Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
afroengineer

finding fish strategy

Recommended Posts

Lately I have been having trouble finding the bass in my usual spots. The lake I fish has no weeds and not a whole lot of cover either. What would be good stategy to try to find the fish next time I go out, maybe a search lure or something and start shallow and work my way deep, I think once I find them I could start catching a lot that day but I am having trouble finding them in the first place, and advice?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite search lures are Cranks, C-rigs, and spinnerbaits.  If i'm working real shallow water i'll see if I can get something to boil on a buzzbait worked real fast.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm all about structure in deeper water, not cover. I recommend points, dropoffs and ledges surrounded by deeper water or leading into deep water. Big boulders, rock piles and transition. Generally I prefer casting parallel to structure so your lure spends more time in the "zone" rather than fishing into the structure.

Lures? I'm a big fan of lipless cranks and jerkbaits, but my strong suit is soft plastics. In water <12' I'll usually fish soft plastics weightless (Fat Ika and Senkos), in deeper water usually T-rigged (Kreature, Gitzit, Kut-Tail and recently Roboworms) or a C-rigged lizard. Shallow and early I have been having pretty good luck with the Bomber Square A, Norman Fat boy and Bagley BII.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Instead of chunking and winding lures like a dummy "in search" for the fish look at the surroundings and conditions in the lake, casts are like roses, they shouldn 't be given to the pigs.

The water temperature is ?

The skies are ?

The air temperature is ?

The contour above the lake is ?

What structural features does the lake has above water level ?

The wind is blowing from where to where ?

The level of the lake is ?

The weeds are alive, dead, a mix of dead and alive ?

The color of the water is ?

The turbidity of the water is produced by what ?

The slope of the terrain is ?

The bottom composition is ?

The weeds are ?

You can cast a "search bait" all day long until your arm pulls out of it 's socket and still don 't find the fish beacuse you 're casting it in the wrong place at the wrong depth.

Let me give you an example.

Never been to a that lake, I don 't know anything about it, I get to the lake, the lake is big, 8-10 times my regular lake is, this is what I found:

Water temperature: 77°C

Skies: Sunny with scattered clouds

Air temperature: 100°F, humid, opressive

The contour: the lake is on between several hills in a "valley", the shape of the lake follows exatly the contour of the hillsides, that means that if there 's a depression in the terrain above the water level there 's a cove in the lake.

Structural features:

old stonewalls built on the terrain long before the lake was built,

stone patches formed by stones anywhere from 3 ft in diameter to the size of a compact car scattered across the shoreline,

the boulder covered dam

The wind: no wind most of the time, ocassional breeze from the east.

Color of the water: milky

Turbity: the nature of the turbidity is supended clay particles, it 's the rainy season so clay is washed from the hillsides and into the lake.

Water Clarity: more less a foot

Slope of the terrain: most of the lake has a very small slope, around 8-10 degrees.

Bottom composition: the same as the surrounding terrain, a mix of clay, some sand, pebbles and with those ocassional patches of big rocks.

Weeds: patches of elodea, water hyacinth.

Woody cover: non existant.

As I zig zag through the patches of water hyacinth I notice in my depthfinder that all the fish I see in my screen are between the surface and 18 ft deep, you don 't see any fish below the 18 ft mark. What does this tells you ?

Lake level: full pool, the lake is spilling.

Barometric pressure: Low, I can see in the distance above the hill that surround the lake black, heavy clouds.

The result of the brainstorm

1.- The fact that all the fish are above the 18 ft mark tells me that there 's a thermocline at more or less 18 ft--------> I just ruled out 2/3 rds of the lake, there 's no point in fishing water deeper than 18 ft deep. The water is very warm and with that slope 15 ft of water, the most likely zone fish will be located, means that I have to fish between the water level and anywhere from 20-40 yards from the bank.

