"Stop Fishing the Dead Spots"
Allen Applegarth is the author of the recently published book, Florida Fishing. He lives and writes in St Pete, Florida
|The fish are decreasing every year, man something just aint right. Thats what you will hear from frustrated anglers who are having trouble catching fish. Well, they are here and if you know how to find themthose words will seldom exit your mouth.|
|Time after time I hear those words echoing across the water in the wee
hours of the morning. Fishermen frustrated because they have only changed bait one or two
times in the 4 hours they have been on the water. Yet, our boat is pulling in fish as if
we were dead atop the Florida Aquarium. Its pretty obvious why we catch 'em' and
nearby boats catch frustrationthey did not do their homework! The key to a
productive trip is to be literate on signs of feeding fish, weather conditions and water
temperatures, as well as the tide and moon changes. Deciding to go fishing without doing
your homework is best said by Forest Gump, "You never know what youre gonna
The signs are as plain as day and night if you know what you are looking for. Remember last week when you were out scooting across the water in your boat, I am sure you noticed a slue of birds diving in a certain area (sign #1). If those birds were diving steadily, we know one of two things. Either there are fish feeding with ripping style teeth such as snapper, mackerel, and trout, or a whole mess of available baiteither or, its a sure sign of things to come! Fish with sharp ripping teeth will usually leave an oily slick and pieces of bait floating near the top, in turn, the birds find easy prey and we find an easy target. If the birds are diving occasionally, again we know one of two things. Either there is a small pod of bait, or fish with without ripping teeth, such as cobia, snook, and redfish. These fish usually swallow the bait whole, thereby, leaving no leftovers or slicksbut still leaving an indication of feeding fish.
I have seen and been around anglers who look at a spot and feel it is hot, simply because they feel if they were a fish, they too would be there! Well, this is definitely not a productive method, however, it does play a part in scouting the fish. In other words, you need to train your mind to think like a fishonly to get you to the potential spot. Once your fish-like instincts have guided you to the location, then your knowledge on spotting feeding signs will guide you the rest of the way.
Another productive method is to look for the actual fish itself. Redfish can be found foraging the flats and oyster bars with their tails protruding the surfacesometimes up to 12 inches of tail will show. Cobia will show their dorsal fin, and when in schoolsyou may think you are looking at small rolling wakes created by passing boats. Snook usually create water breaks and loud pops on the surface, followed by a powerful swirling action in the water. Crevalle Jacks make the water figuratively boil when they get into a feeding frenzy. In many areas, mostly around open water canals, you will see a combination of snook and trout popping the surface baits.
The moon, tides, and weather all play a crucial role and it only takes one to fall out of whack and mess up your whole trip. If your one of those anglers mentioned in the opening paragraph of this article, I would suggest learning the other 50% of fishingwhich is the art of locating fish.
For more information on locating fish, reading the water, and a million other useful additives on saltwater fishingcheck out "Florida Fishing" Floridas Complete Saltwater Fishing Guide, by yours truly! To order: 1-800-282-2823 or check your local bait & book stores.
Keep Your Tip Up!
Allen Applegarth, Author Florida Fishing
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