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Structure Change

Lake Fork Pro Jim ReaneauArticle October, 2005
I have written many articles and this one is one you should take a look at. We as fisher men don’t think nothing will change in our fishing world but things do change. The biggest change is the structure. As a lake gets older the present timber starts to fall. The limbs that hold the fish start to fall as time goes by the limbs finally disappear. This only leaves the tree trunk. The trunk will stand for a long time and finally fall but it has lost its appeal or holding power. How many times do you find a good area that holds fish and all of a sudden they disappear. The reason is the existing limbs or brush starts to fall and soon there is nothing but the trunk of a tree and no other structure. If you had started dropping some brush around these areas before all the limbs had started falling then the fish would still be there. We don’t want to spend the time to make brush piles but they work. There are many days the fishing is not good and this is a good time to cut brush. Carry you a small bow saw in the boat and every time you come to the lake cut you a small bush or limb and place it on a good spot. I save my milk jugs, laundry soap jugs and water jugs and fill them with ready mix concrete. Cut the side out of the bottles and pour the concrete into the bottle. Wash the sides of the bottles and this will make it neat for the boat. If you would bring about three jugs every time you came to the lake and put out one brush pile on a good worm or jig hole you would keep your hole a producing area. This takes work but a little work will pay off in the long run. I have brushed my crappie holes and keep adding new brush every other week. One thing happens is you get new plants in the water that attract bait and finally bass or crappie will show up. Willow trees are good producers but any tree will work. I don’t like cedar some people do. This is your choice as what you add. When you trim your hedges keep the limbs and tie them together and this will work well. I use nylon string like they give you at the lumber company or Lowes to tie your load down with. This will last a long time under water. If you want to start a new pile and try to draw fish to it. Try putting piles out on main lake points, creek bends and humps. REMEMBER YOU DON’THAVE TO HAVE A TWENTY FOOT TREE. You will be surprised to see a small branch placed in the right spot will hold one fish or many. If you ever get around one of the tanks where they do the demos at tournaments look at the fish and see where they are holding you will notice the fish are on a little piece of structure. I know one fisherman who would put out a small peach tree and has caught many big fish from it. I say add to the pile as this will make more structure and hold fish longer. This is very true for crappie fishermen. They will have twenty brush piles and this way they can have a back up if someone finds your hole or the fish wont bite at a certain spot. This will happen. Sometimes, the spots you place the brush just wont hold fish. This is another reason to make several piles. But if you will take the saw and the fishing is not good then this would be a good day to get some brush and drop it. I mentioned jugs to use as they have handles and you can tie the jug by the handle and then to the end of the brush. It may take a couple of days to draw fish and then it may produce the next day. Now don’t go up to someone’s waterfront and cut their hedges. There are many areas where you can pull up to the bank and get a few small trees or brush. I usually get limbs or trees that are about two to three inches across the trunk. I will put about three or four together and place two jugs on the bottom as weight. Think about how deep the water is so you don’t put a twenty foot tree in five foot of water unless you weight it in the middle so it will lay down. The next thing is to mark the hole. I have one customer who put brush out and then can’t find it. Use your GPS or get some good line up points. You can use you compass for direction and find a spot on the bank and line up and go till you find the pile. This is another reason to make it a little bigger so you can find it. If you don’t want other people seeing you put out the brush you can do it at night. I would recommend going out and putting a marker or something on the spot in the day light as in darkness things looks different. Then when you get there you will know this is the spot. Another thing is the deeper the water the better the chance the brush may coast off from the right spot. This is where weight will be a key as more weight the better the chance the brush will land on the right spot.

There is no problem putting out brush but you can’t put out anything that may cause a boating accident. Again humps, main lake points, and creek channels are all good areas to place the brush. This will make you a fishing hole for a long time to come. Just add to them every now and then. Oak will last longer than willow but the old timers say willow is the best. I say put both and this will keep your spot productive.
Thanks and Good Fishing,

Fishing Tip by EX Lake Fork Guide Jim Reaneau


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