In Search of Fish – Part II – It’s All Lies. Fishing Structure.

11 Apr

Last time I touched on working the grid when approaching new water. While the grid can be an effective strategy to search for fish most of the comments I received on the post pointed in a more targeted direction.

Lots of structure. So many lies. Photo: USDA NRCS.


Structure is anything that can or might hold a fish. Structure in a river system is normally anything that causes changes to the water’s flow. This creates areas of differing water speed, in turn creating great spots for fish to hang out. These are called current seams. (Note* – Not to be confused with Steve Culton’s blog.) Fish seem to target these places to sit and ambush prey or feed on drifting invertebrates as they float by.

Really fishy structure includes sunken logs, rocks, drop-offs, sandy runs, heads of pools, tails of pools, deep spots shallow spots… the list goes on and on.  All of these spots that can hold fish are referred to as lies. 

Fishing and gaining experience as to which structure holds fish is possibly the best way to learn this skill. It is certainly the most fun.  Over time anglers develop a feel for the water and begin to pick out the little details that reveal subsurface structure.

For a short list of structure types in a pool, check this out.

For a great post on wood structure, check this out.


2 Responses to “In Search of Fish – Part II – It’s All Lies. Fishing Structure.”

  1. Steve Culton April 11, 2013 at 11:31 AM #

    Oh, I don’t know. Fish hang out at my site all the time. 😉

    There’s another interesting dynamic when it comes to current seams: the ones that form in a river with a moving tide. I was striper fishing yesterday, and the rip lines were constantly changing, and with them, the location of the fish. I know it’s fishing-geek delight, but I find that fascinating.

  2. cutthroat143 April 14, 2013 at 8:12 PM #

    Learning to read the top of the water and recognize what the structure or bottom of the river looks like is a vital step in improving your hook ups. Great post.

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