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Bridge Fishing 101: What To Look For And What To Use

Bridge Fishing 101: What To Look For And What To Use

Bridges are some diverse pieces of structure. They go over deep water, offer vertical cover and shade, can have other rubble from previous bridges nearby, and they restrict water flow which creates current. All these factors make them dynamite fishing spots. In fact, if you’re fishing a new body of water, you could do a lot worse than just fishing any bridges you can find. Here’s a primer on how to approach and thoroughly fish a bridge.

Step 1:

Approach the bridge from downstream. On 90 percent of bridges, there will be an upstream and downstream side. To maximize your catch, you always want to approach a bridge from the downstream side, working into the current. Even on reservoirs where you don’t feel any current, it’s there and the best place to start will be on the down lake side of the bridge.

Step 2:

Start working the bank about 50 yards from the bridge. Being manmade, bridges almost always have a rip rap bank or steep break on each side that allows the road to slope properly over the water. These sections are excellent and can be effectively fished with a topwater, crankbait, or plastic. Bass and other gamefish like to hold in these stretches on isolated rock that fell during the bridge construction and use the steep break line to move up and feed.

Step 3:

Fish the shade. Once you work up to the bridge, make sure to focus on the banks that are shaded by the bridge platform. Fish use shade as cover, and on sunny days they will congregate in the shadiest portions of the bridge. Slow down and thoroughly comb individual shady rocks with a worm, jig, or creature bait.

Step 4:

Check the pilings and underneath. After fishing the bank up to the bridge, ease over to the first set of pilings or supports and pay attention to your locator. Look for balls of bait and individual fish around the pilings, then drop on them with a vertical presentation like a drop shot, shakey head, or underspin. Also look for rocks and rubble in between the sets of pilings – municipalities often sink the rubble from previous brides rather than removing it..

Step 5:

Repeat. Work your way across all sets of pilings, and then approach the other side of the bridge the same way.

Updated May 25th, 2016 at 7:48 PM CT