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Before you make your first cast ...

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You are on the water  ready to fish either from boat or bank . Before you make your first cast what all are you taking into consideration ?

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Time of year, weather, water temp, windy or calm? If windy which part of the lake is the wind blowing into, where were the fish last time I was in these weather conditions.  Cloudy or sunny?  Clear or stained water?  The list goes on and on......

 

Would probably be a better fisherman if I could shut that off once in awhile. 

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3 minutes ago, drscholl14 said:

Time of year, weather, water temp, windy or calm? If windy which part of the lake is the wind blowing into, where were the fish last time I was in these weather conditions.  Cloudy or sunny?  Clear or stained water?  The list goes on and on......

 

Would probably be a better fisherman if I could shut that off once in awhile. 

I'm with ya here.  Sometimes I think I over complicate it.  

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39 minutes ago, drscholl14 said:

Time of year, weather, water temp, windy or calm? If windy which part of the lake is the wind blowing into, where were the fish last time I was in these weather conditions.  Cloudy or sunny?  Clear or stained water?  The list goes on and on......

 

Would probably be a better fisherman if I could shut that off once in awhile. 

A lot of this I do before ever leaving the house in order to maximize my already limited time on the water.

 

Before I leave:

- Time of year

- Weather (encompasses everything from sun vs clouds, wind speed, wind direction, barometer, incoming/outgoing fronts, etc..)

- Understand which species I'm targeting (or if both, plan for both)

- Successful spots in previous endeavors

- Typical bass patterns for the season

- Study topo (Navionics) to choose high probability spots

 

Before I cast:

- Water clarity (and how the wind/direction impacted this)
- Current (since I fish a lot of impoundments)

- Water temp

- Water level

- Whether or not the spots I picked from home would hold up based on what I see on the water

- Then adjust as needed

 

Very rarely do I just go out and fish without doing any of the above. I tend to plan my outings in advance, and rarely do I just wing it. Unless all else fails on the water, then it's a free-for-all.

 

I wouldn't say it overcomplicates things as I actually enjoy this part of fishing. The challenge in trying to figure it out, if you will.

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Much more than I ever thought, this winter I really started reading and studying bass fishing (only got yak last summer), I started to make a list of variables I wanted to incorporate into my pre-fishing and on on-water routine. The following is not comprehensive as I have not updated with notes I have scattered around but here goes.....

 

Weather 2-3 days before

Countdown casts
Wind direction
Shade (fish shady side)
Sunny or overcast/clouds
Raining
Prefrontal or post frontal
Cold or warm front 
Water temp
Water - calm/rough
Water depth
Structure
Weedlines are structure
Inside and outside weed edges
Best structure is isolated structure
Look for irregularities
Ambush points
Casting - line up boat correctly
Count down every sinking lure/bait to get to right depth to fish
Heavy line sinks slower than light line
If get hit worm, throw crank to see if still there
Time of day
Picture 8lb bass where you want him
Find access points to deep water
  Throw 6’ past target or ambush point, not on it
Migration paths
 
Again there is a lot more I am adding......Also, I have lists for Techniques w/ specifics, Winter, Prespawn, Spawn, Summer, list for different baits...i.e., Jerk, crank, worm, jig etc.
 
There is so much minutia in fishing that depending what I plan on doing I can go to that specific list and it helps me remember the little thinks and little tricks I may not always remember. 

 

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25 minutes ago, drscholl14 said:

Time of year, weather, water temp, windy or calm? If windy which part of the lake is the wind blowing into, where were the fish last time I was in these weather conditions.  Cloudy or sunny?  Clear or stained water?  The list goes on and on......

 

Would probably be a better fisherman if I could shut that off once in awhile. 

You want to get to a point where you can incorporate all these things in a subconscious or instinctive fashion. Think of it like dancing, You don't want to be looking at your feet counting 1, 2, 3, cha cha cha, you want to move gracefully and seemingly effortlessly in perfect time to the music. Of course it requires having put in your time and effort, and having counted and stared at your feet.

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Distance from Boat Deck to the Trees ..... :D

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6 minutes ago, mattkenzer said:

Distance from Boat Deck to the Trees ..... :D

This is more my style.  I'm more the "What a great day... I'm out on the water paddling - got a couple of rods set up - I'm at peace with the world - I might even catch some fish out here somewhere.  Life is good. :fishing:

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I think about my leader - is it nicked?

Run fingers over each setup. Retie if needed.

I do not change leaders every time I go out

as it is not needed....

 

Usually will do this the night prior to going out,

but I still double check when on the water.

 

Then I think about where I wanna start fishing.

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Pay attention fellas he said "your on the water about to make your first cast" all that planning and crap was done before this moment. 

