Cover, structure and depth
by Mike Gerry
There are three keys that stand out in order to establish a pattern, cover structure and depth; when you zone in on these keys, you can put together a pattern. Sounds simple, but it isn’t, as making sense of the keys is different than talking about them. Fighting your instincts to do something different outside of what the keys are telling you is not easy, so you must find a way to balance the old patterns that talk to you versus the keys that give you reality.
The way you do that is to start with what you know, what you feel is the correct pattern from your history or research and then focus on reality by first covering water. Put your trolling motor in a faster speed than normal and cover water with search baits. Observe as your are moving. For example, if you are using a football jig, dragging the bottom, and you’re seeing bait busting on the surface, change baits, fish something that will fish the upper levels of the water column and let your visual keys take over and change baits.
It’s always good in bass fishing to have several rods rigged on your deck ready to go. This allows you to change quickly, but it also gives you options. Your favorite bait may not be working, and taking the time to change baits many times destroys your confidence and wastes time, but if you have several baits rigged already, it is much easier. I always have several rigs on my deck, so I can make quick decisions and easy changes. Utilizing your rigs allows you to fight off that sense of using your favorite bait all day because you didn’t want to take time to change.
Lastly, you probably spent a lot of money on electronics. Use them to your advantage. Today’s forward imaging is amazing technology. Lowrance’s Active Target is amazing. If you’re not seeing fishing swimming around with your forward imaging, then move on. Believe in what you spent lots of money to your advantage. Certainly, there are some exceptions to that, as many times heavy cover makes it tough to see the fish with forward imaging, but most of the time, it’s a reality check you need to believe in!