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spencer12

Small Water "structure"

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For you small water guys (100 acres or less) what do you consider structure? Most ponds this size are rarely deeper than 8-9 feet, but I know that bass will still relate to drop offs, humps, points etc. The question is what do you consider structure in these fisheries and what key elements do you look for on your graphs?

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Overhanging limbs, laydowns, points, stumps, creek beds.

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Structure = contour. In my ponds, a "dropoff" from 2-4 feet to 8-9 feet is about all I get lol.

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And weeds

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A lot of our lakes and ponds here are man made and are basically just bowls of water. In those lakes if there is structure found the bass will really stack up there. One particular lake the lake is sort of a rounded off "l" shape those spots where the lake makes a bend hold fish pretty well all year long. Sometimes even a one or two foot dropped off will hold the fish in lakes that seem void of structure. The easiest way to catch them in these lakes are to look for cover versus structure. A lot of times the emergent grass will stick out a a few feet more on the bank. Those usually tell me that the shallow water has a miniature point, that sticks out into slightly deeper water, where the vegetation can still grow. Those can be good also.

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Structure = contour. In my ponds, a "dropoff" from 2-4 feet to 8-9 feet is about all I get lol.

 

Dude's sharp!

(Not a sarcasm).

 

Look for edges/ spots on spots on the dropoff. Or maybe a part of the dropoff that drops off faster (confused enough yet). A structure that breaks in more than one direction concentrates fish better.

 

 

 

Weeds are not structure. Neither are weededges.

Although a weed-edge may point your way to a soft or a hard break, which would be considered (soft or hard) structures.

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Thanks for all the replies guys. I have two boats that I use, I have a tracker and a jon boat. I never take my tracker to these small lakes just because its a hassle on those small ramps. I recently installed a depth finder to my jon boat and I'm excited to see what the bottoms of these small ponds look like. I have the "cover" down on these waters but now I'm excited to fish some of the "structure". I've always been a deep water guy and I've honestly never had the opportunity to fish deep on these small lakes. Tomorrow i'll be hitting a 40 acre lake so hopefully I can catch them in the open water.

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I see you have a good understanding of the difference between structure and cover.  Often times the structure on what appears to be featureless bodies of water is in the form of changes in bottom content rather than drops or humps.  Those transition areas where a soft bottom changes to a hard or sandy one are often the key areas.  If, on your depth finder, you are unable to pin point those areas, the change in cover like different weeds can tip you off to their location.  Lack of structure makes other edges a priority to bass. Weed edges, fence rows, or tree lines, despite the lack of defined structure, become the 'roads' that they use in their movements.

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In featureless ponds and small lakes i consider anything structure wether its a bottom composition change,some wood,dropoff etc..those waters any kind of transition will hold fish usually..say you got a flat thats 5 feet with weeds two feet from the surface, that edge really is no different than a 3 ft dropoff except instead of the bottom dropping off its the top of the weeds dropping off on the edge..

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Many of these are creek fed lakes. Look for the creek channel and where it runs. This is key structure especially during seasonal changes or in summer. Flats adjacent to the channel that contain cover are a bonus.

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Overhanging limbs, laydowns, points, stumps, creek beds.

 

Overhanging limbs, stumps and laydowns are not structure they are cover; points and creek beds are structure.

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Overhanging limbs, stumps and laydowns are not structure they are cover; points and creek beds are structure.

What if it's a bowl shape?

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Beaver dams!  every pond around here has a beaver dam in it.

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What if it's a bowl shape?

 

Bowl shape ( bottom contour ) is structure ; stumps, overhanging limbs, laydowns, weeds will continue to be cover.

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Sometimes steeper banks and flatter banks is all the structure small bodies offer   . I like to find the steep banks on small lakes .

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Many of these are creek fed lakes. Look for the creek channel and where it runs. This is key structure especially during seasonal changes or in summer. Flats adjacent to the channel that contain cover are a bonus.

This is some of my favorite "structure" to fish on my small, creek fed body of water. Other than that I fish different bottom compositions, and then parallel to the bank. If your BOW doesn't contain a change in bottom contour or composition, then your best bet in terms of structure is the shoreline.

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Beaver dams! every pond around here has a beaver dam in it.

Considered to be "cover" not "structure"

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What if it's a bowl shape?

 

I fish a few places that are small, deep, & have very clear water.  Many are designated as "Trout" lakes and some are even stocked.  The absence of much vegetation, very few abrupt depth changes (drop offs) and a fairly clean bottom make chasing the local bass population in them challenging.  (mostly SMB btw)

 

The bottom composition in each is comprised on mud, sand and a few rocky or harder type areas.  

The transitions from mud to sand can be good, as is just about all of the hard bottom area.  These seem to change with the seasons especially during late pre-spawn & spawn time when nesting is the plan of the day and depth certainly plays a role.

 

So don't be afraid to look for bottom changes, if the water is clear enough you can see them.  Areas around humps & small islands can be productive too.

 

Good Luck

 

A-Jay

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