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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Humps are underwater islands or any isolated high spots and can be anywhere in most lakes. Most humps can be found by looking at topo maps where you see several concentric circles that indicate a depression or rise on the bottom. Humps that raise above the water are called islands and with all the low water conditions that prevail during the fall period, it's a good time to take a good look at humps that were under water during the full pool lake level.
Humps are bass magnets during the fall, winter and can be during prespawn, if the hump is located near a spawning flat area. My favorite big bass hump is actually a high spot located on major point, where the tapering point flattens out then rises forming the hump and falls off into a deep channel. This type of hump creates a saddle or bench between the high spot and point ridge, my favorite structure element. Most reservoirs will have humps on river channels or near major points in the main lake basin area. During fall and winter it's the humps located in the lower third of the lake that will attract bait fish schools and big bass. Humps located within creek arms near or high spots on primary secondary points are a key areas for pre spawn bass.
If the lake is a power generation type high land or hill land reservoir, humps are primary areas to consider. The bass tend to locate on top and sides during slack current periods and move toward the front and down current areas that provide a current break during generation periods.
Lures that work well are; swimbaits, jigs, spoons, drop and slip shot soft plastics, crankbaits, slow rolled spinner baits, underspins and tail spins. You are targeting bass that are primary feeding on baitfish during the fall to winter and crawdads and larger bait fish during the pre spawn. If spots and smallies are the type of bass, then crawdads are always a prime factor to consider.
Give humps a try this fall through pre spawn and a bass of a life time just might make your day.
Tom
 

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Oldschool,

Shhhhhhhhhhhh...........................
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
JEVSKeeter said:
Oldschool,

Shhhhhhhhhhhh...........................
Don't worry, your secret is safe. 95% of the bass fisherman never look over their shoulder and panic if they can't cast to a shore line target.
Tom
 

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I will gladly step up and say I am beginning to be in the 5%. I was in the other group until I realized what I was missing. This past weekend, I went to a fav. spot. It has a large hump that stops about 5' below the surface. One side gradually slopes and has a lot of grass. Another side is next to a major point and creates a channel. The other two sides drop of quickly to 25'. I catch quite a few on the steep sides by counting my lure down until I find the right depth. Is this what you are talking about or is this thing to high? This place was an old sand quarry and they hit a natural spring while digging. It is some of the most beautiful water I have ever seen.

-Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Joe, it's a hump if it's under 6" or 60' of water. From the description your hump may have been connected to the point and those are great spots when they drop off into deep water and a true honey hole if it has a saddle connecting it. With 5 feet of water on top , that would be a wonderful place to night fish.
Tom
 

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On the Great Lakes we call them reefs or shoals, also at Stillwater Reservoir in the Adirondacks they are called shoals. In the summer they can be dynamite spots to fish, find the bait fish on them, or work the steeper sides. The few I fish have a sweet spot that seems to out produce any other part of the hump. I use tubes & jerk baits the most.
Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Rodney, you are right, how soon we forget about regional jargon. The Canadian shield lakes created by glaciers caving out the terrain, left behind rock structures under water that are locally called reefs and shoals. Lake of the Woods is full of reefs that are unmarked and you had to be very careful where you were going because the surrounding terrain didn't give you any clues to where a reef maybe. Any reef that drops off into deeper water on one side is a good spot for all sorts of fish; bass, walleye, pike and muskies. Deeper reefs in the colder water lakes held lake trout, smallies and muskies.
Way back in the early 70's I took my X15 paper graph to Canada and discovered humps/reefs that the locals didn't know existed and caught lots of big fish. The Canadians where upset back them and wanted to out law electronics.
Today some lakes that go un fished outside on humps because of the bass fisihing culture is conditioned to fish the shoreline. Go discover and catch those bass.
Tom
 

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I really want to explore and find some humps in the lakes I fish. I wonder though if t here are any humps on lakes like Santee, Wateree and Murray that are still relatively un-fished. Id love if there were and I could find them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Isn't the water level at near record low pool at Santee copper? If you know a local pilot maybe you could take an over flight and topo map to mark up. Must be some stump field, channels, humps and holes that would be visible.
Tom
 

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Jared, study the topography above water in places similar to what the fishery might have looked like before flooding. River-run systems are prime localities for humps. Let's start with creek cutting through a mountain pass. As it goes lower it gets bigger and is joined by other tributaries. Where those come together can produce some fine humps. Water erodes the softer material between harder rocks. Imagine putting some rocks in a pan with some pudding. Tilt the pan and run some hose water over it. The rocks remain. The same principle creates a lot of humps that get flooded, forever under water and not being eroded like they were before being flooded. On Santee you wouldn't have that dramatic of a geology setup. But, you will have tributaries coming into the main river, and other places where two currents collide causing erosion around harder materials.

