Follow the Fish for More Fishing Success

April 11, 2016 by  

As the weather warms and the days get longer, more people are headed to the lake or pond or river to go fishing. When we go fishing, we want to catch something. There are several things that we can do to increase the chances for catching something, but the most important thing that we can do to help us catch more fish is to fish where the fish are. That sounds very simple, and it is, but it’s so important to be fishing near fish if you want to have action. Fish will hang out in different areas depending on the time of year: they move around. For fishing success, we need to move around too. Following are some ideas for fishing where the fish are.

Fish have two tasks to perform: they eat and they reproduce. Depending on whether they’re in the eating or reproducing time of year will determine where they will be in a lake or river or pond.

Walleye Fishing Success

If you want to catch more fish, fish where the fish are. Mike Frisch was fishing suspended walleyes when this guy bit.

Right now in the Midwest, most fish are in some phase of the reproduction period, or spawning period. In other parts of the world they could be done spawning, or they might still have a layer of ice over them. For now though, in the Midwest, most fish are either getting ready to spawn, they are actually spawning, or they’ve recently finished with this ritual.

Most spawning for most fish takes place fairly close to shore or in shallow water. For that reason, we’ll want to concentrate our efforts close to shore or in shallow water: that’s where the fish are.

After the spawn, the fish take a few days to recover. Then they go on a feeding binge. They’ll be wherever the food is, and they’ll continue to follow the food the rest of the year. After the spawn, all fish do is eat. If what they’re eating moves, the predator fish will follow close behind.

Fish don’t always do what we think they should do. In many areas, walleyes are thought to be a bottom-hugging fish, and, in many areas they are. If the food they’re eating is near the bottom, the walleyes will be near the bottom.

But in a good number of waters, walleyes eat baitfish that suspend. These baitfish might be fifteen feet above the bottom. When the walleyes want to eat, they have to move to where the baitfish are.

Some lakes have bug hatches, and a variety of fish eat these bugs. The bugs hatch on the bottom of the lake and drift toward the surface. As the bugs move up, so do the fish that are eating them. If you want to catch these fish, you need to keep your bait at the depth where the fish are. Sonar is a huge help in keeping the bait at the level where the fish are. It also reveals the presence of predator fish and baitfish. Raymarine sonar units have different modes that provide different looks at the underwater world. They draw a clear picture and truly help us catch more fish.

Because the area where the fish are is changing, a successful angler needs to change lure presentation also. If the fish are off the bottom, you’ll want to select a lure that runs off the bottom. A jig crawled along the bottom is great if the fish are on the bottom, but it isn’t much good crawled along the bottom if the fish are fifteen feet up. A crankbait would be a better choice.

If you want to catch more fish, you need to follow them throughout the fishing season. Find the food they’re eating, put your bait there, and you’ll increase your odds for fishing success.

To see all the most recent episodes of the Fishing the Midwest television series, new fishing related tips and fishing articles from the past, visit If you do Facebook, check us out for a variety of fishing related things.


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