after noon. It’s my belief that the change in the wind makes the fish stop feeding. This is something I rarely talk about and when I do people just laugh at me. But I keep impeccable notes and I have that data to back up my theory. “That’s another thing that people either forget or don’t take the time to do – take notes of their day,” he said. “It’s amazing what you discover when you go back and check your notes.”
» high percenTage BaiTS
“I always start out with a swimbait to cover water,” Long said. “Once I cover some water, then I’ll move to a slower mov- ing bait like a jig. The whole key here is to hit the spot at the right angle and direction. “In the spring I fish my baits uphill and in the fall and win- ter, I fish them downhill,” he said. “Most people do the reverse of that. My reasoning for this is the fish are moving deep in fall and winter and they move up in the spring. I want my bait to move in the same direction the fish are moving.
“People always ask me when they should do this or that,” he said. “That’s a hard question to answer without knowing the conditions. For example, I like to throw a swimbait to cover water – but everything has to be right. You can catch both home-guard fish on the swimbait or open water fish. “Say you have most of the fish concentrated at the 35- foot depth zone and one of your spots is between 33- and 38-feet deep. That is a good spot at that time and it could be a good time to throw a bottom-bouncing swimbait to cover water fast. But, you have to be able to envision the strike zone. Like I said before, whether you’re fishing that ‘spot on the spot’ or a more open water situation, you have to be able to put the bait where the fish are and ‘see’ what’s happening under the surface. “At other times when the fish are not as active, I’ll switch to a jig, Carolina rig with a creature bait or a big Texas rigged worm,” he added. “You want to fish slow and leave the bait