Archive for March, 2011
Big Fish Aren’t Little Fish

Last week’s blog notwithstanding, big fish aren’t little fish. They’re very different creatures with very different habits. They rarely behave like their smaller relatives.

You’ll typically find them in the best spots, alone. Regardless of the species, the fish we chase are predators. They aren’t polite and they don’t attend anger management classes. They move into whatever areas they want by bullying smaller fish, or killing them if necessary. It’s a tough world.

If you want a big fish look over the area you’re fishing.  Try to visualize where you would want to be if you were a fish and had your pick of places to live. That’s the most likely place to find a giant, and the place you should be fishing.

And never forget that they didn’t get big by accident. Approach them carefully and present your offerings in a natural manner. These fish are wary. Nothing escapes their attention. They’ll shy away from anything that doesn’t look, feel or sound right.

Catch More Fish This Year

There’s an easy way to catch more fish this year — fish where the fish are. For most of us that’s not as obvious as it sounds. Fish move and stage based on the season, the weather, water conditions and a host of other factors we don’t know anything about because we don’t even know they exist.

But that doesn’t mean they move and stage in a haphazard or random manner. Their movements are precise and well-orchestrated. They know exactly what they’re doing even if we don’t.

Top anglers opine that 90 percent of the fish are found in 10 percent of the water. Never forget that. Fishing the productive 10 percent is what fishing success is all about.

Find a school of crappie — or any other species of fish — on the inside bend of a channel swing in 5-foot of water in one creek and you’ll likely find them in similar places in other creeks flowing into the river. Once you know they’re there you can fish efficiently by selecting lures or baits that reach the proper depth and that match the local hatch.

So, the next time you’re on the dock looking for fishing information ask where the fish are, not what they’re biting. You’ll have a lot more success!

Now’s the Time to Prep Your Boat

Now is the time to get your boat ready for the upcoming season. Spend some time checking the batteries — don’t forget to polish and grease the posts — and make sure everything is in working order.

Every year I see guys at the ramp struggling and fighting on their first trip of the year. It’s always something, and rarely is it their fault. (If you don’t believe me, ask them. They’ll tell you the same thing!) There’s no reason for that. A little time spent in preparation for that first trip will pay huge dividends in the long-run. Fishing time is hard to come by. Why waste it because of a lack of preparation?

And while you’re checking out the boat make sure you give the trailer a once-over. It’s every bit as important as the boat. Check the tires, grease the bearings and check all the lights.

Last, but by no means least, check you life vest or PFD. If it’s an auto-inflate model make sure the switch and gas canister are replaced and in proper working order. If it’s an old-fashioned jacket check it for holes, rips, tears and mouse damage. Mice love life vests. I guess the filling makes a comfortable nest.

Do these things before you get to the ramp and your first trip out this spring will be a fishing trip, as opposed to an exercise in anger management. Besides, working on your equipment is a great way to kill time while you’re waiting for the weekend.