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

Fish framework 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 the one thing to read about some pro winning a competition on an obscure ditch or overseas hump, nevertheless when it really is you on the market looking for some channel dropoff a half-mile from shore and achieving to count on your graph as opposed to your eyes to understand locations to cast — heck, it really is no wonder you will find a lot more weekend fishermen beating the banking institutions than probing open water. To help clear the mysteries up of framework fishing, we desired input from Cincinnati, Ohio, BASS pro Joe Thomas, a four time Vintage qualifier and veteran TV outdoor show host. Whether you are a novice or veteran structure angler, we’re particular Joe’s advice, presented right here inside the words that are own will boost your catch rate. — Don Wirth


We usually hear fishermen talk of fishing “structure,” like weeds, stumps or stones, whenever whatever they’re really referring to is “cover.” Therefore before we look into the mysteries of framework fishing, let us make certain we are regarding the exact same web page by getting our definitions right: “construction” refers towards the topographical the different parts of a pond, including creek and river networks, points, flats, humps and submerged roadbeds. “Cover” relates to objects connected with these elements, including submerged logs, standing timber, stumps, stones, weeds and ship docks. Framework frequently has address on it — point might have a rockpile regarding the end; the top a hump might be covered with weeds; a creek channel could be lined with stumps.

Before you can determine where bass will be holding on it, and the best way to fish it because you can’t see down into the water, and because many bass-holding structures are in open water where it’s difficult to get your bearings, you need several different tools to help you visualize what a structure looks like.

I take advantage of a mixture of bass ship electronic devices, topographic maps, marker buoys and artistic input whenever evaluating framework. Before we ever arrive at the pond, I’ll learn a topo map to find out possible bass-holding areas, on the basis of the period we’m fishing. As an example, in springtime, we’ll note structures such as for instance big flats and high shorelines where bass will likely spawn; during the summer, deep networks, overseas humps, etc. Marking these possible hot spots from the map gives 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 make use of my main point here graph to aid me personally respond to questions that are such: How exactly does the dwelling “lay” compared to water surrounding it? Is there a quick or taper that is slow deep water? What sort of cover is from the framework, and where can it be positioned? Could be the address dense or sparse? Are here baitfish from the framework? And, what are the bass about it?


Here are a few structures common to many 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 truly are often finest in summer time, particularly if 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 work it out then throughout 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 will hang up less.

AIM — These are multiseasonal structures, given that they differ as to trajectory and depth. They act as a bridge connecting deep, available water to your shoreline. Bass use points to go superficial in springtime, then to straight right right back out deeper after spawning. In fall and summer, bass hold off points to prey on baitfish schools that gravitate to those structures.

Method: Most bassers target the end regarding the point solely; rather, work throughout 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 possess better cover in it. One part is frequently a lot better than one other due to its proximity up to a channel or present. Mudlines often develop on points on windy times, providing shallow concealment for bass.

ROADBED — A man-made framework, ranging all of the way from a superficial rut into the bottom marking a vintage logging road, or even the stays of a paved highway. Frequently lined with stumps, stones or big chunks of broken-up asphalt. It would likely have ditch on either side, that was as soon as utilized to divert rainwater from the road. Bass will spawn on submerged roadbeds in springtime, and can hang on them in wintertime too.

Method: If the roadbed is slim, slice-cast it having a crankbait at a 45 level angle. Whether it’s wide, treat it like a channel dropoff, positioning your watercraft deep and casting shallow. Spend special focus on ditches right beside the roadbed; bass frequently gang up in little depressions or bends during these “substructures.”

FLAT — These “non-structures” never look really fishy, but can hold more and more bass from prespawn through autumn. They may be frequently peppered with stumps, laydown logs, brush and weed spots.

Method: i love to wander across a large flat like a spider, casting a spinnerbait, medium crankbait that is running lipless crankbait to remote address in every instructions. Bass in many cases are focused in a single certain part of the structure; seek out something that can concentrate baitfish, such as for example a shallow ditch draining the flat.

BLUFF BANK — Vertical framework present in rocky reservoirs, frequently next to a deep channel. Most readily useful in autumn and cold temperatures.

Method: Bass often suspend around rock bluffs; these seafood are easiest to get when 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 regarding the bluff, beginning near and moving progressively further out from the dwelling until such time you contact fish. Bass might also loaf around stone rubble during the root of the bluff; take to a fall shot worm rig or a jigging spoon of these much deeper seafood.

SLOPING BANK — My favorite springtime bass framework in reservoirs. They hold a lot 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 to the bank by having a jig-and-pig, medium operating crankbait or suspending jerkbait, working the appeal out into deeper water. Seek out subtle alterations in bank/bottom structure, such as where amount stone changes to gravel bass that is pay attention to these transitions.


In structure fishing, timing is every thing. Bass usually move on / off certain structures through the length of the afternoon, specially structures situated offshore or adjacent to deep water. In the event that seafood are not here, don’t spend your time parking at that moment and waiting around for them to reappear – keep it alone, then get back later on to fish it once more. 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 even the finish of a place, may well not hold almost as much bass as a far more subdued function, such as for example a small rise 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 large levels of bass. Test thoroughly your topo map for places the place where a channel intersects a place or operates along a ditch snakes across a superficial flat, etc.

Your graph is very important, but do not bury your mind in it – browse around you for bass-holding structures, such as for example roadbeds going into the pond, a dark spot overseas showing a superficial hump, etc. Cruising the pond during cold weather drawdown will often reveal lots of offshore structures that you could fish next period.

Make use of your familiarity with the regular motions of bass to influence which structures you fish throughout every season. In April, you will most probably get much more bass on a stump flat when compared to a stone bluff. — Joe Thomas

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