INTRODUCTION TO FISHING STRUCTURE
When you hear anglers talk about fish and fishing, they will often talk about structure, but what is structure really? In this article, I take a look at structure with some examples of common structure used by some common fish species to help you find them.
Structure is extremely important to fish because they use it to protect themselves or to help themselves catch their prey. Fish use structure for a tactical advantage over their prey. Structure allows fish to hide, rest and ambush. It’s not surprising that fish seek out structure and that is where we can also find them when fishing.
Structure can be defined as a feature of the underwater environment. It can be living things such as weeds or a reef, or it could be manmade, such as the pylons of a jetty or a boat wreck. Structure can be a sandbank or a rocky outcrop. Structure is something that adds shape to an otherwise flat and devoid underwater environment.
Because fish are different and they chase different species, the types of structure they are found in are often different. By understand fish species and knowing the type of structure they are looking for we have a better chance of finding them.
Here are some examples of structure that some common species seek. It’s not a complete list by any means but serves as some examples to help you understand what structure is and why those fish use it.
Small Whiting generally snoop around the bottom feeding on yabbies and crabs in estuaries and flats. Whiting can be found in gutters and drains where they can find food washed from the banks. These drains give Whiting some cover from seagulls and other airborne predators while they find their prey.
Flathead are perfect for the environment they live in. They often look for the same drains that Whiting can be found. Flathead often take their position near drains or close to weeds that give them extra camouflage as they lie flat digging themselves into the mud or sand while they wait for their prey to float by.
Because Bream are scavengers, they have a varied diet and therefore can be found in a variety of underwater terrains. They are often found in shallow reefs, close to rock walls and jetties around estuaries. You will also find them in a range of snags in rivers and mangroves.
While the feeding habits of Snapper are not that different from Bream, they are often found in waters without as much snag as Bream. They are more commonly found around reefs and anywhere there is a ledge or a dropoff. Smaller Snapper are more commonly found around the top of a reef or a rocky formation while the larger fish are normally found around the edge as they seek their prey that moves away from the cover those rocky outcrops offer. When looking for Snapper, you want to start where the depth of the water increases a few metres over a short distance.
Fish are pretty much creatures of habit. They follow the traits of their species. By understanding each species, you will know the perfect structure to find them when you spot it.
Do you have some examples of structure and fish species that use that structure you can add to this article? Let everyone know and share your expertise through the comments section below.