Sunken Brush Piles – It’s Not Even an ‘80s Thing

Tom Mann Jr. was planting brush on Lake Sidney Lanier before it was all the rage. Photo Pro Bass magazine November, 1983.

Tom Mann Jr. was planting brush on Lake Sidney Lanier before it was all the rage. Photo Pro Bass magazine November, 1983.

I have a close friend who’s a pretty stout stick on Lanier. So stout, in fact, he won the 2006 Tour Open on Lanier. Yeah, some say because he’s a guide he should have won but there were a number of stout “locals” that he beat in the process – a lot of them who knew the lake as well as he does.

I talked with him shortly after his win and he credited it to a couple of things; knowing the fish seasonal movements, two techniques he’d been refining (drop shotting and the tail spin) and, most importantly, sunken brush piles located throughout the lake.

The last topic being the subject of this piece – sunken brush.

Anglers have been salting brush pile for a long long time. In fact it is well known that in the 1968 Lake Eufaula Bassmaster in Alabama two anglers, not wanting their secret spot known, dragged a log to another similar-looking spot in order to hide their number-one spot. The next day the spot they’d sunk the log on produced as well, maybe better, than the first spot. I’m sure there are even older success stories of planting brush or other forms of cover.

What brings me to this subject today, though, is an article printed in the November 1983 issue of Pro Bass magazine. Penned by Nick Sisley, the article is written way before the times of GPS let alone side finders and down imaging. The article was written about Lanier specialist Tom Mann Jr. and his theory on how to plant the right brush piles so they’d be productive.

Here’s a short blurb from the article that I found very pertinent – even today.

“Get to know the lake well before you get ideas about planting brush piles. Find out where you catch bass fairly consistently; then mark such locales down in your memory, even in a notebook.”

That bit of information is as true today as it was then and will be forever. If you plant bush far away from a migration route, your brush will forever be barren.

For the most part, the reason I like this article is, if you know the great expanse of Lake Lanier, you can appreciate how hard it would be to drop brush in the right spot (to attract fish) and then find it on a return to the area – with only a paper graph or a flasher. Remember, this was in the era void of GPS or all the other electronic gizmos we have today. This was the day of triangulation with shoreline landmarks, marker buoys and the smell of thermal paper (in the morning). There were no SD cards brimming with “liberated waypoints.”

Today’s anglers have it all too easy – and in some cases I like that. It makes learning a new piece of water easy-er than it used to be but a little part of me feels guilty every time I pull up on some spot that anglers years before me either made or found the old, laborious way.

Here’s the article in its full, printed form.

Create Your Own "Honey Hole" to Increase Your Catch. November, 1983 issue of Pro Bass magazine.

Create Your Own “Honey Hole” to Increase Your Catch. November, 1983 issue of Pro Bass magazine.

 

Create Your Own "Honey Hole" to Increase Your Catch. November, 1983 issue of Pro Bass magazine.

Create Your Own “Honey Hole” to Increase Your Catch. November, 1983 issue of Pro Bass magazine.

 

Create Your Own "Honey Hole" to Increase Your Catch. November, 1983 issue of Pro Bass magazine.

Create Your Own “Honey Hole” to Increase Your Catch. November, 1983 issue of Pro Bass magazine.

 

Create Your Own "Honey Hole" to Increase Your Catch. November, 1983 issue of Pro Bass magazine.

Create Your Own “Honey Hole” to Increase Your Catch. November, 1983 issue of Pro Bass magazine.