Finding structure is a key component when searching for largemouth and small mouth Bass. Structure can be just about anything even a change in depth or the type of lake bottom. But for most fisherman it would mean debris, rocks, boulders, a stream entrance, weed lines and docks. There are many other types of obstacles including man made structure.
The best lake bass structure has natural cover such as weeds, flooded brush, dead trees, stumps and flats. These will almost certainly hold cover for a lake bass whether it be a lunker largemouth bass or a feisty small mouth bass. One of the best ways to look for this type of debris is just to keep your eyes open, Or you could use a depth finder to locate submerged cover. Fishermen who spend a lot of time fishing one lake usually discover certain structure that will produce bass for them nearly every trip. But just don’t pick out a favorite log or brush pile and stick with it, bass are constant movers when they are foraging for food so make sure you hit up every piece of lake structure that you possibly can find. The more lake structure you know about the better you can become at fishing a certain lake.
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Some of the more noticeable lake structure are points or humps. Lake Bass use this structure as cover and as ambush points for preying on natural foods. A point in a lake can be as simple as a few rocks or boulders extruding from the shoreline, nearly every lake will have a few of these. The points that will matter most when lake bass fishing is those that gradually taper into deeper water, similar to a small peninsula. Humps are another lake structure that will prove fish worthy in the dead of summer, especially those that have deep running channels near them. The best way to find lake humps is with a depth finder but some will have other structure such as exposed tree stumps or weeds.
Weed lines are as important to bass as they are for prey. They provide bass with a safety zone when moving from deeper water to the shallows as well as providing smaller fish with cover. The best way to fish a weed line is to cast your lure horizontal to the weed line to maximize the coverage of the weed line. A loud lure such as a rattle trap or a top water buzz bait will draw out bass from the weed line or create a reaction strike from an unsuspecting bass.
Breaks in the shoreline that are partially covered with lake grass hold aquatic insects, small fish, frogs and other water dwelling creatures. These breaks will sometimes be a spot where lake bass (mainly largemouth) can feed and warm themselves without to much of a risk of being preyed upon themselves.
Overhanging trees like the ones shown in this picture are sometimes difficult to cast under. With the perfect cast the rewards of fishing such structure can be great. Lake bass as well as other fish will often be found in the shade under this such brush.
Lilly pads like the ones shown above offer shade on a sunny lake. Water insects and other algae eating creatures will feed on the base of these plants. Lake bass will use these such Lilly pads as cover and for forage. A well placed weighted jig or a Carolina rig can penetrate Lilly pads to get to the bass below.
Earth outcropping on the shore offer excellent ambush points for bass. The one shown here is not very good but offers an excellent spot for bass to hide and wait for something to come by. The half submerged branches on the right hand side will offer additional comfort to the bass as they lies in wait.
Submerged trees make an excellent source of cover for largemouth and small mouth bass. This such tree structure is half covered by Lilly pads that will offer additional cover. Submerged trees like this one are easily fished with proven baits such as buzz baits, spinner baits, plastic worms and jigs.
Rocks, boulders and other shore debris make for excellent hiding places for craw fish and smaller fish. Lake bass such as largemouth and small mouth bass will frequent these areas in hopes to grab a quick meal. These places will also offer ample cover to the lake bass.
Rock outcroppings such as the one shown here can be a good fishing structure. Lake bass will often stay in deeper water or channels off these structures only coming up if prey is spotted.