Learn to recognize patterns and use your time wisely. Fishing these patterns can improve your fishing tremendously. Roland Martin was the first bass pro to see the benefits of pattern fishing and he used them wisely. The first question is, what is a pattern and the second question is, how do I take advantage of it.
A pattern is what the bass are doing at a specific span of time. It could be five minutes or all day and it can change many times during a day. You need to understand what the bass are doing at a specific time and focus all your attention to that moment. If you look at any BFL, FLW or even a local club tournament you will see that several patterns emerged. In other words, bass were caught on several different lures and methods during the day. This is why you fish hard all day and look for a pattern because it only takes a few casts to get well. One of my favorite sayings is, you can catch as many fish in the last ten minutes as you can in the first ten.
Let’s say you pull up on a windy point and catch a fish on a shallow running Bagley Killer BI. You have established the bait they are biting, so now you start asking yourself questions. Is this a shallow point, a deep point, or a wind blown point, was the fish on the windy side or the calm side, Look at your Raymarine depth finder and see what depth your boat is in. Is this a rocky, sandy, red clay, gravely, or stumpy point? Is the water clear, stained, or muddy, is it cloudy, sunny, now you’re getting the picture. Let’s say it’s a gravely, windy, stained point next to deep water. Instead of fishing down the bank hoping to catch another fish, let’s look for another point that has the same characteristics as the one we just fished. Then run over to it in our Nitro and fish it. Hopefully we can find several points in the area that are basically the same and fish each one, establishing a pattern. Again we might only be able to work this pattern for minutes or it could work for days. It could just work in the morning, until the sun comes up but that would be a good hour of fishing and you could catch a lot of fish in an hour.
Now they quit biting, because the sun has come up. We need to recognize the pattern has stopped, but we know the fish are in the area. So we go back to the same points with a Bagley Wiggle B, a deep running Killer BII or use a Carolina rigged Zoom lizard or worm. We want to see if the fish have just moved deeper because of the sunshine. When you catch fish in an area and they stop biting stay there and try to get another pattern working. What I’m getting at, is a lot of times the grass seems greener on the other side of the fence, but when you jump over, you land in a pile of cow manure. There are more tournaments lost by fisherman leaving fish, than by finding more in the same location. Another deal, spray all your plastics with Jack’s Juice and my favorite is crayfish scent.
Short summary is when you catch a bass, talk to him and ask him all the questions and he can be your best source of information to get your pattern working. When your pattern stops working, then start the process over.
Now the technique or lure you’re using can be changed to make the fish bite, simply by changing your weight on a worm can produce bites. Say you are using a 1/16 oz. Tru-Tungsten weight and the wind starts blowing. Just by going to a 1/8 oz. or ¼ oz weight can start producing fish. Same with a jig, just changing weight and creating a faster or slower fall can make the difference. So think about these things on your next trip and see the difference.
Get yourself a pair of Woo Shoes by Proline Boots from your Bass Pro Shops and give your back and feet a break. May God Bless and good fishing!