Building a Better Brush Pile
by Steve Masters, Bringitbaits.com ProStaff
A lot has been said about Christmas trees good and bad. Personally I use them, but they only make up about 20% or less of my pile. A bass isn’t going to sit around starring at a Christmas tree all day. They need some bulk, something they can get under for shade or cruise around in looking for food. Just like the bass the bait fish need something they can hide and move around in if they are going to hang around. A couple of Christmas trees or a bush placed beside the main pile gives bait fish somewhere to gather. Think of these as the bass’ dinning room. I can put up having to vacuum my boat afterwards if it means more fish in the boat. I’ve tried the pvc pipes sticking out of a bucket with concrete in them. I don’t see these as good brush piles but an addition to the main pile.
See what you can find and let your imagination go to work, just keep in mind shade, security, and ambush. Speaking of lasting forever I use only copper wire scrapes for tying my blocks to brush. Nylon rope and treble hooks are not a good match. One of the few things I never use is palettes, too many pinch points to get hung in. My most productive brush pile has a good size tree, a 10 foot fiberglass column with blocks on each end to keep it off the bottom a bit, a couple of Christmas trees, and five landscape buckets with a three foot pvc pipe sticking up from the center. I cut slits in the pipe and glued small real-estate signs into them. Like I said be prepared for some work, and use your imagination. Also prepare yourself to fail. I’ve place brush piles in some really good looking places that have never produced a fish. If fish aren’t using an area don’t expect them to use your brush pile.
As for size and location I want my pile to be about the size of my boat. Large enough to hold multiple fish but I can fish it in 15 minutes or so. As far as location there are the obvious creek channel intersections, and bends, but my favorite is to place one in 8 to 10 feet leading into a shallow pocket that has little natural cover, especially light on vegetation. Think about whether or not it will be seen, or cause a hazard when your lake is at its absolute lowest level. Location could be an article by itself. As for when to plant brush winter is no doubt the best time, fewer eyes, and all the leaves have fell. Good Luck and hope to see you on the lake, especially if you dragging a brush pile.