Going Deep for Mid-Summer Bass
POWER SHOTTING: A spin on a traditional finesse tactic (drop shot): I fish fast and use heavy line and tackle to search for the agressive bigger bass in deep water. I often look for major reefs and points that have a defined weedline which drops into the main basin of the lake. Deep being relative to the lake depth and water clarity. In clear water I am typically looking for fish in 15 to 25 feet of water, whereas in dirty water or shallower lakes, a deep weedline may be at 8 to 10 feet of water.
The basic setup I use is a heavier baitcasting rod with a fast tip, coupled with a reel with at least 7 : 1 as you need to get the fish up quickly before they can bury into the deep weeds or before your catch gets stolen from a bigger game fish, like muskies in many midwest lakes.
Mike's go to setup for Power Shotting:
7’6” Thorne Bros. Predator MHF (they always have a few on the shelf or you can have them 100% custom built), Mine is appropriately named “Thor”
Shimano Chronarch 200E7 (7:1 Gear ratio)
17 lb. Suffix 100% Fluorocarbon
VMC 2/0 Wide Gap “Spin Shot” hook
10 lb. Suffix 100% Fluorocarbon for drop to sinker
Pencil style drop shot weight (works through weeds better than round ball weight)
Roboworm hooked weedless
Mike's Favorite Power Shot Plastics
Wacky rigged Senko
NetBait Paca Craw
Start just outside the weedline with one angler casting down (parallel) to the deep weed edge and the other casting to the edge of the weeds and up to 10 feet into the weedline. Allow the bait to fall to the bottom. Keep your rod tip high and a slight bow in the line. Let it sit for a few seconds and lift. Often there will be resistance. Keep even pressure and if you are caught on a weed, your bait will pull free in most cases. If your line feels heavy, and the line is spongy or if there is any tugging on your line, set the hook. Most of my power shot fish are on the line when I make the first lift after the cast. If not, then allow the bait to fall back to the bottom and repeat all the way to the boat. Whenever you catch a fish, drop a waypoint on your electronics, I am a strong believer in the Humminbird + LakeMaster combo.
If you are not getting bites on the outside or if the fish are small, then move into the weeds. Position the boat on the weedline and have one angler cast parallel to the weedline and into the weeds and the other casting out into open water, working the bait back to the boat (weedline). The bigger bass are likely either in the deep weeds or suspending off structure (these open water fish are often not fished as they are located where most boats are positioned when casting outside towards the weedline). Some of my biggest fish have come from casting out from the weedline.
After a handful of fish, look at your new waypoints and see if there are any patterns (depth, points, inside turns) and if so, use this information to help locate similar areas. After trying out a few similar locations, and finding a similar consistant bite, then you have found a pattern and can build a “milk run” to hop between.
I used this technique at an event on Lake Minnetonka in the fall after finding only small fish earlier in the week in the mid depths and traditional spots on the lake. The third cast on a spot I had never fished before yielded a 4lb bass. I continued to try similar spots and found better fish than what I had found in the mid depths and shallows. I was then able to build a milk run of spots where I caught quality fish working the same baits on similar depths and structures, I knew I had a pattern leading into the event. Using Power Shot techniques, my partner and I ended that tournament with 17.99 lbs - good enough for 3rd in the event out of a field of highly accomplished anglers.