When fishing clear-water small streams and wading along the shore, anglers pay close attention to the location of riffles, pools, and especially, “holes” and how fish relate to these visible features. However when fishing in a boat on large, possibly murky water, it all looks the same. That’s why most anglers cast along the shoreline. This is a target they can see.

Electronic “fish-finders” help anglers locate features in a seemingly featureless body of water. I have a lot to learn about reading electronics but for my unit, unless the kids need something to watch between bites, I try not to be distracted by those pixilated fish taunting me by cruising across the screen; I’m looking for a quick change in depth. Not that there aren’t fish on wide, flat areas too but when the going gets rough, it is hard to beat a hole. Anglers

The definition of a “hole” varies regionally. In some places, it can mean a change of depth measured in inches. Mark Zone, co-host on the Bassmasters television program frequently illustrates that in Elite series tournaments with high pressure for a few days, locating a difference of depth of just a few more inches can mean landing big bass that others can’t. And Jeff Knapp, veteran smallmouth bass guide often seeks “scour holes”, which are midstream and measured only in inches.

Also, I think it was Elite Bassmaster angler Tommy Biffle who said, “A channel is just as good as a hole.” Many lakes are actually impoundments of watersheds. Those deepest channels are just long holes which can be fish highways such as when fish transition to or from spawning areas.