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 a very important factor to read about some pro winning a competition for an obscure ditch or overseas hump, however when it is you nowadays searching for some channel dropoff a half-mile from shore and achieving to count on your graph rather than your eyes to understand locations to cast — heck, it 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 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 right here in the very own words, will enhance your catch price. — 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 secrets of framework fishing, let us make certain we are regarding the page that is same getting our definitions right: “Structure” refers to your topographical aspects 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 ship docks. Framework frequently has address on it — a true point could have a rockpile in the end; the top a hump could be covered with weeds; a creek channel might be lined with stumps.

Since you can’t see on to the water, and because numerous bass-holding structures have been in available water where it really is tough to ensure you get your bearings, you’ll need various tools that will help you visualize exactly what a framework appears like just before can figure out where bass would be waiting on hold it, therefore the easiest way to fish it.

I take advantage of a mix of bass watercraft electronic devices, topographic maps, marker buoys and artistic input whenever evaluating framework. 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. These potential hot spots on the map gives me something specific to look for while on the water for example, in spring, I’ll note structures such as big flats and steep shorelines where bass are likely to spawn; in summer, deep channels, offshore humps, etc. Marking.

When i am regarding the pond, we’ll idle on the framework and employ my important thing graph to greatly help me respond to such concerns as: so how exactly does the dwelling “lay” when compared with the water surrounding it? Is there an easy or taper that is slow deep water? What type of cover is in the framework, and where will it be positioned? Is the cover sparse or thick? Are here baitfish regarding 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 formed. Bass and use that is baitfish as migration channels. They are often most readily useful in summer time, particularly if there is some present present.

Method: Position your motorboat in deep water, of a half-cast out of the channel lip, cast a crankbait or Carolina rigged lizard onto the shallower ledge, and then work it down 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 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 act as a bridge connecting deep, available water towards the shoreline. Bass usage points to go shallow in springtime, then to 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; alternatively, work all over the structure, fan casting a crankbait or spinnerbait that is heavy various perspectives. You are going to often get more bass through the relative edges compared to the end — they may be steeper and also have better cover in it. One part is normally much 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 all of the way from a superficial rut into the base marking a vintage logging road, or perhaps the keeps of the paved highway. Frequently 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 cold weather also.

Method: If the roadbed is slim, slice-cast it having a crankbait at a 45 level angle. If it is wide, treat it like a channel dropoff, positioning your motorboat deep and casting shallow. Spend special awareness of ditches next to the roadbed; bass usually 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 are usually peppered with stumps, laydown logs, brush and weed spots.

Method: i love to wander across a large flat such as for instance 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 certain section of the structure; seek out something that can concentrate baitfish, such as for example a shallow ditch draining the flat.

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

Method: Bass usually suspend around rock bluffs; these seafood are easiest to get when there is a breeze that is stiff on the structure. Recover a suspending jerkbait, crankbait, heavy spinnerbait or steel blade bait parallel into the face of this bluff, starting near and moving progressively further out from the dwelling and soon you contact fish. Bass could also loaf around stone rubble during the root of the bluff; decide to try a fall shot worm rig or perhaps a jigging spoon of these much deeper fish.

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 deeper water and cast near to the bank having a jig-and-pig, medium operating crankbait or suspending jerkbait, working the appeal out into deeper water. Try to find delicate alterations in bank/bottom structure, such as for example where amount rock modifications to gravel bass that is pay attention to these transitions.


In framework fishing, timing is every thing. Bass frequently move on / off particular structures throughout the span of your day, specially structures situated overseas or right beside water that is deep. In the event that seafood are not here, do not spend time parking at that moment and waiting around for 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 for the pond.

The obvious function of the framework, including the top of the hump or even the end of a place, may well not hold almost as much bass as a far more subtle feature, such as for example a small increase or despair into the bottom. Read your graph very very carefully to identify these subtleties.

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

Your graph is essential, but do not bury your mind inside it – shop around you for bass-holding structures, such as for example roadbeds going into the pond, a dark area overseas showing a superficial hump, etc. Cruising the pond during cold weather drawdown will usually expose a good amount 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 probably get far more bass on a stump flat compared to a stone bluff. — Joe Thomas