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riverbasser

How much water do you cover?

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Its an average day of fishing, you have a game plan and an idea of where the fish should be. How much water will you cover? Will you stay in a general area and just pick it apart waiting for a feed time or try to force a bite from an inactive fish? Or would you move and try to locate active fish, if so how far will you go between "spots"?   

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In the Old Town - very little relatively speaking - half to a mile or two max.

In the Lund - could be a little - could be a lot ~ really only limited by time, weather and ensuring I have enough petrol to get back to the ramp.

My distance traveled is almost always directly related to success.

Doing well usually means less fuel usage.

So that's a Win  / Win right there.

:smiley:

A-Jay

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I'm not going to stick with something thats not working . The move can be deep , shallow , or booking right on down the bank . Many   days covering lots of water has been the best strategy .I might fish three or  four  large coves , the main lake and the dam in 8 hours .

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I should maybe clarify my reason for the topic. You see tournament anglers run long stretches bouncing from place to place sometimes 5 to 10 miles between spots, maybe because they don't have time to fish anyplace that doesn't have some active fish and I was just curious if anyone does this as part of there regular routine? Or do you pick a general area and stay there. General area could be a square mile.

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As most will probably say,..it depends on the day, If fish are biting by the ramp I may not move much at all, but, if I need to move,.. the conditions and lake in question will determine where I will fish and how far I will go. Theres really no generic amount of distance a angler will travel. I will go where I need to., be it 10 miles or 100 yards. I prefer to stay in a area, but if need be,.... I will relocate. and im pretty sure most anglers will do the same

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It all depends..............I like fishing a couple of ponds in my area.....sit on the end of the pier and covering maybe 400 feet of bank.  Have spent most of a day doing that.  If I'm fishing my jon boat(14' with trolling motor only).....I might get up to covering 1/4 to 1/2 mile of bank.  When fishing tournament style with my BIL and his full on bass boat, we have cover as much as 3 to 5 miles in a day........

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The goal is to catch good size bass and the close area is usually where you launch in a marina, so start there. It has always amazed me that bass anglers in general launch thier boats and run to some far away spot when bass and baitfish are where they started. I tend to bass fish slowly at areas I'am confident holds bass. If I figure out a pattern or what depth the bass are using, then I will make a run to another area with similar features. I will put the trolling down and start working along a shoreline If that is working at that time, usually late afternoon before heading to the barn.

When I see tournament bass boats running fast it indicates to me they aren't catching bass they are still looking for them.

Tom

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Where I fish, the good spots are pretty far apart. Plus, I usually fish for smallies, which move around a lot.  If weather permits, my plan is always to work my way north until I find fish.  I'll typically spend 30 minutes on an area, covering water as fast as I can.  I don't see bait or get any bites, I move. I only sit on a spot if I see tons of bait or I'm catching fish.  On a bad fishing day with decent weather, I often run 40+ miles on a round trip.  I've had plenty of days where the bass were at the last place I checked.

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all depends where I'm at. Okeechobee can be all over the place in a day or just one end. other lakes the weather has a lot to do with where I'll be. Kissimee chain same thing.might stay on Toho or run all the lakes in the chain. if I'm not getting anything within 30-45 minutes I start moving. been known to burn a tnk in a day with no problem. other days won't burn 5 gallons.  but that's fishing,go figure.

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Tournament guys have tons of waypoints and areas that they've fished in advance prior to competition too, so they prioritize them by quality fish and if one area isn't working, they move.  Plus they all have huge boats with big motors so its quite a bit easier for them to burn down the lake going 60 mph.

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on my home lake i will launch at the ramp closest to where i intend to fish that day, providing it isnt too far out of the way. 

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On a typical fishing day I don;t run around looking for fish.  The waters I fish I know well, and have areas I know normally hold fish.  Another thing I know is that no one can catch fish unless their line is in the water.  You cant run all over the place and keep your line wet.  The exception to this is a place like Okeechobee.  Water can change from clear to chocolate with one good weather front.  The key here is finding clean water, so I may run around looking for clear water.   My purpose and goal fishing is to have fun.  I'm not in it to compete with anyone other then myself.  I often take people out in my boat and enjoy watching them catch fish.  I will often give them clues and point out spots to hit if they want my advice.  I most often find a good spot and work it trying to figure out how to develop a pattern.  I am definitely not a run and gun guy.   If I'm catching fish, I'm a happy camper regardless of other factors, and I definitely don't run the boat to just get a thrill.:happy-100:

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I don't anyone who has caught a bass going 60 mph.

Tom

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8 minutes ago, WRB said:

I don't anyone who has caught a bass going 60 mph.

Tom

Not trying to be a jerk here...But you aren't going to catch them going 30 mph either.  Going faster will leave you more time to fish, which is significant if you're travelling longer distances.  Driving the boat is wasting fishing time, going slower just means you're wasting more time.  Doesn't mean that running around or running long distances is what I do all the time...But if I'm gonna run, I'm gonna RUN ;).  

FWIW, I don't really consider 'covering water' to automatically mean running the boat around all day...It's more about how you're fishing.  I've had days where I covered a ton of water but didn't run a whole lot.  Conversely, I've had days where I ran the boat all over the place and barely covered any water at all becasue I was fishing specific targets at each stop.  

My answer to the question is...It depends :).  

