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Bass Crossing.

By Nic DiGravio

It was a Friday night after a long week. It was time to relax and enjoy the cottage. As my friends played pool and smoked cigars enjoying the night, there I was, in the muskoka room, not relaxing, not enjoying the night, but rather wondering. Wondering, as I stared into the Lake Muskoka night, "WHERE......would they be tomorrow?" You know I get called many things as I do this "studying" but the best to date, "Look! There he goes again, Mr. Christopher Columbus, the explorer". So be it, but I know that my studying has reaped plenty of rewards.

Depending on the time of year and the temperature of the water the small mouth can be anywhere, right? Not so fast! MAPS can help you search for that 'spot' where the bass can be. Maps will save you a lot of valuable fishing time. If you are unfamiliar with a lake it gives you a preview of what is out there to work with. Before I fish a certain lake, I study the map. I Pick out places that I think would be productive and then 'fish' them to determine the outcome.

When picking out small mouth havens I normally start with the shoreline of the lake and circle the fast sloping dropoffs with flats near by. I keep in mind that small mouth will travel distances for forage. Rocky shores and boulders also get recognition. I have fished Lake Nipissing in the heart of summer and have found the bass to be in this type of structure. At the same time of year, I have caught smallies in Lake Erie, 50 to 60 feet down as well. Obviously, you must take into consideration where the lake is that you want to fish, because northern lakes will take longer to warm up than southern lakes.

Mid lake humps are a definite must for the smallie fishing enthusiast. In the hot months of the year small mouth will hold close to mid lake structures feeding vigorously on bait fish. Walleye fishermen, fishing the same humps catch many small mouth while fishing for their favorite fish. They go as far as saying "the bass sometimes get in my way". Without a map these mid lake gems are hard to find when you're only armed with a depth sounder. Bring a couple of markers with you so that you can mark the highest point of the structure, then you can visually see what the map shows you on paper. Use your electronics to scan the area thoroughly to find out where the fish are in relation to the marker

Map1

Map 2

So, it's like looking for a particular road, where do you look? At a road map of course! If you ask someone how to get somewhere, they might be wrong or they don't know. But, the map will always know and it won't be wrong. The same pertains to small mouth bass fishing, look at the map, it will tell you where they are, or at least where they should be. Then go from there!

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