How to Catch Big Bass on the Flats in July and August - Part 1
How to Catch Big Bass on the Flats in July and August
Through these Guides Eyes
Fishing tactics and techniques must change at this time of the year. Care to learn?
The now "educated" residents have all graduated from high school and are now on their way to receiving their bachelor's degree on what is edible or not. These are
our FUSSY fish! To me this is the most challenging and fun time of the year. We're seeing on the average of one to two hundred fish on the flats in a day under the
right conditions. Thirty percent of them are big - ten to twenty pounds. Talk about mastering your technique of sight fishing on the sand flats. There's no such thing as
an easy fish. All the pieces of the puzzle must come completely together to succeed on the flats. Leading fish by thirty to seventy-five feet. Knowing your water to
determine exactly when in the tide they will show up on certain flats. Knowing structure, so the fish will be funneled by you, allowing you the most "shots." Believe it
or not, we're catching lots of the big ones on bonefish flies. We're just showing them something different and helping with their education. Slowing down your retrieve
and sometimes dead drifting the fly to a big sighted fish works. Lots of the time no retrieve at all using crabs is best, and setting by sight is the answer. Achieving
speed and accuracy in your casting skills is a must.
Try holding ten to fifteen feet of fly line outside the tip when sight casting to allow fewer false casts. Donít blind cast. If you can't see them, they are not there. The
commotion generated from blind casting will surely spook any fish just out of sight that you may have had a shot at. Or what usually happens to me after I've made
that eighty-foot cast, a nice bass comes by within twenty feet and swims under my line. Ha!
Try leading the fish by forty to fifty feet. Before casting, decide its projected path. Current direction, depth of water and contour of bottom are the keys to success in
this determination. By leading the fish so far in advance you are allowing your fly to sink to eye level of the fish and tripling your chance of success. Hoping the fish
will rise up to your fly is normally met with a refusal, unless you are lucky enough to be on a hot fish. Anytime you can make it easier for the fish to feed, so fish has
to exert as little energy as possible, you'll triple your catch rate. Ever thought about using a 300 to 400 grain ORVIS depth-charge fly line in two to six feet of water
to achieve this? I've been doing it for years (Thanks, Bob) and itís produced some real COWS!
Temperature of water is key. In the spring and early summer search out warmer water, you'll be rewarded with fish. In mid to late summer do the opposite.
Additional tips, info. and several days of fishing reports from the flats can be viewed at www.yankeeangler.com (fishing reports)
Until the next fish bites,
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