One cast, two casts

First, let me say I'm back bass fishing in Florida. Apparently some of you guys thought I'd gone over to the saltwater side after my last blog.

Not to worry. As much fun as I had chasing sailfish, bass are still my fish of choice. I suppose they always will be.

This week I've noticed something about catching them that I've always known about but never talked much about. It's the strategy of casting back to the same spot immediately after I've caught one.

It's amazing how many times I can catch another bass off the same piece of cover or off the same underwater structure. When I talk about a second cast, I'm talking about making the same exact cast. Close, almost the same or darn near identical won't do. It has to be exact, precise in every detail. If it's anything different, you're likely wasting your time.

I know what you're thinking. Sometimes when the fish are especially active, you can catch several from the same general area. True enough. Nevertheless, the more exact your second cast, the more fish you'll put in the boat over the long haul. Why this is so is a mystery. Some guys theorize that a struggling fish creates a response in other fish that draws them in to see what's going on, or maybe they want to help their captured brother. Either explanation might be the case, but I think something else might be going on.

If there was a fish in that spot, it's a good place. We know that because we just caught a fish there. Maybe that means that other fish are there, too — living in a school or in a group. Or, it might be that other fish are waiting their turn to move in. No human knows for sure. It's just one of those things that happen when we're fishing, but we don't know why. There are dozens of things that fall into that category, so it's not unique in any respect except that this one really makes a difference in how many fish we catch.

This all came to mind this past weekend when I was fishing a tiny group of buggy whips (reeds) in a local tournament down here. I decided to put my second-cast theory to the test. It passed with flying colors. In fact, I caught three keeper limits from that little stand of reeds. It was amazing. So, next year when you're fishing a tournament and you catch a keeper off a pitiful-looking little stickup, throw another time or two at it. You might be glad you did.

That's all for now. I'm going to leave my boat down here with my in-laws and return to Ohio for the holidays. After that, I'll head back south for some last minute practice before the tournament season starts.

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