Dec 08,2006 00:00
To some anglers, electronics -- the type you'll find at the console and on the bow of any modern fishing boat -- can be a little confusing. Why? Because of the misnomer that is attached to them: "fish finders." I, like most everyone else, have heard this expression a million times and it still seems funny to me. If they found fish, like the term suggests, then why aren't we all catching our limits of huge fish every time we turn the thing on?
Often times, when I'm slowly motor over a big flat area that is -- for example -- 8-feet deep, I am watching my electronics like a hawk waiting for the depth to drop to 10 or 11 feet and rise back up to eight feet. That tells me that there's a change in structure and contour. After I drop some marker buoys overboard to mark the spot of the transition, I'll start casting something like a Berkley Frenzy crankbait, maybe a Carolina rig with a Berkley Power Bait lizard or a heavy jig. These baits will come into contact with the bottom and let me know more about it. Also, these baits cover a lot of water so I can find out pretty quick whether or not there's a fish in the area that I can catch.
This information is especially important this time of year as we approach winter and colder temperature throughout most of the country. In winter, bass are more lethargic and are most often found deep in the fishery's warmest water. So, I look on my electronics for deep water with vertical break areas, places where the channel swings to create depth.
To catch more fish using your electronics, it's important to disregard this "fish finder" misnomer and not use it as a crutch. By using the equipment actively and searching for areas where fish should be, most often you won't actually have to see the fish to catch it.
Berkley Pro Staffer Mike Iaconelli is the 2006 BASS Angler of the Year and the 2003 Bassmaster Classic champion.