Wow, did you see that? What an explosion! Oh, I heard the hit! Let’s find that fish!
Hey there, this is Capt. Jonathan Moss of Go Castaway Fishing Charters with another edition of PRO TIPS! For some, fishing is just casting out some bait and waiting for a bite. There is nothing wrong with that technique, however, that style of fishing tends to create unaware anglers. If an angler focuses their attention on their surroundings while on the water, they’ll begin to pick up on cues that will lead them to fish. Fishing is very much an activity of watching and listening. Let’s discuss.
This week on one of my largemouth bass fishing charters, we witnessed bass schooling, chasing and eating baby shad. These predator fish are so aggressive that they are literally propelling themselves out of the water in a feeding frenzy. It is such a sight to see. This visual cue showed me, the guide, where to position the boat to give my guests the best opportunity to catch fish. Additionally, my anglers now have an obvious target to cast towards. While focusing on the water, I scan back and forth, looking for these schooling fish. My eyes are my fish finder. Fishing is very much a visual game. This same technique can be applied while fishing the flats. As I pole my skiff in 1- to 3-feet of water, I focus my eyes 60- to 100-feet out from the boat, scanning for some form of movement, flash or tailing fish. My eyes are looking for nervous water or a shrimp scurrying across the surface. Perhaps, I might even spot a push or boil from a redfish or a group reds tailing and feeding. Again, fishing is a visual game and one that sure is a lot of fun to play. Have you ever seen an osprey fly overhead looking for its next meal? Or how about a few seagulls hovering just a few feet over the water? These visual cues are almost a guarantee that fish are nearby.
Fishing is also a game of listening. I truly love escaping to the water and leaving the sounds of the city behind. Once away from the hustle and bustle, the angler can now hear the audible cues the fish are sharing. I often have anglers on the boat who forget to listen. Listening to your surroundings while on the water can focus your attention to an area that has possibly been overlooked. Often, I hear bait scurrying away or the sound of a predator fish slurping some bait on the surface. A good bit of the time, the sounds I hear are coming from an area either ahead of me or behind me. Listening for the cues helps lead you to the fish. There will, for sure, be times where anglers might not see the fish, but by listening for the cues, we are able to then focus our attention and cast to a specific spot. I have lost count of how many times this has played out on my boat. I hear the bite, find the swirl from the fish, make the cast and then, fish on! Listening will lead you to finding more fish.
When anglers are focused and paying attention to their surroundings, they will, without a doubt, pick up on the cues and catch more fish! So, next time you’re on the water, give this a try. You’ll be glad you did!
Capt. Jonathan Moss
Go Castaway Fishing Charters