By David A. Brown

Shoreline laydowns – they’re instantly appealing and emit an almost magnetic attraction to fish and fishermen, but you can screw up this hotspot if you’re not careful. To get the most out of fishing laydowns, you’ve got to take your time and approach them logically.

Yes, there are probably fish right under the main trunk section, but pushing right to the inner sanctum typically means missing a lot of potential. A good laydown provides plenty of potential resting and ambush spots beyond the trunk itself.

FLW Tour pro Pete Ponds knows well the multiple layers of opportunity a laydown offers. That’s why he always starts at the perimeter and works toward the main trunk.

Ponds begins by probing the laydown’s outer edges with a big, loud topwater bait like the Heddon One Knocker Spook. Active, aggressive bass often stage on the outer edges of laydowns, particularly early and late in the day.

After hitting the perimeter, he works inward toward the trunk with two baits – a Bandit Series 200 crankbait for the pockets and a Bandit 100 for banging into the limbs. When it comes time to hit the main trunk areas, he moves in close and flips it with a jig or soft plastic.

Ponds’ main laydown advice for working the trunk is to start flipping a big jig. The bigger profile stimulates bigger fish. After probing it with the jig, switch to something more subtle like a Texas-rigged YUM Dinger.