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Gabby’s Fishing Fever

Boat positioning affects catch rate


Having good line on your reel, keeping a good selection of baits on hand, and fishing in an area where the fish have been hitting are just a few of the things anglers use to gain advantage. Often overlooked by most anglers, however, is good boat positioning.

If anglers will try to keep their boat positioned so that they are making the most of every cast they will be much more productive. Let me give you an example: Say you are going out early one morning to fish for bass along a favorite bank. The weather is cloudy and overcast and the bass are feeding up shallow and holding tight to the bank . You are casting buzzbaits and jigs to the bank. First, you cast the buzzbait to the bank and begin to retrieve it. Then you try the jig. You make your cast close to the bank and start your retrieve back to the boat.

This can be a good way to fish at times, but with the conditions with which you are faced in this example there may be a more productive way to fish. And it is as simple as positioning your boat differently before you make your cast, because when you cast into the bank you are not presenting your bait to as many bass as you could and the bait is not in the strike zone of the bass for as long as it could be.

The reason for this is simply because the bass are up shallow holding to shoreline cover and you have your boat positioned out in deeper water casting your baits to the bank. By doing this, your bait hits close to the bank and is only in front of the bass for a very short time. Then, as soon as you begin your retrieve, you are pulling the lure away from the high percentage area and back out into open water. By fishing like this, only about 10 percent of your cast-and-retrieve has a chance to catch a bass. The rest of the retrieve is completely unproductive. But by using a different boat position you can increase your chances greatly.

OK. Now say you start fishing the same bank with the bass holding the same way – but this time you put your boat closer to the bank and make your cast parallel with the bank. By simply doing this you will greatly increase your catch. Make your cast with a buzzbait, crankbait or spinnerbait close to the bank and work it all the way back to the boat. This simple change in tactic increased the chance of your lure being in a high percentage area from the 10 percent range to 80 or 90 percent.

Fish have and use what is known as a strike zone. This is the area in front and around the bass where they detect and find food. By keeping your boat in the best position so you can make the most productive casts to the bass, you will put your bait in the bass strike zone and have a much better chance of catching the bass. Try to keep your boat positioned to get the most of every cast.

Good luck and good fishing.

If you would like more information or have a picture to share or a question to ask, e-mail me at gabbysfishingfever@yahoo.com.


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