I remember well a fishing trip I took a good many years ago. I learned a lesson that I remember to this day. Upon arrival at a lake I had never fished, I was shocked to literally see miles and miles of weeds in the lake. I was even more shocked to learn that I was having a great deal of difficulty finding the fish. Finally, we located an area that had fish. We wound up with a limit. You are probably wondering what made the difference. Time of day? Presentation? Lure choice? No, it was structure. Sure, we had plenty of cover, but the weeds were growing on a bottom that had no variation. One big flat, if you will. The area along the flat that held the fish had been dredged a few years before hand and had created ripples in the bottom, kind of a texture, you could say. This textured surface is what drew the fish to the area.
How do fish relate to cover verses structure?
While solitary pieces of cover can and often do hold a bass or two, many more can be caught if one looks beneath the surface. Fish will relate to structure much more than cover alone. Find cover on or near structure and you have an ideal spot.
Cover can be a dock, a rock, a stump, an anchored or tied boat, tree, brush, etc.
Structure is a point, a hump, depression, channel, ledge, or any irregular feature in the bottom of the lake.
The reason bass relate to cover near structure is this. The cover gives them an ambush point and an element of safety. The structure gives them an escape route.
My favorite piece of structure is a ledge. This is like a bedroom to a bass. They rest and feed on the top side or along the shelf of the ledge, but can quickly shoot into deep water if needed. Structure fishing requires good electronics. Stop pounding the visible cover everyone else hits and seek out the “nothing” bank. Often these are untapped resources. Find the most promising bottom features and fish them.
Some of the biggest bass I have ever caught were on isolated cover, located on or near structure, i.e. a single stump on end of a point near dropoff, a stickup on the edge of a depression, etc.
Another place I like to fish is along creek channels with lots of bends. These collect lots of brush and fish congregate to it. I crank these areas. Again, a combination of structure, (channel bend) and cover (brush).
Don’t get overly excited when you see lots of cover in an area. More than likely only a small portion of it will hold bass. Like the deer hunting saying goes, “Only 10% of the habitat will hold 90% of the deer”. This is also true with bass. Find the pockets or irregularities and you will be in an area with the best bass holding potential. Use your electronics and Polorized glasses to accomplish this.