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The Brushpile Advantage
By Chad  Brauer

Sinking brushpiles is one of the best ways to concentrate fish. It makes a good spot into a great one, and can make your fishing a lot more fun. Not only that, if you do it right, you'll be the only one that knows the locations of these hot spots.

Making Brushpiles
For my brushpiles I prefer to use the limbs of hardwood trees. Though they aren't as thick as cedars, they provide ample cover and are easier to work with.

Always look for branches that provide both horizontal and vertical cover: do not make gigantic piles. Two or three good-sized branches usually are enough, with rough dimensions of about 3 feet by 5 feet.

Concrete blocks work great for weighting, but large rocks will do the job too. Just attach the weights to the branches with a large wire tie or some twine.

There's no golden rule as to where a brushpile needs to go. I've put some in areas I thought looked great, but they never produced much. On the other hand, I've put some out that didn't look great but turned out to be outstanding.

The secret is in numbers. The more you put out, the more good ones you will have to fish.

I like to put several in a fairly small area so I can hit several in one stop, rather than one brushpile per stop. For example, I might put six brushpiles on a point or along a chunk rock bank, or along creek channel bend.

Be sure to mark your brushpiles so you can find them again. I mark them on my Humminbird GPS, but for backup I also triangulate them with landmarks.






  The triangulation method also helps you fish the piles better because different baits require you to position your boat differently to effectively fish them. If I want to fish a 1/2-ounce Strike King Pro-Model jig, I must position my boat differently than if I want to fish it with a Series 6 Strike King crankbait.

Do It This Winter
Winter is an excellent time to put out piles as well as fish them. The leaves are off the trees in many parts of the country and water levels are usually low, so you can put piles out on dry land to fish when water levels rise. It's a lot of work, but will pay dividends in the long run.

Bear In Mind
If you're considering making and sinking brushpiles, keep in mind two things:

1) Always make sure it's legal to put brushpiles in a body of water. Regulations vary, and it's better to be safe than sorry.

2) When sinking brushpiles -- and anytime you're out on the water -- wear a lifejacket, especially in winter.

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