Search Before You Fish
Editor's note: This blog installment comes from Fishhound pro staffer Capt. Mike Gore.
Here's something that's happened to us all: You go to a new spot, it looks real fishy, but after hours of fishing the beautiful mangrove shoreline, you don't catch a thing. Why? You didn't do your homework.
Fishing new areas can be a challenge even for the best anglers, so I'll try to tell you what to look for when you venture into new water.
Try this: Before you fish that new spot, spend a little time on Google Earth. Research and zoom into spots you plan to fish. Ask yourself: Does the area have good tidal flow? Tidal flow keeps the water oxygenated and shuffles the bait around, all of which keeps the predators happy.
Once you arrive at the spot, can you see deep pockets that have been formed by the forces of tidal flow? These deep pockets create ambush points where fish will stage up and wait for the bait to be pushed around in the incoming or outgoing tides.
Also look for eddies on an outgoing tide. Eddies are created as the tide runs through the mangrove lines and over oyster beds. This causes the water to spin and eventually flatten out as the water reaches open areas. Drift bait over these eddies all the way until it reaches the open areas. With this drifting presentation, the strike could happen at any time, but will most likely happen toward the end of an eddie. Fish don't have to work as hard to track down meal there.
Last but not least, the main thing to look for is "life on a flat." If you don't see mullet, baitfish or crustaceans, then you won't see predators. An osprey is a good gauge of mullet schools. Find an osprey flying above and you know there's life on that flat.
To summarize, when hunting for new water to fish, look first on Google Earth, then when you visit the water for the first time:
- Try to spot tidal depressions
- Look for eddies on an outgoing tide
- Search for life on the flat
Capt. Mike Gore, a 30-year fishing veteran, was born and raised in Tampa, Fla. and currently owns and operates Tampa Fishing Charters. He's widely known for his ability to find feeding fish and will always work his hardest to put customers on the hot bite. Also known for his patience and courtesy, he's always willing to help children and beginners improve their skills. Connect with him at his site, CaptainMikeGore.com, or send him an email at FIshing@CaptainMikeGore.com.
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