Finding FishBy Bob Jensen - March 1, 2003
On this trip we noticed that it was critical to keep the bait about a foot above the fish. We could see the perch just off the bottom on the sonar screen. We started off lowering the bait right to the same level as the fish. Sometimes they would take the bait, but often they ignored it or moved away from the bait.
After seeing this happen just a couple of times, we started stopping the bait about a foot above the fish. It was amazing! They would rise up and take the bait almost immediately. By keeping the bait a short distance above the fish, the catching was much better.
Also, if a fish didn't show up on the screen after just a few minutes, it was better to move. There were lots of hungry, aggressive fish: It didn't do any good to fish down a hole when there were no fish there.
The same thing holds true in open water. An angler needs to believe what the sonar is revealing. If you're working a deep-water structure, and you're not seeing fish, or at least baitfish, you should probably try another location.
Shallow water is a little different. Sometimes sonar doesn't do a real good job or revealing fish when
Another rule of thumb for finding fish: Early in the year look for them to be near the shore. That's where many gamefish spawn in the spring, so that's where you can frequently expect to find them. Later in the year, after they have spawned and summer has set in, the fish will be near their food. If the food is shallow, that's where the fish will be. If the food is deep, or in the weeds, or suspended, that's where you can expect to find the fish. Find their food and you will find the gamefish.
It's a simple concept that if you want to catch fish, first you have to find them. Use your sonar to find the fish, then put the bait where they want it. If you do this, you will catch more fish more often.