Make the same cast

I’m still in Florida enjoying the great weather and the great fishing. A couple of nights ago I caught two over 6 pounds and one that went almost 8 pounds in the last hour before dark. I know daylight is supposed to be the best time to fish but I have to tell you that here in Florida the last hour seems to be the best. It is for me, anyway.

After the big catch, I started thinking about things… about how this fishing game really works. There are a few things — but only a few — that seem to be true everywhere. One of them, and something I think a lot of recreational anglers miss, is that you can often catch several bass from the same, exact spot by making the same, exact cast.

I remember some years ago I caught a 7-pound beauty down here from the middle of a wad of grass. She fought hard, creating a commotion that would have been worthy of a movie from Hollywood. While I was unhooking her, the wind blew the grass ball and my boat several hundred feet from where we were. We ended up against a bank.

After taking the time to check my line and retie, I tossed my bait into the same hole. In a matter of seconds, I had a 9-pound bass hooked. Now, keep in mind that we were a long ways from where we started. Nevertheless, that bass was in the same place and responded to the same cast and to the same bait.

I’ve seen this happen all over the country — with largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and spots. It’s as close to a universal truth as there is in fishing. Why this happens is something I’m not so sure about, although I do have a few theories.

It might be that the bass are excited by all the noise and hang around to see what’s going on. It might be that they like the place they’re at and have no intention of leaving. It could also be that some of these places are travel paths that the fish follow year after year. Or, it might be that they have nowhere else to go.

None of those possible explanations for why it happens is as important, though, as knowing it will happen and fishing accordingly.

So, when you’re out on the water this fall, or any other time for that matter, and you catch a bass, make sure you stay put. Drop your Power-Poles or triangulate your position and start making more casts.

Hit the same spot with the same bait. Hold the same angle and retrieve your bait exactly the way you did on the previous cast. And don’t just make one cast like that. Make a dozen or more. You’ll be surprised at how many bonus fish you can catch.

Other than that, there isn’t much else to say this week. Like I said earlier, the weather has been great and so has the fishing. If it stays this good, the Wild Card down here (Lake Okeechobee) in December may very well be a serious shootout.

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