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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Article 11 - Drains and Culverts #13546723 05/05/20 11:50 PM
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Donald Harper Offline OP
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Article 11 – Drains and Culverts

I have received several request for Article 1. If you would like for me to send that article please Email me at: fishnteacher@gmail.com. There are excellent Videos for this concept to gain knowledge. Just type into your browser; Fishing Drains and Culverts.

Drains are simply small ditches that run a short distance into the shoreline and brings runoff water from the surrounding land to the lake. These come in all different sizes and depths. I work hard to find those holding the best features if I expect fish to be in them. Look for the deepest and longest drains with cover on the sides like hardwood, rock and grass. The deep narrow drains have good points that extend out in the lake and will hold feeding fish year round. Some drains are man-made structures that do a great job at attracting Bass, Crappie and many species of bait fish. Just like all pieces of structure, some of them get very good at certain times of the year. In the Spring, warmer water flows down them into the lake. Bass frequent the drains in a constant search for food and moving water. This moving water during Summer thunderstorms ups the oxygen levels and it moves into the lake which increases the number of species of fish that will use that opportunity to increase their feeding habits.

Look for drains that have an old roadbed crossing them with a Culvert in the ditch that allowed vehicles to cross. The low crossing Culverts can be found in all areas of large coves and basins. Throughout the lake. They provide larger rock for erosion purposes and concrete. Some of the best ones have been low water crossing that farmers use to get across the ditch with a good flow of water coming through the culverts or under the iron bridge. The drain itself can be a Bass haven when that water is moving, providing Bass with the easy meal in a tight place. Any time there is rock and concrete involved the ambush spots are increased for the Bass. Be sure to check your line often as metal, concrete and rip rap can cause damage and cost you that big bit.

Look for those that feed the lake through large pipes that may come through a road embankment running parallel with the shoreline. Some lakes have Levees with drain culverts running through them to help drain the farm land behind the levee. I have fished several of these on Kentucky lake and the Tenn. River. Some are very visible above water that you can even pass through and some are just heavy round pipes that are submerged. There are also levees with bodies of water behind them and the culverts are used to control over flow of the backwater areas. During my tournament days I would go in my smaller aluminum boat to be able to get into the backwater though two different culverts that a big bass boat could not pass through. The area behind those levees were like finding a prehistoric promise land. It was a 100% turn around of what the lake itself had to offer with clear black water, Lilly Pads, stumps and grass.

Depending on the volume of water coming through the drain; understanding how Bass position themselves is very important to your success. I have found that the dept of water around the drain is a critical factor which makes them much more difficult to figure out how the Bass are positioned. Of course shallow water is the easiest to find the Bass quickly without disturbing the fish. Your moving baits like the spinner bait has been a good choice in a small single spin. Before tournaments put the rule in place that you cannot leave the boat; we won several against an old farm road during Spring run offs. We beached the boat about 25 yards from the culverts and walked through the woods to stand on top of the road. The spinners were cast out into the current and just held there letting the current turn the blade. We usually took two or three different weights of baits to get that right depth where the catching was the best. Drain ditches that are deeper provides great cover around the banks and more logs and hardwoods are present for the Bass to ambush from. The jig, crankbait and Senkos are excellent for the presentation around this type of cover. These were the good old days and it was not hard to come away with a 20 lb stringer.

Learn to use your side imaging which will paint a beautiful picture of the big drains that are underwater and putting out a lot of water. If there is one on a long stretch of levee then the odds are there will be more. Fisherman can see the obvious with the water bowling up and swirling around. The lay of the land will put some of them deeper or even not carrying as much water; so they are hidden from the naked eye. This is exactly what Vic Vatalaro did on Lake Dardanelles in August of 2009. Figuring it out is what fishing is all about. Even something as simple as current can make for a tough find. Look for the slack water in a heavy flow through the actual drain. Bait gets sweep away by the current and some end up in that slack water and the Bass are there to take advantage. I love the Senko for this presentation. It will get pushed to the slack water in every area you throw it to. Find out how the Bass are relating to the flow of water and they will respond.

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Re: Article 11 - Drains and Culverts [Re: Donald Harper] #13547990 05/06/20 11:13 PM
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ReelSlow Offline
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Another great article. Thank you Donald


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Re: Article 11 - Drains and Culverts [Re: Donald Harper] #13548010 05/06/20 11:29 PM
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savntay Offline
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Thanks for another good Article, Mr. Harper!

Re: Article 11 - Drains and Culverts [Re: Donald Harper] #13548177 05/07/20 02:39 AM
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Good stuff Mr. Don! Drains are cool features that usually have some cooler water flowing in during the summer time.

I found this beautiful looking culvert on Pines a couple years ago and keep waiting on it to work!

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Re: Article 11 - Drains and Culverts [Re: savntay] #13548231 05/07/20 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by savntay
Thanks for another good Article, Mr. Harper!





Plus #1. cheers


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Re: Article 11 - Drains and Culverts [Re: bassmanrudy] #13549189 05/07/20 07:53 PM
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Donald Harper Offline OP
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Originally Posted by bassmanrudy
Good stuff Mr. Don! Drains are cool features that usually have some cooler water flowing in during the summer time.

I found this beautiful looking culvert on Pines a couple years ago and keep waiting on it to work!

[Linked Image]

Thanks for the screen shot. It really showed up well. I appreciate those that take the time to add things that you have found and experienced.


Each person you work with holds some promise to your future success.
www.eletewater.com - Staying Hydrated
www.lakeoviachic.com - Booking Mexico Trips
20 Hot Spot Mapping - GPS Contour Chips - Custom Spinner Baits - Jigs -Spooks
Pure Extracts - Minnow-Night Crawler-Crayfish-Craylic


Re: Article 11 - Drains and Culverts [Re: Donald Harper] #13549303 05/07/20 08:42 PM
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Awesome info here thank you!

Re: Article 11 - Drains and Culverts [Re: Donald Harper] #13550077 05/08/20 01:15 PM
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rut-roe Offline
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great info like reading them thanks,

Re: Article 11 - Drains and Culverts [Re: savntay] #13550818 05/08/20 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by savntay
Thanks for another good Article, Mr. Harper!



Plus #2!


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Re: Article 11 - Drains and Culverts [Re: Donald Harper] #13554902 05/12/20 05:58 PM
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Thanks DH


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