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ďMurphyís LawĒ, but it never seems to fail that when an
opportunity finally arises to breakaway from everyday life and enjoy a
much needed day on the water, something always seems to happen to make
the bite go tough. Itís
inevitable. Whether itís
pressure from other anglers, or weather conditions, something seems to
occur to make the bite much tougher than it should be.
very familiar with tough bites. Competing as a professional touring
angler over the last several years has provided ample opportunity to
fine tune my ďtough biteĒ skills.
Iíve picked-up some tips and techniques along the way that I
know youíll find useful.
There are a lot of
reasons why the bite can turn tough.
Iíve found two of the most common reasons are weather
conditions and pressured fish. The
latter is especially true if competing in a tournament and the body of
water happens to fish really small.
Itís always possible to be on a huge lake and 80 percent of
the anglers end up in the same spot, which adds increased pressure to
already stressed fish. I
experienced this scenario last January during an FLW event on
Fishing in a crowd
can be extremely frustrating and not all anglers practice good
manners. This is
especially true when youíre around enough fish to do just one person
any good, and there are 10 other anglers after the same fish.
At this point separating from the pack is essential.
Try and out smart the other anglers.
Pay attention to how the other anglers are fishing and try
something different, even if itís out of the norm.
If everyone around you is throwing a spinner bait or a plastic
worm then you need to adjust. Try
throwing something that has a real slow fall to it like a Strike King
Zero. Make long
casts and watch for areas that other anglers skipped, or areas that
get a rest for more than an hour.
Itís worth a look even if the rested area doesnít have the
particular type of structure that fish should typically inhabit.
Iíve found that often the pressure from the crowd will move the fish
to outer areas where they receive less pressure. Boat
noise is also a huge consideration in crowded situations.
Be as quite as possible when trolling and casting.
Remember, try and be smarter than the average angler, or the
surrounding crowd. Take a
look at your surroundings and try to think where you might go if you
were a bass and placed in a heavy pressure situation.
One thing is for
sure, when the bite gets tough it really causes anglers to bear down
and sharpen their mental skills and think outside the box. Under tough
conditions anglers receive fewer bites, so refining techniques and
equipment is an absolute must. When
I fish in tough conditions I become a perfectionist at what Iím
doing. Itís absolute
essential that the right line is matched with the correct rod and that
the right hooks are used for the job.
So many bites are missed, or fish are not landed, do to anglers
not pairing the correct equipment together.
Itís vital in tough conditions to always evaluate your
equipment and make sure everything is operating in top notch
Slowing down and
scaling down is also very beneficial when the bite gets tough.
Whether fishing a finesse worm on a shakey head with 8lb line
and a Kistler spinning rod, or flipping a Bitsy Flip finesse jig into
heavy cover with Maxima fluorocarbon line and a heavy rod, have
everything dialed-in. Make
sure that if given the opportunity fish are not lost. Instead, be
prepared and capitalize on the situation.
It takes practice to slowdown and scale down, but itís worth
your equipment, itís also important to find a really good location.
Knowing and understanding the fish and their patterns is a must
during tough days. Pay
attention to the time of year, if the bass are pre spawn itís
important to look for protected areas on the Northeast side of the
lake toward the coves. If
the bass are post spawn first look for fry pods.
Be aware that the males will guard fry in and around heavy
vegetation. During post
spawn conditions the larger females start their migration toward the
main lake and stage-up on the lay downs, stumps on the points, or at
the edge of the deeper vegetation.
Realizing how fish
relate to current is also essential during post spawn conditions.
Look for wing walls, or turn on your Lowrance GPS/Sonar unit
and identify structure, such as submerged brush piles.
Remember, anytime there is current running in a river system or
lake, there will more than likely be bass hanging around structure
waiting for a tasty meal to wash by.
order it have a productive day on the lake during tough bite
conditions itís crucial to be aware of your surroundings.
Make sure equipment is in top condition and that line, rods and
baits are paired correctly. Scale down and slowdown.
Stay focused and clear headed so when the bite comes capitalize
on it Think outside
the box when fishing in heavily pressured or crowed situations.
Offer the fish a different presentation and search out pockets
or areas that have received rest.
Know the pattern the fish
are in and learn the lake so you can identify productive areas.
Keep all of these tips in mind when the bite goes tough
and it will make the day much more enjoyable.
special ďThanksĒ to all of my sponsors: Jasper Engines and
Transmissions, Yamaha Motors, Ranger Boats, Lowrance Electronics,
Svanda GM Motor Group, Maxima Line, Kistler Rods, Minn Kota,
Make sure and log
onto my web site www.chadmorgenthaler.com
and signup for my fan club. E-newsletters
are forwarded monthly and one lucky winner each month receives a
summaries are posted after each tournament and pro tips are updated
every two weeks. Itís a
great source of bass fishing information.