Wood is probably the second most common type of cover where bass are found. Flooded brush and timber, laydowns and overhanging trees can provide some excellent bass fishing for numbers and quality-sized fish.
Submerged trees can be partially-exposed trunks, entire trees and trees that are hidden well below the surface. Whether the trees were cut before the reservoir was filled, or if the trees are just in flooded water, it doesn’t matter too much to the bass. They love wood and they will find it wherever and whenever they can. Brush usually grows along the shoreline in shallow water. After heavy rains, bass will seek these areas for cover. Fishing can be excellent in and around brushy areas after big storms.
Overhanging trees provide bass with 2 main things: shade and protection. The depth, time of day and water temperature will all affect on whether or not bass will use the spots near the overhanging trees. If there 3 to 6 feet of water, that’s usually enough for largemouth bass to hold under the overhanging trees. In the summer and fall, these spots can hold a lot of bass in the middle of the day. Bass will seek out the shade and you can sometimes catch bass in just a few feet of water even when it’s hot. If there is some deeper water, that would be even better.
One of the keys to fishing overhanging trees is to get your bait under the trees without getting snagged up. Skipping baits is the best way to fish under these overhanging trees.
Fallen trees, also known as laydowns, are trees that have fallen or been placed into the water. On many of the satellite maps nowadays, you can find some of the these laydowns from your computer while at home. If you are on the water, you can find many of these spots by taking a boat ride and searching the shorelines. The laydowns that lead into deeper water will usually hold larger numbers of bass as well as some quality bass.
Use Heavy Tackle
To catch bass around wood, you must be using heavy tackle to consistently catch fish, especially big bass. The larger trees with the most branches tend to hold the most fish, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be bass on some of the smaller trees or scattered wood. When fishing around wood, there are lots of potential snags waiting to happen. As soon as a bass is hooked, it will usually try to run for cover. Some tournament anglers use heavy rods with 65 pound test line when fishing around wood. The type of wood you are fishing and the size of the bass you expect to catch should dictate how heavy you end up going. 17 to 20 pound test line will work in most situations, but it may take 40 to 65 pound test line to get an 8 to 10 pound bass out of a large tree with lots of branches.
Use a Jig
Fishing with a jig is the most popular way to fish the laydowns for bass, but a variety of other lures can be fished along the laydown too. Weedless rigged lures tend to be best though because there may be some snags down there that you won’t be able to see from above the water.
Soft Plastics are Tough To Beat
Going with soft plastic worms, especially curly tail worms, is a good way to go when fishing the wood. The curly tail worms have great action when fished on a Florida rig, Texas rig, shaky head jig or swimbait hook. Lizards and creature baits that have a good swimming action will also work great around the wood too. Action is key to get those reaction strikes.
Wacky worms are also pretty tough to beat.
If you want to slow it down, a well placed wacky worm is an awesome way to catch some bass around the wood too.