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throughout fall, winter and spring, i like to think i do pretty well. Ive had great luck fish bluff walls, docks, cove mouths, ect... Since its started to heat up im aware that the fish have been schooling up and they are harder to find. As of now all my fish are coming from throwing spooks and frogs in shallower coves. Ive got a fishfinder ordered but until i get it, what are some good things i can do to find fish?
 

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When the shallow bite slows down or you just feel like you don't know what to throw to catch a fish, try drifting down a bank with a Carolina rig. (C-rig) Fish usually will go for shade and deeper water will provide shade just like the docks. This method is time consuming, but you would be surprised the places the fish hold at that you normally would pass on by. For example, while eating a sandwich, drinking a beer or just taking a break from casting for 15 minutes. Try dragging a C-rig. You might be pleasantly surprised. This is only one option and I'm sure others in the forum will throw a few more options out there.
 

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1. Find grass
2. Throw a swim jig or frog

The c-rig plan is a great idea, I will try it out the next time I fish.


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Get a good topo map. I used to use a hand held gps with my navionics chip in it. A good map will get you close to productive structure.
 
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There's a few things you can do.
1) Shade. Your two primary sources of shade will be overhanging trees and docks. Learn to skip baits as far back into the darkest, shadiest spots you can find. Learning to skip a hollow-bodied frog like a River2Sea Spittin' Wa this time of the year can pay off big time.
2) Grass. Oxygen levels are typically pretty low this time of the year, and that's one of the reasons why bass will migrate to deeper water this time of the year. An abundance of aquatic vegetation will provide plenty of oxygen as well as lots of feeding opportunities for bass this time of the year. If you can find matted vegetation, that's even better because then the grass is providing good shade for the bass as well. With matted vegetation, punching something through the grass like a PowerTeam Lures Bully Grass Devil with a heavy 3/4-1.5oz tungsten weight, or twitching a hollow-bodied frog like the River2Sea Bully Wa over the grass can be good. With submerged grass, I like to throw either a PowerTeam Lures Sick Stick on a light T-rig (1/8 oz) or a T-rigged PowerTeam Lures Tickler with a 1/4-1/2oz weight that I can shake through the grass.
3) Steep/Deep shorelines. You can also try fishing deeper/steeper shorelines, things like bluffs or steep rocky shorelines where the bass have quick access to deeper, cooler water. For these areas I like a PowerTeam Lures Finicky Tickler on a drop-shot rig, a PowerTeam Lures Tickler on their Pea Head shakyhead, or a River2Sea Touch Down jig w/ a twintail grub as a trailer.
4) Creeks/Springs/Rivers. If you can find some source of cool, in-flowing water, that can help a lot as well. Creeks, springs, and rivers typically will be flowing in a little cooler water as well as create feeding opportunities with the current. A number of baits / presentations will work in these areas, but my top producers are typically the River2Sea Spittin' Wa and the River2Sea Crystal Buzz.
5) Tailwaters. On lakes where you can access the tailwaters of a dam, like Lake Austin, you can fish just below the dam. When they start pushing water, again, the current creates some good feeding opportunities as well as it will typically be flowing in cool water from the depths of the lake on the opposite side of the dam. Look for areas with current breaks that create eddies where the bass can hide from the current and jump out to grab passing food. Typically I like swimbaits, like a PowerTeam Lures Swinging Hammer, for this scenario.
6) Points. You can fish the points that you can visually see coming off the shoreline. Your best opportunities on these spots will be early in the morning and late in the evening during low-light conditions. Bass will move up shallow on these points during these times to feed before it gets hot or as the temps are cooling near the end of the day. Use a fast moving topwater such as a River2Sea Rover and fish as many points as fast as you can during the short time period you are given. Often times, if you cover water fast enough, you'll come up on a point with a good school of fish that have moved up on it and you can load the boat in a hurry. If you want to try fishing a point later in the day, simply back off the point to deeper water and drag a C-rig around. I like to use either a PowerTeam Lures Sick Stick, PTL Gator, or PTL Ribbon Hinge worm. I also like to drag a River2Sea Touch Down jig around these areas as well.

Those are pretty much all of the tips I can think of off the top of my head for summertime bassin' without a fish finder. Hope that helps...
 

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Hell I think right now it's a given. Find some grass, for me, Zara Puppy,Spook Jr...and Booyah pad crashers in the light green color. You get some misses on the Spooks, but damn it is fun to hear fishing top water in the early morning stillness.
 

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I rarely use my depthfinders. Usually you can pick up on the shoreline features and find points and transitions in the lake under the surface. Try chunking different things at them until you hit the sweet spot. Good luck to you. If I find any fish I usually write a fishing report on here.
 

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Also, if you don't know where any structure is you can always plant some of your own. Line it up with landmarks and sink it. Plenty of weight on Austin is required due to the current.
 

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All of the above are good, esp. Ander's thorough thesis.

Although antithetical to most bass fishermen's pursuits, summertime trolling (yes, with the big motor) is one of the most efficacious means of delivering delicious basses, well, actually many species of fishes, into your boat.

On Travis for example, the thermocline usually sets up around 28-30 fow July-Aug. This makes a DD22 or deep tail dancer run just above the cline where predator fish will be looking upward for baitfish. Such a crankbait-spoon combo (hell-pet or 3-way) trolled at 2-3 mph around points in 28-30 fow will catch many delicious basses and other edibles. Plus, if you happen to have a bimini top or other coverage, you can be sipping your favorite beverage, while trolling in the shade, listening to excellent tunes, while catching basses. Life can be good.
 

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ro would you be sipping margaritas out of a frozen concoction maker?
 
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