Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday Tips: Get Sneaky

Watch Nathaniel "put the sneak" on a beaver pond backwater bass. For more videos, please visit our YouTube channel.

As spring progresses and fish of various kinds move shallow, stealth becomes important in many waterways. If the water where you fish is even somewhat clear, it doesn't take much to spook the fish. Stealth doesn't call for fancy refined skills or specialized equipment; just an awareness of the fact that if you make the fish aware of you they are far less likely to stay in place and to take your offerings.

Consider likely fish positions as you approach a piece of cover or structure and plan your attack. Don't make your first cast to the outer edge of a great piece of cover, where fish will see it from a far and get a good look. Identify the very best spot and cast just past it so that the first time the fish sees your offering it's right there in the fish's dining room. When possible, stay back from the spot you are trying to work, and for really clear water dress in drab colors, avoid abrupt movements and consider lighter line or a fluorocarbon leader.

Of course, being sneaky doesn't necessarily mean using finesse. A buzzbait, a big flashy spinnerbait or a hard-kicking shallow crankbait might be the best bait to draw reaction strikes. Simply avoiding extra boat banking or holding the boat downcurrent so the fish face away from you can make a huge difference in your success rate. The key is to consider your position and movements and how your lure should cross a flat or come down a bank for the best chances of the fish seeing it within the ambush zone before it otherwise detects your presence. Do that, and you will catch more fish.

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