Fishing quietly goes long way

Published 12:01 am Sunday, December 14, 2014

The “some are catching fish and some are not” deal is still going on locally.

That’s common for the times, not the season. In the local bass tournaments, a few limits of bass weighed in before the weights crashed like a one-hundred pound anchor. Apparently, the bass population has narrowed the areas they use to feed a way down. Years ago you could pretty much find some bass anywhere as well as white perch.

Either our fish population is down, the lakes are fished too hard or the fish have become very wise to sound of trolling motors approaching, lures dropping on them while sonar unit pings echo through the water.

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Never think a bass or perch does not know you are there. The disturbance of the water from your boat is enough for them to be aware of that as well as the boats shadow in deeper water. When the fish are actively feeding, noise does matter. The very first thing that was hammered in my head as a kid as well as any other person that grew up in a fishing family was to “Be quiet!” A stealthy approach to non-active fish will help you catch fish, sometimes.

Last weekend, it took me repeated casts to the same fish to catch it. I could feel the fish slap the running lure but not hook up. A half dozen casts later I would hook-up with and land a nice bass. One weighed what is now called a respectable 4.99 pounds. Our lakes show signs of promise. An abnormal cold fall crashed the surface water temperature down to about 53 to 54 degrees on most lakes. The water has warmed up a few degrees this past week. The average water temp right now is about 58 to 59.

Conditions yesterday were perfect for catching and not just fishing. An overcast sky, light wind and low air pressure should have turned the fish on somewhere. Last weekend, there was a small open bass tournament on Lake Concordia. The guys that showed have a lot of experience on this lake. Danny Smith of Monterey won with a five bass tournament weighing 13 pounds and some change. Danny has about 32 years of experience on Lake Concordia. Most of those years he was in the back of my boat, or I was in the back of his boat.

There is no telling how many hours we fished this area. Bull Hall, a young gun, had the big bass of the day that fell just short of four pounds. The next day two bass clubs were on the lake. I fished in one of those. David Copper won with a respectable 16 plus pound limit. Nelson Jr. Book place second. The progressive (6 pound and over pot) is worth about $2,200 so I spent the eight-and-a-half hour tournament day casting big lures hunting big bass. I won the big bass money for the day with a 4.99 but fell 1.01 pounds short of the two grand. Go figure.

The winning 16-pound limit of fish came off visible cover; probably cypress trees. Second place did as well. I fish weird so I stayed 30 to 40 yards offshore looking for schools of shad on sonar.

I was out from the cypress trees casting in open water 7 to 12 feet of water. I did that for five hours catching the 4.99 and three more bass. I left those fish to find other fish which is a wrong thing to do. Never leave fish to find fish. You would think after 38 years of tournament fishing I would know that by now. I am always swinging for the fence when a limit is important.


Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at