Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
July 31, 2012

Andy Whitcomb

Follow that Duck!

Much of the United States is dealing with a brutal heat wave; known here in Oklahoma as “summer.” Anglers, and fish, compensate for triple-digit daytime temperatures by utilizing the cooler windows of mornings and evenings. To find fish mid day, you may have to move the focus away from shallow water.

Bassmaster Elite angler Jeff Kriet can fish any depth. Like most anglers, a shallow water structure, such as a stump near the shore, will catch his eye as great bass potential. But he also thinks, “I hope no one else has caught it.”  Fortunately, for him he has the most fun fishing “out,” in deep open-water.

How deep?

“Deep enough that Kevin VanDam can’t get to them with a crank bait.”

He relies heavily on his electronics to detect rocks, variations, and edges at the bottom which may seem featureless.   Then as soon as he gets a bite, he always has a marker buoy at his feet, ready to kick overboard.  If you can keep your wits about you during a battle with a fish, you might be able to triangulate your position in the middle of the lake by trying to line up shoreline reference points, but a marker buoy helps remove much of the guesswork.

Of course there is always a chance, a bright orange marker buoy may alert other observant, less scrupulous anglers to your well-earned hot spot. The next time I’m fishing “out” and get a bite, I’ll have a marker buoy ready to drop in, but perhaps I’ll try a stealthier version. Maybe I’ve found a use for some of those old duck decoys after all.


Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad living in Oklahoma. Visit him at

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