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Catt

Minor tip when structure fishing

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One of my buddies who retired to Toledo Bend called last night and we were talking about some of the deep structure I put him on. He was saying after Matt Fly and I had talked to him a couple months ago he had fished one of my big bass spots but couldn't get them to bite. Well after 15 to 20 minutes of him explaining how he approached this underwater point I realized his problem. I had explained to him that when you're approaching this point he was to drop anchor in 15' of water and cast towards the river channel. Simple enough right! Wrong because here's what I didn't consider, he has a Skeeter 22I which is 21' 8 long so when his depth finder on the transom read 15' he would walk up front and drop anchor. He then picked up his rod and started fishing not realizing the bow of his boat where he was standing is in 8' of water and his cast would barely reach the edge of the drop off.

Solution:

When using the rear depth finder to mark 15' fish off the rear deck

When using the bow depth finder to mark 15' fish off the bow deck

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I usually just toss a marker buoy over my shoulder when I'm on the dash graph.  

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I usually just toss a marker buoy over my shoulder when I'm on the dash graph.

Works everytime!

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Yea a buoy will mark the spot but what do you do next?  ;)

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I have found that it is very hard to give someone enough specific instructions for them to be able to adequately fish submerged stuff.  That is what makes it so hard to catch the other guys fish.

We don't all see the same things or thing the same way when we are approaching a spot.  For example, I would direct you to something close to the water level as a beginning while one of my fishing buds would have you looking for something way up the hill without saying it wasn't close to the bank.

There is also specific ways to position the boat for maximum effectiveness in some spots and that is rarely covered good enough in an instruction.

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Things seem to work a little better once we realized that we werent' throwing where we thought we were supposed to.

Made a big difference in finding the fish on the drop off.       I won't ever forget that spot.    That number was my HS football number.

Matt

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Many people fish deep offshore structure by trying to stay in position with their trolling motor which I think is a waste of time; anchoring is way more productive. When anchoring a boat on deep offshore structure you must account for the length of you boat and which transducer you're reading.

Matt we will fish this place again and hopefully in the near future  ;)

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I use a bouy marker too.As long as that marker stays put,which I add extra weight to mine,you shouldn't have any trouble as long as you know how to fish that spot.High winds and rough water can make it more complicated but with experience you learn.

I fish a deep hump that if you don't fish it just right you'll miss the fish.I also fish other spots that are much more forgiving.I also fish ledges where I need to move paralell to the drop because it has more than one sweet spot.Fish may relate to structure differently at different times.One day they're on top of a ledge,holding to cover,come back later and catch them down on the side.When I am out checking ledges I will usually start out in the deep throwing toward the shallower ledge making sure I present my lure all the way down deep.Then if I feel I need to move closer or even up on top,I will do so.

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I agree with CJ. Boat positioning depends on what lure you use, where the fish are, wind etc....I like working jigs uphill on points and downhill with cranks. Both require being somewhere different on the structure. Ledges and humps are not all that much different, they are either on top or they're on the sides. I fish them with the current if there is one, from the downside of the structure.

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The anchor would waste a lot of my time. What if the area is not holding fish? What if you catch a couple and need to start working the area at different angles? What if you are locating fish on a depth finder and drop-shotting for them? What if you're fishing a tournament? Or just trying to fish as many productive spots as possible? That anchor sure would waste a lot of time for some fisherman. But if you just like to relax and fish, then I can see the benefits.

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I agree with that Needemp. An anchor is cumbersome to use and takes up valuable time when you're runnin' and gunnin'. I'd be more apt to use an anchor if the wind was real bad and I had a good read on where the fish were sittin'.  

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Over the past 35 years I've participated in 70+ tournaments with 27 wins all but 13 were won will anchored on deep water structure. It is easier to pick apart structure anchored than constantly fighting a trolling motor. You can anchor deep while casting shallow or anchor shallow while casting deep; you can also work 360 degrees around the boat without worrying about drifting off the structure.

What if the area is not holding fish? Then I aint gonna be fishing to start with  ;)

I can also work just as many productive spots but simply pulling up anchor and moving; it aint that hard.  

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Over the past 35 years I've participated in 70+ tournaments with 27 wins all but 13 were won will anchored on deep water structure.

What if the area is not holding fish? Then I aint gonna be fishing to start with ;)

::)

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Over the past 35 years I've participated in 70+ tournaments with 27 wins all but 13 were won will anchored on deep water structure.

What if the area is not holding fish? Then I aint gonna be fishing that spot to start with  ;)

::)

Ok fingers faster than the brain again   ;)

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Over the past 35 years I've participated in 70+ tournaments with 27 wins all but 13 were won will anchored on deep water structure.

What if the area is not holding fish? Then I aint gonna be fishing that spot to start with ;)

::)

Ok fingers faster than the brain again ;)

Was he referring to the first part of your reply or the second?  ;)

And when you say you can work 360 deg around the boat without drifting off the structure with the anchor.....are you just hovering over it in your boat and plopping your anchor right in the middle of it? Seems like that would spook the fish in more ways than one. Anchoring away from and just within casting distance of the target makes the most sense to me. I guess there's more than one way to skin a cat.

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I guessed he was referring to my original post which stated What if the area is not holding fish? Then I aint gonna be fishing to start with  

After carefully evaluating the structure with my depth finder I will determine where the best place to anchor is located based on its relationship to where the bass will be holding. Contrary to popular beliefs dropping anchor has no effect on the bass at all; the reason I love to target deep water bass is they are not affected by much. By anchoring or using a trolling motor to stay away from the structure you're limiting your casting angles where as anchoring on the actual structure affords you a 360 degree radius at which you can attack.

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It is easier to pick apart structure anchored than constantly fighting a trolling motor. You can anchor deep

while casting shallow or anchor shallow while casting deep; you can also work 360 degrees around the boat

Catt makes a good point.

