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Learn To Read The Water To Catch More Fish

2016/7/16 16:35:32

Fishing is like reading a book. The difference is this is a living book. Like a book, you start out by looking at the cover. Only, when you are fishing the cover is the weather conditions. You look at the wind, sun, tide, humidity, and the temperature of both the air and the water. With this knowledge, you can make the decision about how you will be fishing - by boat, kayak, or wading, using light tackle or fly. Then you can choose where you want to fish and what you are going to fish for.

Now that the basic decision-making is done, you can head for the water to do some more heavy reading. As you paddle out you see all the early morning activity on the water. There are schools of mullet of all sizes and baby shrimp jumping for their very lives up close to shore. If the bait source is running away, they are being chased by something, so that would be a good place to cast. As you look down, there are crabs scurrying across the bottom. What are they fleeing from? Notice their speed and direction, and use that information to figure out where to cast your lure.

Pay attention to where the birds are feeding. I watch especially for the blue heron, pelicans, and gulls. They are always on the fish. Follow them. If you know what to look for you can learn to read the wildlife activity on the water just like a living book. It will tell you where to find fish and what they are feeding on.

In addition to wildlife activity, what is beneath the surface matters a lot as well. Look for different structure where you are fishing, like drains. In between islands and sand bars there will be gaps where water flows through. These are high-traffic areas for bait fish, so there are usually predators nearby. I like to sit near the sides of these areas and cast into them, even more so when there is a lot of tidal movement.

I use a bone topwater lure to recon the area. Once fish are located by a strike or a blow-up, I switch to a soft plastic either weightless or not, but always weedless. Then I start working the area probing for that big bite. I section the drain area and work each one with maybe 3 or 4 casts before moving on.

The lure I use most often is the Sea Devil by Brown Lures. Usually the Pink Hologram color works best for me, but they have a bunch of different colors for any situation. This color works well for me whether the water is dark or clear. This is pretty much my go-to plan in almost any situation.

Learning to read weather conditions, wildlife activity and structure will give you a definite advantage once you get out on the water. The living book is there, you just need to learn what it all means and use that to your advantage. Give it a shot and let us know how it works for you. Please be courteous on and off the water, and take more trash than you bring. Happy Fishing!
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