s the days begin to lengthen and warm, fishermen often have their heads turned from the offerings of the deep water to the shallow banks where the bass can be found tucked under the thickest canopy of mats or a shade pocket provided by a bank tree. Veteran tour- nament pro Howard Hughes has learned not to be so easily swayed to the shallow end of the casting pool and look to see what the deep water has to offer. a summer technique at the heart of the Hughes hunt for big bass is deep water structure fishing and here he shares the basics.
targEtS & tranSItIonS
With experience that spans over 35-years Hughes said that when he talks about deep water, he is talking 25- to 50-feet. He then defined his thoughts on structure saying, “it is any element that stands out - any things that shows a change. it could be things like rocks, bluffs, points, bridge pilings, creek channels or even erosion.” He excluded vegetation in his deep water structure
definition explaining there isn’t really any growth deeper than 20-feet unless it is flooded trees. He continued his description of the deep saying after the structure is discovered a further investigation must be made to find the “sub structure”. defining sub structure as the “sweet spot” on the structure, Hughes said, “it is the transitions you find on structure - little flats, drops offs, ledges, rocky bottom, mud lines - even deflection of a point can be sub structure - any transitions you find on your main structure points.” Noting that electronics are an absolute essential for a swift and efficient way to locate his target, Hughes stated his must-have unit is the lowrance HdS with StructureScan. “it is possible to visually evaluate the shoreline and follow it under the water to assess submerged structure lines; but electronics make it quicker and find components that could be missed and other factors such as baitfish and the thermocline,” stated Hughes. He also suggested the use of paper topo maps for an even more intense study, especially in unfamiliar waters.
PattErnS & tEch- nIQUES
hughes utilizes his Lowrance hDS to find deep structure and transitions on the structure.