Lakecaster Online

White Bass Fishing
by John Plumb

BREAKING TRADITION

As humans, we tend to become creatures of habit and do things the same way time after time. There are times when this is very good, and other times when itís very bad. Fishing is one of those things, especially White Bass fishing. Just because you caught fish at so and so place thelast time you went doesnít mean squat. Oh, you may luck out for a few times, but surely they will move, and leave you scratching your head. It happens to us all.

Itís what you do next that dictates what kind of White Basser you are. They are a fickle fish with a bad habit of moving around a lot, so you must have many places in your arsenal to look for them. They have not packed their bags and left for another lake. They are surely there. If you are lucky, theyíll show themselves. If not, then you, as the boat driver must hunt them down. If you are behind the wheel, you are the posse.

When I was guiding, most of my clients were there to learn, even if it was just locations to add to their GPS unit for future use. Some would profit by the information acquired. Others, I would see back in their familiar ìusualî spots, not doing very well. Somehow I failed to pass on anything but a set of numbers. The fixes, or waypoints as they are correctly called, were genuine for sure, but no set of numbers will work every time, for anyone.

It is vital that a fisher of Whites have many places to look, and the boldness to find new territory. Looking in new water can be a bit intimidating unless you go about it right. You canít look at lake as a whole. You must section it off to areas to make it more manageable. Itís a big hunk of water out there, and but a wee boat to cover it all. This process will not happen in one trip, or even twenty. Iíve been fishing the lake for 30 years and have yet to cover it all. I keep trying.

Exploring new ìgroundî is a slow, painstaking process. It must be done slowly. You arenít going to see much detail at any 40-50 MPH. Unless you go slow, youíre just boat riding, and burning up precious gas. Acquire a good map, pick out a single area of interest, and work it over until you are satisfied that you are familiar with it, and can return to the exact spot every time. I have seen the maps with GPS fixes on them. These are only general area fixes, and are not to be trusted as absolute.

A GPS unit is a very cool thing, if you know how to use it. If I give you a set of numbers for a location, your unit will not say the same thing as mine. There will be a small variation, but enough to throw you off. The absolute position can only be obtained by taking your unit to the spot and saving it in your units memory. ONLY THEN, is your unit reliable. The difference can be as much as º of a mile. You can be off of a school of fish by a few yards and miss catching them. º of a mile, well youíre way out in left field.

On those days when fishing is slow, or non-existant, take time to seek out new places. You know what youíve been looking at in other places, so look for that same basic structure, and you can be sure the fish are going to use it at some point. Most GPS units are capable of holding 100 or more waypoints. Mine currently stores about 50 on the lake. The average fisher should have 30 or so, minimum. Go explore, OUT ON THE LAKE!!!!

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