BassWestUSA - January/February, 2011, Page 66

Bass Fishing 101

Where Did They Go?

BY RANDY PRINGLE THE FISHING INSTRUCTOR

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love this sport of bass shing. It is so unpredictable and anglers with their stories are so great! I really enjoy listening to the anglers’ wiley excuses. I believe a comedian could easily perform a one hour show on some of the things an- glers say. You know, the “big one that got away” or “I caught a limit but I just could not get the good bite.” You have to love an- glers! They come up with some of the best lines. I know some have merit, but many are just the common lines. For instance, here is a good story, one that happens all the time is when you are sitting there af- ter having had a good start to your sh- ing day, but then things change. You start questioning yourself with “I am throwing the same bait, I am doing the same thing I was doing earlier. What’s going on?” You look around and then you say it out aloud, “Where did they go?” If I have said this once, I have said it a thousand times and we all sing the same sad songs. Some of my favorite tunes are: the bite shut off, they were hitting kind of funny today, they must not be hungry today, and one of my

all time favorites, “I threw this (whatever the bait may be) all day long and only caught a few sh.” I would love to sit there and look these anglers right in the eye and say, “THINK, don’t force feed them, change, adjust.” In over thirty years I have found the answer. Iit is quite simple. Fish have ns and they can swim. So when you think they should be here, they might be over there. This is often the case that this morning’s, yester- day’s or last week’s sh may still be “here” meaning close nearby. There are many factors why bass move throughout the day. One of the most common reasons is sunlight. From low light conditions at dawn to bright sunlight and back to dusk, this affects the position- ing of Mr. Bass. Remember, bass are am- bush feeders so camou aging or hiding behind something is predicated upon their visibility to their prey. Bass don’t want to be seen until they strike. For instance, imagine there are two docks with an open space between them. In the morning you may be catching bass between the two docks but when the sun comes out, the docks cast shade and the open area is now directly in the sun. Mr.

Bass will migrate into the shade of the docks for ambush rea- sons and for cover. Natural terrain and manmade cover can be your pathway for catching bass all day long. You just need to know the route that the bass takes throughout the day. Adapting is key to any good angler. Know when you have thrown a bait too long and when it is time to change. It may be your favorite lure and you may have caught a trainload of bass on it. But as hard as it may be, you need to set it down and step away from that bait! Here’s a true story. I was shing a small lake and started off in the morning, throwing a shallow running re tiger crankbait, and I was just having a ball. My partner said he did not have one of those crankbaits so I threw one to him. Problem was, I didn’t have another shallow runner so the plug that I threw to him was a deep runner in the same color. He didn’t catch one sh as these sh were in shallow water and the plug he was throwing was running too deep. I didn’t care as I was shing against him! That was, until the sun came out. My bite shut off while his picked up. Mr. Bass just moved to deeper water. I thought I was pulling one over on him, giving him the deep plug when it turned out the joke

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January/February 2011