 

Normally for me since I try to always fish at daylight its along the lines of "I hope they"ll eat this buzzbait this morning" 

 

Or 

 

"What piece of cover or structure am I trying to hit"

 

And sometimes

 

"Scale face needs to get out my hole" lol

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2 hours ago, scaleface said:

You are on the water  ready to fish either from boat or bank . Before you make your first cast what all are you taking into consideration ?

What I might have forgotten to bring along because I got the cart a mile before the horse.

 

But really,

Water temp.

Seasonal patterns that might work and what baits to use for them.

And where I might go to do the best with those two factors in mind.

 

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26 minutes ago, RPreeb said:

This is more my style.  I'm more the "What a great day... I'm out on the water paddling - got a couple of rods set up - I'm at peace with the world - I might even catch some fish out here somewhere.  Life is good. :fishing:

me too. I do all the prep, but once I am on the water I take in the peace and quiet, kick back and enjoy the day. We have never had a bad day on the water. Rain or shine, catching fish or not.

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Check my drag. 

Check water clarity to determine bait color. 

Check water temp via depth finder. 

 

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Before you make your first cast what all are you taking into consideration ?

 

Bait size & type, wind direction, drag and perhaps most importantly, proper spool tension.

 

8b9825168590e3ce790995b4ef9de23e.jpg

:smiley:

A-Jay

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The answer varies quite a bit, actually.  If I am going to a lake I am familiar with and conditions seem "ideal", I'll head out with a very specific tactics in mind.  I'm not going to lie.  I fish from memory-if it works.  It's when it doesn't work that I reevaluate things.  If I am going to a new lake or a familiar lake under "unusual" or difficult conditions, I am much more likely to think long and hard about how to proceed.

 

Two conditions tend to vie for center attraction and they are Time of Year and Weather Conditions.  These two (together and separately) will USUALLY determine the location of the fish and the mood they will be in. Thus, I usually have these things in mind when I'm heading out.  After that, it's a matter of studying maps, watching the fish finder, and, of course, visually looking for structure and/or cover that fits the criteria I believe the fish "want."

 

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All of the above, but far and above anything else: Wind.  Starts days before I fish, but most of my fishing is from a kayak and force and direction of wind dominates my thoughts.   Even if in a boat, current, recent past and future (through the day) winds are primary consideration.

If on tidal water, next high and low tides are second.

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53 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

Before you make your first cast what all are you taking into consideration ?

 

Bait size & type, wind direction, drag and perhaps most importantly, proper spool tension.

 

8b9825168590e3ce790995b4ef9de23e.jpg

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

My first thought when I read the title, hope I don't backlash!

 

 

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Where my net is

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  • Check surface water temperature via depth finder
  • Check water clarity (though I usually know what to expect in this regard based on weather review beforehand)
  • Check wind direction and magnitude
  • Check activity on the water (shad schools, birds)
  • Scan every location chosen with depth finder and eyes (to setup casts, look for bait balls, and possibly find fish)

 

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I make a short cast to get my line wet so I don't backlash and check the drag setting.

Blew up a few dry line reels before getting into my habit of short cast first.

Rarely blindly start fishing and usually go through my launch routine checking water temps and looking for bait and bass visually and sonar unit in the marina to determine where and what depth to start. Weather and seasonal periods are obvious, the water temps confirms it when transitional.

Tom

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Pretty much the same stuff all year:

 

-Heat

-Weather/Water Conditions

-Prey whereabouts

-Vegetation conditions

-Circumstances, miscellaneous.

 

One thing I almost always do, esp under transition periods, is do a lake, pond tour. I'm looking at the above list of parameters. This informs my tackle, techniques, and strategy(ies).

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I'm ready to fish?  Then I put all my gear down and start tying on hooks and weights and bobbers and worms for the little ones.

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Man O Man can't really add much more than what was already written. 

 

Before the first cast I always make sure I have a fresh knot, plastic is straight and have a good idea where I want to start and end up. 

 

 

 

 

Mike

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52 minutes ago, WRB said:

  and looking for bait and bass visually and sonar unit in the marina to determine where and what depth to start.

This is something I learned from you and probably the biggest thing I have learned on this forum . Look for a zone that the baitfish and game fish are in . Several times last year I started out fishing the correct depth because that is where the "life zone" seemed to be .

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I have never stopped to list them all because as I have said, for me when I get to the ramp in the morning and the boat is tied off to the dock, I am putting "the puzzle" together in my head because every day it's like dumping a 500 piece puzzle out on the deck.  The more of that puzzle you can figure out the better day you will have.  The last piece of my puzzle is to always follow my gut.  It's usually right.  

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