as soon as it deflects off the edge of the structure, especially if you give your retrieve a little pause.” Torson prefers to fish deep cranks with a 6.3:1 casting reel spooled with 12-pound fluorocarbon line.