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Stillwater Fishing: Why 20% of Fishermen Catch 80% of the Fish

June 21, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 181

Fishing, like many other pursuits in life, is comprised of the haves and have nots, successes and failures, and winners and loosers. Why do some fishermen consistently reel in buckets full of fish while others come home with an empty ice chest and a headache? If the 80/20 rule applies to fishing, what is one factor that separates those 20% of fishermen who catch 80% of the fish from the 80% who catch 20% of the fish? Although a full scale analysis of fishing techniques would take up a whole book, we can at least say that fishing success depends largely on knowing what is going on underwater. The better you can estimate where the fish are, the better your chances of fishing success. If you have an electronic fish finder, your job is easy when fishing Stillwater lakes. For those of you who don't, surface indicators exist in stillwater lakes that tell you where the fish are likely to be located.

Vegetation, both underwater and on the shore, provide fish with a safe haven. Reed beds, shrubs, trees, rushes, water lilies and beds of sedge provide food sources and you the fisherman should observe such plant life.

Reed Beds

Reed beds are grass like plants that run along the shoreline of lakes. They house many variety of animal life such as snails and damselfly and dragonfly larvae and therefore attract many species of fish, such as pike and perch which swim along the edges in search of prey.

Look for these reed beds. Using a damselfly or dragonfly lure, patrol up and down these reed beds. Keep in mind that this is shallow water. If you are fishing from a boat, you need to minimize boat movement and noise. A trolling motor is essential in helping reduce fish spooking engine noise and increasing boat control to allow you to place bait at the nose of the fish.

Water Lilies

Water lilies are those broad leaves that blanket a water surface of a stillwater lake. They help keep water clear from the greenish tint caused by phytoplankton by reducing sunlight from entering the water. Since phytoplankton does not receive the needed sunlight, they cannot grow and thus you have a clear lake. Usually you will find water lilies on the surface of an area approximately 5 to 6 feet deep - a clue as to water depth. Fish, such as pickerel and perch, often twist their way through the stems underneath these lily pads sapping food from under the pads. Larger fatter fish such as carp sometimes alert their presence by brushing against the stems and rocking the water lilies. So on a calm day without much current, an indicator for possible fish life is when you see movement in the lily pads.

Shore line plants

Trees, bushes and shrubs that grow along the bank of a lake and overhang the water surface are of interest to fishermen. These plants house beetles, spiders and caterpillars which fall off the branches providing a food source for fish, such as trout. In addition, larvae and snails grow along the branches, leaves and roots that enter the water.

So with your trolling motor, you silently and smoothly approach the area, cast a dry fly into the water and you're in the fishing business.

Tree branches

Occasionally you will find buoys or signs indicating piles of tree branches or logs submerged underwater. These provide feeding areas for fish, so it pays to notice these signs where they exist.

Bubbles and ripples

Have you ever noticed those little bubbles that come to the surface of the water? Guess what is causing that? You guessed it. Catfish and carp will disturb the mud and soot on the bottom of a lake sending gasses to the surface. Also surface feeding fish such as trout will alert you to their presence by creating ripples and waves in the water. Therefore it pays to keep your eyes on the water and look out for these signals. If you notice a trail of bubbles at the water surface, present your bait accordingly and you may get lucky.

Observing these signals of possible fish activity is one thing, being able to get yourself into position and catching a fish is another. The more reactive, maneuverable and stealthier you are, the better your chances of catching something. The vegetation areas discussed will be in shallow water for the most part. If you clang around on the deck of your boat while throttling up your gasoline outboard, you risk spooking away the fish. A solution is to use a trolling motor. Some bow mounted models come with foot controls that allow you to effortlessly glide yourself into position with little engine noise and boat rocking.

So what separates the 20% haves from the 80% have nots? Often it's the ability to observe the ecosystem of a lake and spot signs indicating areas of fish activity.

Source: EzineArticles
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Stillwater Fishing


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