In the dead of summer, when bass in highland reservoirs get tougher to find and catch, brand ambassador Ty Spade rolls out a 3-pronged approach.

The impoundments he fishes in his home state of Pennsylvania are deep and steep, making it a challenge to target bass that tend to hold along the sheer walls during the summer months. “A lot of times the drop-offs are so steep it’s difficult to see what you’re looking for on sonar, “he said, “so you have to fish where you think the bass will be.”

An ideal location, he explained, is a spot where the main river channel swings close to the bank, offing a perfect combination of a ledge that’s around 5 feet deep and drops quickly to 30, plus a grassy shoreline flat from the ledge to the bank. “Most of the time bass will be on the ledge or somewhere on the drop-off,” he said.

Waterlogged brush and trees accumulated along the inside turn makes the spot even more attractive, and that’s when Spade breaks out a Booyah Bankroll Jig tipped with a YUM Wooly Bug.

“The Bankroll is technically a flippin’ jig, but it’s fantastic for fishing deep water, too. It comes out of the brush well and the stand-up head keeps the soft plastic in an upright, defensive position.”

When fishing a steep break, he added, many anglers make the mistake of hopping the jig. “That usually pulls the bait too far from the slope and it can fall right past fish that might have bitten. What I do is just tighten up the slack enough so the jig drops just a short distance, or even crawls down the drop-off. Then, you won’t miss any fish.”

If the bass are particularly fussy, or if Spade has caught a few fish and thinks there are 1 or 2 still to be caught, he moves the second prong of his attack plan — a Finance Jig. “With its compact size and shorter skirt, it’s a finesse jig,” he said, “but it comes in ½- and ¾-ounce weights, making it a great subtle bait for deep water.”

He further streamlines the presentation by trimming the sides of the Wooly Bug body and cutting about 3/8 inch from the leading end. “It gives the combo a sleeker look and sizes it right for finicky bass.”

The third prong of Spade’s approach is reserved for early-morning sessions when bass are typically on the flats and feeding. “In the morning, before they’ve moved deep for the day, I target them on grassy shoreline flats with a Bomber Square A crankbait,” he said. “The lure’s dive curve is just right for the shallow water and the square lip allows it to swim through the weeds cleanly. In my lakes the Chartreuse/Black Scales pattern can’t be beat. Though, a different color might work better in other waters.”