Fishing Factors™ tips and techniques by Lee Bailey Jr

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Lees Take on Cover

September 16, 2020 by lbailey

Lees Take on Cover reminds him that cover and structure are many times used interchangeably, but they are not the same. When you get down to it, structure refers to the physical characteristics of the water body, such as points, reefs and islands. Cover, on the other hand, is the add-on features, such as docks, fallen trees and vegetation. A good way to remember the distinction is that if you were to drain all the water from a lake, the structures would not move.

This is one of the most basic concepts of bass fishing. Bass and cover is similar to peanut butter and jelly. It’s like the chicken and the egg. They go together. The bass is a creature of prey. He uses cover as a point of ambush to attack. Cover also provides protection from other species.

Lees Take on Cover

Lees Take on Cover can be the obvious like stumps, laydowns, docks, vegetation. Or it can be subtle like the change of two types of rock, or deposits of bottom siltation on a sand bottom, or even shade. Cover is some physical object separate from the actual bottom contour. It is often mistaken for structure. Structure is the actual bottom contour (breaks,drops,humps,etc.).

As a general rule the more extreme the conditions (heavy current, bad cold front, super hot water, really muddy water) the tighter to, and into cover, bass will be. The more stable the conditions, the looser a bass will relate to cover.

Fish relate to cover for shelter and security from the sun and predators. At the same time, cover provides predators with hiding and ambush areas. Elaborate and large areas of cover are like “aquatic neighborhoods” with each stage of the food chain present. From insects, to blue gills, to largemouth, cover serves as a place where fish come to feed, or hide-out in an effort to avoid being eaten.

Wood is a relatively broad category when it comes to fishing cover. It can include sunken logs, standing timber, fallen trees (laydowns), beaver dams, docks and more. The point is, when you locate wood — fish it.

Timber or as most of us call laydowns is one of the most common and easiest types of cover to identify and fish when it comes to any type of river or pond/lake. Timber can vary from tree stumps sticking out of the water, entire logs, or large branches in isolated water. Bass cling to timber almost all year round, which is why anglers feel such confidence when attacking this type of cover.

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