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Old laydown trees offer prime big-bass habitat.. The Editors

I’ve had numerous bass fishermen tell me that they prefer “fresh” laydowns for big bass. To be honest, this statement has always confused me, mostly because my best bass usually come off of dead trees, or at least laydowns that have been in the water for a year or so. I used to think that many of the people making saying they preferred “fresh” trees were confused about what a laydown actually is versus what others might consider a living flooded tree that’s just leaning in the water. Regardless, I have my own laydown preferences based on age, and I’m curious to hear if our thoughts match.

I personally don’t like the super old laydowns, because I believe they provide less cover as the smaller limbs fall off. Still, I have confidence that a very old laydown will hold some fish. My favorite laydowns are the ones where all the leaves have dissolved off, and that have been around long enough for the bass to find them, settle in, and call them home. A fresh laydown, on the other hand, hasn’t been around long enough in my opinion to draw in significant fish. It will also be very hard to fish because it will be very thick. I’m not saying you won’t catch bass off a fresh laydown, but I am saying I’m not sold on them being best, otherwise I would have been helping some trees fall into the water around some of my favorite fishing shorelines for years. So let’s see what you think.

To test your confidence with laydowns, here’s a question: If you were going to win $1,000 for catching one bass in one cast, would you send that one cast into a fresh, middle-age, or old laydown?