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

Fish framework correctly. 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 really is a very important factor to read about some pro winning a competition for an obscure ditch or offshore hump, nevertheless when it is you on the market looking for some channel dropoff a half-mile from shore and having to depend on your graph rather than your eyes to understand the best place to cast — heck, it really is no wonder you can find a lot more weekend fishermen beating the banking institutions than probing water that is open. To simply 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 exterior show host. Whether you are a novice or veteran structure angler, we are particular Joe’s advice, presented right here in the words that are own will boost your catch price. — Don Wirth


We frequently 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 secrets of framework fishing, let us make certain we are regarding the page that is same getting our definitions directly: “construction” refers to your topographical the different parts of a pond, including creek and river networks, points, flats, humps and submerged roadbeds. “Cover” relates to objects related to these elements, including submerged logs, standing timber, stumps, stones, weeds and watercraft docks. Framework usually has address about it — a true point could have a rockpile in the end; the top a hump can be covered with weeds; a creek channel can 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 mix of bass motorboat electronic devices, topographic maps, marker buoys and artistic input whenever structure that is assessing. Before we ever reach the pond, I’ll learn a topo map to ascertain bass-holding that is potential, on the basis of the period we’m fishing. For instance, in springtime, we’ll note structures such as for example big flats and high shorelines where bass are going to spawn; in summer time, deep networks, overseas humps, etc. Marking these possible hot spots in the map offers me personally one thing particular to search for whilst in the water.

Once i am in the lake, we’ll idle on the framework and make use of my important thing graph to aid me personally answer such concerns as: so how exactly does the dwelling “lay” when compared with water surrounding it? Are there an easy or taper that is slow deep water? What type of address is in the framework, and where can it be positioned? May be the cover dense or sparse? Are here baitfish regarding the structure? And, any kind of bass about it?


Here are a few structures common to many reservoirs, and my suggestions for fishing them:

CHANNEL DROPOFF — The creek that is old riverbed that flowed through the landscape ahead of the reservoir ended up being created. Bass and use that is baitfish as migration roads. They may be often finest in summer, particularly when there is some present present.

Method: Position your motorboat in deep water, in regards to 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 on 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 a far more natural-looking presentation than sitting in superficial water and casting into deep water, and you will hang up less.

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

Method: Most bassers target the end for the point solely; rather, work all over the framework, fan casting a crankbait or hefty spinnerbait from various perspectives. You will frequently get more bass through the relative edges compared to the end — they may be steeper and have now better cover to them. One part is oftentimes much better than the other due to the proximity 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 the superficial rut into the base marking a classic logging road, or perhaps the keeps of the paved highway. Frequently lined with stumps, stones or big chunks of broken-up asphalt. It would likely have ditch on either side, that was when utilized to divert rainwater from the road. Bass will spawn on submerged roadbeds in spring, and can hold on tight them in cold temperatures also.

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

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

Method: i love to wander across a big flat like a spider, casting a spinnerbait, medium operating crankbait or lipless crankbait to remote address in every guidelines. Bass in many cases are focused within one particular part of the structure; search for 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 channel that is deep. Finest in winter and fall.

Method: Bass usually suspend around rock bluffs; these seafood are easiest to get whenever there is a rigid breeze blowing on the framework. Recover a suspending jerkbait, crankbait, hefty spinnerbait or steel blade bait parallel towards the face associated with the bluff, beginning near and moving progressively further out from the dwelling before you contact seafood. Bass might also loaf around rock rubble during the foot of the bluff; take to a fall shot worm rig or perhaps 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 little pouches as well as on ledges along them.

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


In framework fishing, timing is every thing. Bass usually move on and off particular structures throughout the length of the afternoon, specially structures situated overseas or adjacent to deep water. 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. This is basically the strategy pro anglers use whenever making a “milk run” of similar bits of framework spread through the lake

The most obvious function of the framework, including the top of a hump or the end of a place, might not hold almost as much bass as a far more feature that is subtle such as for instance a small increase or despair when you look at the bottom. Read your graph very very very carefully to identify these subtleties.

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

Your graph is very important, 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 the year. In you’ll probably catch a lot more bass on a stump flat than a rock bluff april. — Joe Thomas

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