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The Truth behind the Hard Bottom Areas of any Lake


What is the attraction to the hard bottom areas of a lake and how do you find them? I will attempt to unravel the truth and give you ways to find these areas in your lake. It has been said in the coldest of winter days that if you can locate the hard bottom areas of your lake you can go home with a great stringer of fish. Well to some degree this is very true, but you still need to get them to bite.

roadbedThe hard bottom areas of your lake can be found by locating certain types of structure; rock, stumps, shells, gravel and rip-rap all seem to be part of the make-up of bottom structure that can lead to the correct hard bottom areas and locate fish. With many of the lakes through-out the country being flooded impoundments these areas exist throughout the country. One of the things I always look for to find fish is an old road bed; the oldest of our lakes are flooded over and the old gravel wagon wheel road beds are part of the bottom make up. With todays technology a road bed is easily seen, it generally looks like a raised area on your Lowrance Structure Scan and is generally seen on your Navionics maps as a double line of dashes across the map.

When all else fails when youre trying to find a hard bottom area, your Lowrance sonar is a great way to discover the density and thickness of a hard bottom area. The truth is told by the color of the bottom line on your unit; if the area you’re scanning with sonar is yellow that generally indicates a hard bottom area. The thickness of the yellow line is also a key; if the bottom has an area that appears to be much thicker in yellow color that generally means you have a thick hard bottom area. Also, scanning the bottom with your Lowrance Structure Scan and seeing stumps, rock, and shell is also an easy way to discover the bottom density. Fish the hard bottom areas and you generally find the fish! 

Check out Captain Mike Gerry on Lake Guntersville, AL at


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