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One thing just about any man- made reservoir has is rip rap. This is also a man made structure. Rip rap is the large 7 to 10 inches in diameter rocks along bridges. Rip rap is also along areas that may have erosions. Rip rap is a key structure in the spring and fall.
In the spring, the rocks will collect heat and hold it when the water is still cold. This is one area that heats up quicker so fish are attracted to it for these reasons. To me, the spring and fall is a great time to fish rip rap. The rocks have collected a coating of moss growing on them. If you would rub your hand on the ones that are submerged, you’ll feel the slickness of them. It is what shad are drawn to and feed on during the fall. When fall brings its cooler water temps, there is more oxygen in this area, and shad. The angler who knows these things will be quicker at finding feeding fish and can usually run the rip rap all over the lake in a day’s time and have a very successful catch. Now we know when, where, and why to fish rip rap so let’s talk about how to catch them.
There are several baits on the market that will catch fish on rip rap, but keep in mind the fish are looking for shad. I try to imitate the shad. Certain days it may take other baits but my choices are usually crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and buzzbaits.
In the spring, one other bait that I will use is a swim bait. These baits are great when the water temperatures are rising into the 70° mark. They are used to catch really big fish. I’ll use a swim bait with 15 to 20 lb test line on either a bait casting reel and a heavy action rod. I fish the bait really slow and try to keep it touching the rip rap from time to time imitating a shad feeding on the alge. I know this pattern will catch fish just about anywhere, providing of course, there are fish there.
So be sure to use these techniques this spring and again this fall. Please remember to do your part in helping to keep our earth clean and healthy.
Scott Patton is sponsored by: Nitro boats, Mercury Outboards, Bass Pro Shops, ZOOM, Costa Del Mar, Tracker Marine, Bluegrass Lures, and Eagle Fence.