HomeblogsDynamic Blog – Arrogant Homecoming Queens When the toughest Bassmaster Classic in history played out on Pittsburghâ€™s Three Rivers in 2005, their hardened faces got as much TV time as eventual winner Kevin VanDam. You know them well. You canâ€™t miss them. They span hundreds of yards, if not miles, over your favorite body of water, and hang dozens of feet over your head. Lake Shasta, Californiaâ€™s I-5 Memorial Bridge, Grand Lake, Oklahomaâ€™s Sailboat Bridge, Table Rock, Missouriâ€™s Shell Knob Bridge, Guntersville, Alabamaâ€™s B.B. Comer Bridge and Buggs Island, Virginiaâ€™s Clarksville Bridge represent just a handful of the famous ones. Still, bass fishingâ€™s famous bridges are like a homecoming queen with a highly arrogant demeanor. Theyâ€™re of a striking physical presence, yet most of us choose to steer clear of them. Mike McClelland is honest to a fault, and heâ€™s quick to admit that he too often turns a cold shoulder to bass fishingâ€™s most obvious structure. â€œItâ€™s kind of funny, I know the power of bridge piers, still, Iâ€™m one that too often overlooks them. I donâ€™t fish them nearly as often as I should,â€ confesses the career-long Quantum pro. â€œBridges offer all the things bass love,â€ said McClelland. â€œGenerally they have as much or more current around them as any portion of the lake. They create a funnel for baitfish, and generally youâ€™ll find major depth changes near bridges. Plus, the one thing they consistently offer in the warmer months is a lot of shade lines for the bass to ambush prey from,â€ explains McClelland. When asked for just one key piece of advice for fishing these canâ€™t miss structures, McClelland offered this. â€œTypically, bass that live near bridge piers are suspended. Theyâ€™re not on the bottom, and theyâ€™re not surface oriented. So I use spinning tackle for finesse presentations to catch them, but I also use baitcasting equipment for lures like my McStick jerkbait to catch them around the piers too.â€ As a construction supervisor for Solitaire Homes in southern Oklahoma, Robert Henderson knows a lot about manmade structure, and heâ€™s fast to back-up McClellandâ€™s claim about bridge-oriented bass typically being suspended. â€œItâ€™s really key to stay in touch with your line as itâ€™s falling down the side of the pier, because nearly every bite will occur from bass that are suspended as your lure is sinking through the water column,â€ said the BoatU.S. Angler member from Lake Texoma. â€œI use spinning tackle, and I peel off line as my shaky head or drop-shot is sinking. Iâ€™m careful not to let the line get too slack, but I want it to fall fairly deep until a suspended bass decides to pick it off,â€ concludes Henderson, MVP of the Bass Zoneâ€™s 2010 Fish & Chips Pro-Am tournament. Speaking of spinning tackle, living legend Shaw Grigsby wonâ€™t claim to be a bridge pier expert, but he is fast to acknowledge their goodness. â€œThereâ€™s not a bad time of the year to fish bridges,â€ said Grigsby. â€œTheyâ€™re like the pinch points or funnels we talk about in deer hunting. Theyâ€™re travel routes where creatures congregate because of abundant nearby food and security cover.â€ â€œThere have been plenty of times when bridge piers have produced the one or two critical bites that got me a paycheck,â€ reflected Grigsby, who favors what he describes as an â€œamazingly lightâ€ Quantum EXO spinning reel, paired with his 6â€™ 10â€ Tour Grigsby spinning rod for â€˜pier fishing.â€™ â€œThat reel is so light that youâ€™re able to feel anything that breathes on your lure as itâ€™s falling through the water. And that rod is built with a parabolic blank so itâ€™s forgiving enough not to stress and break the 6 or 8-pound test line I typically use,â€ explained Grigsby. Perhaps nothing offers greater testimony as to the productivity of the often-ignored structures than McClelland echoing Grigsbyâ€™s sentiments about the payday potential of these concrete piers. â€œThank goodness, it seems like a lot of the best bridges are near weigh-in locations. Because I canâ€™t tell you how many times Iâ€™ve made one last stop before weigh-in at a bridge pier and caught the key fish that saved my day,â€ concluded McClelland.