The simple basics that help catch most fish

There are no ‘secrets’ to catching fish just some pretty simple guidelines…and here they are:

  1. Know where fish are hiding – you cant catch fish if there are none there
  2. Match your bait to the fish you are most likely to catch in your fishing spot – fish don’t eat what they don’t like
  3. Present your bait so you have the best chance to get the fish to bite –if it doesn’t look natural the fish won’t touch it.

Get these 3 simple things right and your catch rate will go through the roof. Just bear in mind for every guideline there are exceptions but at least the guidelines are a starting point.

So let’s answer them in order.

  1. Know where fish are hiding.

Seasoned anglers call this “stream craft”. It just means knowing a little about fish and where they like to hang out… and where they hang out is all based on how their basic needs are met.

So what are the things fish need ?

Food. The more the better…so areas that food naturally gathers, like a dip or gutter in the bottom, or where a stream flows into a river, or a sea current will provide it. The less work they have to do for a meal, the better.

Shelter.  Fish like security…

Shelter or cover means security for a fish… As much as possible, they avoid being exposed to predators, like bigger fish and animals in the water,  birds, and animals from above. They also tend to dislike bright, direct sunlight.

They look to hide or hang out and feed in areas with cover. It can be over hanging tree branches, weed clumps, even car bodies and other rubbish or just colored water….so what should you look for:

In still waters like LAKES AND DAMS:

  • floating vegetation
  • weeds
  • submerged rocks, trees and roots
  • deep water especially surrounded by shallower water.

In running water like RIVERS AND ESTUARIES :

  • fallen trees and branches
  •  large rocks in the current
  • deep pools
  • where fast water meets slow water
  • undercut banks

In salt water like OPEN SURF AND BAYS:

  • gutters and dips in the sea floor
  • where currents slow
  • large rocks and structure like moored boats and docks
  • weeds
  • where rivers flow into the sea

If you find a spot with cover, and it’s also got food, you increase your odds.

The right environment. This really separates out the different types of fish…water temperature, oxygen, water flow, and water quality are all important. Some species, like carp, can tolerate water environments that are lacking in these things. Some species, like Redfin can tolerate water that is missing a few. Our native species need most…

…and some species like trout, need all these elements. No matter what… the better the environment the more likely  fish will be there…

…so if you can find a spot with food, shelter and a good environment your chances of landing a fish just improved out of sight….

And once you’ve got this sorted the next job is to:

  1. Match your bait to the fish you are most likely to catch in your fishing spot.

Get local advice if  you can. Talk to the tackle shop owner or find out what successful anglers who fish the area are using for bait and you’ll be miles ahead of anyone who goes in unprepared.

Another way is to look at the surrounding area of the water you are fishing and look for what the fish might already be feeding on. This is called “matching the hatch” which is a fly fishing saying that just means use what the fish are feeding on for bait. If the fish are feeding on grasshoppers then put a grasshopper on your hook, if they are chasing small fish or insects then use them for bait.

It’s a good idea to take more than one type of bait. This gives you options. If one doesn’t work maybe another will. ( I usually take 3 to 5 different types of baits…but then again, I‘m a bit of a fanatic!).

Also take bait additives. Flavours and scents that can be added to a standard bait can sometimes make your bait super attractive to picky fish.

  1. Present your bait so you have the best chance to get the fish to bite.

This is a really important point overlooked by a lot of anglers, even experienced ones.

A fish is likely to reject anything that doesn’t look safe. If you put a small bait on a big hook that doesn’t look natural then the fish, unless it is starving, will leave it alone.

If you put that big hook on heavy thick fishing line and it doesn’t move or sit naturally in the water like all other food then it will be rejected.

Finally, if you put a huge bait in the water where there are only small fish or you put a small bait in the water where there are big fish you’re probably going home empty handed…

Because a small fish usually can’t swallow a huge bait and a big fish usually isn’t interested in tiny bait…

But, just say, you used a bait that suited the size of the fish, placed it on the right sized  hook so only the hook point was exposed, tied it to line to match the weight of the fish in the area and placed it in a sheltered spot?

  • The bait would look natural just like any other food on the bottom
  • The bait would be something the fish were happy to eat
  • The bait would be the right size for the fish to easily swallow
  • The bait would land right where the fish were already hiding…

Now that’s a recipe for a catch!!!!!

No Comments

Post A Comment

The Really Simple "SECRETS" To Finding Fish That Will Get You Catching A Bag Full

Enter your email address & you can download the FREE info now.

“You Made It”