Back in May we talked about the importance of finishing the cast you just made before you worry about making the next one. Now we need to talk about making that cast efficient and productive.
Doing that involves three basic things. Casting accurately to your target is the first. That was covered in a recent column by Jordan Lee so we don’t need to say anymore about it.
Properly positioning your boat and setting up the correct angle to your target is the second thing.
This is something where I think so many recreational anglers make a mistake. They see a good target — either with their eyes or with their electronics — and they can’t wait to get their lure to it. But, if they would take the time to set things up properly they’d catch more bass.
Let’s think for a minute about a laydown log. We all know that’s a high percentage target. We know we’re going to fish it the minute we see it. That’s the no-brainer part. What isn’t the no-brainer part is how we’re going to fish it.
Control your excitement. Do not get in a hurry. Do not cast across it and bring your lure back at a 45-degree angle. Sure, you might catch a bass that way but if you fish it right you’ll have a better chance of catching one, and maybe two or three.
Take the time to position your boat at an angle so that you can fish the entire length of the back side and then front side, or if you think the front side looks better do it the other way around. If necessary, reposition your boat so that you can fish the top and the bottom of it.
Before you make any of those casts, however, think about the third thing that matters: How are you going to drag her back to your boat after you hook her? Know what you’ll need to do before you have to do it.
There’s no doubt that getting the bite is the first thing you have to think about, but that’ll be little consolation if a giant bass uses the log to break you off. Getting her back should never be an afterthought.
All of what I’ve said so far applies to underwater structure, as well. Sunken bushes, rock or anything else you see on your screen must be fished the same way. Think about how to fish it effectively, all of it, and then think about how to land her.
Everything I’ve said in both of these columns has come out of my experiences in the past.
Considering my record over the last couple of years I knew I needed to get better, up my game. After a lot of brutally honest self-reflection I realized I wasn’t making the most of the cast I was fishing and that I wasn’t taking the extra time to position my boat correctly. I was in too big of a hurry, and my catches showed it.
We all need to keep in mind that it’s not about how many casts you make in a day. It’s about making them count.