Finding and Fishing Structure, The Right Way
Saltwater bay structures are teeming with catch potential. While a lot of fishermen focus on offshore spots like shipwrecks and deep reefs, they’re missing lots of bayside potential. You don’t need to target reefs under more than 35 feet of water there are plenty of tripletail, stripers and snook lurking by docks, bridges and rocks.
To locate awesome fishing spots, you only need to know where to look.
Under the Docks
Dock bulkheads and pilings are great structures to fish. They have complete food chain ecosystems, ranging from barnacles to shrimp—and each element attracts tautog and sheepshead. Target the pilings topped with plans and roofs, because they’re perfect cover spots for game fish on the lookout for a tasty ambush.
Beneath the Bridges
Don’t overlook your bay’s bridges, either. Resident species, like stripers, snook and tarpon, tend to frequent bridge footings—especially if the surrounding water is illuminated by street lamps. Be on the lookout for shadow lines, because they’ll indicate a good catch ready to speed after bait fish.
As you’re cruising, take note of any white water—as it’ll indicate structure beneath the waves. Visible rips, meanwhile, might obscure submerged humps, shoals and ledges—creating turbulent water. Striped bass hang out on the down-current sides of ledge drop-offs, ready to tackle the first sign of bait in the water.
Near Natural Contours
As you’re browsing the saltwater bay, take a look at any natural contours. They’re a bit difficult to spot—but slight changes in weed growth and coastal slopes are solid indicators. Contoured bottoms are big fish-magnets, and even a foot-deep drop-off can attract game fish.
If you’re going to fish saltwater bay structures, you’ll need to prep for the trip. Boxing-glove jigs are your best bet, as they excel in low-depth spots with structures strewn about the bottom. Football jigs, meanwhile, are a great choice for their snag-resistance. Many football jigs also have nylon weed guards, which is perfect for scouting salty shallows.
Once you’ve stocked up, grab a buddy to help you scout for structures. Before long, you’ll find some awesome nooks ripe for the angling.