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Not the @Heron kind...

When working shallow cover and running shoreline, do you skip laydowns and lengths of shore that have heron there?  Certainly, what attracts heron will also attract bass, but I tend to skip cover that has herons on (or very recently departed.)  I suspect that even larger bass that needn't worry about a bird will be wary or scarce.  I've even been known to run ahead to move a heron off so I could go back and work towards the laydown without that 'threat' there.  If you buy into the theory that heron will 'kill' a spot, how long after the bird takes off do you figure it takes to become 'fertile'?  A couple minutes?  10? 

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Never really thought of it.  Always considered GBH as my fishing friends.  I've caught a ton off bass of all sizes fishing right next to them.

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I usually go to where a GBH is fishing, means there
are fish there...kind of like how they look for birds
when fishing in the ocean.

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If thats the case then all the good spots are takin. Its not uncommon for me to see a heron every 50ft on all the best looking laydowns

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Honestly, those birds come to where I am fishing.  Them and the Green Herons.   They'll come land by me and give me that look, as if to say, "Hey buddy, you getting anything?"

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Heron said:

Honestly, those birds come to where I am fishing.  Them and the Green Herons.   They'll come land by me and give me that look, as if to say, "Hey buddy, you getting anything?"

 

 

I wish I got those.  I only get these that seem to ask me the same question.20160914_213120.jpg

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1 minute ago, lecisnith said:

I wish I got those.  I only get these that seem to ask me the same question.20160914_213120.jpg

Sweet!!

Saw a heron eating a snake once.  

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2 hours ago, lecisnith said:

I wish I got those.  I only get these that seem to ask me the same question.20160914_213120.jpg

Yikes!!!  Get the shotgun. 

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Great blue herons are good luck. One sometimes follows me around hoping for a meal. On rare occasions I'll indulge him by tossing him a little bass. He is very grateful. He'll fly off to the other side of the lake and eat it.

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I often look for bird activity when looking for signs of fish.  A variety of birds are more attune to fish activity then we will ever be.  They make a living on finding fish from birth to death, and are super alert.  Birds sitting in nearby trees are a good indication.  Osprey nests are always a good sign.  They are messy eaters and bait fish hang under cleaning up scraps.  Bass hang out looking for those bait fish.  Water birds circling low to the water is a sign of schooling fish chasing baitfish.  Herons and egrets hunt the shore line and don't hang long if there is no fish activity.  Birds are a great sign, and always take notice.  Bass are often keying in on the smaller fish that the birds are keying in on!:idea2:

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Herons, Alligators, Cormorants, Snakes, etc, are a sign of a healthy ecosystem, so I always look for these animals when I am fishing.

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Ole Bill (blue heron) is one of the best guides you can find. I always check out what blue herons are doing when standing on the water edge or in the water because they are there for one thing, to eat fish.

Tom

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As I said, I am clear that heron indicates baitfish near.  However, I don't think bass are oblivious to their presence.  I suspect the mood is affected when there's a large bird of prey hanging out on a laydown branch overhead

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The Blue Heron is aware of bass feeding on baitfish and pushing the bait towards shore where they position themselves to take advantage. The Heron often waits at areas they have learned when feeding opportunities occur. When you see more than 1 Blue Heron the feeding is on.

Back in 1993 fishing with a friend at Castaic, teaching him to jig fish, we were running at speed from the ski arm into the fish arm to try another spot when I noticed 3 Blue Herons standing in the water on a point and instantly stopped, turned around to see what was going on. There were big splashes and the Herons were catching trout at their feet. I had a rod with a trout colored Scrounger tied on but since we were fishing from Danna's boat didn't have another swimbait rod.

To make a long story short I managed to catch several DD bass until the feeding spree stopped. Pheonimal day because of Ole Bill.

Tom

 

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  Although I do believe that big bass are smart, wading birds will use stealth and tact to outsmart fish as well. Ever notice when I type out, "keep the sun to your back" while hunting fish? I guess the birds are reading this, (lol) as they will do so, and it works to hide your presence. And on the shorelines that have the sun beating in their face? They hide up in the trees, or bushes, standing motionless to camoflage their position.  And, when they arent present?,... you can even see evidence of good areas, from "what they leave behind" on emergent rocks and trunks of laydowns. The huge whitish "deposits" they excrete when they take flight.

