Monday, September 15, 2014

Productive Fishing


“Stop Fishing the Dead Spots!”


Fish seem to disappear every year, man something just ‘aint’ right. That’s what you will hear from frustrated anglers who are having difficulty catching fish. Well, they are here and if you know how to find them—those words will seldom exit your mouth.
Time after time I hear those words echoing across the water in the wee hours of the morning. Fishermen frustrated because they have only swapped baits one or two times in the 4 hours they have been on the water. Yet, our boat is pulling in fish as if we were dead atop the Florida Aquarium.


It’s pretty obvious why we catch ‘em’ and nearby boats only catch frustration—they did not do their homework! The key to a productive trip is to be literate on signs of feeding fish, weather conditions and water temperatures, as well as the tide and moon changes. Deciding to go fishing without doing your homework is best said by Forest Gump, “You never know what you’re gonna get!”


The signs are as lucid as day and night if you know what you are looking for. Remember last week when you were out scootin’ across the water in your boat, I am sure you noticed a slue of birds diving in a certain area— (sign #1). If those birds were diving steadily, we know one of two things. Either there are fish feeding with ripping style teeth such as snapper, mackerel, and trout, or a whole mess of available bait—either or, it’s a sure sign of things to come! Fish with sharp ripping teeth will usually leave an oily slick and pieces of bait floating near the top, in turn, the birds find easy prey and we find an easy target.


If the birds are diving occasionally, we know one of three things. Either there is a small pod of bait, fish without ripping teeth, such as cobia, snook, and redfish, or bait running a bit too deep for the birds to reach. In any event, an occasional dive is better than no diving!  
Fish such as the redfish snook and cobia usually swallow the bait without much thrashing and slashing, thereby leaving no leftovers and little or no slicks—but still leaving an indication of feeding fish.


I have seen and been around anglers who look at a spot and feel it is hot, simply because they feel if they were a fish, they too would be there! Well, this is definitely not a productive method; however, it does play a part in scouting the fish. In other words, you need to train your mind to think like a fish—only to get you to the potential spot. Once your fish-like instincts have guided you to the location, then your knowledge on spotting feeding signs will guide you the rest of the way.


Another productive method is to look for the actual fish itself. Redfish can be found foraging the flats and oyster bars with their tails protruding the surface—sometimes up to 12 inches of tail will show. Cobia will show their fat heads and dorsals, and when in schools—you may think you are looking at small rolling wakes created by passing boats. Snook usually create water breaks and loud pops on the surface, followed by a powerful swirling action in the water. Crevalle Jacks make the water figuratively boil when they get into a feeding frenzy. Trout offer up a unique pop similar to the snook but usually without that signature swirl. Mackerel can usually be located by watch the baitfish jump out of their skin! Macks put so much fear in bait that they almost swim above water!

The moon, tides, and weather all play a crucial role and it only takes one to fall out of whack and mess up your whole trip. If your one of those anglers mentioned in the opening paragraph of this article, I would suggest learning the other 50% of fishing—which is the art of locating fish.

For more information on this subject, please check out my latest book entitled Florida Inshore Angler.  Coming Soon!

Keep your tip up^

Allen Applegarth

NOTE:  Please keep in mind that most of the articles and information within this website are excerpts from my newest title not yet released.  As so, I am unable to publish the entire article and have pieced together points of interest that hopefully give you enough information to be successful and enjoy the read.