Bluffs are the most intimidating structures anglers face, but they can produce outstanding fish.
Some of the best bluffs have ledges that extend out under the water. Substructure also is important. A substructure is a cut, pocket, or point on the end of a bluff.
The farther apart these areas are, the better their chances of holding bass. Points at the end of a bluff often produce a lot of fish, especially if a river channel comes up against them. The upper end of a point, where the channel brushes the bank, is a great location.
If there is a current I've found that the upcurrent point will yield the biggest bass. Bluffs usually are located near deep water, the fish using them will not always be deep. The location bass use near a bluff depends on a fews different things: shade, forage, current , water clarity, light penetration, type of cover.
Light penetration changes with the seasons and the time of day, the light that penetrates the water will dictate the depth bass prefer.
If you're fishing during the summer, try bluffs early in the morning and close to sunset. Bass in clear water move more vertically than horizontally. As the sun gets brighter bass generaly go deeper, that's why it is best to start deep and work your way up until you find the preferred depth of the bass.
You will not find clear water on every bluff, and that is why it is important to understand water clarity. The water clarity of any lake will determine how far bass will move. The distance of movement is much less in dingy water compared to clear water. So, on a clear day with high skies and good light penetration, bass living in dingy, shallow lake may move vertically only 2 - 3 feet, but under these same condition a clear lake, bass would be forced to move 10 - 15 feet.
Bass prefer subdued light because they can conceal themselves in the shade to ambush prey.
Position your boat parallel to the bluff and begin with a fan of casts. By doing this, you'll be able to fish the lure more effectively. When you fan cast, your lure will remain in the strike zone at least 80-90% of the time. The only time fan casting will not be useful is when the ledges extend way out into the lake. When this is the case, cast directly into it and work the lure down the ledges. Working the lure down the ledges takes a certain amount of practice: just move the lure a few inches at a time so it falls along the ledges contour.