Over the last dozen years or so, summertime fishing across much of the Bass heartland is dominated by anglers pulling big stringers from offshore “ledges.” To inexperienced anglers, the concept of ledges and how you fish them can not only be a little abstract, it can be downright confusing.
Ledges are essentially just drop-offs on the old river channel found in many impoundments across the south. Unlike a drop-off found near the bank, a ledge may show up several hundred yards offshore, and they are usually more linear than points or humps because they define an old creek or river channel.
As distinct as that definition is, take a quick look at the contour map for a place known for its ledges (like Kentucky Lake), and you’ll quickly see how it can get frustrating to identify a proper spot – there are literally miles of good looking ledges.
Here’s how to look for the sweet spots on ledges and fish them once you do.
1. Look for changes
Although a ledge may run for several miles, it’s very unlikely that the fish will be spread throughout the length. Most of the time, they will be concentrated on “changes” or unique features located along the length. Whether it’s the presence of brush or shells, a high spot, or an inside turn – the bass will always be where there is something unique. Don’t bother fishing until you locate a stretch of ledge that contains at least one such feature.
2. Fish up top
Once you’ve located a likely spot on a ledge, the first spot to try is right on the top of the break where it starts to fall off into the channel. This is the spot most exposed to current, and it’s also the spot where the most aggressive feeders will be. Try fishing it with a deep diving plug, swimbait, or football jig with a VileCraw trailer.
3. Look for suspenders
If you can’t get anything going on the edge, try looking above and around the top of the ledge for suspended bass. This is often where they go when there’s little current or if there’s no bait present. Although harder to catch, winding swimbaits through them can still trigger bites. Also make sure to try an ExoStick Pro rigged with a blade in the tail.