By Spence Petros
One of the most important structural elements (if not the most important) on a body of water, is the “inside turn” on a structure or an edge. For those of you that are not sure what this is, it’s basically the opposite of a point. While a point is usually shallower bottom extending out into deeper water, an inside turn is just the opposite; it’s where deeper water cuts into a structure or edge. What constitutes deeper water varies on the type of water you are fishing. On a shallower body of water, a deeper water swing in might only be a foot or two, while on a deep lake the bottom may break sharply into the inside turn. Depth changes are always relative to the over-all depths of the waters you are fishing. In in shallower lakes it doesn’t take much of a depth change to create a great fish-holding edge.
On most points that extend into deeper water there will be two inside turns. These are basically the corners of the structure where it begins to jut outward. Sometimes the angle of the turns will be pretty much the same, but if the point juts sharply to one side or another, the corner that has the sharpest angle will usually by the one that is most protective. For example; if one corner has a 20-degree angle to it, and the other has a 70-degree angle, the sharper turn (20-degrees) would have the best chance of holding game fish.
Why do I like the sharper angles best? The sharper the angle the harder it is to recognize and fish effectively by the average angler. And a sharp angle is almost impossible to troll effectively. I also think sharper corners offer the fish a more shaded area that serves as a better ambush spot. And the most important reason I love these spots…I’ve just caught so many bass, walleye, pike and muskies out of these corners.
A couple other plusses about in-side turns are they can be real key areas after cold fronts and in mid to late fall. If bass or walleyes had been using the end of a point and suddenly “disappear” after a cold front, the school will often reposition into the in-side turn on the point. This sharper-breaking part of a structure often becomes the key area on a point in later fall when fish generally prefer a quick route to deeper water.
Inside turns don’t always have to be associated with a point. Sometimes it can be a gradual swing of deeper water into a weed edge or big flat. It could be a cut in a river shoreline that creates a fish-holding eddy. Points are great and are our most commonly fished structure, but that doesn’t mean they are the best structures to fish, at least not in my book!