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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Article 15 - Fence Lines #13562831 05/18/20 09:36 PM
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Donald Harper Online Happy OP
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Article 15 Fences

Fence Lines are not easy to find unless there is trees and bushes sticking up above the water. Maps unless they are old is a bad source to show them. Nav. Web. App. Is very seldom correct as you will see in the drawing below. You will run across all kinds that can hold fish on areas of the fence that crosses rises and goes across low lying ditches or saddles. Old Fences that may not even have the wire remaining with tall mature trees are the best. Bass love Fences because of the straight line of trees with very little other cover in the area. It is an isolated piece of cover. Many times with boats running over the tops of taller bushes on the Fence, they will be chopped off and under the surface. It becomes easier when the Fence crosses high ground to give you the visual need to see the trees and bushes that grew up on the fence. A visual of some kind will allow you to follow along the straight line of trees even when they go out of sight. Your depth finder will definitely take up the slack here and help keep you on course. This row of cover will obviously be at many different depths if the Fence line is long enough; as it follows the contour of the land. Some of my best stringers have come out of very sparse cover on Fences with bushes only being 5 to 7 ft tall and ten foot or more apart. The technique here is specific on each bush; as you must get the worm in the bush. When the cover is thicker you can get by with random cast parallel with the row of brush and directly to the larger bushes. When the bushes are spaced out with distance between them you will be able to circle each piece of cover as you fish it from all sides.

Somewhere on that Fence Line will be a Magic Tree. This is one of the larger trees on the line and may hold several quality fish in that single tree. You will find that only two baits are needed for the Fence lines. I fish the Power Worm in a 7” Pumpkin Seed on a 3/8 oz Trig with the weight pegged, which represents the Concho Snake in West TX. . I fish this rig on 25 XPS Floro. You have to make sure your line is strong enough to master the fish when you get her on. Not many Concho Snakes exist in the DFW area; but it is still the best plastic to throw. When you find the larger Magic Trees switch to 1/2 oz Big Brush Hog for a little deeper water presentation. Rig this on 50 lb Braid and fish vertical into the larger trees. Hold the bait as still as possible about 1 foot off the bottom and hold it very still keeping it in the strike zone. Jigging the rig up and down has not worked for me. Your FIRST pitch is the most important. Put the rig right in the middle of the tree where the big Bass is holding. She absolutely knows when you pitch to the outer edges and can become very skeptical of a bait that may not be as real as possible. Hit her right on the head with the first pitch letting it fall to the base of the tree. If this is a large tree producing any shade be on that side of the horizontal limbs. Your boat must be positioned to get that fish out of the tree. You have just doubled your odds of catching the bigger fish. Always position the boat to be fishing into the wind on that first pitch. Run the TM on as low of a speed as possible to keep the water displacement to a low degree. Go to the 5 ft area of the fence during the Spring for spawning Bass. Although large Bass will spawn in the forks of larger trees and never go shallow. All underwater trees contain a slime that will hold the eggs just fine. Never limit yourself to the normal spawning depth on a Fence Row. The exception to this is hot Summer time. Pick the deep saddle areas with 8 ft or more of water to pull out the big ones. Not all trees and bushes are created equal. You will notice that the some of the high ground has more rock that the other parts of the rises. This is where your spawning fish will be. You can have the best looking big tree setting in 6 or 7 ft of water and nothing. Put that same tree next to the slope or on the slope and you better hang on. When the water is calm these Bass will spook easily. If the surface is broken by moderate wind you are much more undetected. If there is enough waves to be moving the bushes and trees; this is the best because everything is moving and they feel safer and it allows the boat to get up close and personal. Of course the harder the wind the less effective your presentations will be and the less time you will have when circling a piece of cover.

