Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Mottfia

Sight Fishing

Recommended Posts

Hey Guys,

  A few Buddies and I are setting up to try our hand at sight fishing. Can yall answer a few of my questions about this art? 1) How do you find deeper beds. 2) What clues does the bass give about its catchability based on how it moves? ( I've heard that you can learn alot the fish by watching it) 3) What methods or strategies would you use to catch fish on the bed? 4) How about targeting Big fish?

Thank You,

Mottfia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) How do you find deeper beds?

Unless you can actually see the bed it's a matter of blind casting

2) What clues does the bass give about its catchability based on how it moves? (I've heard that you can learn a lot the fish by watching it)

The only way to learn this is with experience

3) What methods or strategies would you use to catch fish on the bed?

The are many methods & strategies that will work but the most productive is patience

4) How about targeting big fish?

If you're not targeting big fish then bed fishing is a waste of time

But the biggest misconception is that bedding fish are easier to catch than others. They can actually be harder to catch than any other time of year. You are dealing with a fish that is not readily and actively feeding during the actual spawn. They are more intent on building a nest, laying their eggs and then protecting the fry and don't feed very much during most of the spawn. Shaw Grigsby

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But the biggest misconception is that bedding fish are easier to catch than others. They can actually be harder to catch than any other time of year. You are dealing with a fish that is not readily and actively feeding during the actual spawn. They are more intent on building a nest, laying their eggs and then protecting the fry and don't feed very much during most of the spawn. Shaw Grigsby

But you have one advantage to weight the balance favorable to you, they may not be readily and actively feeding, but:

1.- They are protecting the eggs and the fry, they will bite anything you drop on the nest, not to eat it but to move it away from the nest, the magic words: THEY BITE, and if they bite they are hookable and catchable.

2.- They don 't move from the nest other than a few feet just to return to it over and over again, the magic words: THEY DON 'T MOVE, that means that you can present your bait over and over again.

They don 't move from the location and they bite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a quick question; i don't want to steal the post:

How can you see the fish. I have a pair of polarized sunglasses, but still can't seem to find any.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just a quick question; i don't want to steal the post:

How can you see the fish. I have a pair of polarized sunglasses, but still can't seem to find any.

If you can see the fish or not depends greatly on the water clarity and the depth, there are places with crystal clear water where you can see the fish on the nest, there are other places where the water clarity doesn 't allow you to see the fish but where you can see the nest ( a clear patch on the bottom abouth the size of a tire ), there are other places where the water is very stained or muddy, you can 't see the fish nor the nest, in those places it 's the general location of what a good nesting site would be ( shallow and close to the bank where the sunlight penetrates dep enough to incubate the eggs ). Polarized lenses help, but as always, to spot the fish you have to learn how to spot them, it 's something you learn through observation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just a quick question; i don't want to steal the post:

How can you see the fish. I have a pair of polarized sunglasses, but still can't seem to find any.

Get Amber polarized sunglasses.  Much easier for me with these glasses.

Kelley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish Randall would drop in on this topic. He knows this technique inside and out. Taught me everything I know about sight fishing, all in 11 hours on the water.

I'm by no means an expert, but I can offer a few tips. Don't look for the fish so much, look for shadows. I usually look for a long dark spot on the bottom. Of course you want to keep an eye out for beds. Once you find a bed, back off and keep an eye on it. If you've spooked the fish on approach and they come back, creep in and see just how close they'll let you get. It's all a matter of how much time you want to spend on the fish.

Use the sun as an ally. If the sun is at your back, the fish is going to see you. Sometimes you may have to beach the boat and approach from land. I like to keep the sun at my side.

When I'm looking for beds, I've got my trolling motor on high and several marker buoys on the deck. I zoom the banks, throwing buoys in every place I see a bed or a fish on a bed. I'll visit these spots several times through the day to see if the fish are receptive. Don't throw the marker right on top of the bed, throw it 10-20' to either side. If you don't have buoys, you can use H-shaped pieces of foam and a 1 oz. lead sinker.

I'll look for beds in areas with a hard bottom, adjacent to deeper water. I find a lot of my beds near flat rocks, stumps or other pieces of cover and structure. Clear water certainly helps. I've tried looking for beds in stained water and can only spot the shallowest of beds. In clearer water, I've spotted them as deep as 12-15'. This fish came off a bed that was in 17' of water. All we could see was a light spot and a huge shadow.

varner11.jpg

When I do find a fish that will tolerate my presence, I move in with one bait, a white 1/2 oz. jig. I thin the weed guard (don't remove it) and fish without a trailer.

Once I've determined how close I can get, I'll anchor and just sit there for a while to let the fish get used to me. Then I'll softly pitch the jig past the bed and slowly hop it into the bed. Once I'm in the bed, I'll let it sit there and occasionally shake it. Keep an eye on the fish. When they nose down on the jig and flare their gills, set the hook. They're not eating, they are only picking the jig up and spitting it out of the bed.

Sometimes you can keep the bait in the bed forever and the fish will never bite. They just ignore the intruder. In times like these, you have to work a bit more to make the fish aggressive. What I try to do in these situations is hit the fish with the jig. Sometimes all it takes is a little bump. You want to tick that fish off and make that jig it's worst enemy.

