John's Journal...

Dark Secrets to Nighttime Bass Fishing with Nolan Shivers

Day 2: Where to Locate Nighttime Bass with Nolan Shivers

Editor’s Note: Nolan Shivers of Birmingham, Alabama, a longtime, well-known fisherman for bass and crappie, has fished many tournaments through the years and particularly enjoys night fishing. His techniques will put bass in your boat when the summer sun is blazing. One summer, Shivers boated 15 bass weighing over 5-pounds each and one that weighed 9-1/4-pounds. In the article that follows, Shivers gives his secret tactics to bassing after dark.

Click for Larger ViewI hunt an intersection in the bass’ migration route from his daytime area to his nighttime feeding spot. Old creek channels or river ledges are the best places to start scouting. We know that bass will comes from deep water to shallow water. So, I believe that a bass is coming out of an old creek channel and over the edge of the underwater bank. Then it either moves into the shallows to feed or holds on that bank. Using this philosophy, I can narrow-down the section of water I plan to fish at night to the old creek channels or river ledges.

Click for Larger ViewMost impoundments have a lot of old creek channels and river ledges. You may spend all night running up-and-down these areas without catching a fish. So, I hunt for rocks or stumps or logs along the old creek channel to narrow my pattern down even more. I fish each one of these structures to try to catch a bass. If I succeed, then I will anchor close to the spot where I’ve caught the fish and angle that one stump or that one rock all night. I believe the bass will use an alternate structure like this as a road sign to mark the way the fish takes to his feeding ground. Click for Larger ViewI consistently have caught bass night after night off the same piece of structure on an old creek channel. This information has confirmed my belief that many bass follow the same routes to shallow-water feeding regions. Any time you catch a bass at night away from the bank, there is a reason for that fish to be there.

Use your depth finder to see if you can locate some kind of structure that the fish may be holding on or passing by. By finding an ambush point like this, you make sure the bass has an opportunity to look at your bait as it moves into shallow water. Click for Larger ViewEven if the bass doesn’t go all the way into the bank to feed, the fish will take your worm, because it’s on his way. I have stayed on the same hole for several different nights and not been able to determine a pattern of the exact time when the fish move from the deep water to the shallow water. But I have found that if I remain on a particular piece of structure where I’ve caught bass before that sometime during the night the bass will come down that migratory route.

Tomorrow: Nolan Shivers Tells the Finer Points of Using a Buzzbait

Check back each day this week for more about "Dark Secrets to Nighttime Bass Fishing with Nolan Shivers "

Day 1: Nolan Shivers on Where Nighttime Bass Live and Why
Day 2: Where to Locate Nighttime Bass with Nolan Shivers
Day 3: Nolan Shivers Tells the Finer Points of Using a Buzzbait
Day 4: Nolen Shivers on Wading After Dark for Bass
Day 5: Whether or Not to Use Lights to Bass Fish at Night with Nolan Shivers

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Entry 615, Day 2