Fishing tip of the week

Safety first
by Mike Gerry

As we approach the busy time of year that loads the lakes up with pleasure boaters, jet skis, kayaks, fisherman and others, it’s time to revisit some of the common practices of safety.

It’s hard to believe that a lake of 69,000 acres can get so busy that it presents a safety issue, but it does, and understanding how to maneuver the lake and how to pass each other can make you a lot safer when out enjoying the water.

The first safety measure, and most important, is wearing a life jacket. As someone who was in a boat accident, and had a life jacket save my life, I can attest to how important it is. When the motor is on, put your life jacket on. If you have a child of eight years of age or younger in Alabama the law requires they wear a life jacket while in the boat – at all times.

Often, while out on the main channel, I get questions from my clients as to what the red and green buoys mean. It’s simple – they mark the deep water paths that you can navigate safely without the chance of hitting a shallow part of the lake.

You must stay between them. It’s that simple – unless you’re familiar with the lake, stay in between the markers while running.

The most common mistake is how to navigate on-coming boats. The navigation rules are very simple when approaching an on-coming boat – keep them on your left; it’s referred to as “passing port to port.” If you do this, your ability to safely get around on-coming boats is simple and safe. The tough maneuver is how to cross perpendicular boat traffic.

Who has the right-of-way? Just because you’re in a main part of the channel does not mean you are in the right-of-way. This explanation requires some detail of port and starboard side rules. The easiest way is to assume nothing. Slow down! Be cautious, and if you’re not sure give up the right-of-way; it’s a little safer that way. Most people, without training, have no idea how to determine the right-of-way in this situation and there’s no need to get in an accident just to prove your right-of-way!

Lastly, be aware, alert, and never take your eyes off the water. There are too many boats and too much traffic to not pay attention.

Captain Mike

Fishing tip of the week: – 05/20/20

Scanning Key to Summer
by Mike Gerry

There is no doubt that summertime fishing can be a mystery. The bass that were seemingly everywhere have suddenly become hard to find, and frustration sets in. What can you do?

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Fishing tip of the week: – 05/13/20

Boat houses and post spawn
by Mike Gerry

Every day there are more fish recovering from the spawn and finding their way out from the spawning areas; however, there can be many stops along the way and one of them includes boat houses.

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Fishing tip of the week: – 05/06/20

How to fish a spinner bait
by Mike Gerry

As we approach post-spawn fishing there is no presentation that survived the test of time like rolling a spinner bait during the post-spawn time.

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Fishing tip of the week: – 04/29/20

Bass love edges
by Mike Gerry

As we progress into the post spawn bite nothing can be simpler than locating fish on edges along structure. It is a pattern that has held up for many years once the bass come off the bed. Your knowledge of where to fish and what type of structure can be limited to just finding edges. Doing this gives you a chance, on every cast, to catch a bass. It puts you in position to find bass feeding. Add in edges with a little current, and you can have a great day on the water.

When you have current, structure, grass and the edge of a hump or drop, you have the best opportunity to catch fish and put some really good bass in the boat. It is easy fishing. You do not have to search much. Fair electronics with sonar showing drops and the edges will pay dividends that will put you on the fish. It is bass fishing 101, and the most inexperienced bass fisherman can have some fun, catch some fish and leave the lake with some great memories of their day on the water. Regardless of age, fishing experience or time on the water, you can be a successful bass fisherman by just locating edges and looking for bass. Sometimes the type of edge makes a difference.

One tip I can give you is to be observant when you catch a fish on an edge. Is the edge a steep drop, a gradual drop, does it drop into deep water or into a flat? These are keys to look for that should determine what type of edge you should choose in order to get your next bite. On lakes like Guntersville often the type of grass edge is also a good indicator for you to get the next bite.

Guntersville has several types of grass, milfoil, hydrilla, coon-tail, eel grass and star grass, and many times bass prefer one over the other. It also should be noted that this preference can change daily, so don’t be stuck on one grass type for long periods of time, or many days in a row, as bass will relocate when pressured and change the structure they adhere to. Edges, structure and current are all parts of an easy way to locate bass.

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