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1St Cast In Heavy Cover

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Thoughts on fishing something like a downed tree or brush pile. Do you like to go straight to the heart or work the outside first ?

 

 

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I have been getting excellent results by casting on to cover and hopping the lure (jig, usually) into the water, or just reeling enough so it falls.

I guess that's working the inside of cover first. Depends on the day, though; the conditions.

Josh

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I was taught to always work outside-in.  Thinking was that if you pull fish off the outside, you'll disturb the inside ones less, but if you cast to the heart and get bit, you'll have less shot at the outside fish.  Makes sense to me, but I admit that it is quite rare for me to pull more than one fish off of a 'cover' - even if its a 40 foot long tree, I don't often get more than one bass.   Now, I will say that my wife and I might get bit at the same time from one outside and one in the middle. 

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There are a couple of difference scenarios to consider when discussing how bass relate to that type of cover and how an angler may approach fishing it.

 

Clearly we've all seen times when the bass are buried right up in the heart of the tree.  Sunny blue bird skies is one time that comes to mind.  This often requires a concerted almost surgical approach, probing every nook & cranny with the bait.  Often one needs to get the presentation right in Old Mrs. Big's face to get bit.

 

Another scenario occurs sometimes during less sunny, partly cloudy and even overcast days (and a lot at night).

Bass may not be right up in the middle of the mess.  They might be some distance from it - relating much more loosely to it rather than being in it.   Depending on the proximity of a decent depth change or even some other cover that's a little deeper, I'm often surprised how many fish can be taken by fishing "around" the area First.

 

So I'll say until you've determined where the fish you're looking for are at, start outside first and work your way in.  But just as you'll work that tree hard to get bit, first allow the "perimeter" to produce by giving it the same level of attention.   You may be surprised

 

I think a lot of anglers are missing some decent fish by passing this water up in haste to "Go Flip That Tree"

 Just because that's what everybody does, doesn't mean it's the best approach.

 

A-Jay

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The most active bass are on the outside edges looking for prey, the bass inside the middle of cover are usually less agressive. The brighter the sunlight is, the deeper into cover the bass tends to get, however those are still the less active bass and harder to catch.

Fish the edges first for active bass, then go deeper into cover for those less active bass.

Tom

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A-Jay nailed! ;)

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A-Jay nailed! ;)

Yup......but... More times than not the best fish the peice of cover has to offer, is right in the thick of it. Only problem is, once you cause a ruckus getting her out, any less dominant fish in and around the cover tend to scatter. The same is true in reverse to a lesser extent. Start yanking the fish off the edges, and the lord of the manner gets edgy. This can work in your favor though. Sometimes it makes them more aggressive when they are on high alert. For me it depends on what kind of fish I am looking for. Need to get a few bites? I work from outside in, need a kicker? I swing for the fences.
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Yup......but... More times than not the best fish the peice of cover has to offer, is right in the thick of it. Only problem is, once you cause a ruckus getting her out, any less dominant fish in and around the cover tend to scatter. The same is true in reverse to a lesser extent. Start yanking the fish off the edges, and the lord of the manner gets edgy. This can work in your favor though. Sometimes it makes them more aggressive when they are on high alert. For me it depends on what kind of fish I am looking for. Need to get a few bites? I work from outside in, need a kicker? I swing for the fences.

Dang sounds like what A-Jay said ;)

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Dang sounds like what A-Jay said ;)

My reading comprehension skills are terrible unless it's in my own words lol.
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Keep in mind that some trees or cover can go on for me than meets the eye. 

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