By John Leech
Fishing running water at the right time can be the best way to catch fish at the time. The key is the current. The fish are there for the shad and other food that will be washed down stream with the moving water. The major personality of fish here is the Gypsies. As the current flows through a lake, river or any body of water it will stack the shad up in certain areas. Any time bait becomes plentiful in a small area the bass will find them. As the water moves through an area current breaks or eddies will form where a curve in the river diverts the flow or other object breaks the flow. The bait will get trapped in the swirl of the eddy and become easy pray for the bass. Learning to read the water to tell where the fish will position themselves is simple when you know what you are looking for. Sandbars or anything that breaks the flow will create an eddy, look for the swirling of the water. The sides of this swirl will be where most of the fish will set up their ambush.
To help us understand why deep-water resident fish are where they are during different times of the day we must first understand their personality. His basic nature is to live in the deepest water in the area with enough oxygen to support life. On a feeding migration he will move in a group towards the shallows on a migration route from one break to the next until he comes to a scatter point. These migration routes will be followed like you follow the same path to the refrigerator This path may not be step for step the same every time but you will ware a path in the carpet going back and forth over time. This is true for fish on a migration route also. These paths or routes are formed by the contours of the bottom of the lake. Fish will move to a shallow break in the Kissimmee Chain, 6 to 8 feet deep. Fish always start their migration in a group and will break off from the school at scatter points along the movement. Once the school reaches the scatter point with enough bait to meet the needs of the school they will break into small groups to feed. As the school finishes feeding they will for the most part return along the same path to their deep-water home. If there is enough food and cover some fish will remain in the area until the condition change requiring the fish to return home.
The bigger fish are normally the first to break off from the school as the migration movement starts and are the first to return home. This is the reason these big fish are not caught by the average angler. On a perfect movement day the fish will move as a school all the way to the shallow scatter point as a school. This type of movement will even include the bigger fish. These days are most always right before a major low pressure coming through. We will study weather in detail later in this study. Points, sandbars, and creek channels are a good bet to look for major migration routes following the contours towards the shallows. Any change in bottom depth can be used as a migration route. The sharper the change in depth the better a route will be formed. Fish will even use a change in types of bottom composition for example muck to sand or rock. This change is harder to find on a flasher type depth finder. On a good gray line graph, Lowrance X65 you will see a major change in the gray scale. There will be little or no change in depth as the gray line widens from the bottom contour.
Following a break line in open water is not the only key to finding fish. If there is no bait on the break the fish will continue to move until they find it. From this statement we see the importance of finding bait. Simply put no bait, few or no bass, there will be no reason for the fish to stop to feed. Breaks that concisely hold bait are known as HOT SPOT. Fish movement on these hot spot will freakily hold fish on stable weather continually because the fish will just stay there rather than moving back to the deep water home. This is why you may go to that favorite hot spot and there is no fish. They did not leave the lake they just did not move that far up. There are trainloads of variables that control these movements. As we go through this coarse we will study all I know anything about.
God Bless, good fishing
Capt. John Leech