To some fishers, catching White Bass comes
easy. Others struggle and depend on external
sources for information that lead them
to the fish. Such sources could be birds
working over a school of baitfish, fish
actively schooling and breaking water,
or a group of other boats wadded up together.
There are pros and cons to all of these
methods of finding fish.
Let's examine these. Birds can, and will
show you where baitfish are, but it doesn't
always mean there is fish below driving
them to the surface. Many times, yes there
are fish, and this indicator can be valuable,
and is worth checking out. Especially check
out the big white cranes when you see them
hovering low over the water. Gulls will
tell off on the fish too, but those cranes
are not easily fooled. When you see something
that looks like a white tornado, get there.
This is a prime indicator of fish schooling
Moving on a group of boats is not the
best way to go. These boats may well be
on a school of fish, or not. Many, many
times there is a wad of boats that started
out to be one boat. Then two, then three,
and so on. It's easy to find other boats,
and chances are they got there the same
way. "Hey look, there are some boats.
Let's join in and check it out". On
and on it goes until there are numerous
boats in a group just because some guy
stopped to take a break from fishing. I've
seen it hundreds of times. Not classy,
and less than productive.
More on this. While it's true that none
of us own the lake, by law you do, sort
of, own the spot you are on. Once you've
put out your anchor, you have staked out
your territory. Now, don't expect people
to respect your claim to that piece of
water. They won't for the most part. Especially
if they see you land a fish, they'll move
right in on you and be the first to tell
you to go to hell if you show displeasure
in their proximity to you. Forgive them.
They know not what they are doing. Trollers
are the worst for this. I have had them
wind up my anchor rope in their props,
hang my fishing line with their diver lures,
and even actually hit my boat. Then they
are mad because you were, and I quote," ìn
the trolling lane".
I am a devoted structure fisherman. I
use slabs only I do not allow trolling
done on my boat. I have found it to be
wasteful and non-productive as a rule.
The folks who chase White Bass are divided
into two groups. Trollers and slabbers.
I am one of the latter. I could care less
if someone wants to drive their boat all
day trolling. It only becomes a problem
when they invade my space. Having been
a guide for 30 years on Livingston, I have
seen it literally thousands of times. I
call them "find-me-nots". Having
talked with numerous trollers, I found
a common thread between them. When asked
why they troll, the answer was the same. "I
just donít know the structure".
That's bull, because they are all over
it. They just aren't paying attention to
their sonar unit, or just don't care that
they are disturbing that spot, ruining
it for everyone. That'sa fact.
With all the electronic technology that
exists today, there is no excuse for not
being able to find a spot. Depth/fish finders,
GPS, up to date maps, etc. All designed
to aid you in your search. It's easy to
learn how to use all these items, and to
incorporate them into your fishing skills.
The GPS units, when used right, can actually
enable you to put your anchor down in the
same ten foot circle, over and over again.
Learning to use this tool can improve your
fishing success astronomically. Several
If you are having trouble out there, I
would suggest you hire a guide for one
or two trips. Although I no longer guide,
there are some worthy guides that will
teach you their ways and means of doing
what they do. No mistake, guides are just
folks like you and me. They are defined
as folks who fish a lot, know the lake
and where the fish are likely to be, and
are willing to stick their neck out to
take you. Make sure that the guide you
hire understands you wish a learning trip.
If he/she has a problem with you bringing
a GPS with you, don't go with them. None
of the spots on the lake are deep secrets,
and are all clearly defined on the Hot
Spot map, which I helped make. All places
on this map are clearly marked, and are
Guides are as different as you and I,
and may not wish to undertake a learning
trip for you. What we do is fairly automatic
to us, like finding your way to the bathroom
in the dark. We have done it so much for
so long, it's just, well, automatic. It
ain't no ego thing, it's just what guides
do. You can find one who will teach you.
Not only will it give you insight to what
to do, and where to go, but you should
learn enough to be able to go your own
way, and that is the absolute best thing,
to leave the dock knowing you are going
to catch some fish. Do yourself a favor.
Don't depend on anyone else, do it your
own way, OUT ON THE LAKE !!!!