Another source is man-made dumps. It might have been a base for a beacon, long ago torn out. Silt can just start depositing on the inside of a river turn and build up making a hump that wasn't there 20 years ago. Where an old tree fell over and raised up ground around it can begin a hump. An old silted over farm tractor can do it. A dumped refrigerator will work well starting one. The far end of a rock jetty often has a boulder hump where rocks stopped tumbling.

My TOP favorite hump is one with humps on a hump. You might have once walked up an old creek bed and come across what looks like a bomb hit. Maybe someone looked for gold there. Big boulders, big piles of dirt, tree pulled or blown over, nice pockets of water inviting a swim, some outcrops of rock with little waterfalls. Just a real interesting place. You wonder what made it get that way. Now it's on the bottom of a lake. That is where bass love to hang out.

The bass there might get no closer to humans than a spawn bed, the largest females maybe getting up to 10 feet of depth to spawn. Once done they go back to those deep playgrounds. No man sees them their whole lifetime. Many fisheries biologists know many lakes have huge numbers of unfished bass. That's one of their little secrets that allow them to be generous with creel limits. But if you don't fish those out of the way bass you will eventually believe the bass are gone. Meanwhile a large population of a lake's bass will spend their lives in places where they see no fishing pressure. They are definitely not used bass like those living too close to shore too much. If the truth be known, those fish are the ones that provide the kickers that win the tournaments. You just won't see that in print very often. The best places to target big bass are over your shoulder, while the dumb ones that like to get caught are between you and the shoreline. Those are what I call "Used Bass".

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
highrider26 said:
When you find a hump do you start outside at the deeper edges or go for the inside (on top)?
I treat them like points most of the time. If I know the bass are holding on the outside deep break, then I like to cast out into deeper water and retrieve a swim bait back to them at the depth they are holding. A swimbait coming face on to a bass really gets the bass excited watching approach.
Tom
 

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I would ALWAYS start out deeper...then work my way shallower.

Why?

For the simple fact that in ANY body of water...not ALL the bass are doing the same thing.

For example, in a lake or reservoir that has 25' of water, you may catch fish along the banks if there are laydowns, but at the same time, you could find other bass roaming deep weed edges, or for that matter, chasing a pod of baitfish in open water.

This becomes even more true in larger / deeper bodies of water, because the baitfish & bass have more variety to chose from. If you add in a LOT of structure (see attached pic of a Minnesota lake)...then you can see what EXTREME can be in all of those thoughts :chug:

JMHO :cheers: :fishing01:
 

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Most of the humps I fish are small, many are more like a ridge. Mostly I work around them keeping the boat in deeper water and cast up or across the hump, working around it.
Rodney
 

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I have a question for the hump gurus...I fish a higland reservoir that has numerous humps that were described above but with no grass. My question is about current. This lake is on the Colorado river in central Texas and has daily releases. How much current would be created by:

Dam Operations

Short releases will continue to be made as needed from Buchanan and Inks dams to supply a share of the demand on the Highland Lakes. Releases from Wirtz and Starcke dams may also be made as needed to pass inflows through lakes LBJ and Marble Falls to Lake Travis. Releases will be made from Mansfield dam to supply water to the City of Austin and to maintain the level of Lake Austin within its normal operating range. Releases from Lake Austin will be made to supply water for downstream municipal users, industrial users, and/or for environmental (instream flow) requirements along the Colorado River below Lake Austin.

This lake is 14,000 acres at full pool but is currently 51' low. Would it be better to fish humps closer to the dam to predict fish position and how far up lake would the effects be felt?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You should be fishing the lower 1/3rd regardless of current during the cold water period. The best humps usually have 2 high spots that create a saddle to funnel the current and that is where you would expect the bass to be located during times water is flowing. Another type of hump is a high spot near the end of a major point, my favorite location for big bass.
With the water levels down, you should be taking a lot of photos and marking you maps; there is nothing like a visual photo of underwater structure when the lake level is back up and covering those areas.
Merry Christmas and have a Happy News Years all!
Tom
 
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