Finding Your Way in the Maze: Why Structure and Cover Matter

I want to talk a bit about something I don’t think I’ve ever seen brought up when it comes to bass fishing.  That’s the idea of “eye discipline”.  In the world of sports, eye discipline is often what separates the great ones from the good ones.  I believe there are parallels in the sport of bass fishing.

Eye Discipline

Eye discipline is about two basic things:

  • What you are looking at
  • How you interpret what you are seeing

When coaching athletes, these are equally challenging concepts to get across.  Often, just getting them to control where they are looking is the toughest part.  Especially when there are lots of things to look at.  Throw in other players, a crowd and some cheerleaders and you’ve got a world class distraction problem.  Once they get their eyes in the right place, what are they seeing?  This is the primary reason why so many high draft picks in the NFL at quarterback don’t pan out and others who were not highly regarded end up being superstars.

So how does this apply to bass fishing?  Same way.  What are you looking at and how do you interpret what you are seeing?  This, to me, is the biggest advantage that Google Earth (GE) has to offer.  A different way of looking at what’s underneath the surface.  Instead of saying “I see water”, you can use GE to begin training what your eyes “see”.  Same idea with sonar and side/down imaging.  With these things you can look but what do you see?  I’m amazed at the fact that nearly every time I look at GE, I see something new.  Even if I “looked” right at that very spot the last time.  On the water it’s the same deal.  Once I start seeing things differently off the water, I now see the same stretch on the water entirely differently.  Doesn’t matter if it’s something I’ve looked at and fished for 20 years.  It’s that “mind-blown” moment of, “man, I never noticed THAT before.”  If I can create that moment every time I’m looking (on the water or off the water), then I’m growing, learning as an angler.

Structure & Cover

The two terms “structure” and “cover” get used (and misused) all too often.  To the point that we have become mostly numb to their use.  It has become a “whatever” term we throw around just so we can talk the talk.  Not a big deal, until you find yourself at a place like Potholes, around mid morning, and without a fish.  The past 3 hours are a blur and it all started to look the same an hour ago.  You are so sick of thinking or saying “this looks good”, that you almost start avoiding those places in order not to be let down again.

On to the video – just a short piece about structure vs cover at Potholes.

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  1. The last part of the video, was that a beaver hut? I have a hard time seeing the beaver huts when I use GE.
    What are the key characteristics to identify them?

    1. Tomorrow’s article (video) will begin to get into that. Future article’s will get into it even more. The Course will REALLY get into it. Stay tuned!