Its been a busy week for me. Between emails, fishing, work, and doing work around the house, I have been running full speed. I supposed that is just part of the Newlywed life. Honestly my biggest surprise is how much I have to cut grass. It grows like crazy. Literally, I have to tell myself that I have to cut grass before I hit the river.
Luckily after cutting grass, I have this amazing moment of clarity that tells me exactly what I should write about. Today something told me that I should talk about a subject that I don’t emphasize enough. But one that I really should. Its not timing or following seasonal patterns. its not bait or tackle. That’s for another day. Today I want to talk about movement. Making the right move at the right time is critical and today I want to give you a few tips to know when to move and where.
Tip #1: When in Doubt, MOVE!!!
If you ever begin to think that you should move, then you need to move. Doubt can destroy a fisherman’s logical thought. Here’s how things typically go in my head. I make my first stop and catch nothing. I tell myself that these fish are supposed to be here and be biting. Soon after my head starts going, ” What should I do?”. Then I sit there for another hour and catch nothing.
Where did I go wrong?
I stuck around in a location that the fish weren’t biting in. I should of moved the minute I thought something was wrong. That way I’m hitting refresh on my mind. But you don’t need to just move…
Tip#2: Have a Plan!!!
You should never simply move for the sake of moving. Yes, you need to move when you have doubt come into your mind but you must have a plan. Most people might say, “Well the catfish aren’t biting here. Maybe they will biting over there”.
That’s way too basic for us. We should be saying to ourselves,” Okay this location isn’t working. Should I try to fish deeper? Shallower? Is the current too strong in this area? Where is the bait at? Should I be looking for a different type of cover or area of river?” You should be asking questions about why your area isn’t working today and which areas would be better. Use that information to tell yourself where you should try next.
Here’s my classic example. I’m fishing out deep and not catching anything. Its time for a move. Deeps not working. I see a ball of shad swimming on top near the bank. Have the catfish moved to the bank to feed? Let’s move shallow and find out.
In that example, I gained a very small piece of information and ran with it. Bait location is important so maybe that’s a sign that I should follow. Maybe I’m fishing shallow but the water is low and clear. That might tell me to fish deeper. Use any type of information until you find something that will bite.
If you can’t find any additional information to find catfish, then you are completely allowed to say “Maybe they will bite over there”. But always use each stop to find out more information about where the mother load of catfish are.
Tip#3: Fishing 10 Areas is better than 3 Areas
Naturally, catfishermen are very methodical and slow to move from a fishing hole. This actually works against us in most situations. Take channel catfish for instance. These little guys are super aggressive. You can literally catch them within minutes of setting up on a hole. You will rarely have to wait more than 20 minutes to catch channels in a given area.
So using that information, I believe that any time past that 20 minute mark is either used to find bigger catfish, entice inactive catfish, or simply wasting fishing time. I can completely understand slowing down for bigger catfish. But the other two aren’t needed. If that group of catfish is inactive, then you should focus on finding active catfish. As a side note, you have a better hook to land ratio with active catfish over inactive catfish.
If you are looking to catch catfish consistently, you need to focus your efforts on fishing more places within a days time. If you were to move every 20-30 minutes, how many more places would you be able to fish in a days time? How many more areas would you be able to learn about? How much easier would you feel about fishing an area that you’ve never tried before if you can tell yourself that you’ll just move in 2o minutes if it fails?
Here are the Pros to Fishing More Areas.
- You will learn more information about what the catfish are doing.
- You find more reliable locations that hold catfish
- You will learn more about those sweet spots for your areas.
- You will find more active catfish within a days time.
If you are truly desperate and wanting to do anything to catch more catfish, you need to start by focusing your efforts on fishing more locations. After you have consistently done this for a few fishing trips, then you can refine your approach with things like timing, baits, rod layout, and techniques. You can’t catch a catfish that you can’t find. Good luck guys,