Successful anglers are great at observing! The fisherperson who can put together a pattern of what is working and why, and duplicate it, will have a great advantage over other anglers. That first fish caught, may not be by chance. A pattern may be responsible for that success. If so, the faster it is identified, the greater the success will be. An angler who puts together a pattern to match a great day of fishing, will be able to duplicate that great day, when the same pattern occurs again, on another day.
How does an angler recognize a pattern? What must an angler observe, and how does an angler put together an outline of the characteristics of a day, and form a pattern to remember for a similar day, on a future trip? Observation is the key, and here are some of the characteristics which must be noted, when putting together a pattern:
First, sun light or moon light, and the intensity of that light (cloudy or clear sky), plus the angle of that light to the water, are factors that should be considered. Is the next bank in shadow, like the one that just held keeper largemouth? What is the angle of the sun to this bank, and, is it a similar angle to the bank just fished, the one that held the fish just caught?
Second, wind, current, and angle of the bottom fished, are important. The sides of points, as they extend away from the shoreline, have angled bottom structure, and that angle can be the key to more fish. What is that angle? What direction was the wind coming from, on the bank where the big fish were caught (into or away from the bank, or parallel to the bank? Were they pulling water (usually, this means generating power) when the fish were caught? Are they still generating? Bass stack up, particularly on main lake points, when current causes shad to school up. The lure of plentiful and readily available food can result in a feeding frenzy! Watch for the angle of the bottom where the fish hold, and make a note of where the fish are holding on the point.
Next, water depth, clarity, and temperature (surface) are important to establishing a pattern for success. At what depth was that last fish caught, was the water murky, muddy, or clear, and what was the water surface temperature? When choosing a lure color, depth and water clarity must are important, since different colors disappear at different depths. Fish move to comfortable water temperatures, and their comfort has a lot to do with plentiful oxygen. Check the finder on your boat, and mark the depth of the thermocline.
Fronts, and the change in barometric pressure associated with them, are factors that must be considered. Strong fronts can cause heavy fish feeding as they pass over the lake. Make note of the change in barometric pressure, and remember how it related to the fish bite. At what reading did the fish bite the best?
Finally, bass in particular are structure oriented ambushers. Predators, they use the cover of stumps, timber, bushes, boulders, chunk rock, ledges, and any man-made obstacles, to aid the hunt. What type of structure was there, when that fish almost pulled the rod and reel out of the boat and into the water?
When you can answer some of the above questions, you are on your way to creating a pattern that will help you catch fish right then, and on subsequent trips, when you encounter similar circumstances. Don’t wait! Get out there! Greater success is waiting for you right now! I’ll see you on the lake!!!
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