It took me a long time to discover some of the critical factors that help me get bit better when fishing for Largemouth Bass. One of those is how I position my boat when fishing. During my last guide trip the client asked me “why do you have the boat here (on the bank)?” After he caught a few fish I explained why fishing the spot uphill was the best way to get bit on this spot, and he said “wow I would never know that.”
The correct Boat Position is very important and often the difference between catching them or not. Here are 6 do’s and don’ts and simple guidelines that I have found to be successful for me;
- Points – Don’t pull up on top of the point and cast in every direction. I always fish the shady side first, then the top, then the other side. I usually start deep and work my way shallow. Then I turn around and cast out deep again. If you know the fish are deep out off the point fishing it uphill (sit in and throw out) can be deadly.
- The Banks – Don’t be too far from shore. My favorite thing to do is throw reaction baits, cranks, jerkbaits, topwater, etc… parallel and move down the bank. I can keep my bait in the strike zone longer this way. If I know the fish are on the bank out to 8 ft deep then parallel is the way to go. I like to fish into the wind rather than with the wind. Bass usually face the wind or current so when I present my bait this way it’s natural to the bass and they eat it.
- Deep Spots – Don’t move! This is when you want to fish slow and find the “sweet spot”. Every deep spot has a sweet spot and you can usually feel it. I Try different angles and make long casts. Probe every inch of the bottom. Once you start catching them look at the bank and try to visually mark how you’re positioned and at what depth.
- Flippin and Pitchin – Don’t be to close or too far either. Accuracy and presentation is key! If I’m too far away from the brush I’m fishing accuracy and presentation is compromised. You can’t be to close either because you’ll spook the fish and they won’t bite. This takes practice and patients. I used to practice in my backyard pitchin a jig into a bucket 10-15 feet away. If the water is dirty you can be closer.
- Small Cuts and Pockets – Don’t overlook the obvious. If there is a nice bush on the right side of the cut throw at that first. Fish the best piece of structure first. Then fish the rest. Before I leave a cut I’ll throw right down the middle of it and work the bait out real slow. This will often produce a bite.
- Coves – Don’t be loud. Coves are funny. They can be special and give up a lot of fish. But not if you scare em! I can’t tell you how important it is to be quiet when you fish for bass. Especially if you want to catch a big one. Those big girls are smart and won’t bite if they sense you are there. Turn the trolling motor down and move slow.
I hope next time you’re on the water some of these tips help you catch more fish. Good Luck!