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Fish structure properly. Joe Thomas, as told to Don Wirth

Joe Thomas, as told to Don Wirth

Numerous bass fishermen find “structure fishing” a concept that is confusing. Most likely, it is something to see about some pro winning a competition on an obscure ditch or offshore hump, however when it is you available to you looking for some channel dropoff a half-mile from shore and achieving to count on your graph in place of your eyes to understand locations to cast — heck, it really is no wonder you will find a lot more weekend fishermen beating the banks than probing open water. To simply help clear up the secrets of framework fishing, we desired input from Cincinnati, Ohio, BASS pro Joe Thomas, a four time Vintage qualifier and veteran TV exterior show host. Whether you are a novice or veteran structure angler, we are specific Joe’s advice, presented right here in their very own terms, will enhance your catch price. — Don Wirth


We frequently hear fishermen speak of fishing “structure,” like weeds, stumps or stones, whenever whatever they’re actually referring to is “cover.” Therefore before we look into the secrets of framework fishing, let us verify we are regarding the exact same web page by getting our definitions directly: “construction” refers into the topographical the different parts of a pond, including creek and river stations, points, flats, humps and submerged roadbeds. “Cover” relates to objects related to these elements, including submerged logs, standing timber, stumps, rocks, weeds and motorboat docks. Framework usually has address on it — a true point might have a rockpile from the end; the top a hump can be covered with weeds; a creek channel can be lined with stumps.

Since you can’t see on to the water, and because numerous bass-holding structures have been in open water where it is hard to ensure you get your bearings, you will need many different tools to assist you visualize exactly what a framework appears like before you decide to can figure out where bass will soon be waiting on hold it, together with simplest way to fish it.

I take advantage of a variety of bass watercraft electronic devices, topographic maps, marker buoys and artistic input whenever evaluating framework. Before we ever reach the pond, we’ll study a topo map to ascertain possible bass-holding areas, on the basis of the period we’m fishing. For instance, in spring, we’ll note structures such as for example big flats and high shorelines where bass will probably spawn; in summer time, deep networks, overseas humps, etc. Marking these prospective hot spots regarding the map offers me personally one thing certain to search for whilst in the water.

When i am from the pond, we’ll idle throughout the framework and employ my main point here graph to aid me personally respond to questions that are such: so how exactly does the dwelling “lay” when compared with water surrounding it? Is there an easy or taper that is slow deep water? What type of address is in the framework, and where could it be situated? May be the address sparse or thick? Are here baitfish from the framework? And, what are the bass about it?


Check out structures common to the majority of reservoirs, and my suggestions for fishing them:

CHANNEL DROPOFF — The old creek or riverbed that flowed through the landscape prior to the reservoir had been created. Bass and use that is baitfish as migration roads. They are often well in summer time, particularly when there is some present present.

Method: Position your watercraft in deep water, about a half-cast right out of the channel lip, cast a crankbait or Carolina rigged lizard onto the shallower ledge, and then work it down within the dropoff. Or, cast the appeal at a 45 degree angle therefore it “slices” down the ledge and into deep water. Either of these is an even more presentation that is natural-looking sitting in superficial water and casting into deep water, and you should hang up less.

POINT — These are multiseasonal structures, simply because they differ as to trajectory and depth. They act as a bridge linking deep, available water to the shoreline. Bass usage points to go shallow in springtime, then to straight straight straight back out deeper after spawning. In fall and summer, bass hold off points to prey on baitfish schools that gravitate to these structures.

Method: Most bassers target the end associated with the point solely; rather, work all over the framework, fan casting a crankbait or spinnerbait that is heavy various perspectives. You are going to usually get more bass through the relative sides compared to the end — they may be steeper and also have better cover to them. One part can be a lot better than one other due to the proximity to a channel or present. Mudlines often develop on points on windy times, providing concealment that is shallow bass.

ROADBED — A man-made framework, ranging most of the way from a shallow rut into the bottom marking a vintage logging road, or perhaps the keeps of the highway that is paved. Usually lined with stumps, stones or big chunks of broken-up asphalt. It might have ditch on either part, that has been as soon as utilized to divert rainwater from the road. Bass will spawn on submerged roadbeds in spring, and can hang on them in wintertime too.

Method: If the roadbed is slim, slice-cast it with a crankbait at a 45 level angle. If it is wide, treat it such as a channel dropoff, positioning your watercraft deep and casting shallow. Spend attention that is special ditches next to the roadbed; bass usually gang up in little depressions or bends within these “substructures.”

FLAT — These “non-structures” don’t look really fishy, but could hold more and more bass from prespawn through fall. They are usually peppered with stumps, laydown logs, brush and weed spots.

Method: i love to wander across a large flat such as a spider, casting a spinnerbait, medium operating crankbait or lipless crankbait to remote address in most instructions. Bass tend to be focused in one single area that is specific of structure; try to find something that can concentrate baitfish, such as for example a shallow ditch draining the flat.

BLUFF BANK — Vertical framework present in rocky reservoirs, usually right beside a deep channel. Finest in winter and fall.

Method: Bass usually suspend around rock bluffs; these seafood are easiest to get whenever there is a breeze that is stiff on the framework. Recover a suspending jerkbait, crankbait, hefty spinnerbait or steel blade bait parallel into the face for the bluff, beginning near and moving progressively farther out from the dwelling and soon you contact seafood. Bass could also loaf around stone rubble in the root of the bluff; take to a fall shot worm rig or perhaps a jigging spoon of these much much deeper seafood.

SLOPING BANK — My favorite springtime bass framework in reservoirs. They hold a huge amount of crawfish, and bass will spawn in small pouches as well as on ledges along them.

Method: Position the motorboat in much deeper water and cast near the bank having a jig-and-pig, medium operating crankbait or suspending jerkbait, working the appeal out into deeper water. Seek out subdued alterations in bank/bottom structure, such as for example where amount stone modifications to gravel bass that is focus on these transitions.


In framework fishing, timing is every thing. Bass usually move on / off particular structures throughout the length of the afternoon, especially structures situated overseas or adjacent to water that is deep. Then return later to fish it again if the fish aren’t there, don’t waste time parking on the spot and waiting for them to reappear – leave it alone. Here is the strategy pro anglers use whenever making a “milk run” of comparable bits of framework spread for the pond.

The obvious function of a framework, like the top of the hump or the finish of a place, may well not hold almost as much bass as a far more feature that is subtle such as a small increase or despair within the bottom. Read your graph very carefully to identify these subtleties.

Places where two or maybe more structures intersect or occur in close proximity usually hold big concentrations of bass. Test thoroughly your topo map for places in which a channel intersects a place or runs along a ditch snakes across a superficial flat, etc.

Your graph is essential, but try not to bury your face for bass-holding structures, such as roadbeds entering the lake, a dark patch offshore indicating a shallow hump, etc. Cruising the lake during winter drawdown will often reveal plenty of offshore structures that you can fish next season in it- look around you.

Make use of your familiarity with the regular motions of bass to influence which structures you fish throughout every season. In you’ll probably catch a lot more bass on a stump flat than a rock bluff april. — Joe Thomas