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39 minutes ago, Logan S said:

Not trying to be a jerk here...But you aren't going to catch them going 30 mph either.  Going faster will leave you more time to fish, which is significant if you're travelling longer distances.  Driving the boat is wasting fishing time, going slower just means you're wasting more time.  Doesn't mean that running around or running long distances is what I do all the time...But if I'm gonna run, I'm gonna RUN ;).  

FWIW, I don't really consider 'covering water' to automatically mean running the boat around all day...It's more about how you're fishing.  I've had days where I covered a ton of water but didn't run a whole lot.  Conversely, I've had days where I ran the boat all over the place and barely covered any water at all becasue I was fishing specific targets at each stop.  

My answer to the question is...It depends :).  

You are not going to catch bass going over 10 mph is my point. I have owned several bass boats that could WOT over 75 mph, never caught any bass with the big engine in gear. When you are running your not catching any bass. 

Do you know how many bass tournaments are won in boat that can't go over 20 mph? Dee Thomas won over 20 from a 14' aluminum boat with 20 hp engine. We love our fast boats, doesn't mean we need to travel long distances and fish fast. KVD is a fast cover water angler, works for him. Greg Hackney is a slower more methodical angler and it works for him. I tend to be more like Hackney, spend my time looking for bass and slowing down to catch them.   

Tom

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Tom, I think we are saying the same thing...Just in different ways.  I don't disagree with any of that ;).  

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10 hours ago, riverbasser said:

I should maybe clarify my reason for the topic. You see tournament anglers run long stretches bouncing from place to place sometimes 5 to 10 miles between spots, maybe because they don't have time to fish anyplace that doesn't have some active fish and I was just curious if anyone does this as part of there regular routine? Or do you pick a general area and stay there. General area could be a square mile.

I used to stay put when I had my 77 ranger that barely broke 26mph, because it just wasn't feasible to move if I wanted to actually keep a line in the water. I power fish anyway so this meant I would look for signs of life and then drop the trolling motor and cover as much distance as possible. 

I now have a boat that can hit 70 with just myself in it, so now I'm more inclined to run to another spot if it things aren't working. I fish fast, and i have a blast doing it. being able to get up and move to where I think there will be active fish is part of the fun for me when things aren't working. I love fishing, and i also like speeding down the lake. it is kind of a win/win for me.

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usually 7 miles in an electric-only lake.

don't think you will really gain any insight with other's answers even though everyone here is truthful and all are good fishermen.  this is because every lake is different, every day is different, daily pressure varies dramatically (e.g. 3-hour campers on all best spots Spring Saturday vs. lake to yourself November Tuesday).  Some fish for one lunker per day while some like action.  Some powerfish, some finesse.  Is there an imminent thunderstorm?  Does the lake close at sunset?  Some lakes have lots of spots, some lakes have few.  Some lakes have concentrated spots, some have geographically dispersed spots (this varies by season and water level).  Do you have all day (or all night) or just a few hours?    It goes on and on.  Do you know the specific situation(s) all these repliers face and how that meshes with your situation(s)?  you get the point.

however, it makes a good winternet topic for those of us with hard water or lakes closed in winter (like lame MD).

 

 

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I cover as much water as I have to. How I (you) cover the water is probably the more important question. Eliminating unproductive water is the key. 

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I'm a junk fisherman and a lot of our lakes are smaller. I like to put the trolling motor down and fish. How much water I cover varies greatly on what the fish are eating and how they're positioned. 

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It's a bit different for me as a shore based fisherman who goes wading occasionally.

There's one particular bay that I fish that if I choose it I could easily spend a whole morning covering everything from rocks to weeds to docks to sand bottoms in water that ranges in depth from 1ft down to 8ft. When I do fish there I'll only take 2 setups with me, a topwater and a jerkbait setup. This generally allows me to draw out fish from all the areas which I can reach without standing in water that is over my waist in depth which I find too uncomfortable to fish in.

I think the most important thing is to cover the entire water column when one is fishing, even if the water is 20ft deep.  I've had smallies travel up from those depths to hit topwaters which is pretty cool. Next year in 2017 I plan to diversify and fish some deeper diving crankbaits along with my regular topwaters, jerkbaits, and shallow/medium diving crankbaits which I know will increase my catches for the year.

Finding new water to fish is hard for me as many shorelines are being cut off from anglers, so I spend a lot of time discovering the nuances of each location that I fish in hopes to find little things that will hold fish, particularly larger fish. Crankbaits work well for that, and I love throwing them in new locations where there is no observable cover like docks or weeds or big rocks.

Sorry if I strayed from the original topic.

Regards, Attila

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A lake we vacation on is a great example for this as I have it patterned better than my local lakes. There is a large sand flat on it that I could spend the full week on working the reeds and the weedlines of the flat dropping into 30 feet of water and have a great size and numbers week considering where the lake is, Bass don't grow too big there and spawn into July sometimes.

If the flat is blown out, though I will cover a lot of water, especially hitting docks around the lake which did really well for me last year. I will say though the sand flats are my favorite spots to fish though, because the trophy Musky also hang out there and they love RES and the Musky fisherman just don't fish the area.

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Maybe 2-3 miles in an entire day.

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We have a lot of small lakes in my area. I don't normally cover a lot of water. Pick a lake hit our spots and if the fish aren't there we hop to another lake. 

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In lakes I know I fish all of my spots. Depending on the size of the lake I will hit each spot up to twenty times in a day. My spots are seasonal though so they change.

If it's a new lake I will try to cover every inch of it to get my spots.

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