So you’ve got yourself a boat to fish on? That’s great! Ultimately fishing from the boat is the ultimate way to catch fish. It’s way more fun than Fishing From The Shore. It can be intimidating at first, with such a large body of water and small little fish. Where do they all hide? Are they everywhere? Well I can guarantee you they are not everywhere, I wish they were, but sadly this isn’t the case. Follow along as I give you some idea’s on how to find the next hot spot or honey hole. Here’s some fishing tips to find those fish.
While out on the water there are some very important things you need to know. Knowing how to swim is an invaluable asset while out on the water, regardless if you can swim or not you should always be wearing a life jacket. At minimum the life jacket must be within arms reach at all time. Ya I know getting a life jacket tan sucks but please make sure you can always reach that safety device.
Do you have your boat license? No, your car license will not work. Go to your local sporting goods store or take your boating exam online. It’s pretty easy and you’ll learn things you must know while navigating on the water. In most cases you don’t pay for the test until you pass, so the worst case scenario is taking the test over, no harm done.
OK, moving onto the good stuff…
I’ll start out with a few general things I personally like to look for while navigating the lake. Finding the perfect spot to do some fishing from the boat isn’t to difficult when you follow a few of these instructions:
- Look for calm water
If you look across the lake you’ll notice some places are rippling and some are calmer. Choose the calmer water to start your quest. The most common areas of calm glassy water are usually inside small bay’s or cove’s. Fish love these areas. The calm water is indicating a shallow depth, most of the time fish like to come and feed in these shallow areas. Perfect!
- Whats the weather like?
Weather greatly determines feeding habits of almost all fish species. On hot sunny days fish tend to stay in the deeper cooler water coming up only to feed. Entice them with some food inside their comfort zone and your guaranteed to catch more of the big ones!
Do you know what kind of bait the fish are biting on? Try asking some locals what they’ve used for succesful fishing. I like to take some minnows or leaches. These generally yield me great results for most fish species.
- Weed beds
If you can find some shallow weed beds your going to find fish. Look for those Cattails and make sure to use a snag-less hook.
- Fish Finder
If you can afford a fish finder then buy one! They take all that guess work out of question. It’s fun to scout a location with your eye’s then confirm there’s fish beneath you using the fish finder! Bingo!
Now that you have a general idea of where to drive your boat, find a suitable place and set anchor. If you’d like to do some trolling, that’s fine too! Either way you’ll have to stop the boat and get your fishing rod and fishing tackle ready. Decide now if your going to troll or set anchor.
If trolling is what your going for then put a nice spinner, spoon, or crank bait on your fishing rod and cast it out away from the motor. Start up the boat and start trolling in the direction you wish to take. I personally like to find a ridge in the lakes bottom and fish along there making slow weaving passes. You can find the ridge anywhere from 5′ to 20′ away from shore. Sometimes more, sometime less.
- Setting Anchor
Sit back and relax while you fish, let the fish come to you! Setting anchor and floating is the greatest way to enjoy fishing from the boat and taking in all the site’s that this location has to offer. When I’m anchored I like to use Jig Hooks and soft bait lures. What I do is find a depth of around 9′ – 15′ and drop the lure straight down until it hits the bottom. Reel it up around 6″ from the lake bed and slowly jig the fishing rod up and down. Be sure to keep consistent motions or patterns. Experiment with different depths. This method works best for catching a Walleye or Pike.