Spend any amount of time around fishermen, and you’ll discover they have a unique language all their own. In fact, it’s often so individual, that a word can often mean something to one fisherman and something totally different to another.
Let’s take the important concepts of structure and cover as two good examples, and boy are they ever important! That’s why it’s critical to clear up the confusion which surrounds these two terms.
The way we like to define structure is any change to the actual bottom of a lake or river. A good illustration would be if we were slowly trolling along a flat, featureless shoreline, and then came upon an underwater point, which ran out several hundred feet into the main lake. Since that point is a distinct change in the bottom of the lake, it’s a form of structure.
The same thing would apply if the bottom change was caused by a sunken reef, a large, shallow shelf, or an underwater saddle which joined a couple of islands together. Since these things are all changes to the bottom of the lake, they’re known as structure.
Cover on the other hand, is something which is usually found ON, or ON TOP OF the bottom. A bed of cabbage or coontail weeds for example, isn’t structure. It’s cover. The same thing applies with flooded timber and submerged trees. They’re both cover as well.
The reason we’re particular about defining these terms properly, is once you understand their exact meaning, you’re well on your way to uncovering some REAL FISHING hotspots. As good as structure and cover can be on their own, put the two elements together on the same place, and you just might find a honey hole you’re not even prepared to share with us!
Structure is a change to the bottom of the lake, while cover is something on the bottom.