2.- The water turbidity is made from clay means that there 's poor visibility and that the turbidity is not made from FOOD ( plankton ). The color of the water is milky due to the clay.  The water clarity is not that bad, 1 foot is quite good given the circumstances. This tells me that the fish due to the poor visbility will be holding on structure not cover beacuse there 's no woody cover and the elodea patches are too small to hold fish.

3.- Since the only important structural features are those patches of rocks, the stone walls and the boulder covered dam----------> I just ruled out half of that 1/3 rd left of fishable water, that leaves me with 1/6th of the lake.

4.- The lake is at maximum pool and spilling, that creates current on the side the spillway is located--------> I just ruled out another big chunk of water now I only have 1/12th of the lake, I will fish the side where the spillway is located.

5.- No wind or very light ocassional breeze from the east, fortnately the spillway is located on the west of the lake, excellent reason why should I remain on the WEST of the lake.

6.- Structure, structure and more structure again, I need to locate areas of rocks and/or rock walls, the closer they are together the better, fish will move from one to the other, the area around the rocks and between both is the area to fish.

7.- Because it 's sunny, the water is still water hyacinth is the only source of shade, the drawback, it drifts, I need to find areas where I have all the elements and where water hyacynth can 't or will very slowly drift away.

Baits: Spinnerbaits, rattling crankbaits, curly tail worms, lizards and creatures, soft plastics the bigger the better.

Colors: Dark or shiny, your choice, natural colors don 't work fish can 't see them, soft plastics the same, watermelon, green pumpkin, red shad, black shad, black, with metal flake.

El%20Salto%20006.jpg?dc=4675537046471164151

El%20Salto%20002.jpg?dc=4675537046371266393

Gee, I guess I was right, LUCK has nothing to do with catching fish, luck is catching a bigun instead of a little one. First time ever been to that lake and that 's just a sample of what I caught and the numbers I caught.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice post Raul.  You make it sound so simple.  Especially when you break it down like that.  Good job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Raul,

If BassResource ever puts a tournament together I want to fish with you, not against you.

You da Man!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nice post Raul. You make it sound so simple. Especially when you break it down like that. Good job.

It is simple when you piece the puzzle together, everything you see, everything you listen to tells you something, the catch is being analytical, the clues are there if you listen to them. As I said it, luck has nothing to do with catching fish, I did all that even before I tied a lure.

"Every battle is won BEFORE it 's ever fought." ;)

I strongly suggest to our fellow readers to check the article section, specially the behaviour part, all you need to know is there, I 've read it and find it excellent.

Sure RW ! you can be my partner any time you want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The on;y thing left out was the types food source available. If you graph bait fish at 14', take your topo out and look at structure that intersects at 14'. now you can narrow the %water down even more. If that was a tournament lake coming up, I d ask those same questions everyday a week in advance to see what is changing. Wind is real important in the equation. It creates current, muddies the water on points some times, moves plankton, changes the barometer and positions the fish!!!!! If you can't find the fish, let the fish find you, Plant some cover, brush piles, You will create your own secret honey hole until others see you pulling fish from it. Find a point, creek channel, hump, ledge, any of these usually hold fish. Getting xmas trees donated and sunk in the shallows will allow some of the spawn to survive next year, maybe re-populate your lake with your help. you said it didn't have much cover. That can only change with a long drought allowing new growth on the banks or by sinking brush piles. good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forgot to mention.- herons were walking along the shoreline I fished, HERONS, herons feed on baitfish and amphibians, baitfish and smaller fish of the food source use the radicular system of water hyacinth to hide, herons tell you that baitfish are there, find the food source you will find the fish.

Food source.- I left it for granted Matt, sorry about that, in Mexico bass feed mostly on native minnows, juvenile bluegills, juvenile tilapias and carp up to 8 inches in size, this particular lake also has crappie in it, I quited on cranks and spinnerbaits because crappies were hitting them and also smaller fish were hiting them hard, the bigger fish like the ones in the pics took brush hogs and 7.5 inch worms.

