Predicting the next move for bass

We focus a lot on where fish are, but part of that is understanding where they're coming from, where they're going to — and how this all shakes out in the event of changing conditions or opportune moments.

As Bassmaster Elite pro Jason Christie notes, spring and fall see the most predictable and the most significant moves, as fish migrate into and out of creeks, coves and pockets for the spawn and the fourth-quarter feeding fest. Both undeniably significant, but zooming in from the overall seasonal patterns, we’ll see that consistency often requires awareness of — and reaction to — daily fish movements.

“You want to stay a couple steps ahead of the fish,” Christie said. “It’s always best when the fish are coming to you.”

So, how do you do that? Consider why fish relocate.

Feeding time: Find the food and you’ll find the fish; it’s a simple axiom, but knowing when and where to adjust requires a constant monitoring effort — both visually and via sonar. From summers offshore, to the fall gorging, bait schools influence fish positioning — but so does larger forage.