Structure Defined

Most anglers don’t have a clue how to recognize it Most anglers don’t have a clue how make it pay off It is the bass’s home; that irregular features on a lake’s bottom that attract fish like a magnet.

Hump Defined: An isolated high spot in a body of water that is shallower on top than the surrounding area; usually a small piece of structure less than 30 yards across.

Hump Logic: Among the best offshore bass structures. The most active bass are usually found on the top of the hump, while less active fish relate to the deeper sides or ends. Humps are most productive during summer and fall, when water levels on most impoundments are at their lowest.

The Best Humps: Productive humps can be among the most difficult forms of structure to find because the best humps are usually the smaller ones, no more than 20-30 yards in diameter. Some may be marked on lake maps, others not. Key ingredients are proper water depth and cover: The ideal hump would be 8-15 feet on top and fall off gradually into deeper water. Humps with sharp breaks are better suited for winter fishing. Isolated patches of cover such as brush, Hydrilla, stumps make it all the more attractive to bass.

Fishing the Hump: One of the best techniques for locating bass is to use a Carolina rig. The key is to pinpoint the cover, once you find the cover switch to a Texas-rig or Jig-N-Craw and fish it vertical, straight up and down in the cover. A vertical presentation reduces the odds of hanging up in the cover and subsequently spooking the fish.

Ridge Defined: A high spot on the bottom of a body of water, similar to a hump, but usually long and narrow. Because of the water flow in the river or creek a ridge has been formed on the outside of the bend.

Ridge Logic: Underwater ridges attract bait fish and predators alike, because they create a defined contour with depth changes. While bass will not relate to ridges 100% of the time but they are dynamite fishing when you find the bass at home. Ridges will be productive year round and are ideal structure when looking for post frontal bass.

The Best Ridges: The best ridges vary from one lake to the next; ridges that top out in water 25’ or less with good cover are prime structure. Ridges like any other kind of structure will have certain places the bass will relate to for one reason or another; it may be a small point, indention, group of stumps, or a brush pile.

Ridge Tricks: Jigging Spoons, Swim Baits, Jig-N-Craws, Carolina Rigs, Drop Shot Rigs, Texas Rigs and Deep Cranks can all be productive.

Point Defined: A finger of land that juts out into deeper open water. The most obvious points are main lake and secondary points that originate from the shoreline. Points also occur in conjunction with underwater ridges and humps. Points can also be found jutting out on underwater flats and have no visible area above the waterline.

Point Logic: Points create a slope contour that progresses from shallow water to deep but occasionally points will occur in stair-step form; these staggered series of drop-offs create additional structure. Bass relate to points for multiply reasons. Points provide a dining table for feeding acting as natural funnels for “staging” before, during, and after the spawn.

The Best Points: Choose points based on the season; in cold water concentrate on main lake points where bass can find significant depth changes without swimming great distances. In warm water concentrate on secondary points which are points that occur inside the mouth of a cove or bay when bass begin gravitating to shallows via creeks, ditches, and channels. Submerged points are ideal especially during adverse weather conditions. The ideal point has a channel because they provide them a convenient place to feed with deep water access. Points with some form of cover Hydrilla, brush, stumps, gravel, or chunk rock are generally more attractive than bald points.

Pointed techniques: Points are the most popular forms of structure because they are easiest to find and can be fished with any lure & technique which makes them the most pressured.

Channel Defined: Created by the natural flow of water in a creek or river. Channels also include manmade excavations. Most channels are considerably deeper than surrounding topography.

Channel Logic: Many bass spend their entire lives relating to underwater channels; when bass travel from point A to point B most will do it by way of a channel. The hard part is figuring where the bass are positioned in relation to the channel. At times they will be on the edge, at other times suspended over the channel bed, or buried in the gut.

The Best Channels: Anglers have two of options: deep or shallow.

Winter and summer months fish the deeper portions of a channel; say 15-20 feet on the bank and 20-40 feet in the bed. Mid-to-late fall and early spring head to the backs of the creeks

Channel Hotspots: Certain areas along a channel are more prone to hold bass than others. Among the most productive are sharp channel bends (inside and outside) and intersections. Straight sections are hit & miss, unless there is good cover around

Channeling techniques: This is another type of structure where most any lure and technique will produce.

Roadbed Defined: The surface of a road can be dirt, gravel, asphalt, or concrete. County roads, farm market roads, state highways, old driveways or logging roads will hold bass provided they are situated at the right location.

Roadbed Logic: Roadbeds provide bass with a distinctive travel route with a built in edge and a Varity of bottom hardness’s. Concentrate on sweet spots that offer something different from the rest of the road. Sweet spots are usually located along the edge of a road and consist of but not limited to drainage culverts, ditches, washouts, rocks, old hedgerows, stump lines, fence lines, and bar ditches. With roadbeds there are usually several sweet spots not just one or two; look for these spots around sharp bends and road intersections.

The Best Roads: Flooded roadbeds located in the backs of major bays/creeks will hold bass during fall/spring while deeper roads on the main lake are best during summer. Roadbeds that top out 6-12’ beneath the surface will always get my attention.

Running the roads: A Carolina rig is perfectly suited becoming familiar with a roadbed; after you feel comfortable with the contour and find the sweet spots any technique will work.

Ok after all is said & done here’s my favorite structure

Intersection Defined: Spots where two creeks intersect or where a feeder creek intersects with the main river.

Intersecting Logic: Inside the “Y” created by the intersection are found multiple forms of structure such as channels, points, ridges, ledges, sharp drop-offs, slow tapering drop-offs, and humps all in one location.

The Best Intersections: I look for depths of 12-18’ inside the “Y” but this depth on all three sides is a prime example of a Honey Hole.

Down at the “Y”: With my boat positioned inside the “Y” (usually anchored) cast from shallow to deep with Texas Rigs, Carolina Rigs, Swim Baits & Jig-N-Craws to find the bigger bass. In winter months fish these areas with Jigging Baits or Drop Shots in 20 to 30’ of water.

Tommy (Catt) Thibodeaux

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