10 tips for fishing stumps

It's tough to know where to start when facing a forest of submerged tree trunks


Veteran Elite Series pro Paul Elias recognizes that the deepest stumps are the most overlooked and therefore likely to harbor easier-to-catch bass.

His lure of choice is usually a deep diving Mann's crankbait, but he doesn't limit himself to his all-time favorite type of baits.

Elias points out that a 1- or 1 1/2-ounce spinnerbait sporting a big No. 7 or No. 8 willowleaf blade, and a rubber-skirted jig also are excellent choices, particularly during the hottest times of the year.

"A lot of people lay a jig down after the water warms up," he states "I usually don't start to throw a jig until the weather turns hot."


Virginia's John Crews is a high energy kind of guy. And that energy level is really on display when he is fishing a stump row or stump flat.

Most fishermen don't give each individual stump enough attention, according to the Elite Series pro. His rule of thumb is the more thoroughly you fish each piece of wood on a stump flat, the more bass you will catch.

In his case, that involves repeated casts from different angles with a shallow diving crankbait or 1/2-ounce jig. "If the stump is in the right place and there's a fish on it, you just have to figure out how to get it to bite," Crews adds.


Scott Rook's most important piece of equipment when it comes to fishing stumps is static. It never moves.

His polarized sunglasses.

"Everybody thinks that sunglasses are great for sight fishing and looking at fish," the veteran Elite Series pro emphasizes. "Well, they are the key when you're fishing stumps, too.

"You have to have a quality pair of glasses to see the dark spots of submerged stumps. You'll have that row of stumps that you can look at, but then out from them you've got these little dark areas. Those are the deeper stumps. They're less targeted, so I'll keep my eye out for dark spots."

Originally published October 2007