Breaking Down Vertical Structure with Little Baits

Bass move up and down on vertical structure, to minimize the amount of energy they have to expend when the water is cold. Find out how to target these fish using small baits.

Fishing steep, rocky bluffs and things like bridge pilings are awesome locations for wintertime fish. As the water cools down, bass get sluggish and have long periods of inactivity, feeding less than they do during the warmer months. Targeting these fish can be difficult, so understanding how they related to structure is incredibly important.

Light, 6-8 pound test fluorocarbon and a spinning setup is essential to let the bait fall naturally down through the water column. Get over or next to the cover your fishing (like a bridge piling) and let the bait fall on a slack line, avoiding a pendulum motion with the lure. This will get the bait to drop straight down.

IMPORTANT! Watch your line as it's sinking. If it stops, one of two things has happened: (1) You hit the bottom OR (2) a fish has grabbed it on the fall. Once you fell that bait stop, close your bail and set the hook.

Pay attention to the type of structure you're fishing. This technique is great for steep bluff walls, bridge pilings, dock pillars or even trees.

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