Get The Net/ by Mike Cork/ August 24, 2011
Bass fishing can be a very competitive sport. Some say that bass tournaments have made it that way. I partially agree, but I also believe bass fishing in general is competitive. We all will brag about that big bass we caught or the numbers of bass we caught. This competitiveness has us looking for that secret spot where big numbers of big bass live. When we find it, we like to call it, just like a child will call “Shotgun” when you tell the family we’re going to town. “This is my SPOT”.
I am fortunate, and often get to fish in the middle of the week. While there are still several anglers on the water, it’s never as many as on a weekend or during a tournament. While pre-fishing for an upcoming bass tournament, I will find a pattern with a couple of locations that hold solid bass. Thinking I might have an edge, I await my number in the launch order for the tournament, finally have my number called, and there is already someone sitting where I wanted to start.
With the gaining popularity of bass fishing, tournament bass fishing, and the occasional fisherman wanting to see what all the fuss is about; there really are not any secret fishing holes anymore. I hear it all the time, “No one knows about this spot” or “This spot is mine so don’t fish it against me”. All I can think is WOW, how did you pull off finding a spot that the hundreds, if not thousands of other anglers on the water these past few weeks didn’t find?
Even off shore structure isn’t safe anymore. With the advances of GPS and topographical maps, right on your electronics; every drop off, ledge, hump, or ridge is visible to anyone willing to look. 20 years ago we had to find several points on the bank to line up, where they crossed is where the “Hot Spot” was. This took a lot of work; many anglers didn’t want to put in the time. Those that did the research had a “Secret Spot” and reaped great rewards.
I had a place one time; it was nothing more than a depression about twice the size of a boat. It was inside a flat that was the size of a couple football fields. The flat ranged from 3 to 4 feet, with the hole dropping into 8 feet. The beauty of this spot was that it was about three boat lengths off of the bank. Anglers fishing down the bank never would find the hole, as they passed between it and the bank. So, unless you were to cast behind you, you wouldn’t know it was there. I found it by exploring. This depression doesn’t show up on any maps for some reason. I think it was a land owner that may have built a small pond before the lake was flooded. I came across this depression while I was in search of anything different, brush piles, single stumps, anything that would hold a bass. It was spring and the bass were up on the flats. However, I wanted to find and mark things that could hold fish should weather push them off the banks.
This depression turned out to be one of those places that will hold fish year round, and when bass pull off the banks you can catch a limit around or in this depression, in just a few casts. So even though no one was around I called it, “This is my SPOT”. I was pretty fortunate; for a couple of seasons I never had any competition for this depression. However, it was found by other anglers, and before long there was a Take-A-Number spool on a piece of pole timber next to it. “My Spot”, up for grabs by the masses.
I have never been one to claim a place, then take someone to it and tell them, “you can never fish it”. I have asked friends to let me have it first, or if several places are involved, I’m all about setting up a schedule. I personally think most of us are fooling ourselves if we believe we have some sort of secret. There are just too many anglers, advances in technology, and mapping is amazing. Anyone willing to put in a little time is going to find the best locations to start looking for bass.
So, if you have a “Secret Spot” don’t tell anyone about it, don’t show anyone, and don’t be seen fishing it. Taking the upmost care in protecting your secret water will help. However, someone will eventually stumble across it. More than likely they already have, and you just haven’t been there at the same time. I always try to pattern fish, this way if one of your spots is taken up you have others that should be holding fish also. And if you burn through all your “Spots”, you can look for similar water to fish. Just know that it will probably be someone else’s “Spot”.Get the Net it’s a Hawg
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