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Go with current, catch more fish


© St. Petersburg Times, published September 3, 2000

On a recent trip, I pulled up on a favorite fishing spot and found another boat already anchored there. The angler had his back to the wind, which allowed him to cast with little effort.

I watched him fish and noticed he was using a Texas-rigged worm. I eased closer and asked if he was catching anything. He said he had caught one little fish and was getting ready to leave.

I dropped my trolling motor and positioned myself into the wind facing the same structure he had been fishing. I tossed an artificial bait similar to what he was using and began working it back to the boat.

I was surprised when I felt the thump which indicated a bass had picked up my worm. I lowered the rod, reeled up my slack and set the hook on the 3-pound fish. Working the same spot from the same direction for a little longer produced several more nice bass. Then I positioned my boat where the other boat had been and began working the structure from that direction. The wind at my back made it easy to cast, but I could not get a bite.

Bass like to face into the water flow, and it looks more natural to drag the bait with the current. If you don't get a bite, change your boat's position and cast to the same area from different angles. If you begin catching fish from a certain angle, continue until they stop biting.

Several factors affect how bass relate to cover -- weeds, grass, stumps -- which also will determine your casting angle.

The first is wind. Always start by casting into the wind. The second is the sun -- when it is bright, bass will hide in the middle of the cover or in shadows. The third is bottom contour. If the bottom slopes or drops straight off, begin by working up the slope.

The next time you're fishing and know there are fish in a spot but can't get them to bite, vary your casting angles. That spot you may have thought was void of fish could be a new honey hole.

- Lenny Crispino guides on Lake Tarpon. Call (727) 938-2379.

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