As the weather is warming up, more people are getting back on the water. The fish are also moving towards the flats, the shallower parts of a pond or lake. If you have been fishing around this time of the year, you would have noticed this too. But one thing that many people, not just beginners, get wrong is where to fish. Often people fish in the wrong places , or with the wrong baits. There is an old saying "90% of the fish are in 10% of the water". It sounds really cliche, but it's true.
Fish, including bass, seek cover for protection and food, as well as well oxygenated water to breathe in. Those vast, empty flats, after all, are empty for a reason; there is no food, shelter, or oxygen for bass. There simply is no reason for the bass to go there. on the flip side, good habitat has oxygen, food, and hiding places, all they would need to survive.
Above: Prime bass habitat. Submerged trees, providing cover and attracting fish, along with a few patches of plants to oxygenate the water. Four bass were seen cruising around this area, along with a large shoal of sunfish.
Places that bass like to go to include reeds, submerged timber and rock piles, and healthy weed beds. Notice that I said healthy weed beds. Bed of brown, decaying, and yellowing plants are dying, unhealthy weeds, and hold no fish. Rotting plant matter depletes oxygen in the surrounding water, and fish need oxygen to survive. The lack of oxygen also drives away prey, such as crayfish and bluegill. Healthy plants are green, vibrate, and should have little minnows darting in and out of them. You can also see bass cruising around the edges, or inside the bed, waiting for an opportunity to ambush.
Reeds, unlike submerged plants, however, don't have to be healthy. Dying reeds don't pollute the water as much as submerged plants do, and I have caught many fish amongst dying patches of reeds. Of course healthy, green reeds are preferable to unhealthy and dying ones, but ding reed beds are still fishable. When fishing reeds, you should master underhang casting, which is to cast underneath of overhanging structures. Practice casting into tight spots. Otherwise, you may snag your lure while fishing reeds, because all of the fish congregate underneath overhanging structure.
Hi. I am Ian, an extremely avid bass fisherman living in Howard County, MD. I like to bank fish and fish at local ponds and small creeks. I will explore budget friendly options for people to use in this blog. I hope I can teach you something.