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Fishing Structure
By Denny  Brauer

Years ago most people fished the bank for bass. Then a couple anglers won some tournaments out in the middle of the lake and others soon followed. These days most good anglers are capable of running the banks along with fishing the hidden structure. The examples of this are endless so use your imagination.

Ledges or structure breaks can be the primary holding spots for the majority of the bass on many water bodies. They do not have to be picture perfect. A one or two foot change can hold a bunch of fish. A break with any additional cover like stumps, vegetation, or brush can be even better. Shallow ledges out from spawning areas can be good for pre- and post-spawn bass, as well as during the fall. Deeper structure breaks tend to be better during the summer and winter. If you have trouble fishing the correct zone, get several markers and drop one every 50 to 100 yards, then work the break. I like to locate fish on structure with a crankbait, and once I have found them, I slow down with other techniques. It is important to choose a crankbait that dives to the correct depth. My favorite crankbait for structure fishing is a Strike King Premier Series 5 in either chartreuse/blue back or a shad pattern. When I slow down I will often throw a Carolina Rig or a Strike King Pro Model Jig. I will usually throw a 1/2 oz. or 1 oz. version on structure. I will choose a color that is appropriate for the water conditions. Black/blue and white have both produced very well for me.

Once you find the fish along a structure break, it is important to mark the spot. With today’s technology this is easily done with a GPS, but if you do not have one you can triangulate the spot with landmarks on the shore. It is a good idea to do this even with a GPS, just in case it would ever break. These spots are often very important because there is always a "sweet spot" on structure that usually produces the best.






  Creek channels and humps basically fall into the same category as structure breaks. They can basically be fished the same way and are often productive at the same time. Take some time this year to get away from the banks and fish some structure. With the low water conditions many of the water bodies have right now, off-shore structure may be especially productive. Remember that patience is the key. You may fish all day on structure and only find one or two spots, but those spots may be the honey holes of a lifetime.

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