“They’ll be somewhere along this bend,” Oklahoma bass pro Eric Porterfield said with confidence as we approached a spot where the creek we were fishing turned sharply to the right

We began on the outside bend, which was rocky and steep, with scattered fallen trees adding cover. I threw a Mad N, which I could kick off the rocks and fish quickly. Porterfield fished mostly with a Deep Baby N, which he could get a little deeper, but he kept Fat Boy handy for working tight to the trees.

“Creek channel bends are always good,” Porterfield said, “and they can be especially good during the fall, when the shad move up the creeks.”

Porterfield likes bends because they offer the bass two distinctively different things in one area. Most bends have a deep hole on the outside and a shallow flat on the inside. Cover is likewise diverse. Outside bends are often rocky and punctuated with laydowns dropped into the water by bank erosion. Inside bends commonly hold all kinds of brush and other debris that settles on the slack side, along with flooded timber or stumps. If a creek has current pushing through it, bends also offer a nice mix of current lines and eddies, which provide ambush positions for bass.

Porterfield has found little rhyme or reason to whether the bass are on the deep or shallow side (or both), so he normally fishes both sides of a good bend. He and I fished on a cold front morning, when traditional wisdom might suggest the bass would have backed down into the deeper water, but we ended up catching fish on the shallow sides of a couple of different bends.

Beyond the crankbaits already mentioned, Porterfield likes a Deep Tiny N, which dives 4 to 5 feet deep, for the shallow side and a Deep Little N, which dives 9 to 12 feet, for the deep side of some bends. During the fall, he mostly uses shad color patterns, although he’ll sometime turn to something like Bumble Bee Perch to suggest a crawfish around rocks on the outside bend.

“The more wood the better,” Porterfield said about picking the best channel bends to fish. A very sharp turn and maximized contrast between the deep and shallow sides also define the specific creek bends that tend to hold the most bass.

Most bends hold more bass than straight sections upstream and downstream from them, though, so any time you’re in search mode in a creek, trying to figure out patterns, a hard bend in the creek is a good place to start.