Homemade Pickle Barrel Habitat Attracts Bass

(Pintlala, AL) -- Ambush! The life of a bass depends on it. Without a place to lurk in the shadows, nature's most sought-after predator cannot find the meals needed to turn him into a trophy.

Fishing experts know the bass prefers vertical structure over horizontal structure. Given the choice, a bass will take a stump over a downed tree every time. That's all well and good, but how can a guy with a private lake or pond create and install vertical structure?

A fisherman who really knows bass has come up with a nifty, inexpensive idea for creating ideal bass habitat. The man is Ray Scott, founder of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.).

"For years, when I was building lakes I would attach an auger to a tractor and drill holes in the ground and place hardwood limbs and Christmas trees in the holes. That worked okay, but is was labor intensive and time consuming. And it didn't work on lakes that already had water in them." Neat Trick

While Scott was in the process of building a new small lake, he had a brainstorm that set him off in search of a 5-gallon bucket or barrel. He visited a local hamburger joint and got a cast-off 5-gallon plastic pickle container. With "pickle barrel" in hand, he measured the length of the bucket, added three feet and bought a section of angle iron that length. His next purchase was a sack of quick concrete.

Scott took the items, valued at less than $5.00 to his new lake that was under construction. With a sledge hammer, he drove the angle iron through the bucket until the angle iron was three feet into the ground. The he arranged hardwood limbs in the bucket and poured the bag of concrete into the container followed by the prescribed amount of water. the concrete set up in minutes. Presto! Instant vertical structure. "You can't push it over, no matter how hard you try," Scott said. "It's something that will be there forever."

Scott also devised a simple system to place the same structure in a full or drawn-down lake. When he added the pickle barrel to one of his existing full lakes, his first cast there caught a bass.

The pickle barrel and other helpful information for building new ponds and lakes or renovating and managing existing ones can be found in Scott's new videotape series, Guide to Creating GREAT SMALL WATERS.

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