Whether you’re fishing from a boat in the open water season or through a hole in the ice as we are doing right now, successful fishing is all about being efficient and effective.
By the way, most folks think those two terms are synonymous but they’re not. Efficiency is about doing the right thing – effectiveness is about doing it right.
See the difference?
Here is an example: I’ve been enjoying some absolutely amazing ice fishing for jumbo perch the last few days. The fish have been pushing 14-inches in length and weighing close to two pounds. But the action has been anything but non-stop. Instead, you have to jig the right lure for ten or fifteen minutes to attract the fish and then when you spot a Sumo perch come onto the sonar screen, you have to jiggle the bait in just the right cadence.
But here is the important part: When you hook a fish and land it, you can almost always see a “buddy” down below on your screen. Not a bunch of friends, but rather only one (sometimes two) perch. And if you don’t land the one you have on quickly and get your lure right back down to the bottom, the “buddy” swims off and it takes another 10 or 15 minutes of hard work to attract another fish.
So, it is important to balance your equipment and use the right weight lure so you can plunge it back down the hole.
Same thing goes for the summer months. The angler who makes the most casts over the course of a day usually catches the most fish.
But, again, there is a “catch”.
If you watch most of the top anglers you’ll see that they rarely work their baits all the way back to the boat. Especially when they’re casting a presentation like a drop-shot rig or a stick worm to a specific object like an isolated boulder, sunken stump or small patch of weeds.
What the best anglers have discovered over the years is that more than 90-percent of the fish they catch, come either on the initial fall after they make their cast, or within the first 10 to 15 feet of the retrieve.
In other words, rarely does a fish follow your bait all the back to boat before it hits. It does happen, to be sure, but it is the exception usually and not the rule.
What this means then, is that if don’t catch a fish after you make a cast and let the bait fall to the bottom beside the target, or work it back 10 feet or so, it is best to reel it in quickly and make another pitch.
The 90-percent Rule, as I call it, is the subject of this week’s Fish Talk With The Doc video tip that I recorded for the Fish ‘N Canada television show. Check it out and then put the principle to work. You’ll be fishing like a pro – with hopefully pro-like results.