Catching a nice bass on a tough day is one of the most satisfying feelings in bass fishing. The event is often followed with a high-five, a photo op, or — in a tournament — a trip to the livewell. Many anglers fail to realize that with a little diligence, that single bite could lead to a memorable day on the water. Florida's Shaw Grigsby is quick to point out that when fishing offshore, there is a reason for each bite. "There are key features on every point, dropoff and ledge that hold bass," explains the Elite Series veteran. "Usually, it's either a little rock, stump or brushpile."
Rather than staying on the trolling motor hoping to hit the next sweet spot, Grigsby urges anglers to stop and identify exactly where each bite occurs. "That's what offshore structure fishing is all about," exclaims Grigsby. "It's about locating a key piece of structure, finding a line, and making sure that you repeat that cast time after time."
In order to ensure that he is repeating the exact same cast that produced a bite, Grigsby has constructed several foolproof methods for maintaining the same angle on each cast. "I keep a marker buoy on the front deck if I'm looking for a key spot but don't know the exact line yet.
As soon as I hook up, I kick the marker buoy over and it drops right where my boat was positioned when I got bit," he says. "I remember my angle where I got the bite, turn around and fire the exact same cast out. That's a very easy way to figure out the best lineup, and that will pinpoint the fish really quickly." While a marker buoy is a quick way to mark the location, Grigsby says that with today's advanced GPS, it's even more efficient to mark a productive line with a series of waypoints.
"You can put a waypoint where the boat needs to be sitting, a waypoint on the structure, and then have something lined up on the bank," he explains. In addition to repeating a productive cast, Grigsby says it's imperative to work a bait correctly through that area. "The key thing is getting to where you can hit that underwater object with your bait and actually get it down to where the bass are positioned," he explains. In many instances, Grigsby will position his boat so that he has one identical cast that produces bites over and over.
"There have been many times when I can throw everywhere on a point and never get a bite but when I hit that sweet spot, I get bit every time." After finding a productive line that produces fish cast after cast, anglers should scout the immediate area for other angles once the action cools, he advises. It's a method that paid off this year when the Elite Series visited Lake Guntersville. "I was catching fish on every cast on a particular line-up, but they weren't huge," he remembers. "I looked at my depthfinder and realized that I had drifted off my spot.
The next cast, I pitched it to the side of the break and started lighting them up. I was actually sitting right next to another school that I didn't know about."
(Provided by Z3 Media)