Find Fish: Knowing Where to Fish and When

Fishing is about many different things. It's different for everyone. Some love the solitude and escape it can provide, while others like the way it enables spending quality time with family. Just about everyone who has ever picked up a fishing rod has one thing in common though, and that's the fact that no matter how beautiful the setting, or peaceful the solitude, or how great the company--eventually it's nice to catch a fish or two. 

It's easy to go fishing, and by all means, go fishing. Sitting on a bank and enjoying a day without too much extra thought or care is one of life's simple pleasures and we highly recommend it. Can't go wrong; odds are you'll catch something anyway. But, it's something else entirely to know you're doing what you can to maximize your chances of catching something. As with many things, fishing can be as complicated as you want it to be, and you can spend a lifetime trying and failing to master it. But, there are a few basic tenets that are easy to learn and apply, and that can lead to catching fish in almost any conditions. The most basic is to fish where the fish are. This may sound so obvious as to be insulting, but it's the kind of thing that is more difficult than it sounds. It comes down to combining fishing at the right place at the right time. So, how exactly do experienced anglers know where to find fish and when?

The information herein is brief but leads to more in-depth content on each topic. Please feel free to let us know in the comments section below if you would like us to cover anything in more depth or if we can answer something in more detail.

How to Find Fish:

Knowing where to fish is the same as understanding that fish are not much different from you or me in that they seek many of the same things: food, shelter, and a feeling of general well-being or safety. Where to fish is the process of looking at the body of water where you are fishing and finding places where your target species is likely to find one or all of their essential needs.

When to fish can be broken down into broad categories. When is the best time to fish in a day? When is the best time to fish in a season? When is the best time to fish considering day-to-day environmental changes like weather changes, moon phases, changes in barometric pressure, etc. Getting the timing right on these and other factors can play a role in whether you catch your limit or get skunked.

When + Where = How

The when and where also influence the how. How to fish is a huge topic, and one that we will be covering in-depth over time but will never finish because it's expansive. However, understanding the where and when will usually lead you to a good place to start on the how. The where and when are the basic building blocks that can lead to one of the most underrated parts of fishing-- solving the puzzle of a body of water on a given day. For example, given the time of year you may deduce your target species is spawning, and more interested in the general well-being of its spawning bed than eating. Knowing spawning beds are generally close to the bank, on hard bottoms, you now know where to fish. Given that protection of beds is the fish's primary motivator at this given time, you choose a bait that is more likely to frustrate or annoy and illicit a defensive reaction from fish protecting their beds. In this case, a little research will lead you to a ned style finesse approach, or a flippin' jig with a trailer, or something that will make noise and frustrate a protective fish like a bladed jig. Now, you have the how. The best anglers can do this critical thinking in any scenario, and the practice of this skill is hugely fun. Because ultimately, the best time to fish and where to fish are wherever and whenever you can. With a bit of info, you can increase your odds of catching fish no matter the conditions.


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