Hey folks!Glenn May here at BassResource. com and todayI’m out here fishing riprap!Why would you think I want to fish a bunchof rocks?Well, let me tell you what. Rocks, riprap, can be productive year-round. It’s a simple fact. The rocks. . . algae collects on the rocks andorganic material will fall down in betweenthe cracks and crevices of the rocks. This in turn attracts crawdads, insects, baitfish. It’s a buffet for the bass. And it’ll happen year-round, even in the wintertime. You get a few warm, sunny days, it’ll warmup these rocks and that’ll get the whole ecosystemgoing even if the water temp is in the 40s. Okay, so riprap, if you have it in your lake,you gotta fish it. As a matter fact, you can find them anywhere. You can find them in dams like this, or youcan find them along roadbeds. You can find them. . . homeowners will use riprapto prevent erosion of their property. Even marinas and other areas, you’ll findriprap pretty much everywhere. So if you find them, stop and fish them. Definitely. The different ways to fish them, I want toget in to that. I’m gonna talk about how to fish them effectivelyand how to find the hot spots within riprap. Before I put my boat into the riprap. . . a littlebit of waves here coming in. First of all, how are we gonna fish it?The most effective way, or the most commonway to fish riprap is with crankbaits, deepdiving crank baits. What you want is the crankbait to bounce offthat riprap. You want it to hit it and ricochet off ofit. What happens is that when that crankbait hitsit it, stops momentarily, and then fires offin an odd direction before it slows down backto its normal speed. That odd behavior, that erratic behavior,that’s often what triggers a bite. See bass, they’re pre-programmed by natureto attack injured and disoriented bait fish. And that’s exactly what it mimics when you’rebouncing it off the rocks. That’s the primary way of fishing riprap. There’s a couple other baits that work reallywell though. Spinnerbaits, for example. Love fishing spinnerbaits on riprap. And here’s the thing, see I’m. . . like I said,I’m standing in 12 feet of water, sure, throwa spinnerbait in 12 feet of water, that worksfine, but don’t be swayed by that. Look at this, you can see this riprap herehas sort of a gradual slope to it. Makes total sense if I’m standing in 12 feetof water to fish a spinner bait, but don’tbe swayed by that. A lot of riprap that I fish also is just straightup and down, almost straight up and down. I’ll be standing this far away from the shoreline,but I’ll be standing say in 20 or 30 feetof water. Spinnerbaits still work really well for thatsituation. Here’s why. First of all, I throw the spinnerbait rightup near the rocks as close as I can. You want to though a short underhand cast,nice soft presentation. The reason being is bass, so they’re ambush. They like to ambush bait fish and if you canget bait fish near the surface of the water,then they can’t escape. So that’s a place where the bass will wantto go. Well, if the water, where the water meetsthe shoreline, now you’ve got the surfaceand a physical barrier, now the bait fishare trapped. So even if I’m standing in 20, 30 feet ofwater, if I can get that spinnerbait rightup to that intersection, often times the bassare there, they’re in 6, 8 feet of water,6, 8 inches of water, excuse me. I’ll cast up there and I’ll get whacked within2 to 3 turns of the handle even though I’mstanding in deep water. So don’t be afraid to throw spinnerbaits,but you got to get them right up near therocks. Don’t throw overhand casts, because if youhit the rocks you’ll be liable to bust upyou’re spinnerbait. Nice, soft underhand cast, that’s the presentationyou want. Now, line. Let’s talk about line for a second. I like to use Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon linefor those types of baits because it’s abrasionresistant. This bait that. . . the lines gonna be drapedover the rocks. It’s gonna get nicked and frayed, but withfluorocarbon it’s much more apt to withstandall of that abuse. Even in, you know, monofilament, copolymordoesn’t stand up as well. Braid on the other hand, sounds like a greatchoice. I wouldn’t use it. Braid is funny. It’s really strong when you’re throwing itin vegetation, throwing it around wood andpilings, that sort of thing. But riprap is braid’s kryptonite. Braid tends to get tore up and shredded bythe riprap, so it’s not a good choice to use. That’s why I’m using fluorocarbon. It’s strong, sensitive, it’s gonna handlethe abuse. Other baits that are really good to use onriprap, top water. Definitely you want to throw top water, especiallyin the warmer months in the low light conditions. Buzz baits, poppers, you know, anything likethat. Those are the baits you wanna be throwingthat can be a heck of a lot of fun. You can have a hay day catching fish off topwater during those times of the year. Let’s talk a little bit about baits that fall. We’ve talked about horizontal baits. They work really well. The vertical baits, that’s a little bit different. Sometimes the bass, they don’t want thosehorizontal baits, but to fish vertical takesa little bit more patience and work in riprap. The easiest one to throw is like a Senko typebait or a Savage Gear Armor tube. Those work really well. They’re weightless, they glide across thetop of the rocks, they’re not going to gethung up in there. But if you’re fishing something with a weighton it, say a jig. . . Texas rig baits is a goodexample, with that bullet head sinker. I’m telling you what, man, that’s like Velcroto rocks. That bullet head, as soon as it touches