How To Find Inshore Fishing Structure The Quick & Easy Way
By: Tony Acevedo on November 27, 2019
Everybody knows that fish like structure…
- Oyster bars
Those are just a few structure elements you can find fish on.
That’s the easy part…
The harder part is finding the structure.
How do you find a cut or a shoal in a place you’ve never been to?
Or how do you find an oyster bar if it’s underwater?
Yes, you can put in “time on the water,” but there’s a much quicker and easier way to find these elements.
Want to see how?
Check out this video.
How To Find Inshore Fishing Structure [VIDEO]
Below are a few examples of inshore fishing structure to look for and how to spot them on a map, as well as some definitions of common fishing terms.
You can use Google maps, but if you want to see the satellite map plus the sonar map, weather, tides, and fishing forecast, check out SmartFishingTides.com.
Sandy Potholes & Grass Flats
In the image above near the yellow dot, you can see that the darker green is the seagrass and the lighter areas are sandy potholes.
These places are ideal because seagrass can be home to baitfish, shrimp and crabs, and the grass and potholes give predator fish places to hide and ambush their food.
Cuts & Troughs
A cut is an area that “cuts” through two different pieces of structure.
Troughs are very similar, although I would consider a trough a section of deeper water that’s more out in the open.
Both of these areas provide ambush points for predators and in times of extreme temperatures, the fish will seek deeper water in the cuts or troughs.
Points are any type of protrusion that sticks out from an area of land.
Points are good because they make great ambush points for predators.
Also, there’s usually some type of depth change around a point.
Leeward vs. Windward
Windward and leeward sides of islands refer to which side the wind is hitting.
In the image above, the wind is hitting the side with the yellow line on it, so that’s the windward side.
The opposite side, the side not getting hit by the wind, is the leeward side.
This is important because depending on the time of the year and the temperature, fish will often prefer one side over the other.
For example, when the water is hot, the fish will likely prefer the windward side because it cools down the water.
When the water is cold, fish will likely prefer the leeward side because the water on that side is warmer because it’s not being cooled by the wind.
Unlike a cut or a trough, channels are manmade.
They’re usually pretty straight and stick out like a sore thumb.
But like cuts and troughs, these are good areas to catch fish because they provide depth changes and ambush points for predator fish.
Shoals are shallow sandbars.
They can run along the edge of a flat (like pictured above) or can just be out in the open.
These also provide depth changes and ambush points.
When you’re looking for oyster bars on the map, you’ll be looking for a rocky looking mass with round edges.
Now, a lot of people might get oyster bars confused with sand bars, but sand bars are usually more smooth looking and lighter in color.
Whether you’re fishing for trout in Texas, snook in Florida, or redfish in North Carolina, they all have one thing in common: they like structure.
Now I’ve just shown you how to find many structure elements using online maps, but if you want to catch fish you need to know the right time to fish these areas.
Depending on the weather, tide, season, and many other factors, fish may be at an oyster bar one day, but gone the next.
The key to consistently finding feeding fish is knowing the trends.
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