A lot of people wonder how professional fishermen and guides seem to catch fish every time they go out. Well, first of all, nobody catches fish everytime. Secondly, there is a little trick most of them use a lot to steer them toward fish. It’s called pattern fishing.
A good example of pattern fishing happened to me last fishing season. We were fishing on a beautiful small lake that usually is good for a few large mouth bass. No sooner had we started fishing when we heard fish splashing in the shallows. Up ahead in a bed of small lily pads we could see huge swirls that sent waves in all directions.
Our first casts resulted in nothing. Just when I was beginning to think something was wrong, my weedless buzz bait was sucked down through the weeds. I reared back on the rod as hard as I dared, but that big fish wouldn’t budge. With a flick of it’s tail it shot through the pads and left me tangled in a mess of leaves and weed stems.
No sooner had I lost him when my partner was onto another big fish. But rather than scoot through the pads, this one rose out of the water and shook it’s huge head, sending water, weeds, and lure into the air.
Sadly, I have to say we never landed one of those big hogs, even though we enticed a few more into hitting. In the thick mass of weeds we just couldn’t horse them out, but we did land several smaller bass that were still nice fish.
After the action had subsided we took a closer look to see what had concentrated those big fish like that. Here amongst the water lilies were swarms of bluegills that were feeding on small insects clinging to the bottom of the pads. Those big fish were gobbling up bluegills.
We knew of similar areas throughout the lake with the same kind of lily pads. Perhaps they would also have big bass in feeding on bluegills. Sure enough, there were bluegills in every bunch of pads and either northerns or bass chasing them around. It turned out to be a memorable day, simply because we discovered a situation where game fish were in a certain area of a lake, and we just looked for other areas with matching conditions. It’s a simple plan, but perhaps the best way to help you catch lots of fish.
Remember that fish are forced by their environment to continually search for food, comfortable water, and protection from bigger predator fish. Once they find a spot to satisfy those needs, fish will stay there, or in another spot similar to it.
When you catch a fish, remember what depth it was, if there were certain weeds there, or anything unique causing that fish to be there. Then go and find other spots just like it. Lots can be said about pattern fishing, but not now. I’ve got to find a bigger rod and reel to handle some big bass that are still out there!
Posted by Jeff Howard on May 3, 2011
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