we (as in our fishing club) just made about 120 of these types of structures for a local lake that is in dire need of structure.
What we did was just get a hold of a ton of 5 gallon buckets (painters, whomever can donate em) and some pvc, but this stuff would work too... pvc is just more rigid, and less likely to snag your lure i think. and we had a cement truck (donated) fill out buckets in 30 mins and we were done..
Great tips keep em coming... these make great structure
Our Bass club made some of these last year while working with some other clubs and local authorities. We sunk a bunch of these in Canyon Lake as you can see by the picture. At the same time christmas trees were also sunk. About 6 month later we discovered that the fish really seem to prefer the real trees to the ones we made. I need to go back and check the structures now, hopefully they have had time to mature and are now holding more fish.
Brent, the private lake I fish has virtually no timber and the lake association won't allow any to be put in. Not to say it doesn't happen. , but the only legal cover is the artificial stuff. These are the best I've seen for ease of construction, low cost, and effectiveness. I would prefer a Lake Fork/Truman Reservoir style forest, but sadly they cleared the lake before filling it.
I have made several of these structures for my favorite lake, however I used PVC and PVC fittings to make actual small trees out of a 5 gallon bucket. Fill the bucket up about halfway with concrete then stick about 7 to 10 2' pieces of PVC into the cement and buid your tree off of this. They are definitley more expensive (due to buying all of the PVC fittings) but if your only looking to put out 3 or 4 they work great. The best way to get fish to your artificial cover is to cut off and tie wrap fresh willow branchs to the PVC or hose, by doing this you will have fish there the next day guranteed.
What if you stuck some real cedar tree branches (or other types of real tree branches) in to the concrete and placed them in the lake as soon as they cured. The real branches would break up over time and the fish would stay. Or would they?
Cedar would work as well as Cypress I would imagine, the main thing is that you have real foliage and branches until the PVC gets a good coating of slime and other things on it to make it more real and give better coverage. Cypress and Cedar both last a long time after they are submerged.
We've finally convinced them to allow us to sink trees - hardwood or cedar/junipers only. 5-years later!! We put sunk quite a bit of trees this fall and will put more in this Spring. This thread is a blast from the past!!
Thank you for putting this thread back up to the top. I am now organizing a work day for our musky club here in northern Illinois. In the past we have built log cribs, plastic milk carton cribs, cement block reefs through the ice and now these. The idea is simple, cheap and easy for a work day. Thanks for the idea.