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101: Structures

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Fishing Structure

How does structure play a role in fishing patterns?  Should people look for stumps, man made attractors, foundations/culverts/road beds, or other submerged structures?

First, let's define "structure" and "cover" because they are two totally separate entities that both affect fishing.

Structure is basically defined as the earth under the water.  That is The bottom of the lake and the composition and topographical nature of that bottom.  Some examples are "rocky point", "mud flat", "pea gravel bank", "road bed", etc.
Cover is defined as that which provides cover or a hiding place for Fish.  Examples of this would be "brush piles", "stake beds", "laydowns", "grass", "docks", etc.
Both of these things are very important to the angler.  Many times the structure, or type of composition or topographical nature of the bottom, dictates which areas are of a higher percentage to catch certain types of fish during different times of the year, or under certain water or weather conditions during the year.

One would not expect to find any number of bass on an underwater point ledge on the main lake during the first week of May.  The bass are spawning at that time and they will be located most likely on a shallow gravel flat.

So you see it is imperative that the angler know the seasonal patterns of the fish they are seeking and the types of structure they will seek during the different seasons.  Cover is pretty much something an angler is always seeking for most game fish.  All predatory and prey fresh water fish relate to some kind of cover during most of the season.  So finding cover in the areas they are fishing is just as important as to what type structure they are fishing.

The magic combination of course is to find the right structure and cover combination for the species you are seeking during whatever time of year you are fishing.

When fishing ledges during the summer months Patrick Hahs' maps (KentuckyHydroGraphx.com) provide everything one needs to find the underwater topographical structure mentioned here, including cover.  When one uses his side scan maps in conjunction with his topographical maps and a working knowledge of GPS, it will assist the angler in finding these areas. 

Continue to Definitions of Fishing Terms >

Fishing 101 Credits:

Written by Dave Stewart, Bass Buster Guide Service
Edited by Shawn Dunnaway
Fishing 101 may not be reproduced or reprinted and is provided exclusively by ExploreKentuckyLake.com

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In Flight
Photo by John Mitchell

Gliding gracefully over the water, this heron keeps a stealthy eye out for his next meal. Herons are one of the more common species of birds that can be seen at Kentucky Lake.