5 Go-To Tactics for Deep Water Bass Fishing

Summer may be winding down, but the waters in your local lakes are still pretty warm, which means bass are still seeking deeper, cooler water. Not only does deeper water help bass regulate their body temperature in the heat, but it also attracts baitfish looking to do the same, which is another major draw for bass.

Fishing for bass in deep water can be a little difficult for some anglers. But fear not, let’s take a look at five tried-and-true tactics for pulling bass from the depths.

Deep Crankbaits

When the bite is on, a deep-diving crankbait is hard to beat. The baitfish-imitating body and action that crankbaits offer can entice reaction strikes all day if bass are feeding. The key here is to keep the crankbait in contact with the bottom during the retrieve, as deflections off bottom structure are what draw strikes.

Carolina Rig

One of my go-to deep water presentations is the Carolina rig, which allows me to cover water efficiently when it’s too deep to see what bass are up to. Simply slide on an egg sinker, tie on a swivel, then attach a 12-36 inch piece of line and tie on the hook. Then, top it off with a soft plastic craw, worm, lizard or creature, and slowly drag it. Once you get a bite, allow a little bit of slack and then set the hook hard and steady.

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Drop Shot

When the bite’s slowing down, feel free to tie on a drop shot rig to target those deep bass. With the weight on the bottom, your rigged bait—soft plastics like finesse worms or swimbaits—can move enticingly on its own, which isn’t the case when you’re using heavier weights. Keep in mind, though, that this rig works best in clear water and specific cover, such as brush piles or bridge pilings.


Flutter spoons are pieces of metal designed to imitate and fall like a dying baitfish. To fish them effectively, make a long cast past the structure you’re targeting, let the spoon sink to the bottom and rip it up a few feet before letting it fall again on your slack line. Then, you simply repeat this process. Bonus Tip: Keep an eye on your line while using a spoon, as most strikes tend to occur on the fall, as spoons tend to flutter during their descent.

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You can never go wrong with a swimbait when you’re targeting bass. Swimbaits offer a very convincing profile and action in the water, and the natural roll they present on the retrieve is hard for bass to pass up. In deep water, rig your swimbait on a ½ to 1 ounce jighead, count it down to the bottom and retrieve it slowly back to the boat.