Sunday, October 13, 2013

Learning from the Birds

I've "fished birds" many times before, and seagulls have helped me catch many fish of many kinds over the years. I've also long known that while resting birds suggest areas fish have been using, diving birds suggest more interesting activity below and a greater possibility of fish-catching action.

Today I learned more. Much, much more. While spending a great day in the boat with Capt. Bryan Branch of Calcasieu Charters, I learned how to interpret much more of what the birds are saying by their behavior, how to aim casts based on the activity of specific birds and how to work around a flock of birds without spooking the fish that are causing the birds to circle and dive.

We spent the larger part of today fishing around groups of birds and only a handful of the 80 or 90 fish I'd guess we caught were not specifically associated with a group of seagulls other birds. Often, Bryan would tell us before we hooked a fish whether we were likely to catch redfish, speckled trout or white trout, based on how the birds were acting, and more often than not he was correct.

Bird watching is only a small piece of the fish finding and catching story, but at times it can be a very important piece, and studying the birds' behavior at various times and watching what follows with the fish can help you catch far more fish.

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