Before we continue discussing more brushpile building, I understand in some states brushpile building and planting may be illegal. Also, please note there may be permit requirements or special rules on some bodies of water for brushpile building. Be sure and check the laws on the specific waters before starting a honey hole building mission. If the rules allow, then let’s make a secret honey hole!
There are so many items anglers can use for brushpile building to help increase bass catches. I’m going to attempt to cover a few of them. Obviously, different regions have different materials to choose from, but experimenting is part of the fun and excitement when building private fishing “holes.”
Brushpile Building Part Two – Willow Trees
Willow trees are possibly the most diversified of the brushpile woods, and I’m pretty sure they grow almost everywhere throughout the country. Significant advantages to ‘green’ willows: Bass will gravitate to them almost immediately, they are relatively easy to put in place and easy on your body and skin – some woods are not. They are also easier to get bass out of compared to other kinds of wood.
The most significant disadvantage to willow brushpiles is I like to use them green, and they just do not last very long.
Brushpile Building Part Two – Christmas Trees / Evergreens
The venerable old Christmas tree is a tried and true “crappie bed” and will definitely hold its share of bass. Advantages for cedar (evergreen, spruce, etc.): They are readily available, they provide a lot of cover in a compact package, and they hold lots and lots of fish.
There are disadvantages with using Cedar. Cedars can flat put the hurt on an angler when trying to place them. Cedars are not at the top of the list for their duration of effectiveness. Another disadvantage, a bass can wrap up in a cedar tree faster than imaginable. But, I always figured I wouldn’t have got the bite to start with if I didn’t have the cedar brushpile, so it’s worth the occasionally lost bass.
Cedars need to be dead to attract numbers of bass quickly. A trick to speed the process along and help fortify the brush to give it a little more longevity, is to first burn the boughs off of the tree. It doesn’t take much; however, do take care while doing this. Taking a match to the bottom part of a cedar tree, whether upright or one already cut down, the flame will spread rapidly–Very rapidly. When complete, the smoking skeleton is a bass-holding husk ready to be placed in the water. Another tip here is to let the tree set a few months after it is burned off. This seems to help the tree to harden up some. It works for me, anyway.
Brushpile Building Part Two – Hardwoods
These next couple of wood types are a little harder to work with. Sycamore is very fast to attract fish, but good for only two or three years in my waters. Any of the Oaks and Hickory are very hard to handle, but they last for years. I’ve also heard Bald Cypress is excellent, and I can believe it, this stuff is hard.
Brushpile Building Part Two – Commercial products
Commercial fish attracting concoctions of ready-made glued-together PVC pipe probably work, but I’ll go one better. Plastic ornamental trees and bushes like fig, palm and banana trees are maybe the ultimate bass-holding brush. Taking the time to screw the leaves and branches on, they become very durable, and a brushpile for the ages. I have some brushpiles over twenty years old and still seem to be mostly complete, and they still produce bass.
Brushpile Building Part Two – What’s Next
I’ll go over some brushpile construction methods, and the techniques I have used to put them in place over the years in my next article. After we discuss location one more time, everyone could be on the way to creating some true bass fishing honey-holes.
Oh yeah, by the way. Years ago, my hero and friend, the late, great Guido Hibdon shared with me his favorite tree to use for a brushpile. He promised it would hold more bass, and even take bass away from other nearby brushpiles. He was right – it worked. But he also swore me to secrecy. Sorry, a guy’s gotta keep some tricks to himself!
See you on the water!
Check out Part One of Build a Honey Hole – Building Brushpiles