The Devil is in the Details

By James McManus

Little things… that’s what makes up the difference sometimes between catching and not catching. I talked to a neighbor the other day and he related a story about south Georgia pond fishing for bream. Joe said there were fish breaking everywhere, crickets were used for bait, and he couldn’t buy a bite. The pond was only several feet deep and he had set his cork a couple of feet above the cricket with a small split shot. “Not airy a bite.” Finally he removed the split shot, so the cricket sat on top of the surface and shortly filled a stringer with “brims”.

Sometimes you can do no wrong, a missed cast, stupid color or incorrect size doesn’t matter, even your buddy is catching fish (which I hope you all have a bud you can always out fish). But most times there is a subtle trigger that on that day, in that place with that group of fish, there is a right and a wrong way to get them to bite.

I feel like the right bait is probably the first thing to consider. Are they eating shad, worms, crickets, or any number of other delicacies? Also worthy of considering are the size, shape and color of bait, so you can “match the hatch” as close as possible. Even when you have precisely the right bait you must consider your presentation, do they want it burned, hopped or my favorite, dead sticked. My bud, Lou and I used to fish redfish tourneys from North Carolina all the way to Louisiana. Our favorite method for catching reds was to throw a spinner bait with a gulp shrimp and simply let it sit on a mud bottom. The reds would smell that gulp bait and you would feel them suck that spinner bait and all with no notice of all that attached hardware.

All this and I haven’t gotten into line size, scents, casting accuracy and distance or things like patience, perseverance and confidence. Sheesh, it seems like it is amazing we ever catch anything, but thankfully fish brains are fairly small and their appetites fairly large.

We are blessed with lots of choices to try out all our methods in God-given, beautiful waters. Let’s be thankful.

Later, Capt. James

Capt. James McManus owns 153 Charters. Give him a call for a great day on the water at (828) 421-8125