Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Eyes Open

One day in 2003 my son and I were fishing and I was telling him stories about fishing with my father, his grandfather. I had told him several crappie fishing stories and something I said in one of the stories open my eyes, and changed my fishing, for life. I was telling my son Jason how my mother always came out of the house and ask my father "Well did you catch anything". My father would answer more times as not " No they wasn't biten ". When I told my son that, all of a sudden something hit me. My father lied to my mother every time he told her that. What he should have said to her was " No honey, we were not fishing in the right place, with the right bait". Fish eat all the time, less in water 60 degrees and below, but they still eat. Some days they eat more than others, but in water 65 degrees and above they have no choice but to eat, it is a matter of life and death to them. So from now on, don't blame the fish, it is your fault and your fault alone, if you don't catch fish, so admit it, don't lie. If you just like to ride around the lake at 60-65 MPH burning $3.00 a gallon gas and looking at the wildlife on the bank, more power to you, but if you want to catch fish, you will have to work at it. I see people put their boat in at a landing race 12-15 miles up the lake at the speed of sound before they ever drop a line in the water. I would love to know how many fish they ran by to get to that spot. I catch 90 percent of my fish within 2 miles of my dock. In that 2 miles I have 2 foot water and 80 foot water all I need to catch fish 365 days a year. I do understand that fish migrate, but just as far as they need to so they can find the two things that they need in life. Those two things are, the most comfortable water temperature and food. If you have from 0-80 feet of water and shad, you have fish that are catchable year around. But not on the bank. I firmly believe in the saying that 90 percent of the fish, at any season, are in 10 percent of the water. You just have to find the 10 percent.

More on depth finders

Links for more info on depth finders and how to use them. Here is something you might want to think about. People tell me all the time that " I see fish, throw out a marker come back around and fish the marker, but I can't see the fish". Remember if you are using a transducer that shoots a 20 degree cone angle, as most do, and you are in 60 ft of water, that picture that you are looking at covers 20 feet of the bottom (3 1/2 times the depth). If the fish is in the outside of the cone and on the right side of the boat when you go over it, and you throw the marker on the left side of the boat that fish could be 10-14 ft from the marker . When you go back to your marker just use it for a reference, remember too, that fish move, they don't stay in one place long. Use baits that get down fast, when fishing deep water, this puts you on the fish quicker before they move. Sometimes, when trolling and I see fish, I take my boat out of gear, put it in reverse for a few seconds, have the rod in my hand, drop the bait and if I catch a fish, then I throw out a marker and shut the big motor off. This has worked many times to pick up a single fish or find a school. I have more times than I can remember seen one fish on the screen, stop and catch 1-16 fish in a spot as big as a bathtub. I am a firm believer in catch and release, but do not put a fish back until you have determined that he is the only fish, in that spot, that is feeding/biting at this time. Spooked fish, put back in a spot will not help your numbers. They might even, because of their impaired swimming ability, after being pulled from 60-70 feet of water, lead the school off that spot. Deep fishing in water 30-75 feet takes some practice on using your electronics, but is well worth the time invested. You are fishing for fish, that get one tenth the pressure, that fish get on visible cover and structure. I have never had anyone show me anything about a depth/fish finder, the internet and time on the water have put several hundred fish, out of deep water, in my boat. I will post more info later. Read all the info below several times and get out on the water and spend some time, and you will be able to do more than pound the bank. Remember always practice catch and release.