Fishing with Kenny: More Than Meets the Eye
article by Kenny Covington
As fishermen we all have a habit of looking for the “perfect spot.” No matter if we are looking for our next throw or our next area to fish, we are always looking at what we can see to determine each situation’s potential. As long as we can see it, we tend to find value and reason to fish it.
Once while working on a fishing article with outdoor writer Chris Ginn after I had thoroughly fished a cypress stump, he made the comment that he didn’t like fishing stumps. When I asked him why, he replied, “They just don’t look as good as a nice big cypress tree.” To which I replied, “Under the water, a cypress tree and a cypress stump look just the same.”
As anglers, we are very quick to use our visual skills when it comes to figuring out the fish catching puzzle, but often times it is the things that we can’t see that produce the best. In our fishing waters, we have an abundance of visual cover, such as cypress trees, boat docks, grass lines and other bank related features. These are a fisherman’s eye candy. Everyone sees them and usually that means everyone also fishes them.
While it is agreed these examples of bass habitat are prime features on any body of water, often times it is what is underneath the surface that makes such areas even better than they actually are. It could be a small creek channel curving its way through a cypress tree flat. It might be an old log road that cuts through the middle of a cove. It may be something as simple as a subtle depth change or even a change in bottom contour. In bass fishing, little things can mean a lot.
Once while fishing a team tournament, my partner and I won the event fishing an area crowded with other tournament anglers. We didn’t have a secret lure nor were we able to get away from the other fishermen. We figured out the fish were not relating to the cypress trees but more to the root systems out away from the actual trees. We caught fish all day fishing behind other boats. They were so busy focusing on fishing the actual trees they never discovered what was going on around them.
Areas that have grass can be similar. Always look for isolated clumps of grass separate from the main grass area. Often times these small grass clumps will also grow around a large stump or pieces of wood making it an even better bass magnet. When trying to fish a 500 yard stretch of milfoil or coontail the possibilities of where the fish might be can get overwhelming. By identifying smaller areas you have made your search just that much easier.
Grass lines will usually identify a depth change or bottom contour change, so use this to your advantage. Fish the contour lines of the grass just as you would fishing a land point. These type areas easily stand out. While they may not seem to be that significant, to the fish they mean a lot. Fish the deeper outer edges just as you would a creek channel. Allow the grass to show you what is underneath the water, and fish it accordingly. The possibilities are endless as long as you allow yourself to see beyond what your eyes take in.
Surely you have heard the stories about the person who simply throws out in the middle of nowhere to stretch his line with a long cast and he catches a lunker bass. While to the casual observer that is considered a “luck cast,” there was a reason that bass, especially one of the larger variety, was out there. Large bass, like large deer, are rarely somewhere out of coincidence.
Take a minute to fish the area more thoroughly. Watch your depthfinder as you move around. Maybe there was a cluster of stumps on a high spot. Maybe there was a small sandbar. These type of places hide in plain sight. It’s simply a case of where the inobvious escape us.
Become open minded about the bodies of water you fish and you will find more fish catching opportunities. The most unforgettable fishing days you’ll ever have will happen, when you find a school of bass that no one has located or fished for. That‘s bass fishing at its finest. Just remember there’s always more than meets the eye!
With the summer months being upon us, please take extra precautions when out on the water. Use sunscreen and drink plenty of water. Enjoy the gifts of Mother Nature, and make sure you catch one for me! See you next month.