How to Build a Better Dune

You know, if we are really honest with ourselves, most the times it’s the cast.  We may not recognize it at the time or ever.  We like to say it was this color bait or that.  And maybe sometimes that is true.  But mostly it’s about the cast.

If you don’t have the ability or equipment to make the cast, then bad for you.  If you do have those things, but don’t know where to cast and why, then still bad for you, except now you are probably going to badmouth all that nice equipment you bought.  The hunter with the brand new gun who goes out and randomly fires is still a bad hunter.

So then, what to fire at?

Hopefully you are really starting to “see” the usefulness of Google Earth.  At the same time, it is clear that it is not some cure all.  It takes a combination of time on the water and time studying all your resources before the pieces start to come together.  When it does, your enjoyment and efficiency for what you are doing will go up and your “love-hate” relationship with certain bodies of water will become mostly love.

We still have a ways to go in our “Potholes Master Series”.  Next up:  The Beaver Hut Ecosystem

Lets hear from you!  Comment below or get busy on the forums.


Related Articles


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Don,
    In your last example of the dune sloping off to the east side near the beaver hut from the 1 to 4 there looked to be a ditch where the bass could stage during pre spawn on the ditch and the heavier willows. Move through 5 to 1 to the PB willows to spawn near the sharpest break. Am I seeing this correctly.

    1. Kevin,
      Right on. You probably “looked” at this stuff before, but now you are “seeing”. Monday, the course starts and we are going to expand on this very idea so you can do your own study and dial into different things to try on the water…ice permitting!

  2. Don,
    Awesome video…thanks for making that key…that really helped visualize what’s going on! So I have to confess I watched the video before reading your intro …during the video, the 2nd or 3rd picture was of a dune top and you pointed out some sweet spots on that dune top. Right when I saw that clip I thought to myself how i would fish that spot. Sometimes it I have a hard time figuring out what presentation to make or what cast to make and what ROF (rate of fall) would be best. Later I read your intro and you mentioned “But mostly it’s about the cast.” Can you speak on that in regards to the dune top you highlighted with the pocket, alley, point,etc.

    1. Sure, I’ll try to elaborate. Instead of seeing a mass of willows, it helps me to visualize what it is I’m throwing to and so I’m seeing it with the water off of it in my mind. That helps me recognize those subtle little specific spots like were pointed out in the video. So a cast in that alley or at the base of a pocket or one that comes across a small little point of willows is key. Some of that I can see on the water, other times those things are underwater and I use Google Earth or my electronics to help me make that cast. An exact presentation with anything regardless of ROF is better than the best bait and ROF in the wrong spot. But I can’t make that exact cast if I don’t visually see the target, when I get stuck in the frame of mind that “this all looks good” or all looks the “same”.

  3. I need to add a simple ball compass to the front of my boat. Being directionally challenged it’s easy enough to look at an exposed dune and see which side is east and west, but submerged dunes I’m usually to turned around to do anything other than cast randomly. I feel like this video by itself (and a compass) will completely change my approach. Thanks Don.

    1. You can use different settings on your GPS to view direction.
      When you get done with the course, you might just be transformed! We’re just warming up with this stuff.

  4. Thanks Don. You’re showing me just how much I’m NOT seeing on the water. Like you said in a previous post, I’ve been looking at things on the water, but not really “seeing” them. Thanks again.

  5. This amazing!! I think a lot of us are visual learners and this is the best I have seen. One of things I love about this sport (more like obsession) of ours is the constant drive learn and grow. Love the way you are going about this. Not sure how I am going to get any work done now LOL!! Keep em comin!!

  6. This video is outstanding. I love the how you explained the levels of the dunes. I always interpreted the dark grey as a lower level than the lighter grey. Now I can visually see how that plays out with GE. I understand how PB willows are effective and picking out exact presentations is a key factor, but how does one choose which PB willows are higher percentage ones rather than others during the early spring?