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Tony Albanese

Marking Structure - Then Fishing It?

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I got a small 14' boat in the last weeks. Rigged it up with a Lowrance Elite 7ti w/ TotalScan. Put a 55lb bow mount trolling motor on the front and a small casting deck. Took it out today for a test run. Few kinks, but all in all it can be fixed and should be ready to roll next time.

 

Now my question is.. When you mark a brush pile, rock pile, etc.. What's your plan of attack? I've never had a quality finder before.. And now when I see I pass over some sunken trees, I just cant to cast behind the boat to fish it.. Obviously not very effective. So I'm curious, what's your plan when you mark structure that you want to fish? Do you mark it and circle around? It seems challenging to mark it, and hold the boat in position to be able to fish it effectively. Obviously its possible, I'm just looking for a few pointers or techniques you guys use. Thanks!

 

 

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I toss a marker buoy , but not on top , off to the side  . If it looks like a brush pile I'll throw a texas rig to it . If its a stump or something not so snaggy ,  I'll usually start out with a crankbait .

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I'll reposition to set myself up to make 'the best' presentation I can.

How that works out depends on the current conditions, the depth of the cover,  & the bait(s) I plan on presenting.

Often I come back in a bit, other times I return at low light or night.  

I may drop a marker buoy in close proximity to help reacquire the spot in a timely manner, especially if it's small.

I may use the trolling motor, the Talons or anchor up if I plan on camping out on it & it's deep.

I recently added a 360 imaging unit to the trolling motor.

Really helps in this situation as I can often 'find' it before running over it.

Side imaging is decent here as well.

A-Jay

 

 

 

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First, you're not marking structure, you're marking cover ("breaks") - yes, it matters to some of us :wink3: 

 

My #1 rule is "get a waypoint on it" whether you fish it then or not. Beyond that, I have no problem dropping a marker close to the object the first time I find it. I want to know right where I need to throw to hit the object. Having a marker makes this simple. After locating the object, I tend to slowly circle around it while casting. This helps give you above water linesights, as well as finding the best angle for future visits. Catching fish right away is a bonus, but not near as important to me. Being able to pull up correctly and reasonably expect to catch fish every time after is.

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When I first discover a sweet spot, I devote all my attention to getting the most accurate coordinates.

I'm not at all worried about frightening fish, because I'll be back, but with greater stealth.

Any spot worth saving, is worth saving right.

 

The more convoluted and confusing the bottom contour, the more promising the holding site.

If it's a complex structure, I'll toss marker buoys to mark a crest, step, mound, indent, what have you.

(I keep 4 stackable "H" buoys always in easy reach) In essence, you're draining the lake mentally

to visualize the contour of the bottom...it can be very time-consuming.

 

Roger

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I will mark a waypoint then vertical fish it with a drop shot the first time I find it. When you are off shore you're normally in schools of fish and similar sized fish normally run together. Dangle a worm down there and see if they are the right fish.

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When I see it pop up on my side imaging I know it's  even with the back of the boat...and then some by the time I get a good look. So since I'm passed it,  I throw out a buoy immediately if I determine its worthy. I'll pass on by setting my waypoint and circle back around. I'll circle it throwing either a jig, Texas rig or drop shot using the buoy and waypoint as a reference. If I'm close to bank..I don't use a buoy. If it's windy, I'll drop an anchor.

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You jumped right into a highend sonar unit with GPS so marking way points is how you return to those specific small spots on the water.

I assume your TD is transum mounted and you don't have a trolling motor mounted sonar unit and your sonar screen is mounted behind your front fishing plateform, right?

If this is how you are set up your highend sonar unit isn't of any use when fishing with your trolling motor because you can't see the screen and basically fishing blind. A simple inexpensive sonar unit with the TD mounted on the TM allows you to keep on the structure without anchoring or use a physical bouy marker tossed about 20' to one side of the way point to give you a target area to stay near and fish.

Small aluminum boats are light weight and tend to blow around in wind easier than a heavier larger bass boat. Your trolling becomes your anchor and takes lots of practice to operate without constantly making adjustments and concentrate on your fishing. Catts suggestion of anchoring eliminates the boat control issues, allows you to concentrate on fishing however is messy setting and recovering the anchor and time consuming.

Tom

 

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19 hours ago, Catt said:

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I fished many years out of a 14' Jon boat & currently fish out if a 16' Alweld.

 

With your transducer mounted on the transom you're practically sitting on top of it!

