Piecing Together The Puzzle
Bass fishing is like a puzzle and as a beginner you have to collect the pieces one by one. Some of them are easy to find but there are some that are given to you by friends because even though you may see them, chances are that you will take them for granted. Ultimate Bass is a community that is all about helping out the beginning bass fisherman.
When I first started fishing I spent a lot of time listening to my more experienced partner during each fishing trip. He pointed out several things to help me improve my bass fishing skills while we were fishing. I think the one that stands out the most now almost fifteen years later was a day when we were fishing a small pond on the base we were stationed at. The weather was warm and the sky was clear. I think it was early summer. We were fishing along a north bank that was lined with cat tails. Both of us fishing off the front deck these days but back then I sat in the back. He was wearing the fish out that day and I just wasn’t having any luck.
Finally after several fish I asked him what it was that he was doing that was so special. We were both using the same weight and plastic (Cork’s Custom Crawlers). I had become pretty good with my presentation and I have never been one to take much stock in the front boat advantage that so many complain about when riding back seat. He just chuckled and went on fishing but he told me to pay attention to the clues…
The clues I thought. Shoot I was watching everything he was doing and it didn’t seem to be doing any good. Finally as he pulled in yet another fish he started to explain that I had been watching the wrong thing. He released his beautiful bass and said I was supposed to be watching the clues that Mother Nature was providing me.
We trolled forward a little to another clump of cat tails and he pointed out that the wind wasn’t blowing at all yet there was a single strand of the cat tails that was moving. It was on a small point that the cat tails made. He made a cast to the point and let his bait fall and well you know the rest of that part of the story…
Here are some of the clues that nature gives us. The clues below were gathered from the Ultimate Bass Fishing Forum where our members were kind enough to give us a lot of information and I thought I would put it to good use. Enjoy!
- Transition between dark water and clear water
- If fishing the mats I like to look for a movement in the mat and cast 3 ft beyond that movement
- I notice where the wind has blown the duckweed to
- If water is muddy I like throwing a darker color bait.
- When a cold front rolls in I go to the brush or deep structure
- In the heat of summer I look for anything on the water surface providing overhead cover & shade from the sun.
- When near heavy slop, I watch for areas that open up slightly
- Watch the birds after bait fish
- Look for shad jumping the surface usually indicates something chasing them
- Reeds moving
- During early spring I look for shallow water with quick access to deeper water for the fish to quickly move deep during brief cold spells.
- Shore birds like Heron are a great look out, if they are there, there is usually some bait fish too
- Mud lines around points on windy days
- Underwater views such as logs or rocks great for crawfish or jigs
- Channels in the below water vegetation
- It seems that when the wildlife is more active so are the fish, the barometer I am sure has something to do with it
- Look for a shadow transition between sun and shadow
- I watch for the shad movement.
- When the lily pads part or move opposite the wind direction
- Baby fry that tell me larger fish are near
- Paying attention to how you caught our first fish can be an indication of better things to come if you pay attention
- A mayfly hatch draws forage near
For more great clues of nature while fishing just check out the Ultimate Bass Forum and the contests that we put on every Tuesday.