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Every year at Christmas, hardware store parking lots are being fenced off and Christmas trees are offered for sale. Not all trees are bought before they die so naturally they are culled. This past Christmas, I picked up a dozen dead trees from my local hardware store the week before Christmas with the intentions of sinking them in a local lake to act as fishing structure. The day after Christmas I picked up twenty something more trees and ended up with 35 trees total to sink in the lake.

While getting trees one night, I talked to another guy with the same idea who has been doing this for years. He was a amature tournament fisherman with a lot of experience with placing trees in his home lake. He advised me to find some natural structure like underwater humps, ledges, and drop offs to place the Christmas trees near. Also, he told me to not put any trees in the creek beds but up on the flats, just away from the chanels. Isolated structure is very important he was saying, so find a flat with no other trees or rock piles and then put your trees in those areas so that if there are any fish on that flat, they will likely be on your trees and not on natural structure.

Friend and fellow Jackson team memeber, Tray Collins, was eager to help me place my trees in the lake. We first used Tray’s depth finder to locate some spots we would like to put trees and then got to work wiring rocks to the trees and sinking them. It was a lot of work but I look for these trees to help us catch fish for a couple years to come, until they waste away.

Please check with your local game and fish departments to make sure putting Christmas trees into your local public waters is legal. Also, check with the Christmas tree lot managers to see if they will allow you to have their excess or dead trees and set up a time for you to pick them up.

Brady Sullivan