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 anglers find “structure fishing” a confusing concept. In the end, it really is a very important factor to learn about some pro winning a competition for an obscure ditch or overseas hump, but once it really is you on the market looking for some channel dropoff a half-mile from shore and achieving to count on your graph rather than your eyes to learn locations to cast — heck, it really is no surprise you can find a lot more weekend fishermen beating the banking institutions than probing open water. To simply help clear the mysteries up of framework fishing, we sought input from Cincinnati, Ohio, BASS pro Joe Thomas, a four time Timeless 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 the very own terms, will boost your catch rate. — 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’re regarding the exact same web page by getting our definitions directly: “construction” refers towards the topographical aspects of a lake, 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 frequently has address about it — a true point might have a rockpile in the end; the top of a hump might be covered with weeds; a creek channel might 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 motorboat electronic devices, topographic maps, marker buoys and artistic input whenever evaluating structure. Before we ever arrive at the pond, we’ll learn a topo map to ascertain bass-holding that is potential, on the basis of the period I’m fishing. For instance, in springtime, 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 provides me personally one thing particular to search for whilst in the water.

When i am from the pond, we’ll idle on the framework and make use of my important thing graph to aid me personally respond to questions that are such: How exactly does the dwelling “lay” when compared to water surrounding it? Are there an easy or taper that is slow deep water? What sort of address is in the framework, and where could it be positioned? May be the address dense or sparse? Are here baitfish in the framework? And, what are the bass onto it?


Here are a few 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 ended up being created. Bass and baitfish usage channels as migration roads. They truly are often well in summer time, particularly when there is some present that is current.

Method: Position your watercraft in deep water, of 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 on the dropoff. Or, cast the appeal at a 45 degree angle so that it “slices” down the ledge and into deep water. Either of these is an even more natural-looking presentation than sitting in superficial water and casting into deep water, and you should hang up less.

AIM — These are multiseasonal structures, given that they differ as to level and trajectory. They serve as a bridge linking deep, available water to your shoreline. Bass usage points to go superficial in springtime, then to straight straight right back out deeper after spawning. In fall and summer, bass loaf around points to prey on baitfish schools that gravitate to these structures.

Method: Most bassers target the end of this point solely; instead, work throughout the framework, fan casting a crankbait or hefty spinnerbait from various perspectives. You are going to often get more bass through the relative edges compared to the end — they may be steeper and have now better cover on it. One part is normally much better than one other due to its proximity up to a channel or present. Mudlines often develop on points on windy times, providing superficial concealment for bass.

ROADBED — A man-made structure, ranging most of the way from the superficial rut into the base marking a vintage logging road, or perhaps the stays of a highway that is paved. Usually lined with stumps, stones or big chunks of broken-up asphalt. It could have ditch on either part, that has been when utilized to divert rainwater from the road. Bass will spawn on submerged roadbeds in springtime, and can hold on tight them in wintertime also.

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

FLAT — These “non-structures” never look really fishy, but could hold more and more bass from prespawn through fall. They truly are frequently peppered with stumps, laydown logs, brush and weed patches.

Method: I like to wander across a big 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 a single particular section of the structure; try to find something that can concentrate baitfish, such as for example a shallow ditch draining the flat.

BLUFF BANK — Vertical structure present in rocky reservoirs, frequently next to a deep channel. Finest in autumn and cold temperatures.

Method: Bass usually suspend around rock bluffs; these seafood are easiest to get whenever there’s a rigid breeze blowing on the structure. Recover a suspending jerkbait, crankbait, hefty spinnerbait or steel blade bait parallel to your face for the bluff, beginning near and moving progressively further out from the dwelling before you contact seafood. Bass could also hang around stone rubble during the foot of the bluff; take to a fall shot worm rig or a jigging spoon of these much much deeper seafood.

SLOPING BANK — My springtime that is favorite bass 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 watercraft in much much much deeper water and cast near to the bank with a jig-and-pig, medium crankbait that is running suspending jerkbait, working the appeal out into deeper water. Search for delicate 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 frequently move on / off particular structures throughout the length of your day, specially structures located overseas or adjacent to deep water. In the event that seafood are not here, don’t spend time parking at that moment and looking forward to them to reappear – keep it alone, then get back later on to fish it once again. Here is the strategy pro anglers use whenever making a “milk run” of comparable items of framework spread through the pond.

The obvious function of a framework, including the top of the hump or the finish of a spot, may well not hold almost as numerous bass as a far more subdued function, such as for instance a small increase or depression when you look at the base. Read your graph very carefully to identify these subtleties.

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

Your graph is very important, but try not to bury your mind 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 understanding of the regular motions of bass to dictate 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