While manning a camera boat during a recent bass tournament on Lake Erie, I followed a handful of anglers to the popular Pelee Island area, where they branched out toward the helipad sitting a few miles to the north.

A couple hugged this prominent structure, but most fanned out and graphed their ways to sweet little hard spots. Such structures are ideal for drop-shotting a YUM Warning Shot or a Sharp Shooter, but before you drop, give the area a good look-see. Offshore, or in tight on the shallow island perimeter reefs, you might have a favorite little hump, break or ridge line marked, but investigation might lead to revelation.

To this point, one of the anglers noted that dwindling action on his main spot pushed him to a trusted back-up area. En route, he noticed a spike on his graph. Spinning around, he found a peripheral structure loaded with smallies.

Another angler told of easing into a shallow reef he had marked in practice and finding lots of baitfish had moved into the area. Good stuff, but when he investigated serious blow-ups behind him, he found the big fish in slightly deeper water.

Lesson: Look around and build on what you think is there.