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Understanding Structure, Help Please.

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Hello guys, I am trying to develop my skills and knowledge about structure more and some things aren't really clear to me. I have read several articles from this website in fact, but I am still kind of having a few mix-ups that I am hoping someone can talk out with me. 

 

I was reading this article about fishing the pre-spawn: http://www.bassresource.com/fishing/fishing_the_pre-spawn.html 

 

That got me to thinking about the "highways and roads" of the areas that I fish. It is still cold in Alabama with water temps in the high 30's... MAYBE a low 40's if you get lucky. So they are still deep, but some have started moving around on the 40 temp days... 5-8 foot deep on grass lines running A-rigs, Little john square bills etc. 

 

I have grown up with the understanding that "points" are the juts of land that you can physically see. In particular there's a creek we fish a lot called Roseberry creek, and you can literally see a jut of land that comes out to a point that would block the current etc. So is this a point? Or is there points that are underwater that you can't physically see? If so, can someone please explain what to look for on a map? A link to a pic of an explanation would superb. 

 

My next question is, as I am learning.. I have learned that they move deep in cold water... pre spawn they use the roads and highways to stage into these "staging areas"... toward "flats" to spawn. Well, what is technically a "flat"? 

 

We fish out of a place called Scottsboro Municipal Park this next Saturday and I was going to study the map and just look at some creeks / channels etc on the map to see where they would lead to "flats", then realized I really don't know what a "flat" is. Is it just shallow water with cover they would like to use to spawn? 

 

And its my understand that the fish like bends and turns in the channels and creeks they use to move up in. I read MikeIke's philosophy around the red and blue marker to circle these areas and then connect them to try and figure out the path that they would most likely travel on to get where they are going.... but first I've got to figure out what exactly the terms mean. 

 

Anyway, thanks to anyone who would further my education ont hsi subject. 

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A "flat" is any area withouth depth change. You can identify those on contour maps by looking for the areas with no lines. And you're correct as far as I know about points. Just pieces of land that jut out I to the water...but points often continue under water for some distance and they usually drop off on either side.

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A "flat" is any area withouth depth change. You can identify those on contour maps by looking for the areas with no lines. And you're correct as far as I know about points. Just pieces of land that jut out I to the water...but points often continue under water for some distance and they usually drop off on either side.

Thank you for your reply sir. I've got to find me a good contour map for Lake G... apparently one online isn't as easy to see as I'd like to find. Maybe I can get one good enough to read in person. 

 

Another thing I've been reading about is secondary points, points on the channel.... *sigh*.. so much to learn. 

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this will help you with points and humps a little bit, i just posted this in another thread the other day 

 

 I target a Ton of off shore smallmouth, that is about 90% of the fishing i do. 

 

ill talk smallmouth here, others can fill you in on Largemouth

 

1. when targeting a SM bass offshore, there are 2 main things i look for, points and ridges/humps

     -Point, is where a point in a lake continues under water and there is deep water on both sides, Sm love to hang on the sides of these points, specifically on gravel or sand areas. also if you notice a stump or downed log, or a small seedbed, that is a big bonus!

     -Ridge/hump is usually located on a flat or it can actually be anywhere but it where the bottom is flat and all of a sudden it rises up. On a lake i fish a ton, there is a underwater hump that is about 100ft long by about 25ft wide.  it is in about 55-60ft of water and the top of the hum is about 30ft deep. big SM hang all around it, and i can spend a day going back and forth on it picking up 15-30 bass  mostly 2-3LB but a few pigs in there every once in a while 

 

Once it hits July around here ( i live in WA, spawn is later here than rest of country) almost all the bass in this lake move offshore, its really hard to find anything other than dinks around docks and shore. 

 

LM can be found offshore, same locations as SM, but LM tend to like Muddy flats with Stumps and wood nearby, at least around here they do.

 

look at this picture for reference, this is a really clear water lake i fish and the dark areas are deep water and the green areas are shallower (10-25)

 

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Structure can really be anything that changes. Some guys will put it in very strict terms of trees or brush piles but I really look at it much broader than that because it gives you a better understanding as to what to look for and why. It doesn't necessarily have to be a tree or brush pile but it could be anything down to a half a foot dip in a flat that the fish are sitting in.

 

In general terms:

Hard structure - trees, brushpiles, rock, man made structures (anything intentionally sunk), old house foundations or bridges

Weed beds - pretty self explanatory. Can be found in large patches or in strips.

Flats - (can be very small or very very large and have very little to no difference in depth over it's entirety. Usually relatively shallow

Ledge - a generally very shallow sloping bank which drops off steeply a distance out into the water (usually only found with sonars)

Points - Can be visual on the bank or not. Several points occur on relatively flat shorelines but are entirely underwater

Bluff - steep (can even be completely vertical) dropoffs which usually end up being very very deep even a few yards off the bank.

Channels - A deeper spot (can be half a foot to quite a bit deeper) which snakes it's way through a generally flat area bottom contour

 

     I know I missed a few but it nailed most of the majors. Once you can visualize what each of these are you can start to put together where the fish are, what exactly they are relating too and then begin to understand the big question which is why?

    Bass love to relate to something even if it is very small. Rarely will you find a largemouth in the middle of nowhere yet smallmouth are a different story. Being able to identify it and understand it is what we all strive for. There are generalities which one can place on a certain lake or region but most of it comes just from experience. For instance I know that in several of the local lakes the females like to stage up a few feet deeper off the sides of mid lake ridges in the middle of the summer waiting to ambush the bait pods which hand out on top of them. Other lakes they do not do that but will stay right on trees or even the exact opposite, very deep off bluffs.

     Reading articles can be one thing but really take them all with a grain of salt. Nothing, and I mean nothing can be as important as your personal experience on a given body of water. On a lake such as Guntersville you can get a ton of quality info because of the amount of attention it gets, but broaden everything, try it and you will probably come across your own little secret.

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