Hello Johnny Jenkins here from Peak Performance Fishing. And today I want to speak to you about finding bait fish when you’re out there fishing and how it’s gonna catch you more fish.
Now if you haven’t heard bass or predator fish they have to feed on other small gang fish and other preys. You know crawfish and different things like that.
When it comes down to it a lot of guys think if they’re going through a bank or they’re going in the middle of a creek or something and they see a big wad of bait fish on the bottom with their depth finder. Spin it off the bottom. Or maybe they see them from the surface. You can see them dimpling the surface. You can see them spinning in circles in a big tight school right. You see hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of them.
Ever wonder how fish swim in schools? Scientists say it’s in their genes.
One Of The Biggest Bait Fish Misconcpetions
You think man there’s got to be fish here and you’re probably right. That’s what you definitely want to look for. But one of the biggest misconceptions is that I need to be casting at them. Like I need to be casting in the big school of bait and you may get bit that way.
But more often than not it’s fishing in that general vicinity; in that general area. And I’m going to show you some action here; some schooling okay. You’re seeing these fish but these bait fish out of the surface. You’re seeing these bass blow up on bait and you throw in anything in there and catch ’em.
That’s schooling that’s when you definitely don’t want to just fish the area around, you want to cast exactly on top of those fish where they’re schooling where they’re busting on the surface and they’re chasing bait. That’s really key.
But when you’re just seeing bait fish in an area either on your electronics or you’re seeing them on the surface and they’re just kind of dimpling around on the surface. They’re not really being chased by anything.
When you’re seeing them in a tight ball, and you’re gonna see this a lot – where you’re gonna see ’em in a tight ball on a surface and it almost looks like they’re being chased but they’re not. They’re just; they’re just relating to either the cooler water or the warmer water that’s on the surface or with the sun.
And they’re really just trying to stay in a tight school where they can’t get preyed upon by bass. So they’re gonna stay in a really tight school. They’re gonna be swimming around and they’re gonna be going up and down and in circles and stuff like that but they’re not being chased.
There’s gonna be fish in an area I promise you that. There’s gonna be some fish in an area that more bait fish in an area even the better or on a spot. But what the real key deal is if I could give it to you in an example.
An Example Involving A School Of Bait Fish
Say that this lure is the end of a point okay. And there is a big school of bait fish. There’s schools of bait fish all on this point right. And then this wire here and all the way to this head. All the way up here it’s. Just imagine that it’s in a complete straight line okay.
Here’s the end of the point and then you’ve got the wire. This whole wire is just a bank okay. And then along this bank you’ve got pieces of wood and rock.
Maybe you’ve got a couple little, tiny little points sticking out okay.
You would think if you see a ball of bait fish out here and they’re on the surface they’re not being chased they’re just in the area. You see them on your electronics right. There’s no schooling action they’re just bait fish in an area okay.
You think okay; okay. I need to be around the bait fish as close as possible right. Cast on ’em; cast all-round the school of bait fish you might get bit and you might catch fish. You might even ignite a school there is a possibility.
But don’t forget especially the shallower you are and the more you are like in creeks and pockets versus like way out there in the middle of the lake; if you’re in pockets and coves and you see bait fish don’t necessarily target on the school of bait fish like casting all around the bait in the middle of the pocket or something; where they might be.
Fish the bank and fish the key pieces of cover all along this bank. What happens is often if they’re not actually schooling on the bait fish that you see either on your electronics or with your eyes if you’re seeing them and they’re not schooling.
Bait Fish Along A Bank Is Key
Well a lot of times the smaller fish will stay around the school of bait fish and they’ll chase them from time to times. And there may even be big fish underneath them. That happens sometimes too. But what you can really count on is if there’s bait fish in an area along this key stretch of bank.
Somewhere in this area if there was another cove and it came out to another cover right here and you had a whole bank along here and there’s key pieces of cover. Some laydown, some bushes, maybe some shade lines, maybe some sea walls and stuff, docks.
You’re gonna go along there and you’re gonna fish, fish, fish and then boom get to a piece of cover and catch a fish. Often times the biggest fish in an area where there are bait fish that will relate to key pieces of cover. That sentence and that phrase right there its year round, you can apply this year round.
This will help you win tournaments. This will help you show your buddies off in the bass club tournaments. This will help your Instagram status and your Facebook showing these awesome pictures of you catching fish. And helping you catch fish on film and on camera.
These Small Fish Are Chasing
Remember that key deal. If they’re not actively schooling there might be small fish that are relating to the bait fish and they’re staying around them. They’re chasing the bait fish.
A lot of times given those general areas and go to the bank and find a rock, or rock pile, or a small little point that stands out on the actual bank. You maybe a dock, maybe a series of docks, maybe an isolated dock, a lay down. The biggest lay down there maybe some bushes, pieces of cover, shade lines, different things like that – you’ll find some of the biggest fish.
And what are they doing? Why are they there? The small fish oftentimes bait fish when you see them out there or in the middle of a cove they’re out in little bit deeper water maybe they’re on the surface but they’re over deeper water right okay. You’ll see this a lot.
The smaller fish will get out there and chase them. They have more energy and they’re young and dumb. They’re just out there chasing them. The bigger fish that know better they will hang by pieces of cover that are around where the bait fish are.
And they will wait for the bait fish to come to them. They will use those pieces of cover as ambush points. So if you see bait fish on your electronics don’t necessarily always throw in there or right on that specific spot.
Fish around. Fish different pieces of cover in that as areas and sooner or later you’re going to be rewarded with figuring out one of the most dependable tips in bass fishing.
This has been Johnny Jenkins from Peak Performance Fishing. I hope to see you on the water.