Time and time again, I see literature based on the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of whatever topic they’re writing about. Well I’m sorry guys and gals, but it’s my turn. This part of my bank bass fishing chronicles is going to be, strictly, what NOT to do when bank bass fishing. Much like before, it’s the little things I see people doing that leaves them dumfounded about why the perfect spot didn’t produce a fish. A lot of these things are not done consciously, but can really put a damper on your weekend afternoon when you walk in the house to tell the significant other that you didn’t catch anything, just to receive the look of “why do you do that if it never works?”
Ok, let’s see here, the first thing that I witness people doing that ruins a tree they are trying to fish is standing on, stepping on, walking across, bumping into, or bouncing off of the tree. Bass have a sensory organ called a ‘lateral line’ that senses vibration in the water. Well, when you step on that log that is leading down into the water, what do you think happens at the other end of those branches? They are vibrating! Therefore, either scaring a bass off, or putting it on alert a lot of the times, which gives them, what we affectionately call…. LOCK JAW. Now this is just my belief, since I have caught many fish off trees before, and watched someone stand on the end of that same tree, and catch nothing. I try not to disturb the cover that I’m fishing.
Major no-no number two is the silly guy who will walk straight down to the water’s edge, walk along the bank looking into the water, stop, and cast BEHIND him along the bank where he was just walking! When you walk along the bank, you are scaring everything within sight. You’re shadow is being cast on the water, and it looks like a predator, causing fish to get spooked and hide. When you cast behind you, you’re casting into vacated water. Yes, you may catch a fish or two, but you’ve scared the bigger bass. Let’s face it, they are larger because they are smarter. I try not to fish an area that I’ve recently made my presence known.
The final big I wouldn’t do that moment would have to be going where everyone else is or has been. NUMEROUS times I have been fishing and seen a group of people, or an area that is obviously frequented and I will avoid those places whenever possible. High pressure is bad enough on a big body of water, let alone when it’s a small lake. Sometimes, this is unavoidable, depending on how popular the body of water is, but whenever possible, I make it a point to get a couple cuts and scrapes, finding my way down a path that hasn’t been walked on yet.
Much like my previous article, these tips aren’t going to be the 100% turnaround for a bass anglers success. While many different things go into the success of a bass fisherman, these little things will give you a competitive edge over not only the bass, but the guy fishing 50 feet from you. Who, by the way, hasn’t caught anything all day long.