Afroengineer be more aware of what 's happening in the lake, the usual spots are that, usual spots, as long as the conditions are the ones that produce fish once the conditions change even a little bit the usual spots turn into dead spots, remember that bass are oportunistic feeders they may feed on minnows and shad but they are not going to let go the opportunity to feed on what 's the prevalent food source during a particular period of time, if bite size bluegills are available and abundant most fish will feed on them, fewer will be feeding on minnows or shad, you target the biggest population feeding on the largest population of food at the present time. By this time of the year the most abundant food source in the south is baby bass, baby bluegills are too large now to be edible except to the bigger fish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wonderful information raul!

maybe a part II, or example #2, next time you go out.  that would be nice!

I didn't have that info to look at, takes alot of the guessing out of it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually Bassackwards the situation is this, one of our fellow anglers is in trouble, he just can 't connect with the fish and comes looking for help, asks but has no real idea of what he 's looking for, shoots a question and gets a buch of replies, try this, try that, this works for me, etc.

I 'm not going to recommend a thing because I have to select the right baits and techniques to be used in a particular situation, how can I recommend something if I don 't know the conditions ? my mind doesn 't work that way, I want and I 'm eager to help but I need you to help me to help you, my idea of help is not giving you the answers; my idea of help is teaching you how to get the answers, because normally when someone asks is because the damage has been done already, we are shuting down the well after the kid drowned, let 's work the opposite way, let 's shut down the well BEFORE the kid drowns.

One thing is to correct a techique problem than correcting the biggest problem, HOW TO LOCATE THE FISH, once you are able to locate the fish everything falls like a card castle, the pieces of the puzzle match on it 's own. That 's why I quote "Every battle is won before it 's ever fought". At least for me I study the conditions before I even tie a bait, I 'm there to do nothing and catch fish, I 'm not in a casting contest.

The difference between a good angler and a lousy one is not luck, it 's the ability to analyze the information, some people are gifted, they analyze the information and draw a conclusion right away, those are what we call "naturals" or "talented", you can see it in sports every day, but 99.99% of the rest of us are not "naturals", we are regular persons, we are everyday people, the only way for us to perform like naturals is by study, practice, perseverance and patience, it 's a continous process, that 's what makes you a good angler not luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First figure out what satisfies a bass's needs and what area and cover fills their needs.  Next figure out what conditions have changed to alter their behavior. Figure out what they should be doing at the time of year your fishing. Locate migration routes bait and bass. Identify the prominent forage. The driving force for a bass right now is food. If the food leaves the bass follows and finds places where food is plentiful and takes up ambush points or just schools up and follows the bait around.  Wind can be a big factor this time of the year and can point you in the right direction. Water clarity and current help position fish. It will also narrow down lure selection along with cover. Take what you learned and try to figure where they went. Not catching bass is not a bad thing. Its just telling you where not to fish. Its telling you they moved and you should move also. On many lakes I fish have many key spots that house some great fish. Sometimes they use these key spots sometimes they move. But most of the time when they move its because something in their enviroment changed and caused them to move. They may not move far and they may move a long distance away depending on how far their food moved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another one of the GREAT threads!!  Great info guys.  Thanks for all the info!  Raul yours was terrific, and the others additions were great as well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another one of the GREAT threads!! Great info guys. Thanks for all the info! Raul yours was terrific, and the others additions were great as well!

thats what I'm sayin...

Raul, that is my biggest problem, is how to get the answers. where are the fish going to be? u hit the nail on the head! now retaining it, filing it and being able to process it back out to answer form may take some practice... lol

so instead of finding out what people like to do in certain circumstances...  

find how to figure out those circumstances first...?

for lack of better words, or inability to use them, instead of knowing all the answers and not knowing the question...  get the question and then find the answers...

I hope I'm gettin the drift anyhow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Raul you have opened my eyes :o that was a fantastic post. Im not trying to be a brown nose but I do think that you are one of the .01% that are in the "naturals" catogory. The way I approach a new lake will be changed for the beter now. Thank you. And thanks to all the others that added to this thread. You guys are great.