therocks, it gets wedged in between those crackand crevices and it’s not coming out. You’re going to get really, really frustratedfishing those, you know, darter heads, anythingwith that kind of cone shaped weight to it. Don’t even bother using those in riprap. Even shaky heads can get stuck in the rocks. But football head jigs, those are a littlebit better. They don’t get hung up as much, but it dependson the type of riprap. They get hung up on more types of riprap thanthe other. I find that in the smaller chunk riprap theyget hung up a lot more than in the biggerboulders like this. You’re just going to have to experiment. But what works really well?There’s a couple of rigs that work reallywell, with weights on them, that I find thatdon’t get hung up as much. First off is a split shot rig. Split shot rig, by it’s nature, you’re notlifting and dropping it down like the otherrigs. So it’s not going to settle down into therocks as much. You actually are gliding that along. You’re moving that bait along the top of therocks. And this weight, you see the shape of it?The weight is cylindrical. and it’s betweenyou and the bait. So as you’re bringing it across the rocks,it’s actually gliding horizontally acrossthe tops of the rocks. That’s what you want. It’s not going to get hung up as much. It will get hung up, but not as much as someof the other rigs. Also, another bait that works really wellis the tube jig, but specifically if you havethe tube rigged like this with the jig insidethe tube. That’s what you want. That doesn’t get hung up as much. I don’t know exactly why. I really can’t tell you why, I don’t knowfor sure but I’ve fished it a lot in the rocks. It gets hung up every now and then but notas much as some of those other rigs. Alright, we’ve talked about some of the baitsto use, some of the rigs to use, now let’stalk about how to find those hot spots inriprap. Look at this!Look at how long this is. This is a long, long stretch of riprap. This is only a piece of it!I’m actually fishing on of the largest man-madedams in the U. S. It goes for over 3 1/2 miles long. So how do you find the hot spots in a longstretch like that?Well, if you take a look, look see, we’renot looking 3 1/2 miles down this stretch. It actually turns at some point. Well, that’s the first thing you wanna lookfor. Look for any sort of anomalies where it bends,it turns, little points come out, little curves. Those little stretches, those can be hot spots. Also, you know, this isn’t completely evenall the way across. They bring in these big dump trucks and dropall of these rocks into place. So it’s uneven. There are little small points and pocketsalong the way. Those can be hot spots as well. There will also sometimes be big chunk rocksintermixed with little ones. So the big rocks, the bass like to sit upon those rocks and ambush the prey that Itold you about. So if you find anything like that with bigrocks in there, definitely you want to fishthem. Other spots. Sometimes on riprap, not on this one thatI’m fishing but in other places that I’vefished, water is on each side, each side ofthe road. Well, the engineers will put culverts in between. Well those culverts, they act just like littlehighways. The bass will sit up on those and they’llambush the bait fish coming in and out ofthose culverts. Think about the bottom, too. The bottom contour, it’s not even. Along riprap, this one gets really deep insome spots, up to 100 feet deep, but on otherareas it’s shallower where actually, wherethe rocks meet where the bottom is. Watch that. Sometimes you’ll see the different shift from,say 8 feet to 6 feet or 9 feet to 4 feet. Those bottom shifts, those can be hot spotsas well. And on the shallower ones, sometimes weedswill grow up right up to to the rocks. Now you’ve got an edge. You’ve got a place where the rock meets thebottom where the weeds are at. Nice. Okay, you want to fish that. Especially if you’ve got a contour changeright in with that. Definitely can be a real hot spot. So, how do you find these things?Well, like for example, the culverts likeI mentioned. You’re not going to see that under water. But sometimes bank fisherman, what they’lldo is they’ll take a can of spray paint andthey’ll mark the rocks with spray paint, orhere there’s a road on the top and sometimeswhat they’ll do is they’ll mark the insideof the guard rail with some spray paint orthey’ll stick a stick in the ground with maybea coke bottle of top of it, something to markit. Look for those things, they’re there for areason. If you’ve never fished a stretch before andyou see that type of thing, well someone markedit there for a reason, so fish that area. But also you’re just going to have to lookat your depth finder too. And watch for those changes. What I like to do is this. I’ll go fish a stretch of bank like this,and when I see anything like I just mentioned,I’ll mark it on my GPS. Also, whenever I catch a fish, I’ll mark that,too. The more I keep fishing that stretch overand over, I’ll keep hitting way points, andpretty soon what you’ll see on your GPS isthese little clusters of way points alonglong stretches of riprap. Those are gonna be your hot spots. Now I know if I wanna go fishing again I justhit those hot spots, and I skip all the unproductivewater. That way I know that my bait is always gonnabe in the productive zone, and that’s especiallyuseful when I’m fishing tournaments. I’m going to be very efficient during thatday. Anyway, that’s how I approach riprap. That’s the way I find all those hot spots. I hope that helps you. For more tips and tricks like this, visit BassResources. com.