Tips on how to identify if it will be a good or tough day of fishing.
Hi Island Lake anglers, fishing enthusiast’s and fellow AMFisHers! This blog post is definitely one to read through until the end as it is about how to determine if a fishing day will be a very good day on the water or a tough bite day.
At some time or another we have all experienced both of the above, those days where we feel we can’t do anything wrong and are catching fish on all the baits we are trying, at all the spots we are trying then on the flip side those days where nothing is working and it seems like there are no fish in the lake. In this post I will discuss and share various tips on being able to prepare yourself much better upon arrival to the lake.
The very first thing I recommend upon arriving to Island Lake or any lake you are fishing for that matter, is to take a few minutes to assess what nature is feeling and doing that day. It does not matter what time of day this is taking these few minutes to observe what nature is telling you will clearly indicate how you should approach fishing. If you arrive to the lake and it is a very calm quiet morning, where the water is like a sheet of glass, there are no birds flying around and you see groups of water birds sitting closely in one spot not moving, no crickets making any noise, zero wind, not squirrels out and about, nature is clearly saying everything is very low key and it could be a tough bite. If upon arrival you see lots of activity taking place, like fish breaching the surface, slight wind and waves on the lake, lots of birds flying around and feeding on the water, insects making all kinds of sound and small animals running about, this is nature saying there is a high activity level happening so fishing should be quite good.
Calm water like in the photo below will occur from time to time no matter if nature’s activity is high or low, so you really need to focus on what nature is telling you. On this particular day at Island Lake the water was calm all day long, very little breeze if any, overcast and hot with zero waves being generated, but the activity level was extremely high. There were top water fish breaches all over the place, lot’s of active birds, lots of bait fish swimming around, so nature was obviously telling me that fish were active. Now I was asked by many people fishing that day if I had caught fish and when they found out I was they were quite shocked as many were not finding or catching any fish. After I identified a few key factors they had not picked up on later that day they thanked me for the information as they had gotten into some fish, which made their outing a whole lot better!
Nature has a unique way of being quite blunt and we need to observe carefully to be able to pick up on it, instead of ignoring what it is telling us or not being attentive to the very clear signs it is giving us. High activity days means you should be able to locate and trigger some fish strikes, low activity days means you will need to revamp your strategy for the day and fishing could most likely be quite tough. On those high activity days using fast moving baits to find all active fish quickly is a very good approach, so baits like spinnerbaits, inline spinners work well in this scenario. When activity is up like this fish are moving around following their food source, feeding or just on the look out for a better location with the highest activity levels. During a low activity day when nothing is really active, fish will not be moving and may even be sitting tight to all types of cover like, docks, boat houses, deep weed lines, any safe area where they can sit tight and be inactive, you will need to almost drop something right in front of them to entice even the smallest chance of a strike. Good bait choices in this scenario would be slower presentation style baits with minimal action, like soft plastic worms Texas rigged or wacky rigged and live bait in some situations are live bait will usually follow suit by adapting to the current conditions.
Once you have taken the time to review what that day looks like you can quite quickly revamp your fishing strategy for the day, which includes what spots you want to target and feel you should target as high fish catch ratio spots as well as what spot you will want to avoid due to there being very minimal activity in an area, and example here would be a very calm bay where you have caught fish on Island Lake in before but the water is very still and there are no bait fish or birds in that spot as they have been in the past. These few minutes to assess are probably the most valuable minutes you can dedicate to any fishing day and if you do the information you receive from nature will definitely help you on every outing.
Now when you catch a fish that is another sign of what might be going on so be sure to focus on that. Key things to read from a fish catch are, what time did you catch it, where did you catch it deep or shallow water, on what bait did you catch it, example colour and size are very key, how fast were you moving the bait another key factor to pay attention to and lastly how did the fish strike the bait, very hard and intense or very lightly. By examining how a fish has the bait in there mouth can sure tell you a lot about how they are feeding that day. If the bait is just hanging by one hook on the edge of the lip, they are most likely reacting to the bait and just nipping at it, but if the fish have the bait all the way in their mouth there are on a high feeding time that does not usually last too long so definitely be sure to take advantage of that feeding window!
If fish are jumping out of the water like this while they are hooked, it’s another good sign of a high energy activity day, so be sure to pay attention to all the signs fish give us.
Here is a good example in a picture of what a bait looks like when fish are on an intense feeding frenzy, they will have the hook way back in the roof of the mouth with most of the bait inside there as well. This pike was caught on Island Lake the same day as the photo of the pike just above and the calm water photo at the top of this article, all the fish were biting hard and trying to inhale the bait. This specific fish would not even open it’s mouth to let this bait go, it was holding on to it’s meal with all it’s might, again another clear sign from a fish about how they are feeding.
A great example of what will make a good or tough fishing day is this coming long weekend, where you can be sure there will be a lot of people fishing in Island Lake’s rental boats, their own boats and kayaks, busy days like this can add to the overall water pressure making catching fish slightly more difficult. If you learn to adapt and avoid an area with two of three boats fishing already, you can capitalize on fishing in a better less traffic spot where fish may have moved to.
In the end the tips I have shared about this topic are quite simple to understand and if you get in tune with Mother Nature when you head out to fish, you can almost always have much better success catching fish!
Hope you all found this article helpful…tight lines everyone!
The AMFisH guy…Billy.
Learn more here: www.amfish.ca