One bass fishing technique that most bass fishers know about is called the structure technique. However, there is a world of difference between knowing about the technique and being able to use it properly. You can easily read about this technique in books and magazines, but you won’t really get to know it until you put it into practice for yourself. The key to being able to use this structure effectively lies in knowing what to do with it once you know the seven steps involved.
The seven steps of this technique are:
Define. Once you read about structure fishing, then you have to internalize it so that you feel you thoroughly understand what it entails. You need to have a good understanding of the different types of topography that exist under the water and how they apply to bass. For example, it is important to understand the three levels of water – top, middle and bottom – and the various times of the year when you are likely to catch bass in each of these layers. You also should have an understanding of the bass habitat and its feeding patterns. Some of the other factors that you need understanding of are: soil composition, the channels flowing into and out of the lake or river, the water cover, the effects of weather on bass and the available cover for them to hide under.
Research. This involves doing a detailed analysis of the water in the area where you intend to fish. You have to look at the different types of structures. You would not fish a deep lake in the same manner as you would a shallow river.
Locate. This step starts when you get on the lake or river. You should have a depth sounder on your boat and be able to read it so that you know when you have located a school of bass. The reading will also give you a view of the topography of the area.
Define Again. Once you have an area pinpointed where there is a school of bass, you have to note several things about the area. You should record these features in a notebook so that you can refresh your memory when you return to this area or be able to compare them to a different area. What you need to look for are any ledges or areas that drop sharply into deep water, where the deep water locations are, the composition of the bottom and any areas that could be a bass habitat around the shore.
Evaluate. Take your time and study the features to determine the best method for bass fishing in this area. You need to know the exact locations where you are most likely to catch bass, where you should position your boat and the best lures to use.
Exploit. Once you consider all the factors and make your decision, then you can start casting out to catch bass.
Retain. Make a map of the lake in which you record the position of the boat and where you had the most success with bass fishing. This is important if you fish in different locations and will help you from getting them mixed up.