Fishing over shipwrecks in the ocean is where you learn the art of anchoring, otherwise you're flat out of the game.

In saltwater, both the wind and tide affect the speed & direction of the drift. A strong wind and weak tide usually means a wind drift

but a moderate wind during a strong tide usually means a tide drift (it's generally some weird angle twixt the two).

I can't tell you how many times I've seen boats anchor-up to chum, and watch their chum-slick drift "away" from the hotspot :D

To nail a hotspot, I generally use the technique below.

1. Obtain "Accurate Coordinates" of the bottom-break (That's where it all begins)

Wait for net lag to relax (signal thrust), and don't push "Save" until the ledge of the drop-off is displayed on the sonar screen.

2. Each time you return, get on the numbers and look for the bottom break to appear on the depth sounder (e.g. 4 to 10-ft drop-off)

now place a marker buoy smack on top of the transducer signal (be that the bow, stern or anywhere in between).

3. Place the transmission in neutral, and pour a cup of coffer (beer works too)

As the boat drifts naturally away from the buoy, it will establish an "Accurate Drift-Line" w/o guesswork (wind & tide combined)

4. When you've drifted about 50 ft from the buoy, run a perfectly straight path directly over the buoy (to one side of the prop)

and continue past the buoy a distance equal to about 4 water depths. The drift-line will determine whether you'll be anchoring

in the channel or on the shelf (usually a big difference in anchor scope).

5. Drop anchor, then motor slowly but directly toward the buoy while feeding loose anchor rode.

Be sure the anchor gets a good foothold, so you don't drag anchor later on.

6. "Kill the engine" a few yards from the bouy, then pay anchor rode until the the boat drifts right alongside the bouy,

now tie it off on a cleat. If all went well, you'll be able to retreive the buoy before you begin to fish.

Granted, fishing for freshwater bass has made me pretty lazy, but that's the way to anchor over a hotspot, even in whitecaps.

Roger

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I guess for me it is just a little different. For one thing, it is not real hard just using the trolling motor. I don't see it being a hindrance but a pleasurable challenge. But the second thing I would state is that the only way to find fish on good structure is to fish it. You can't suggest that you only fish structure that has fish on it. You don't know whether the fish are using it or not. Sometimes they are there and sometimes not.

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Rolo,nice to see you come around and another educational post,I wouldn't expect less.

Really a thought that keeps dawning on me is that I have fished different fisheries in different regions.WTS,I have noticed that angler's techniques,no matter what it is,vary.On Toledo bend anchoring may be the preferred technique of a majority of the angler's.It may have something to do with more compressed "sweet spots"?On Ky.Lake bouys are what a majority use if there isn't a simple vortex for the submerged structure.

Just because one's way is right,doesn't make another's wrong! ;)

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Thank you RoLo I couldn't have explained it any better but I was in the process of trying.

What y'all don't know is I actually started my fishing career as a deck hand of one of my uncle's charter boats in the Gulf of Mexico. Fishing offshore is second nature to me, while my technique is not as complicated as what is used in the Gulf it's very similar. Before I drop anchor consideration must be given to wind direction and current, on the Toledo Bend the current is a given since it only occurs during generation at the dam. So this only leaves me with the wind to deal with and I compensate for this by short anchoring or using a heavy anchor and a short rope.

And yes Needemp I'm only fishing structure that holds fish, after 35 yrs. I can tell you what structure holds no fish, what structure holds schools of small fish, and what structure holds schools of big fish.

By definition Prime Structure is the most active, thriving, satisfying, and choicest piece of structure. It has all the key elements to sustain a population a fish so therefore it will always hold fish because it is their home. The fish will move vertical or horizontally on prime structure but they will not leave it.

Take for instance this piece of prime structure I'm referring to in this topic, it is an underwater point that protrudes out off a huge main lake flat, the top of the point is 8' deep dropping of into the Sabine River with depths down to 45-50', the flat is covered Hydrilla and the sides of the point has timber.

The structure y'all are referring to is not prime structure and visited by fish moving from one area to another say for spawning or feeding but don't mistake this for Prime Structure.

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CATT,you sure do alot of assuming!How do you know what kind of structure I fish.It's not prime because I don't anchor on it?BS!I may not have been fishing for 35 years but I'm still no idiot.You don't have to define prime structure and I've never seen any that has big fish on it 24-7.Results from structure vary year to year,hour to hour.You should quit thinking the people on this form fall short of your glory! ;)

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Where do you come to that conclusion?

Just because you've never seen structure that holds big fish 24-7 you assume it doesn't exist?

So you think catching big bass a coincidence?

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I didn't say it does't exsist,but I find it hard to believe.

I guess every tournament you fish you simply run to that spot?

Where do you draw the conclusion that a certain structure holds big fish 24-7,365 days?

Maybe Toledo Bend is different,but on Ky.Lake schools of big fish will and do migrate.I have drawn this conclusion from "on-water experience".Sure there are structure that is known for dinks and structure that is known to hold toads.There is structure that renders big bass for consecutive years,but they all play out at sometime.If mother nature doesn't cause it,then man will.

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Well believe it or not it does exist  ;)

When I fish a tournament I do head straight to structure that I know holds larger fish but that doesn't mean they'll bite. I still have to contend with weather, water conditions, wind and every thing else involved in getting the bass to bite; I've just eliminated the need to look for where to find the bass.

I draw the conclusion that certain structure holds big bass year round by catching big bass on that structure year round.

Not all bass migrate or when they do they don't migrate far; just like not all bass suspend at the same time, not all bass school up and chase shad, and so forth.

I can't think of one piece of prime structure in 35 years on Toledo Bend that no longer holds bass.

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