Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thursday Tips: Fish 'Em Where They Are

"They're all really high," Jonathan Newton said as he graphed a Pickwick Lake ledge. "There are plenty of fish down there. They are just farther from the bottom than I'd prefer."

Although the fish weren't positioned ideally in the mind of the FLW pro and Pickwick expert, we decided to work the spot. We fished initially with a crankbait and a finesse worm on a shaky head -- both summer ledge classics -- but didn't get a hit. Knowing the fish were high, Jonathan decided to pick up a Flutter Spoon, which you work by popping it off the bottom and then allowing it to flutter back down. Three bass in four casts convinced me to pick up a jig and to fish it by "stroking," which is a similar presentation. First stroke yielded a feisty largemouth.

We ended up trying to catch fish from that spot with other classic ledge baits, including a swimbait a couple of different crankbaits and a football head jig. However, nothing beat the high-rising baits for fish that were sitting a little higher than normal in the water column.

A little later in the day, Jimmy Mason and I found fish positioned similarly on another ledge and the most productive thing for those was a drop-shot rig, which kept the worm higher in the water column.

Some days, the fish are on the bottom, and dragging is the very best approach. Other days, like today, they are higher, and you must adjust accordingly. In truth, the same idea applies to most kinds of fishing. Pay attention to you graph and to other clues, and if something helps you narrow a pattern or tells you that things need to change a bit, pay attention to details and fish accordingly.

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