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working lay down timber on your favorite body of water, there are a
couple of different schools of thought on how to attack it. I will try
to cover a few of these, along with some of my favorite presentations
to work in the wood. Whatever approach you use, you will find more
times than not, you will catch fish.
of wood cover
This type of timber is found in many of the man made reservoirs around
Lay downs are trees, or branches that have fallen into the water. Most
times, these trees will have at least some of the tree on land yet.
One of the hardest things about fishing this type of cover is
determining how much tree is in the water. I will many times look at
surrounding trees that are still standing up and use them to estimate
how tall the tree in the water is. I do this because if you look at a
series of trees in an area, most of the trees will be approximately
the same size while they are growing. This will give you an idea of
where the outer edge of a tree is.
Brush Piles and Isolated Wood Cover- This wood cover may be some of the better wood to fish. I say this because many times it will not be visible to the average fisherman. This type of wood cover, may either be placed by other fisherman, or sometimes they may form naturally. Either way, keep a mental note, or GPS location of where you find these in good areas.
to Fish Submerged Wood
There are two main trains of thought when it comes to fishing
wood. One is not really any better than the other, it depends on what
your preference is and partially on the style of fisherman you are.
When reading through this, remember to look at the two and see which
on better suits your style of fishing.
The first theory is to work the main areas of the tree, the
“crotches” and try to get those fish out of there. The reasoning
behind this is because many times, these are the high percentage areas
where fish will tend to hold. After you work these areas, you would
move on to the next tree and the next. I see this as more of a power
fishing strategy, using heavier tackle and faster presentations.
The second method would be a slower more deliberate method.
In this one, you would work from the outside of the tree to the
inside. Here, you would make casts around the perimeter of the tree to
try to catch any of the more active fish without disturbing those fish
that are positioned on the inner portion of the tree. After working
the outside, you start to fish your way to the inner portions of the
tree, starting with the secondary branches of the tree, moving to the
trunk. In the strategy, you would end by fishing the main trunk up
towards the shore. How far in you fish would be determined by where
you have been location fish on the tree.
Although each person will develop his or her own preferences
when working wood, I will share what I have found to work for me. I
will normally follow the second method that I described earlier, in
which I will start by working the perimeter of the wood structure. To
do this I use mainly two different lures.
One lure I will work the area with is a crank bait. I like a
size that dives deeper than the actual depth the tree is in. This
allows the bait to deflect off the bottom and any branches that may
have broken off of the tree. Many times bass will strike just after
the bait deflects off. After working the perimeter, I like to try to
get a few casts into the tree itself. This is an area where many
anglers will make the mistake of not placing the bait properly. This
usually occurs because they are afraid of losing their lure. Although
crank baits will snag easily, there are tricks you can use to not get
hung up as often. First, I will always try to work the crank bait back
out of the tree parallel to the branches and secondly, I do not burn
the bait out of the tree. I will almost crawl it out depending on how
thick the tree is.
The second lure I will work the perimeter with is a swim jig.
As always, I will use a Brovarney Baits swim jig. The color depends on
the time of year and the forage that is available. Here again, I will
work the lure at different depths around the tree until I work the
entire water column. After that, I will again work this bait through
the different portions of the tree. The nice thing about using a swim
jig for this is that they do not get hung very often. Occasionally, I
will then work the swim jig like a jig and pig and will work it
methodically through the limbs. That
is yet just another of the many benefits of using swim jigs.
During certain times of the year, and varying conditions, I
will start with a slower moving bait and work inside out with that.
There are three main baits I use for that. My first choice is a
creature bait that is texas rigged. I will work this on heavy tackle
with about 20 pound test line. Close behind that is a Brovarney
Baits’ Thumper Jig with a plastic trailer. Most times I will use a
3/8-ounce, but will go heavier if the water is deeper, or there is
heavy current. The last lure that I will use is a Salty Sling, or
other type stick bait that is rigged weightless.
Factors to Consider
always just look for bass in timber that is located in, or right next
to deep water.
Depending on the time of the year, water conditions and fishing
pressure, bass will hold in or next to timber in relatively shallow
water. There have been many occasions where I have caught good numbers
of quality fish in water that was 6-12 inches deep, even when the
water was relatively clear. On some bodies of water, that is the best
cover available without a large quantity of fishing pressure.
to look for something different.
Often you will find bass relating to one tree in a group of many. It
is important to figure out what is different from that tree from the
rest. Maybe it is on a point of standing timber, or it has been in the
water for a different amount of time. Whatev
er the case, when you figure out the reason, apply it to other
groups of trees you find. This will cut down on wasted time fishing
Sometimes when you are able to find trees, stumps, or even small brush
piles that are alone, they will produce on a more regular basis. This
is a reason that I will always pay special attention to what is going
on underwater wherever I am fishing. Many times, I will located
isolated stumps, or limbs out from the shoreline and will be able to
connect with a bass because of it. Don’t overlook a small,
“insignificant” piece of wood. Sometimes, these will hold the
next time you are out on the water, try some of these things I have
discussed. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find. Over
time, you may even discover that this may become one of your favorite
types of cover to fish.
lines and God Bless