Inevitably, every fishing trip ends. What happens in between separates the good trips from the bad. The memorable moments from the mundane. One of our goals at Live to Fish is to ensure your fishing experiences that would otherwise be ordinary or dull are a thing of the past. We’re happy to share our knowledge and resources. With the benefit of our expertise, you stand a much better chance of creating some of the best fishing memories you’ll have. Though we can’t improve relations with your in – laws, we can help ensure you end up with more fish on the end of your line.
Common knowledge provides that our planet is mostly covered in water. For fishing purposes, that means you’ve got a lot of ground… er, I mean water to cover. For most of us, fishing trips don’t happen every day. When they do, the duration is limited. In order to make the most of that limited time, some suggestions are provided for you to consider.
Your fishing trip plan (float plan) should involve hitting several very specific spots. Sure, you can just drift a flat and see what hits. You can also enter an airport and buy a ticket to a location based on nothing other than how soon the next plane is taking off. The point is, most people invest some degree of pre-planning. If one of your proposed spots is particularly expansive, you’re going to want to find out if fish are there as quickly as possible. Yes, fishing is about relaxing, slowing down, and simply spending time on the water. An article about finding fish quickly seems inconsistent with establishing the leisurely pace most associate with fishing. A pace some believe should be the rule, rather than the exception, when on the water. At Live to Fish, we understand and encourage adopting a laid-back attitude on the water. We recognize the importance of reconnecting with friends and family.
Now, with that issue put to rest, who said, “reconnecting,” or, “leisure time,” doesn’t involve putting as many fish in the boat as possible? No one! Certainly no one at Live to Fish. We’re out on the water for comradery. We’re out there for the opportunity to teach a young son, daughter, or grandchild the benefits of fishing. In case you’re wondering, as a matter of fact, yes… we have been aboard when the fishing slows down, and inevitably heard someone make the hackneyed, thoughtless remark, “that’s why they call it fishing and not catching.” Ugh….That’s a pet peeve around here. Call it what you want. We leave the dock to catch.
So, the question becomes: what’s the fastest way to explore a large body of water to confirm the presence of fish?
If you’re offshore, high speed trolling is one option. High speed trolling would be dragging your baits while your boat is going between 14 and 20 knots. Such speeds result in covering more distance than proceeding at traditional trolling speeds. Keep in mind that those high speeds are only going to attract certain predators. Specifically, those predatory game fish willing and capable of attacking a bait moving that fast. One such predatory gamefish is a wahoo. Wahoo swim at speeds that exceed 60 mph. So, trolling at 14, 16 and even 20 knots has become commonplace through using techniques developed by Capt. Ron Schatman, winner of a dozen major Bahamas wahoo tournaments over five years. High speed trolling is not only limited to targeting certain species, it’s also a method of fishing limited by weather conditions. No one aboard will be too thrilled about proceeding at 18 knots in windy weather and a sea state consisting of a 6’ foot chop.
If you’re inshore, consider using search baits. A search bait refers to a type of lure you can work quickly and effectively over a large body of water. Three of the most effective are: crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and topwater lures. Certain jerk baits also fall into the search bait category. When prospecting with search baits, you’ve got a good chance of getting the fish to show themselves. Once you’ve nailed down a location, you can switch to more finesse style baits.
To help you paint a mental picture, imagine the following scenario: You’ve just motored behind a mangrove wall. This living wall of mangroves is high, thick, and about a half mile long. A thing of beauty in and of itself, behind the wall exists a superb grass flat. The mangroves do an excellent job of hiding this gem of a fishing spot. You found it by accident one day about two years ago. Since then, you’ve disclosed it to no more than one other fishing buddy. Though you can’t imagine being the only one that knows about this spot; thus far you’ve never seen another boat here during any of your visits.
You’re careful with your approach. At just over 100 yards away, you cut your engine. You cover the remaining distance with your trolling motor. You don’t dare run your trolling motor at a speed above a 2 or 3. Particularly wary redfish will spook from the sound of trolling motor being run at high speed. Perched on the bow with your rod in one hand, you’re panning from left to right; thanking god some optometrist figured out that polarized lenses in sunglasses would benefit fisherman.
It’s been a beautiful morning. The seas are flat clam. The run from the dock to this spot was like crossing glass. The tide has been coming in for the past few hours. High tide is only about a half hour away. From experience, you know this spot is most productive right when the tide changes. There’s something deeply satisfying about knowing you’re in the right place at the right time. That sensation is what you’re experiencing now.
When the tide shifts to outgoing, baitfish are flushed from the estuaries that surround this flat. Snook and Trout await these baitfish. You watch the ever-changing imagery beneath your boat slowly pass by. It’s mesmerizing. The water is crystal clear. Kind of like floating on air; and only about 4 feet deep. Rich, thick turtle grass covers the bottom with intermittent patches of white sand. A small sea turtle just swam off and away from your boat.
Just like a golfer doesn’t play a round of golf with just one club, you don’t go out on the water with just one rod. Your favorite rod and reel combos are aboard. Rigged up and ready in your rod holders.
Your mind begins to drift… You want one of those Minn Kota® iPilot trolling motors; or at least one you can steer with a remote control that hangs around your neck. Barely audible, a sigh escapes as you think about the latest saltwater fishing technology. . . Then you snap out of that ungrateful reverie. Fortunately, you’re quick to realize you have more to be grateful for than you’re acknowledging. You laugh to yourself, knowing you’ll never believe you have enough fishing gear. You continue your approach while remaining as stealthy as possible.
You’re not certain where the fish are. You just know they’re in the general vicinity. You unhook your lure from the hook keeper. It hangs free at the end of the leader, slowly swinging back and forth about two to three feet from your rod tip. Yep. You’re ready to start making casts.
The scenario described above is one in which use of a search bait would be beneficial. Whether you’re making casts from the bow of your boat, or casting from land, the best way to work a lure while using it as a search bait is to, “fan cast,” the area. This simply means to cast from one side to the other, throwing your lure in a spot slightly farther away from the last place you threw it out each time. Once you reach the other side, you move and fan cast another area. When you’re where fish the fish are, using this method will result in your lure meeting up with one of their mouths soon enough.
At Live to Fish, we’re passionate about much more than just the sport of fishing. We admit to being obsessive over how our business is run. We want to ensure that each and every customer finds dealing with us to be easy, enjoyable, and productive. If our showroom in Hudson, Florida is too far, check out our website at www.livetofish.com You can contact us through the website. We’ll gladly answer any questions you have. Should you want an item you don’t see on our webpage, LET US KNOW! We take pride in being able to find the products our customers want at competitive prices. Although we can’t guarantee we’ll find anything you may ask, we can guarantee that if anyone can find your product, it’s us. What do you have to lose? Looking forward to hearing from you – Live to Fish