Since my last article was about “cover” it seemed only natural for this article Lees Take on Structure to follow. Many bass anglers find “structure fishing” a confusing concept. After all, it’s one thing to read about some pro winning a tournament on an obscure ditch or offshore hump, but when it’s you out there trying to find some channel drop-off a half-mile from shore and having to rely on your graph instead of your eyes to know where to cast — heck, it’s no wonder there are a lot more weekend anglers pounding the banks than probing open water.
Lees Take on Structure is ”critical” to catching largemouth bass and only slightly more critical to catching smallmouth bass. So to fish structure you must be able to find it!
Structure, in it’s simplest form, is some change in the river bottom, be it shallow or deep.
Though many anglers consider “structure” and “cover” to be one in the same this is not accurate.
Change in bottom profile constitutes “structure” and this can be a change of a foot or twenty feet. In a “river system” this change in profile, i.e. “structure”, could be a hump, point, sunken island, creek channel, submerged road bed, rock pile, break line or a sloping shoreline.
In a “current system” the change may be a very gradual slope that is no more than a couple of feet to five feet change in depth that slopes out over a 50 yard distance. It might be a drop of a foot, the difference between the bottom and edge of a small channel running through a broad flat that is only 5 or 6 feet deep.
They travel within these areas with the seasons. The size of these home ranges vary with individual bass and the size and nature of the body of water. Structure, at least good structure, also provides bass with quick access to deep water since most structure is associated with a change in water depth.