This is why I use the white jig. With the jig in the bed, keep an eye on the white and when the fish blocks your view of the jig, just hop the jig right into the fish. A time or two is usually all it takes to rile them up enough to pop the jig.

If that doesn't do the trick, I'll pitch a Mattlures bluegill into the bed and see how they like that. A pass or two of that will really tick even the most indifferent bass off.

For me, the hardest part is having the patience to sit on one bed. I spent 7 hours on one bed last year and never caught either fish. One was a 4 lb. male, the other a 6-7 lb. female. I was able to get within 15 yards thanks to a bit of chop on the water, but the female just wasn't really locked in. She would come in and sit for a minute or two, then move back to deeper water and keep an eye on me.

There really isn't a magic trick to bed fishing, it is more a matter of taking the time to evaluate your surroundings and having the patience to sit in one spot for several hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just a quick question; i don't want to steal the post:

How can you see the fish. I have a pair of polarized sunglasses, but still can't seem to find any.

The color of the lens makes a big difference depending on light conditions and water clarity.

In low light situations, an amber lens will brighten earth tones and make beds stand out like a sore thumb.  In bright conditions, a grey lens will excel.  There really isn't a perfect pair of glasses to cover all situations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree 100% with Burley but want to add a few things.

Sometimes to get the female to bite you gotta get rid of the male first.

Sometimes rattles help.You very lightly jiggle the lure in place and the sound will drive them nuts at times.Some times you don't want a rattle.Experiment.

Sometimes you gotta change color.Like always, I have seen the fish respond differently to a color change and get more aggressive towards

one.

Upsize or downsizing can make a difference if you cannot get a fish to commit(as explained with the matts gill) I use a baby paca craw a lot, then sometimes throw the big paca or full brush hog in as a follow up and the larger bait is deemed more of a threat to the nest. Down size sometimes when they keep grabbing and blowing on it but not quite crushing it like you want them to.

If you got one circling around very fast and getting aggressive.Try rapidly pitching in very rapidly twitch once or twice and pull out and do it again.Then proceed to knock the fish on his dome a few times and see what happens.

Sometimes you gotta deadstick and back off for a big girl (patience is a hell of a virtue)

Sometimes you gotta pop the bait aggressively or just very lightly wiggle it.Watch the fish for a reaction.If they spook out they will still be watching from a distance.working the bait in the nest for a few may get them to return.

When you first pull up and see a bed with a fish nearby pay close attention to where the fish keeps putting its nose.A lot of times this is the sweet spot.Put the bait there a few time and watch their reaction.

Try to avoid casting a shadow direcly on the target area.

I have recently discovered that a drop shot with a minnow or small swimbait can be deadly.You raise and lower the bait over and over in the nest.A heavy sinker is a must to keep the rig in place.

Baits I really like to use are jigs 1/2 oz. 1/2 oz texas rigged brush hogs,paca craws,lizards. 3/8 oz shakey head worms. White can be a great color as it allows you to the bait very well and also determine when the fish has grabbed it.

When fishing really stained water or dirty water all you can do find the prime areas once you have determined that bass are present and literally pitch/flip every darn inch of it since you can't see the beds many times.

Sorry if I am making it sound complicated.It really isn't. Just another one of those things that the more you do it the better you get at finding out what works best for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fish a lake where 90% of the Smallmouth I catch are by sight fishing and this is not only during the spawn. It depends on the water and the bottom make up of the lake on what color the beds are. Most of the lakes that I fish the beds are white in color, but this lake where I do most of my sight fishing the beds are dark almost black in color.

On a flat calm day with a good set of Polarized glasses I have seen smallmouth as deep as 10ft. I don't actually look for the bass, instead I look for movement and the shadow cast by the bass. The bass in this lake average in the 3 pound range.

As far as lures, try them all nothing is written in stone. For the most part when they are just cruising around I have done my best on a slow falling jig with a craw trailer, suspending jerk bait or a wacky worm. They are very skittish though because they can also see you. I usually watch their direction of travel and then lead them like a duck and cast about 20 yards in front of them. Depending on their mood I have had them take off like a bolt of lighting and slam my bait, and other times they will approach the bait and watch it. When they do this I keep the bait as still as possible and then wiggle my rod tip every so slightly and that little movement will usually trigger a bite. Some bass just won't bite.

Beds in deeper water are hard to see so I usually keep and eye out for large rocks or logs laying on the bottom. Around here they will usually tuck their beds up against this type of structure. If they are bedding it really doesn't seem to matter what lure to use because they are very protective of the bed. The only problem I run into is that they will gently pick up the lure without taking the hook swim a few yards and then drop the lure. When they do this I usually down size my baits and hooks.

If you can find a good sight fishing lake you will have a blast. Their is nothing like watching seeing the fish take your lure!!

I use two different colors of polarized glass: Amber for sunny days and Yellow for overcast days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing forum

    fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing poles

    fishing

    fishing reels

    fishing

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×
×
  • Create New...