When your usualshallow-water hotspots get crowded or worked too hard, fishledges—inconspicuous drops of only a foot or so. Around spawning time, they canbe loaded with staging bass.

** Ledges seldom appear on contour maps. To find them, position your boat parallelto shore, a good cast’s length away from the bank. Then idle in an S pattern,watching your graph closely for sudden depth changes ranging from around 1 to 3feet. Drop buoys to mark the ledges you find.

** Any cover scattered along ledges will make these hotspots even hotter. Rocks,stumps, and logs at the top or base of the structure create prime holdingplaces for large bass.

In murky reservoirs, ledges in the 6- to 8-foot zone will usually hold the moststaging bass. In clear lakes, you’ll typically get more strikes on deeperledges from 10 to 20 feet.

** In murky water, rig a ½-ounce black-and-blue jig with a fat pork or plasticchunk trailer [A]. Fish it on a 7-foot medium-heavy baitcasting rod with 14- to20-pound line. In clear water, downsize to a ¼-ounce jig with a plastic crawtrailer in brown or water-melon [B]. Fish this on a stiff 6½-foot spinning rodwith 8- to 12-pound line.

** Sometimes bass prefer a jig that swims over the ledge like a minnow. Othertimes, they respond better to one that hops or crawls down the dropoff.Experiment to determine which retrieve puts the most bass in your boat.