  I will fish a shoreline dotted with wading, or birds of prey. They know where to be, and when to be there. Their survival depends on it, otherwise they fall prey to mother nature's fickle circle of life. Only the strong survive! In turn? Those big strong bass will feed in those same areas.

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Bass are NOT oblivious to the presence of birds. It's ancient and innate. On my ponds here in CO, the list of regular and seasonal bird predators is impressive: Osprey, Bald Eagle, White Pelican (the scariest of all), herons, egrets, bitterns, cormorants, mergansers, and kingfishers. Not to mention mink (I see them often -some clutching bass), big catfish, and lots of anglers. A percentage of the bass I catch carry scars.

I do not avoid herons. although I may say "excuse me" when working through. They tend to oblige. I do avoid troupes of pelicans though, working over an area in concert. Ever seen that? Oh my! 

There was a pond here that made the news after residents had released aquarium goldfish resulting in a population explosion -a veritable orange carpet on that pond. Managers were going to act but before they could, the pelicans discovered them. And they ate them ALL.

When managers sampled following, they found sunfish and bass, and not one bright orange goldfish. Tells you something about why wild fish are colored like they are, and behave like they do.

http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-news/ci_28007847/hungry-pelicans-credited-gobbling-thousands-goldfish-infesting-boulder

 

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4 hours ago, Keith "Hamma" Hatch said:

"keep the sun to your back"

Interesting.  I do the opposite, when possible.  I do not want to cast a shadow where I fish, and I want my bait to arrive first, not it's shadow.

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19 hours ago, J Francho said:

Interesting.  I do the opposite, when possible.  I do not want to cast a shadow where I fish, and I want my bait to arrive first, not it's shadow.

Yes, with your back to the sun they can see your shadow, But, I read that, with the sun to your face they can see YOU easily. I guess its got something to do with their vision, and light refraction under water. Their eyes are different than ours.  Also, they dont like looking into the sun, hence why they hide in the shade so much.

 So I've always tried to keep the sun to my back, and cast ahead of my path of travel.  Not only does this avoid them seeing my shadow before I get a lure in their faces, but, this also aids in a bottom bouncing technique as its easier to snag the bottom if your dragging the lure behind you. Cast ahead and you dont snag so much. And it doesnt hurt while fishing a search bait as well.

   Id rather they see my shadow "after" I fished their hiding spot,  than, them seeing me before I can get a lure in there. Im sure some will disagree, and thats fine. I respect others opinions. and in some situations you cant fish with your back to the sun. But I prefer to do so.

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I've spent so much time now just observing bass, and now shooting video both above and below water, that I can safely attest that bass are aware of everything and miss little. When they are in shallow water they can see us easily. They may not bolt, but they are aware we are there. What they do with that info is contextual.

As to shadows and such, unexpected shadows are deeply ingrained fish spookers -there is even a region of the brain dedicated to it and hard-wired to the fright/flight response. But having the sun directly on us, esp against a contrasting background, makes us highly detectable too. We don't even have to be moving. Bass know their waters intimately and, unless having just arrived on a new territory (as in early spawners), immediately pick up things out of place. 

If I want to get close to observe, or cast, I move very slowly and use cover. I wear neutral clothing so I don't stand out against various backgrounds. Stealth has made a difference in my observations and fishing. And to stay on topic: Herons are REALLY good at stealth; They are built for it.

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I watched pelicons herding fish and the Herons knew in advance what was about to happen and positioned themselves to take advantage of it . I was amazed and got some decent footage of it .

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I once saw a school of bass busting bait fish along a rocky bank at the Holey Land.   A big black crow was running along the edge of the bank trying to catch bait fish driven against the shore line.  As the bass and bait fish moved, the crow stayed right with them.  It was a learned behavior, and these guys were working together for the benefit of both.  The bass were driving the little fish into the shore and the bird was driving them back into the bass.  This was not their first rodeo and they were all feasting.  This went on for twenty minutes.  Cool experience to watch!:handshake-147:

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Usually herons spook me before they spook the bass, especially at night!

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