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

Joe Thomas, as told to Don Wirth

Many bass anglers find “structure fishing” a confusing concept. Most likely, it is something to read about some pro winning a competition for an obscure ditch or overseas hump, nevertheless when it is you available to you looking for some channel dropoff a half-mile from shore and achieving to depend on your graph in the place of your eyes to understand where you should cast — heck, it really is no wonder you will find a lot more weekend fishermen beating the banking institutions than probing open water. To greatly 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 specific Joe’s advice, presented right right right here inside the very own terms, will enhance 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, why don’t we verify we are from the exact same web page by getting our definitions right: “construction” refers towards the topographical aspects of a pond, including creek and river stations, points, flats, humps and submerged roadbeds. “Cover” relates to objects connected with these components, including submerged logs, standing timber, stumps, stones, weeds and boat docks. Structure usually has address on it — a true point might have a rockpile in the end; the top a hump can 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 structure that is assessing. Before we ever arrive at the pond, we’ll learn a topo map to find out possible bass-holding areas, 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; during the summer, deep networks, overseas humps, etc. Marking these possible hot spots regarding the map provides me personally one thing particular to search for whilst from the water.

When i am in the pond, I’ll idle on the structure and make use of my important thing graph to aid me personally respond to questions that are such: how can the dwelling “lay” when compared with water surrounding it? Are there an easy or sluggish taper into deep water? What type of address is regarding the framework, and where can it be situated? Could be the address thick or sparse? Are here baitfish regarding the framework? And, any kind of bass about it?


Below 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 had been created. Bass and use that is baitfish as migration channels. they truly are often finest in summer time, particularly when there is some present present.

Method: Position your watercraft in deep water, in regards to a half-cast 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 so that 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 should hang up less.

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

Method: Most bassers target the end for the point solely; alternatively, work all over the framework, fan casting a crankbait or hefty spinnerbait from various perspectives. You will frequently get more bass through the edges compared to the end — they may be steeper and also better cover to them. One part is normally a lot better than one other due to its proximity up to a channel or current. Mudlines often develop on points on windy times, providing superficial concealment for bass.

ROADBED — A man-made framework, ranging all of the way from a superficial rut in the base marking a classic logging road, or even the stays of the paved highway. Usually lined with stumps, stones or big chunks of broken-up asphalt. It might have ditch on either relative part, that was as soon as used to divert rainwater from the road. Bass will spawn on submerged roadbeds in springtime, and certainly will hold on tight them in cold temperatures 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 motorboat deep and casting shallow. Spend attention that is special ditches next to the roadbed; bass frequently gang up in little depressions or bends within 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 patches.

Method: i love to wander across a large flat like a spider, casting a spinnerbait, medium crankbait that is running lipless crankbait to isolated cover in every guidelines. Bass tend to be focused within one certain 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 next to a deep channel. Most readily useful in autumn and winter.

Method: Bass usually 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 towards the face of this bluff, beginning near and moving progressively further out from the dwelling unless you contact seafood. Bass might also hold off stone rubble during the foot of the bluff; take to a fall shot worm rig or perhaps a jigging spoon of these much 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 ship in much deeper water and cast near the bank with a jig-and-pig, medium crankbait that is running 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 will pay attention to these transitions.


In framework fishing, timing is every thing. Bass usually move on / off certain structures throughout the span of the afternoon, particularly structures situated overseas or right beside 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. Here is the strategy pro anglers use whenever making a “milk run” of comparable bits of framework spread through the entire pond.

The obvious feature of a framework, including the top of a hump or perhaps the finish of a spot, might not hold almost as numerous bass as an even more subdued feature, such as for instance a small increase or despair into the base. Read your graph very carefully to identify these subtleties.

Places where two or maybe more structures intersect or occur in close proximity often hold big concentrations of bass. Test thoroughly your topo map for places where a channel intersects a spot or operates along a ditch snakes across a shallow flat, etc.

Your graph is essential, but do not bury your mind with it – shop around you for bass-holding structures, such as for instance roadbeds going into the pond, a dark area overseas showing a superficial hump, etc. Cruising the pond during wintertime drawdown will usually expose an abundance of offshore structures as you are able to fish next period.

Make use of your understanding of 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