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cjam93

Debate with a friend over current

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So for example say I am sitting on a point on a man made reservoir, and the current is flowing from the left to the right. I have always been taught that the bass are likely sitting on the right side of the point facing into the current for the current to push bait towards them. So because of this, the idea is to throw your bait out against the current so you bring the bait back with the current. I know other circumstances can cause bass to set up differently, but for this example lets ignore all of that and just focus on how current can cause bass to set up and how to fish it.

 

Now my friend says that bait fish swim against the current and because of this you should throw your bait out with the current so that when you bring your bait back it is coming back against the current. 

 

We could not come to an agreement so I told him I would ask on here and get a general opinion. Thanks!!

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From my experience I agree with you, fish your bait moving with the direction of the flow. But under certain circumstances I have found that working against the current will out produce.

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River fish orient into current.

 

Is it possible that still water fish have evolved out of that?  Sure.  But I know how I'd bet.

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All fish prefer to face into current and can swim up or down current when relocating.

Current is most reserviors is vey slight unlike rivers with faster current, eddies, break dams etc, etc.

Where bass position on a point with slight current depends on the direction the baitfish like Shad are moving following plankton is usually swimming with the current and bass facing into it. The bass sometimes like to push the baitfish up against a point or up towards the surface or coming over the top on the opposite side. Casting into the current working up and over a point is a high % presentation technique. Don't overlook fishing the both sides.

Tom

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I think you got your buddy on this one. I don’t see fish going out of their way to swim upstream unless they really have to. Sure there could be exceptions, but I think spot on. 

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thanks guys!

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Fish hold facing into the current . Against the current would be backwards to the fish . Sort of like driving down a highway in reverse .

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I agree with the fish facing into the current 99% of the time....maybe less as this is a purely unscientific guess on my part based on personal experience. 

 

My only exception, based on just a couple times of it happening and all at the same place..........I fish a quarry that sometimes has some high winds whipping through.  There was a time last summer I was fishing in my kayak and the winds were so high my anchor barely even slowed my drift down. I got so tired of fighting it that I paddled around a point to get out of the wind. The point is about 10 feet out of the water and about 20 feet wide, maybe 200 yards long, jutting into the quarry.  It was completely calm on that side up against the bluff........I nailed bass after bass on the calm side.  Maybe they were tired of the wind too. 

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Because the current is what brings food to all fish species in a river system, they always hold with their noses facing up current. Therefore, it’s hugely important to fish in current by casting upstream and retrieving your bait with the current.

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I agree with everything that has been said so far in this thread. You should be starting with casting upstream and working your lures back down the current. This presents the most natural presentation first.

 

That being said, do not overlook working it the opposite way. I've caught so many small mouth (and another current dweller-trout), by casting downstream and working the lures back upstream. I always fish a target area like this from both angles as usually one or the other will be better for that day, and fishing from the other angle can usually get you another bite or two.

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Tell him you’ve never seen a bass swim backwards

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On lakes it dont matter. Fish the whole point! If you have good electronic use them to locate bait and bass. I.e. Traditionally Fork my home lake, fishes poorly when the gates are open. (I think this is more of an excuse for guides on a bad day) when they are open releasing water down river into the sabine. It creates current but we would never know. Ive seen fish relate to points up stream, down stream, and right on top. Start where you graph bait or activity.  Simple

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Sometimes retrieving your lure from a different angle will trigger a strike where you couldnt previously elicit one. 

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You both are correct. However bait fish, when facing into the current, are rarely swimming against the current. Like the bass, they are holding in a spot. When they do move, it's to follow their food source and that involves following it down current. Letting your bait sit in one spot, or bringing it back with the current, Which way do you think is more productive for catching bass?

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I believe that bass will face into the current most of the time, but I also believe that fishing the lure with the current gives the fish more time to scrutinize the lure. Fishing against the current, the lure comes by the fish from behind and triggers a reaction strike. There's been numerous times I've fished up a feeder creek with no success, turn the boat around (fishing against the current) and limit out quickly. Just my 2 cents.

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As a long-time stream/river fisher, I can say that there's a LOT to fishing current. Stream fishing, and fishing tides, will teach you how fish operate in current. There is no one way to do it. But, some of the main issues revolve around speed control (what current does to your line, essentially), and whether the lure's approach will either alarm, or incite, the fish. One really effective way can be to fish across current from them, which forces the fish to make a decision -a powerful trigger. This can be done straight across, or down and across.

 

But, open lake currents are rarely terribly strong, esp down where the fish are. A lot of that current is on the surface, esp if its wind generated. So you might even be able to ignore it much of the time. If it's a river run reservoir, that's pulling lots of water, and you are in a narrow area where current concentrates, that can be a different story.

 

I made a video on fishing wind-generated current on small shallow waters, where current can get going, that shows how prey fishes (bluegills in this case), and the bass, respond. Current can really liven things up!

 

 

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As a kid, when trout fishing in the catskills at one spot I'd throw a lure upstream and retrieve it with the spinner blade turning slowly, and a second cast across the stream to let the lure come into the eddy from the opposite or down current side with the spinner going wildly, often I'd get a fish on the opposite side cast. I left no cast potential to go untested. 

 

 

Down here in So. Flo. we do not have any moving water so it makes no difference. 

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An injured baitfish only goes one way in current and its not upstream. 

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On May 23, 2019 at 10:02 AM, gnappi said:

As a kid, when trout fishing in the catskills at one spot I'd throw a lure upstream and retrieve it with the spinner blade turning slowly, and a second cast across the stream to let the lure come into the eddy from the opposite or down current side with the spinner going wildly, often I'd get a fish on the opposite side cast. I left no cast potential to go untested. 

 

 

Down here in So. Flo. we do not have any moving water so it makes no difference. 

Try watching Roberts vedio it applies to your Florida small natural lakes.

Tom

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1 hour ago, BuzzHudson19c said:

An injured baitfish only goes one way in current and its not upstream. 

Sideways?

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On 5/20/2019 at 9:50 PM, WRB said:

All fish prefer to face into current and can swim up or down current when relocating.

Current is most reserviors is vey slight unlike rivers with faster current, eddies, break dams etc, etc.

Where bass position on a point with slight current depends on the direction the baitfish like Shad are moving following plankton is usually swimming with the current and bass facing into it. The bass sometimes like to push the baitfish up against a point or up towards the surface or coming over the top on the opposite side. Casting into the current working up and over a point is a high % presentation technique. Don't overlook fishing the both sides.

Tom

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