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Fishing in Crowds | Print |  Email
Written by Chad Morgenthaler   
Friday, 04 March 2011 17:06

WHENEVER I know it is going to be an area with a lot of pressure I look for two things. Right now we are dealing mostly with pre-spawn bass, so I find the highest concentration of the bigger fish, places where the fish go into and out of the spawning areas. During the pre-fish, I will fish these areas until I am comfortable with them. Then I look for nearby structure where the fish are going to reposition once the boats and the pressure arrive.

When an area has high pressure, I watch what the other guys are doing. Some go through kind of aimlessly, not really picking the spots apart. They may catch one here and there. I really don‚t get concerned with this, all it does is confirm my belief that it's a productive area.

Typically, when in areas with a lot of pressure, I try to fish the areas very slow and methodical. Instead of covering a broad area, I find a much more precise area where I believe the quality fish are going to be. I cover these much smaller areas very thoroughly, picking them apart to make sure to not miss any spots that could hold a quality fish.

Noise Matters
I generally try to use the trolling motor as little as possible, no matter how quiet. I use the quietest trolling motor on the market, but still I try to limit its use. I try to position the boat so that I do not ever backflush a mat. By backflush I mean throwing current underneath the mat. I stay very aware of my boat position and I turn all my electronics off, to cut down on the sonar noise bouncing off the bottom. Right now we are fishing fairly shallow water and its pretty much all visual anyway.

Basically, I am fishing in stealth mode. I watch my presentation and I do not splash my lure when it goes into the water. When I am throwing baits like a Wave Worm Tiki Stick, I make long casts with fluorocarbon line. I lighten up the line more so than everybody else. I never get frustrated with the people in the areas but, I do adjust my approach to the areas based on how long they've rested. If there are 7 or 8 boats in my immediate area, I will constantly pay attention to what they are fishing. I will always fish the structure that has had the longest rest time.

The Spot
Most of the time, I try to position my boat and get into position to get into the spots I would like. However, it is just not worth it to me to put the trolling motor on high and race for spots all day. At the Everstart even on Okeechobee the 6-8th of January, people were very respectful. Once I had established my area, most people honored the spot for me. I didn't have too much traffic right on top of me. That helps, but isn't always the case.

Time to move
I have learned that areas tend to get fished out when they get fished over and over. This tends to happen especially in a tournament, such as the Everstart event. When five of the top ten guys are all fishing one small area it is only a matter of time. Sure, there will always be a few fish left in there, but not the large number and concentration of fish that we are looking for.

It is a feel thing but, you need to know when it's time to move. If you don't have the available structure for the fish to move when the boat pressure picks up over a 24 to 48 hour period, you need to consider moving on. On day two and three of the Everstart event on Okeechobee, I moved away from the crowds into nearby structure. The fish repositioned themselves due to pressure and I got 2 really good fish. On day three I had to move completely to the south bay to get my limit.

These are just of few of the things to keep in mind when fishing with a lot of pressure. Every little detail can help you get that extra bite or two. Often, it's the one with those few extra bites that ends up taking home the win.


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