Fish­ing struc­ture vs cover

THE DIF­FER­ENCE: ap­proach, boat po­si­tion and baits

Weekend Witness - - Sport - GRANT HE­WITT In­for­ma­tion bass

YES there is a dif­fer­ence and yes you need to know the dif­fer­ence!! Both re­quire a dif­fer­ent ap­proach, a dif­fer­ent boat po­si­tion and a dif­fer­ent se­lec­tion of baits def­i­nitely come into play. You need to un­der­stand what you are fish­ing, in­ter­pret ac­cord­ingly and ex­e­cute with in­tent.

So how do you make the dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion? Sim­ple, struc­ture is the vari­a­tion found in the to­pog­ra­phy of a lake or dam. These vari­a­tions in­clude con­tour changes, river chan­nels and humps. Cover is the phys­i­cal growth or habi­tat found within a body of wa­ter, namely veg­e­ta­tion, tim­ber and rock. Cover plays an ex­tremely vi­tal role in at­tract­ing bait­fish and other fod­der to an area, in turn de­ter­min­ing the pop­u­la­tion of bass an area will sup­port. There­fore your main ob­jec­tive is lo­cat­ing the con­ver­gence point be­tween struc­ture and cover, this is the sweet spot!!

In tar­get­ing struc­ture, you need to po­si­tion your boat in a way that en­sures you are ef­fec­tively cov­er­ing as much wa­ter as pos­si­ble while pin­point­ing the fish’s ex­act lo­ca­tion. A par­al­lel ap­proach is your most pro­duc­tive way of tar­get­ing con­tour changes such as break lines or river chan­nels.

Po­si­tion­ing your boat along the con­tours makes iso­lat­ing that magic depth rea­son­ably pre­dictable. I will nor­mally start my hunt on a drop-off with a fast-mov­ing, deep-div­ing crankbait. This puts any ac­tive fish in the boat and by chang­ing the an­gle of my cast to the deeper con­tour, gives away the po­si­tion of any sus­pended fish. Once I have made a few mental notes with my pri­mary ap­proach, I will slow down slightly with a slow-rolled spin­ner­bait. The ef­fec­tive zones will now be bom­barded with my yo-yo style re­trieve, once again mak­ing sure any fish sus­pended just off the bot­tom are not be­ing ig­nored.

If my of­fer­ings are not quite forc­ing the bites I am look­ing for, I will break all my rules and re­sort to a Carolina Rig or Drop-Shot Rig. If you ap­proach ev­ery break-line with a sim­i­larly planned at­tack, mak­ing sure you men­tally record the depth of each bite, I guar­an­tee you will put a higher per­cent­age of these fish in the boat.

When it comes to humps, your an­gle of ap­proach is vi­tal. Once again I will start with crankbait and fire it at the struc­ture from ev­ery avail­able an­gle un­til the fish re­act, and then re­peat. By chang- ing an­gles you are tar­get­ing, first of all, a dif­fer­ent sec­tion of the struc­ture, as well as mix­ing up the depths at which your crankbait runs.

Your crank will bot­tom out on the hump and when thrown to ei­ther side of the zone will mop up any sus­pended fish hov­er­ing off the edges. Some­times, Bass just want a crank at a par­tic­u­lar an­gle, so make sure you are al­ways ex­per­i­ment­ing. Should there be no tak­ers, once again let the plas­tics dou­ble check!! Not all struc­ture is cre­ated equal, as men­tioned, the com­bi­na­tion of struc­ture and cover is what you should re­ally be look­ing for as well as struc­ture within struc­ture. What I mean by this is the meet­ing point or in­flu­ence of more than one type of struc­ture, for in­stance a hump ad­ja­cent to a river chan­nel or an in­ter­sec­tion be­tween a creek chan­nel and a main chan­nel.

My next col­umn will take you through the vari­a­tions of cover found in our lo­cal dams and how to best ap­proach them.

So get out on the lake and catch some Bass, and re­mem­ber to re­lease your catch alive to pro­long the sus­tain­abil­ity of our re­source! E-mail me with re­ports, pic­tures and ques­tions at zorthe­witt@hot­

Catch em’ up.


Zayne Kemp with a Healthy Inanda Bass caught off a shal­low break line.

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