 

Once I notice something I want to investigate, I will circle it, crossing it from 2-3 directions, & finally kick out a buoy. 

 

I continue to circle it in an ever widening pattern looking to see what it's connected to. If it's structure I wanna know which way it runs in relation to my buoy.

 

Once I got an fairly decent mental image I drop anchor & fish the area with T-rigs & jigs paying attention to where bites come from. Once I decide to leave I'll idle over where I was getting bit.

 

This ain't something ya wanna do during a tournament because of the time involved. 

 

Oops!

Forgot to mention!

I gonna fish in the morning, during midday, in the evening, & at night.

Edited by Catt
Operator error
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On 6/17/2017 at 7:30 AM, Catt said:

I fished many years out of a 14' Jon boat & currently fish out if a 16' Alweld.

 

With your transducer mounted on the transom you're practically sitting on top of it!

 

Once I notice something I want to investigate, I will circle it, crossing it from 2-3 directions, & finally kick out a buoy. 

 

I continue to circle it in an ever widening pattern looking to see what it's connected to. If it's structure I wanna know which way it runs in relation to my buoy.

 

Once I got an fairly decent mental image I drop anchor & fish the area with T-rigs & jigs paying attention to where bites come from. Once I decide to leave I'll idle over where I was getting bit.

 

This ain't something ya wanna do during a tournament because of the time involved. 

 

Oops!

Forgot to mention!

I gonna fish in the morning, during midday, in the evening, & at night.

Stupid question from an offshore novice, but when do you mix in deep cranks if you start out with jigs and t-rigs? I had always thought that it would be better to start out with cranks, and throw slower lures if necessary.

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8 hours ago, IndianaFinesse said:

Stupid question from an offshore novice, but when do you mix in deep cranks if you start out with jigs and t-rigs? I had always thought that it would be better to start out with cranks, and throw slower lures if necessary.

 

First a misconception is a conclusion that's wrong because it's based on faulty thinking or facts that are wrong!

 

Nowhere is it written that t-rigs or jigs have to be fished slow!

 

Yea but Catt I can cover more water faster with cranks, spinnerbaits, or other moving lures!

 

That thought process is why I out fish most of y'all ;)

 

Yea but Joe Pro says that's how ya do it!

 

Consistent; as in consistently catching, ever heard of Larry Nixon?

 

Second I'm trying to understand bottom structure & cover so I'm gonna throw bottom contact lures. 

 

Another excellent choice would be a Carolina Rig!

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Throwing out a marker is effective, marking it with a waypoint and fishing the waypoint works well also.  If you plan to fish it later a waypoint with a logical name is the better option.  I try to attack from down current or down wind if there is no current. Bait will usualy come down current. Casting within 45 degress of up current and letting the bait drift back seems to provide me with the most bites.

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i love fishing fishing like this. 

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When I had my 14' Lund-15 hp OB set up with a backseat sonar unit and a front seat flasher, my off shore structure fishing technique was very similar to Catts recommended method of circling a spot  to determine what was there, didn't have GPS maps at that time.

Also used an anchor when needed in the wind, boat control is different in smaller light weight boats with white capped waves. Most of my small aluminum boat bass fishing was on lakes that I couldn't launch or use my heavier glass bass boats. Boat control in a larger heavy bass boat is easy compared to a small aluminum boat in the wind from my experience. 

Tom

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My buddy lives on a farm and its got a sizeable farm pond.  Fed by an underground spring.  This pond is only about 6 feet deep but has no real cover.  He ended up cutting holes in sterilized milk jugs and stuck branches in side and cementing them in place. Made probaby 10 or 15 of them.  And it provides excellent cover for Bass.  And he has them marked with floating orange buoys.  only about 6 inches with about 10 feet of 100lbs braid tied to the handles.   And i just was able to fish them this weekend from the bank and had great results.  Some very very nice large mouth.  2 lbs for a farm pond with very minimal bait fish presence is good.  Were gonna bring in crawfish and golden shiners next year.  Try to get them hefty.

 

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Locating and marking structure with electronics is extremely helpful for catching more bass, especially in the summer when bass move out deep. There are several ways to go about marking and fishing deep structure. Some anglers prefer to mark structure simply by setting way points on their GPS and others like to use marker buoys in addition to way points. Hit the link to watch Lake Fork Guy go through his tried and true offshore structure fishing techniques!

 

Off Shore Structure Fishing with Lake Fork Guy

 

Happy Fishing!

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