Rocks, Reefs, and Rips.......
Rocks and reefs are two completely different entities. You need to understand the personalities of both before you can effectively fish them.
They can exist separate, as well as, in most cases, side by side.
Rocks, in my definition, stand above water and are visible at all tidal stages. They have dry mass at the top, although, may at times, have surf surge crashing over them. Depending on the weather, the water around them may not create a rip, but will almost always have a wash. The tides create the rips surrounding rocks. As the littoral current changes direction, and the depth of the water surrounding the rock determines, how prominent the rip will be. Wind direction will also play into whether the rip is a strong one or may even kill it.
Reefs are nothing more than submerged rocks. With the exception of very strong tides, are virtually always submerged. They can be small in nature, or stretch for great distances. Reefs can run along deep drops close to shore. The effects of tide and weather over the millenia have carved these deep cuts from the softer sand bottoms that usually exist along the reefs. Usually linear in stature, they also create rips, currents, and upwellings. Reefs are the most prominent type of structure for hunting Bass where they exist. Tidal surge, and wind can create some of the best conditions for finding Stripers.
Let's see some examples;
Here we see a reef system with exposed rock. The Tide is coming in, and the wind is light. The surge still climbs the rocks at the waters edge, and rushes out creating a rip. The rip is formed and accelerated, by the cuts in the reef, channeling the water back out. The second photo shows the white water created by the wash and rip, and shows the direction of the channeled water. This is a clue to the direction of the deeper cuts, and channels, that will be holding fish. Looking for curves and changes of direction of this wash, will detail the location of structure, and deeper water as well. These are the places you want to concentrate on. Ambush sites.