Pond Boss
Posted By: thatdoggjake Plastic culvert for bass / bait ???? - 05/14/22 02:18 PM
I picked up four large plastic culverts that are 48ā€ in diameter and 4-6ā€™ long each. I got three damaged sections for free off a jobsite. I have a pond build going on right now and I would like to put them in the pond for structure for largemouth bass, crappie and baitfish.

I think I need to cut holes in the culvert to keep it sum-merged. What would be the best way to set them up? Horizontal, vertical, maybe cut them in half to make them moon shape? Maybe drill holes in them and add 3/4ā€ pvc to make more cover???? Iā€™m up for ideas. I saw a lot of structure picture ideas but not a lot with big plastic culvert.

Attached is a picture of what I got. Thanks
Posted By: FireIsHot Re: Plastic culvert for bass / bait ???? - 05/14/22 03:07 PM
I haven't dealt with pipe that big, but vertical would be what I tried first. Worst case scenario, is that you'd have to flip it on it's side. Maybe do both and see?

Adding "limbs" to it is a good idea. Look at underground poly gas pipe instead of PVC. It flexible, and probably much cheaper.

Afterthought, but there's no reason not to drill holes in the pipe, and add limbs. Small fish should love it.
Posted By: FishinRod Re: Plastic culvert for bass / bait ???? - 05/14/22 03:36 PM
I like the idea to place them vertically, but I think they need holes drilled in them for water circulation so they don't hold somewhat stagnant water.

I still might cut a big scoop out of one side about 1/3 the length of the culvert. I think LMB are far more likely to practice their ambush predation by launching out sideways, rather than straight up.

I also like Al's suggestion for pipe insertions that are more "bendy" than PVC. A good cast would go just past the edge of the material. However, if you miss too close, then you could still drag a lure through your structure without getting snagged.

I would also utilize the plastic scoops that were cut out of the culverts. I would drill holes to stick 1-2 pieces of larger PVC through them so they would stick up like the WWII obstacles put offshore of the beaches to prevent boat landings. Add as many pieces of bendy pipe as you want. You might need to drive one piece of your PVC pipe into the bottom to hold it in place, or cap one piece and fill with sand or concrete.

Good luck on creating some good structure for your fishes!
Well said Rod
Most plastics have a specific gravity very near that of water. This means that most plastic will barely float, barely sink, or suspend mid water column. You will want something to weigh it down, otherwise it's highly likely to move on you.

Are the culverts double wall corrugated? If so, I would cut/drill many holes on each rib to help it waterlog. If it is double wall...the ribs may be a good place to pour some wetted sack-crete in to weigh them down.
Posted By: jludwig Re: Plastic culvert for bass / bait ???? - 05/16/22 04:47 PM
I would make upside "U" out of the culverts then fill the voids with smaller PVC to create a denser structure.
Posted By: FishinRod Re: Plastic culvert for bass / bait ???? - 05/16/22 05:40 PM
Originally Posted by jludwig
I would make upside "U" out of the culverts then fill the voids with smaller PVC to create a denser structure.

My idea was contemplating structure for LMB.

I also like jludwig's idea. I think his idea would be really good for fish lower down in the food chain. And you would get two structures out of each culvert. (I assume he means to cut each culvert in half.)
Posted By: jludwig Re: Plastic culvert for bass / bait ???? - 05/17/22 04:35 PM
I just worry if it's just the culvert, it wouldn't attract the number of fish as expected.
Posted By: FishinRod Re: Plastic culvert for bass / bait ???? - 05/17/22 06:32 PM
Originally Posted by jludwig
I just worry if it's just the culvert, it wouldn't attract the number of fish as expected.

To clarify, I was liking your idea of adding additional piping to the culvert "U"!

Heck, you might get one species of fish sheltering in the dense cover beneath the culvert and another species of fish sheltering in the cover above the culvert.
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