Fishing Boat Houses for Fall Bass
If there is any time better for largemouth bass fishing around boat houses than the fall, I do not know what it would be. It just does not get any better than the shallow docks, boat houses and property edges than the fall of the year. Every year the fall or late summer is full of sunny days and one place the bass move to hide from the sun is under boat houses!
The thing about fishing boat house is confidence. Most anglers on Lake Guntersville run by boat houses every day because it is not where their confidence lies. The key to boat house fishing is twofold; first, find the boat houses with the correct depth for late summer or fall fishing and next be able to pick a boat house apart. You can find fish around and under boat houses in the fall, as the bass move from the deep to the shallow. Pre-winter fishing moves fish to main Channel Islands, points, and boat houses. It is also a fact that the bait moves shallow and as the bait moves the bass move with them. Bait fish have the same reason for moving to bait houses, its great cover from the sun and allows them to seek shade. It is there that they become great targets for feeding bass.
Boat houses are natural stops as the bass migrate to the shallow water to feed up prior to winter and if the boat house has a depth range of 3 to 7 feet the bass will move to them as they move shallow. One key is the age of the wood on the boat house. The older the better, as the older wood holds food and produces more natural habitat. Bass are also creatures of habit and if a boat house has been in place for a long time, there is a good chance the bass have migrated there in past years and will return annually.
One way to quickly visually check life under a boat house is to just idle around boat house areas. If you see the gobs of bait fish surrounding the boat houses, it's game on. They make ripples along the surface as they move about the area. There may already be feeding bass surrounding them and this becomes the ideal set-up.
There are many ways to fish boat house with many different presentations. I have many favorites, but I start with a rattle bait or a square bill, so I can cover water quickly and accurately. Work all the way to the front edge of the walkway coming out from the boat house as many times in the fall the bass are up against rock edges or stone walls. Move out and progress to the deeper water making sure every angle and edge is fished thoroughly. Use your favorite bait for confidence and pick it apart.
Picking a boat house apart is not as easy as you might think. You really must be able to place your bait at every angle possible. Work from the sea wall out to the end of the dock, as bass can be sitting in shade next to the sea wall or just under a dock piling a couple feet out from the shoreline. Fish the boat house slowly and make sure your bait gets to the bottom. If you do this, success will be yours.
Boat houses always have fish under them in the fall and you can benefit by fishing them. Precision is key. Be accurate and pick it apart. Look for movement and fish the bait balls, as the bass will be with the bait.
Captain Mike Gerry
Fish Lake Guntersville Guide Service
Call: 256 759 2270