Trained for transition fishing

Change is good, they say, but that’s more than mere motivational mutterings; for a bass angler, transition areas often hold the juice. We’ll look at four to five examples of where one habitat feature meets another and how pros leverage these specific areas of opportunity with situation-specific baits and tactics.

We’re all pretty dialed into the concept of transitional banks, where the blending of big rock to chunk rock and chunk to gravel points toward a prespawn progression zone. Also, a rock vein punctuating an otherwise nondescript bank should certainly clue us into good things below the surface.

But how about some of the less obvious stuff? What tactical suggestions can we glean from visible, if not inconspicuous, habitat elements?

Consider this roundup from some of the Elite Series’ top tacticians.

Murky matters

Mud lines can bring opportunity, as fish utilize the light/dark boundary to their advantage, but Western stick Jared Lintner has a killer pattern that he says often goes completely overlooked.

“In West Coast fisheries like Clear, Shasta, Don Pedro, all the big lakes have these huge rock formations and you can catch them off these big rock areas, but it seems that you can catch them better where you can find mud meeting that rock,” he says. “I really think they use it as an ambush point; they sit in the rocks and feed on whatever comes by the mud. That’s mostly crawfish, but it might also be bluegill and tule perch.

“It’s weird, you’re not fishing the mud, you’re fishing the seam where the mud often has grass growing adjacent to the rock. A lot of guys will fish the rock, but they’ll stop fishing at the mud. If I’m driving down the lake and I see that happening, it’s almost a guaranteed fish.”

Most spots in which this scenario occurs find red clay banks indicating what’s under the adjacent water. Moreover, Lintner says a steady wind often blows a mud line that may or may not interest the fish, but will certainly point out the opportunity.

Lintner says a jig with a craw trailer is his go-to mud seam bait, but he’ll also mix in a Texas-rigged worm and a shallow running crankbait.