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 Sight Fishing

Article: April, 2005
Lake Fork Pro Jim Reaneau
This month's article will cover something I should have covered long ago. Sight fishing. This is the most often sought style of fishing in the spring. Everyone wants to fool MR. Bass with his or her presentation. The first thing I will tell everyone is to learn to pitch. Get out in the back yard and lay a target on the ground about ten to fifteen feet away and learn to flip under handed to these targets. It s hard to catch the fish if you can t get the bait to the spot.

For equipment you will need a good pair of polarized sun glasses. Amber is the best color. Next you will need a push pole as you don t want to cloud up the water where you are fishing, and good medium heavy rod with twenty pound line. Most fish will be caught on less than ten feet of line and you need all the power and you can muster to get the hook set and the fish pulled away from the cover it is around. When you see a fish watch it for a minute or two. If the fish moves when you point at it or when you pitch to it, this fish is not dedicated to that spot. When the males are dedicated they will not move when you pitch a bait at them, or they will only swim away a short distance and come right back. When you find a fish that stay s watch where that fish sits. They all have a favorite spot, kind of like us and our favorite spot on the couch or your favorite chair. Once this is figured out then throw past the bed and swim the bait back to that spot. Don t plop the bait on top of the fish as this will usually cause them to run away. Let the fish look at the bait for a minute and move it away, then put the bait right back again. Keep this up for a couple of casts and then let it sit still. Usually this will cause the fish to pick the bait up. The key thing is hit the area many times over and over. This will make the fish mad and he will attack the bait. The exact spot must be hit repeatedly. Six inches away from the spot and the fish may not touch the bait. Remember if you take the bait away from the area this is what the fish wants anyway.

The lure is up to the individual. I use a jig, small grub, craw worm, or lizard. Usually the color is the biggest attraction. I like bright colors like, chartreuse, red, or craw fish color. The lizard is a natural enemy and watermelon or pumpkin with a chartreuse are good colors.

The biggest mistake I see every year is someone sitting on a fish for over an hour. Unless the fish is over eight pounds I wont stay long. There are too many fish along the bank to spend the day on one. Remember that the fish that are easily seen have seen a bait before yours. I like to look for deeper beds. Usually your larger fish are on these beds. Most people have their boats sitting on these beds. So watch the next time your out and try to spot the deeper beds. Everyone wants to see the fish and when it hit s the bait. That s where the fun is.

Observation of the fish and the way they hit or react to the bait is the one over looked part while sight fishing. This is the learning phase. Watch the fish and see how he or she hit s the bait. How many times did he or she pick it up and you never felt a hit. This will make you think, how many times have I been out and thought I never got a bite and really you may have had several and never felt them.

Now! When sight fishing remember if you wont a picture of the fish get everything done quickly as the poor fish will be out of the water and can t breathe. Also the fish are under a lot of stress at this time of year. They will be caught many times before the spawn is over. Try and be as careful as possible when taking out the hook. Most fish will have several holes in their lip. Good Fishing and remember CATCH AND RELEASE all the fish.

Thanks and Good Fishing,

Fishing Tip by EX Lake Fork Guide Jim Reaneau


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