                                                 Bryce

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest the_muddy_man

I look to see whos been fishing all day on a spot and not doing anything and then I just fish somewhere else ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Raul,

And if one is fishing from a bank (as I often do) or in a boat with no electronics?  Are we back to luck or what can be determined, if anything, if you don't know the depth the fish are at or what structure exists below the surface of the water?

Thanks,

Hillbilly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hillbilly finding structure is easy when fishing from the bank, you 're standing on it  ;), the good thing about structural features is that what you see above water level is most likely to continue under water level, it 's just a matter of taking a good look, bass prefer certain structures over others, sudden drop offs, rocks, where soil meets rock are some of them.

Chris wrote something very important:

First figure out what satisfies a bass's needs and what area and cover fills their needs

What 's a bass ?

A bass is a PREDATORY fish, this means that once it 's big enough not to be in need to feed on plankton it 's going to feed on other living animals big enough to fill it 's big mouth. This means that the fish is a hunter down to the marrow of it 's bones, that 's it 's weakness, he hunts so let 's use that against it.

What are it 's needs ?

1.- An abundant and reliable source of food on which to prey upon,

2.- A place to stalk it 's prey, an ambush point,

3.- An easy escape route or it becomes the prey

4.- A safe passage way from point A to point B

5.- A place where it can conceal it 's presence, contrary to popular belief strong sunlight doesn 't bother bass nor it hurts it 's eyes, bass see like we see with polarized lenses so strong sunlight doesn 't bother them, bass hide in shade because ít can see it 's prey without being seen by it.

So the first point is KNOW YOUR PREY.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Raul,

I liked your analyses.  I would refute the notion, however, that catching the larger bass is a product of luck over catching a little one. Lots of guys can catch the "shore runners" as pointed out long ago by Buck Perry, but few can consistently catch quality bass.  Larger bass catching is not the same as catching little ones. They take up the best residences in the most suitable locations in any body of water as you know. Also, in waters that have a foot of visibility green pumpkin works fine for me, although I would probably start with a black neon color for plastics. I haven't fished as much floating hyacinth as I would like, but given the lack of water clarity and the temperature, I can visualize lots of bass hanging just underneath the floating mats.  I suppose that this cover will work itself to the windward shore where it could be good cover for catching bass.

Overall, I agree with you that many guys fish without considering enough of the variables that position bass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nick what detered me from fishing deeper water was the thermocline, I zig zaged between the mats along the boulder covered dam and from the dam to where I found the fish, couldn 't see any fish below 18 ft, not a single soul, so really what kept them in the bank was that, the thermocline, what I assume they did was to relocate their hideouts from deeper water to shallow water following the same structure that held them in deeper water, I caught a 5.35 along the stone wall in 12 ft of water, didn 't take pic of that one cuz I my camera run out of batteries  ::). Smaller fish ( 8 inches to a pound ) were indeed under the hyacinth, caught lots of them casting right next to and in between the patches but no hits from bigger fish, it was fun for a while catching those smaller fish, I was fishing the windward side, when wind blew a little bit it blew in that direction, also what kept me there was that the spillway is on that side of the dam, the lake is at maximum pool and spilling, creating a stronger current on that side of the lake. The bad thing about hyacinth is that it 's not like pads, you can 't walk a bait comfortably, it hangs up right away, under different conditons let 's say pads instead of hyacinth certainly I would have tied a weedles frog or a weedless soft plastic above those pads, I love to fish the "salad" and see fish blasting the bait through the pads.

We can be partners ANY time Hillbilly.  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Raul, do you think you could come up with kind of a checklist/guidline for us other fishermen to take to our lakes. Just what to look for and what these things mean. Just to help us locate fish better and choose the right bait. If you want to do this I think everybody would love it and put it to good use ( I know I would). Thanks a bunch man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing forum

    fishing

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing forum

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×