All of us have fished shorelines and areas with no visible cover and not gotten a strike? Just as we’re about to give-up, we encounter a clump of trees or brush pile and land multiple catches in a short time? What was unusual about that hot spot?
Fish are no different from other critters. They require habitat for creature comforts. When they find it, they homestead it. Small and medium bluegill need dense features for safe zones to escape predation. Adults, especially bass, prefer open objects to stage and ambush their next meal. Bare shorelines don’t provide essential cover. Brush piles or mixed vegetation and standing timber do. It’s obvious, when you drift from the hot spot, action ceases. We confirm these conditions time after time during electrofishing surveys and mapping projects. When natural cover is sparse, we recommend creating fish cities with artificial fish attractors made with PVC tree trunks and v-shaped vinyl strips inserted horizontally through the trunk to simulate tree limbs. Natural wood structures must be replaced every three to five years. Artificial models last a life-time.
Why do we call them cities? Because we use multiple structures to congregate baitfish and sportfish into neighborhoods, like yours. Bluegill homestead dense models and avoid early predation. This allows them to grow-up and provide diverse size meals for different size bass. Bass or crappie use nearby larger cover and benefit from traveling only short distances to forage. Nutrition is efficiently converted to growth instead of expended looking for the next morsel. Typical communities are established with two root wads, a safe haven kit, and three trophy tree kits. Root wads are approximately three-feet tall. They are placed around four-foot depths for newly-hatched fry. Safe haven kits are used by medium and adult baitfish. They are five-feet tall and dropped around six-feet. Trophy tree kits are placed at eight-foot contours in horseshoe configurations near the safe haven. These trees draw bass and crappie. They permit movement up and down the structure to depths offering comfortable seasonal water temperatures. Lakes without bottom diffused aeration should not place habitat deeper than eight-feet. Any deeper may be below the thermocline, have low or virtually no oxygen, and uninhabitable by fish. Ensure units remain submerged and not used as feeding platforms by herons or other birds of prey.
Carefully select locations. Create a contour map of the lake. Look for points with drop-offs into a creek channel or comparable deep hole. Set them on humps off the bottom. They make great improvements under docks. Assembled units can be set vertically. Trophy trees can be joined with couplers and rest horizontally on the bottom to simulate a fallen tree. Biologist report seeing immediate fish response. Special features include:
- Quick assembly.
- Immediate fish use.
- Snag-free fishing.
- Flexible branches deflect hooks and lures.
- Units don’t require anchors, but extra weight may be added.
If you need assistance, we offer a bathymetric mapping service with side-imaging sonar. Biologist will design a plan and complete installation. Call for a quote.