Fishing Those Humps
Those off shore out in the lake humps or underwater islands are many times undisturbed and can produce some of the best fishing. The best humps are ones near underwater pathways such as creek channels or weedlines and drop sharply on each side, forming an edge.
These humps will hold most all species of fish and for good reason as they are places to rest and a place for food.
Many anglers have already fished a spot like this without being aware, they just pulled up to a spot and started catching fish. Most often this spot was a hump or any irregular bottom feature that fish use to prey on baitfish. Examples of humps we like are natural ones that are a high spot or rise in a channel bottom or man-made ones like a submerged rock pile. We have been on lakes that were created by flooding an area that had creeks and old ponds with a dike or dam that creates a good hump.
Topographic maps are a great start to finding them, just look for something that shows a small spot that rises up maybe five feet on the map out in mid lake away from shore and surrounded by deeper water and you have found a hump. Next would be to go out with a depth finder to locate, toss a marker on the crest of the hump and finally punch coordinates into your GPS. Locating humps will take using your electronics to see how it lies while finding those areas with a piece of cover or bottom change that will attract fish. The ones with a steep side, breaks or a taper to a flat seem to be good for holding fish. This can take time but do not spend too much time trying to figure it out and not enough time catching fish. For this reason, smaller type humps are easier to work thoroughly and can be fished more effectively without spending lots of time.
As for lures, crankbaits are our favorite and the key is selecting one that runs at least deep enough to reach the top of the hump. You want to bump along the sides and feel any rocks or other pieces of cover on or along this hump to trigger strikes. We also like trolling crankbaits across the very top making contact with the hump or also try along or around the edge that is about 2 feet below the top. If we have good wind conditions, we enjoy just drifting over these humps.
As you approach a hump you may see suspended fish over it, these are hard to catch so we forget them and pick off the more active fish near the top. If the action slows, they may have shifted back to the edges when sunlight becomes stronger, this is when a Carolina or Texas rigged soft plastics works great along the flat sides. If you are marking fish along a steep side, nothing works like fishing vertical with a jig or jigging spoon. Next we would switch to humps with weeds or ones that go up to within a foot or two of the surface and use topwater lures or spinnerbaits. Other tremendous techniques are dragging live bait rigs across the face of a hump for walleye or fishing a slip bobber with minnows, crawlers or leeches.
The season, the water conditions and the weather can play a big part in fishing humps. Fish can be caught on humps throughout the year but best after the spawn till end of fall. During Spring/Fall you want to target those shallower humps that top out to less than 6 feet and during Summer/Winter, go out to the deeper humps. As summer nears key into right on top and during hot summer months, the fish will generally be on the deepest side, or the sharpest drop to deep water. On a cooler morning or at night you can find the bass in or near the grass. When winter hits, again go to the deep sides of humps and find the one closest to the deep water.
Many anglers overlook shallow humps from fear, but they can be harmless if approached slowly with the electric motor. Shallow humps are among our favorite when it comes to casting topwater baits to the peaks both early and late in the day or during low-light periods. Humps are a great spot to fish when conditions get tough and can hold a tremendous amount of fish. With the little time you spend finding and getting a good idea of how a hump lies may seem boring, but will be worth it once you start catching fish. And the great thing about these new spots you have found is much of the time you may be the only one fishing them.
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Till Next Time, GOD BLESS & GOOD FISHING.!