How to Position Your Boat and Use Electronics to Find and Catch Bass in Late May with Jordan Lee
provided by John E. Phillips
Twenty-eight-year-old Jordan Lee, who now lives on Alabama’s Lewis Smith Lake, has been a professional bass fisherman for 6 years, currently ranks as the no.7 best bass fisherman in the world and won the 2014 Bassmaster College Series Championship while fishing on Auburn University’s bass fishing team. He’s won two Bassmaster Classics – 2017 and 2018 – and today fishes with Major League Fishing (MLF) having earned $1-1/2 million in tournament fishing. To learn more about Jordan Lee, visit his Facebook page.
May is probably one of my favorite times of the year to fish for bass. The bass, especially in the Southeast where I live, spawn around the first of April. By the last two weeks in May, the bass have started moving out of the shallow water and holding in the deep-water structure, which means that you can catch numbers of big bass then. Those bass will be very aggressive and are trying to build their bodies back up after the spawn.
May is definitely a month when your electronics can help you find catchable bass. I fish with a Lowrance HDS-12 LIVE with Active Imaging 3-in-1 and have two of these units at my console and one on the front of my boat. I mainly rely on the side-scanning and down-imaging features of my depth finders. With side-scanning, I’m actually able to see schools of bass and find brush files and submerged structures 50-60 feet from the side of my boat. Typically, I’ll idle down a ledge to look for cover and structure on the shallow side of my boat and search for suspended bass on the deep side of my boat. With down-imaging, I can see the bass and structure right under my boat.
On most lakes that I fish, I’ll research where bass are living at the end of May. When I find a school of fish (May is one of the best months to find schooling bass), I mark that spot as a waypoint. Then I try to determine the best angle that I need to position my boat for the bait to go most naturally to that school. Most of the time, I want to position my boat down current from the school, so that I can cast my lures up current and present my bait coming from the direction where the bass expect it. In May, the bass usually prefer to hold out in the current instead of off of the current, especially on river systems.