Fishing tip of the week

Don’t make these mistakes
Over many years of fishing, the winter always proves to be a challenge, and with anything that is challenging, you can easily become exempt from analyzing your own mistakes while trying to catch a fish. Many times in the winter, you are fishing for just a few bites; it can be four to six bites for a day on the water. This can be trying and cause you to make mistakes.

The first thing I tell my clients is, always be aware of the speed of your bait. In the winter, speed kills you, and many times when you’re not catching fish, the first thing you do is speed up your bait. The problem is, you don’t realize it. Your mind is focused on covering water, so you can get a bite, but it causes you to speed up your bait action. This can be a killer in cold water, as bass become very lethargic and only react when it’s easy. Speed makes feeding difficult for them. Keep good contact with your bait, slow it down so you can feel its action, and keep it in contact with the bottom. If you’re not doing this, you will have a disappointing day of fishing.

Next, find the sun. The sun is your friend as it warms the water in the winter. If you’re fishing shady banks and see the sun hitting a bank or an area a half mile from you, pick up and move to the sunny water. I realize there are probably more shady days in the winter than sunny days; this is normal in most parts of the country, but if you’re letting the hanging trees shade over the area you’re fishing in the winter, you probably need to move, regardless of whether or not it’s sunny.

Lastly, don’t ignore nature. In other words, if you see gulls diving or loons feeding, there is probably bait around, and if they’re feeding on the bait, so are the bass. Nature has a way of giving you clues. Be cognitive of the clues and use them to lead you to the active fish. These mistakes will cost you bites, but these corrections will catch you fish in the cold of winter on any bass fishery!

-Captain Mike Gerry

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