How to draw more strikes by fishing on the drift
| HOOD OUTDOORS
Drifting is a common technique used by many anglers to cover a desired area of the lake. Whether you are in active fish or if the bite is off, this is a good technique to work an area until you find those predators you seek.
Drifting may not be as precise as structure fishing, but at times it will draw more strikes. If the fish are willing to chase a bait, drifting may more readily draw the predators in.
You can get fairly precise when drifting over structure. You can also be not so precise when you want to work a large flat area to locate active fish.
The speed and direction of the wind will of course vary your presentation, and you may have to adjust to get your bait at the right depth. A nice small chop on the water makes for a nice drift.
If there is too much wind, many will use a drift sock to slow their drift. If you do locate some fish and the wind is a little more than you expected, mark the location where you caught the fish with a buoy. Chances are this location will have others close by especially, when you are dealing with stripers, hybrids and/or sand bass.
If the wind is too much to handle, I will usually anchor at the location I marked. If that doesn’t work, go back to drifting or work the area with your trolling motor to see if you can locate more active fish and bait.
I have seen occasions where the fish would only hit a bait while the boat was drifting and not when the boat was stationary. It happens. At times, one theory is that the fish are just being aggressive and want the chase.
The other theory is that the predators more readily locate the bait when drifted (moving) versus the bait sitting still in one location. Both are more than likely true at one time or another.
When working a shallow flat that is less than 10 feet deep, the fish may be spooked by the boat. Drifting with your baits away from the boat may be more productive in really shallow water.
Using a float or a balloon rig is effective in this situation. The predators can be real shallow this time of the year.
Drifting a live shad on a Carolina Rig and allowing the weight to bounce off the bottom can be real effective too. If you stir up the bottom, active fish will come in to see what the “fuss” is all about. Active fish in a school also compete with each other, which is to your advantage.
Anytime you have an area where active stripers, hybrids or sand bass, don’t forget to thrash the water with your rod tip, even when drifting. You will bring in more predators to your bait.
If the bite slows some, thrash the water again and you may start to get bit again. Believe me – it works.
HOOD COUNTY FISHING REPORT
Water temperatures are in the 60s and falling with the recent cold snap. The best report on Lake Granbury is that there are numerous black bass being caught all over the lake. Many are mixed with schooling small stripers and sand bass in 10 – 15 feet of water.
Crappie are good near structure near creek entrances. Catfish are good on cut-bait and prepared baits.
Keeper striped bass are slow on live bait. Stripers are being caught near Indian Harbor and near DeCordova Bend.
Squaw Creek catfish are good to excellent on prepared baits and cut shad. Squaw Creek largemouth bass are good in numbers to 6 pounds on soft plastics fished near main lake points. Tilapia are numerous in the backs of creeks and sloughs.
Whitney striped bass are fair to good on live bait fished near McCown Valley. Possum Kingdom sand bass and small stripers are good on slabs near Broadway.
Graham hybrids to 7 pounds are good on live shad.
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