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texasoldtimer

How To Fish Bridges?

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What is your approach to fishing bridges? Do you start by graphing from one end to the other? Do you start by graphing at creek channel first? Do bass tend to locate on the shady side, the downwind side, or is it based on baitfish? Do you concentrate on the old road bed instead of the bridge? What about the aprons at the end of each bridge? I hear about a lot of guys catching quality fish on crankbaits around bridges. Just looking for some info to get me ready for the post spawn/ summer patterns.

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A lot of your questions depend on whether there is current or not, and if it s sunny or not. Adding current and sun will usually concentrate the fish in the current breaks created by the pilings. If that current break crosses any shade...better. If there is structure in that shade...best. Usually current is the dominant feature in this scenario. It is hard to tell which is best without seeing the pilings. Many things change the game here. Water depth, rip rap, boat traffic, etc.

The only time I graph an area like this is in deeper water. I never drive over it to graph it, I use side scan to look for laydowns or structure not visible above the surface. Most of the time I'll just start flipping it without looking for structure. In my area there aren't a lot of good fishable bridges so it doesn't take too much time to just canvass the area with a jig, crankbait, or spinnerbait. Always pull the lure with the current into the current breaks.

The FLW tour event at Guntersville was won using the a-rig around the bridge pilings.

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I find the ledges next to the bridges and fish that drop

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I'm going to agree with Scrutch's very first sentence and expand on it.

Most of the bridges I've fished had some kind of current associated with them. The current can be the result of the natural flow of a river, it could be generated by wind, or by water being released through a downstream dam. Regardless of the cause, I have found that bass will use bridges as ambush points waiting for forage to swing by them. In some cases, current is going to push logs/brush up against the upstream side of pilings which offer the bass even more cover. If there is enough current will undercut the aprons of the bridge too.

If current is present, I always try to fish on the downstream side of the bridge so that my bait of choice naturally washes into the cover. On shorter bridges, I fish from side to side to cover the entire width of the bridge prior to moving father up and under it.

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I fish bridge piers quite a bit. One of them is a mile long. I fish the shady side and the sunny side as there is no telling where they will be on any given day. Some wind is a good thing as they bite more agressively with chop on the water.

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I would say the bridges on my lake are in deep water, 20'-35', with very little current. I have fished the aprons at each end with very little success. Next trip I think i will graph the old bridge over the creek channel.

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