There are four primary components that determine a fish feed: Water level, wind velocity and direction, air pressure and water temperature.
Keep a log of those hot bites and how they relate to these four components, and with some hard work, you will begin to think like a fish. Or fish like you think.
Some anglers who keep logs of these variables and how they relate to a feed say it’s the best way to not only predict a fish bite, but to become a master angler.
The NOAA Web site has the information for these variables in different regions.
But it will take some work, some paper and a pen (or preferably a pencil in the event it rains on the boat) to take notes.
During a trip, record what time — in hours and minutes — the fish were biting. Back home, check the NOAA web site and see what the four variables were during the feed. Notices any changes just before the feed in the barometer, wind speed and direction or tide. Sometimes, the water temperature drops a couple degrees, triggering a feed.
Capt. Ray Markham of Backwater Promotions has said he had a log going back 15 years, but eventually tossed it because he no longer needed it. The information became etched in his mind as a summary of how to predict a fish feed.
Anglers also should consider water clarity. Fish cannot see a top-water lure, for example, when sediment or particulate cloud the water. Anglers should reel a lure quickly in clear water to ensure the fish cannot get a good look at the lure.
To prevent short strike in the event a fish such as a snook cannot get a solid take on the lure, get a 12-inch piece of monofilament and tie it to the straight part of the treble hook at the back of the lure. Tie on a Clousser Minnow or Lefty’s Deceiver, for example, about 2 inches long, at the end of the line.
When the fish short-strikes the lure, stop reeling. The fish will see the fly falling down to its level. When the fly falls, give it a small twitch and wait for the fish to strike again.
Consider the conditions, and after many years of records, friends can wonder where all that knowledge came from.