On cloudy days and during low light early morning/late afternoon the Bass may move to the outer edges of the bushes if they are larger pieces of cover. Make several pitches to your target to determine the side that they are liking best. They may even be really close to the surface and can be whacked with a spinner bait through the tops of the brush; as you bounce the bait off the horizontal limbs. You must learn to read a piece of cover that is giving you a visual. I learned how to do this form walking through all kinds of cover while hunting deer on the top of hills, sides of slopes, out on the protrusions and down in the bottom of the canyons. The brush and trees that remain out in the lake are the same. You just learn where the best ones are located and the big Bass relate to the best. A Gouge and a Drain will grow the thickest cover; as long as flood water has not broke it all off. Big trees like the lip of the drops and in river bottoms large trees grow from the edge of the creeks where they once had lots of water to survive hard times before the lake was impounded.

NAV. WEB. APPS.
We start with the Paper Maps and the Nav. Contour maps to find the Fence lines. Always back this up with low water imaging from Satellite View by going back in time. The Nav. Apps Map shows two Fence Rows coming off the North shore and running South. One strikes across the ditch and is there where I have caught spawning fish in the Drain. The other one just is not there and does not show up on the Satellite View. I have searched for it many times and cannot even find a fence post. The Old Road Bed coming off the East Shoreline runs out and crosses a wide Gouge then rises to the House Foundations and a hard rock Protrusion that has produce several large Bass. Deep water is very close by with the River Slam to the West. The Roadbeds running East and West all have Fence line with heaver brush in deep water and sparce bush on top of the shallow ground close to the House Foundation. The second roadbed does the same and forms two junctions that had more bushes than the rest of the road. This second Road and Fence cuts across a little deeper part of the Gouge that comes in running South to North. The South Roadbed has scattered bushes along the Fence and is on high ground. The lake must be up and good shape to produce spawning fish on top. Next to the River Slam is a Ditch that cuts through the high ground forming two FUNNEL POINTS. Two fish big fish have been taken of each of them. The South Fence line crosses this same Ditch and has been a great producer.
[Linked Image]


SATELLITE VIEW LOW WATER IMAGING.
This view shows the area without hardly any water on the area. As you can see there is no long Fence coming off the North Point and all the way to the E. and W. Road. It shows of great visual of the Old Roadbed and the tree line on the Fence on the N. side of the road. The road ends that the House Foundations that are still in tact. I have been there and part of the concrete walls are still standing. The Rock Protrusion is also pictured. We have a good picture of all the Roadbeds and the low lying Ditches. Each Roadbed has one Fence line with enough timber to produce big stringer year round. The two FUNNEL POINTS are well defined.
[Linked Image]


SATELLITE VIEW DURING LOW WATER MONTHS.
Four to five foot of water during a draw down will make for good spawning. Bass have been there every year form the River Slam and they will even come when there is not much water to deal with. This makes for excellent spawning during the Spring. All of the best nooks and crannies are just around the corner out of heavy wind; just where big fish like to take care of business.
[Linked Image]


SATELLITE VIEW DURING HIGH WATER.
This is one of the best Summer time patterns that there is. To drag a crig over the cover down each of the Fence lines. Use as light of a Crig as possible with the weight pegged so it will come over the bushes and trees without getting hung. Bass will be suspended all along the route.
[Linked Image]


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Re: Article 15 - Fence Lines [Re: Donald Harper] #13563252 05/19/20 05:09 AM
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Never even thought about looking for fence rows. Another great article Don, thanks for the info!

Re: Article 15 - Fence Lines [Re: Donald Harper] #13563329 05/19/20 11:29 AM
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Great article and just to add, if you don't have Google Earth Pro on your computer or phone download it. Its free and with the history timeline you can search for images when the lake it low. Shows lots of detail that you'll never find on your graphs.

Re: Article 15 - Fence Lines [Re: Donald Harper] #13563417 05/19/20 12:51 PM
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haleywp Online Content
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Great article Don. Keep them coming.

Re: Article 15 - Fence Lines [Re: Donald Harper] #13563645 05/19/20 03:18 PM
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Thanks Don!!


Tony

Re: Article 15 - Fence Lines [Re: Donald Harper] #13564708 05/20/20 11:55 AM
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ReelSlow Online Content
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Good article as always, thanks for sharing.


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