Where Are the Fish?
See if this sounds familiar: You’re out on a pond or small lake, and you can see the fish surfacing on the other side. So you move your boat over there, only to find that they’ve vanished, probably to where you used to be.
Unfortunately, this scenario is all-too common among anglers, and has made for some very frustrating fishing days. But let’s face it, fish don’t really WANT to be caught. Not by you, or by bigger fish. Trying to avoid being caught is pretty much ALL that they do.
So here are some tips to help them overcome their bashfulness and find the hook that you have so graciously prepared for them.
The most obvious reason why the above scenario occurs is that fish “hear” you. The reason “hear” is in quotes here is because fish actually do more than just hear. While they don’t have ears, they are able to hear through tiny internal bones called “otoliths” that work similar to the bones in human ears (fun fact: human ears are actually evolved from fish gills).
Additionally, fish have lateral lines that run on both sides of their bodies that can detect faint vibrations in the water. This makes it easy for them to know when you are there, especially if you are motoring around in a boat with a noisy engine.
But you should also consider how much easier sound carries underwater. Not only can it travel further, but it travels about 5 times faster than it does through air. So even if you ditch the boat engine, the sound of your tackle box on the boat floor is enough to announce your presence to your prey.
And if you use a fish finder to try to track the fish, you should know that they work via sonar, which emits soundwaves.
It takes some practice to remain quiet and retain your stealthy edge, especially in a boat. But the same can be true when fishing from a small pier or dock. Quiet matters.
The Need to Feed
Other than avoiding capture, the main thing that fish do is eat. You can use this to your advantage in finding them.
First, since you are luring them with something that’s either food, or looks like food, it only makes sense to seek them out where they eat. It also helps to know a little about what kind of fish are down there, and what their eating habits are so that you can make sure your lure fits their idea of food.
Generally, pond or lake fish will feed in weed beds because this is where their food is. This usually means shallower water, but larger fish will often go deeper. Understanding the topography below water will help you determine where they are most likely to be feeding.
Fish tend to feed at the edges of their habitat, so while you don’t want to fish where they go to hide, it helps to know where they hide so you can figure out where they are most likely to feed and fish there.
Go the Distance
Probably the easiest way to reach the fish that are bent on giving you the cold shoulder is to get your lure to them by casting further.
While this may sound like advice that’ “easier said than done,” we actually have a solution that can help: Ceramic bearings.
This is not just shameless self-promotion, either. Independent tests have actually shown that our ceramic bearings are capable of casting about 20% further than stock reel bearings.
This can help you get your lure out past the point where the fish are avoiding you, to where they think they can feed safely.
Share Your Wisdom
How about you? Do you have any tricks up your sleeves for finding fish on a pond or lake? How about in a stream, river, or ocean?
We’d LOVE to hear some of your advice for finding and catching your waterbound prey. Drop us a line and share. If we can use it, we’ll hook you up with some bearings or other gear.