Archive for the ‘Boat Position’ Tag

ZELL ROLAND ON CATCHING BEDDING BASS   3 comments

It is not sufficient to cast to a bed and retrieve the lure, one must find the sweet spot in the bed to either antagonize or seduce the fish into striking.  That is the basic theory of Zell Rowland, veteran bass tournament angler.  Rowland’s theory centers on their being a spot the size of a half dollar somewhere in that bed.  It is the heart of the bed. 

A while back I visited with Roland on the deck of his Skeeter bass boat.  It was spring and we were on Lake Fork in Texas.  The lake is known for the excellent bass fishing in the spring of the year.  He gave me the following advice for fishing bedding bass. 

The spot may not be in the center of the bedding area.  It may be off to the side, in front, or behind.  It is probably the spot on the bed where the female first deposits her eggs.  The male becomes very protective of this location. 

Bass may not be feeding but one can still antagonize fish into striking a lure.  It may require numerous casts over a lengthy period of time to a specific fish.  The patient angler can work a fish’s bed over and over again until he finds the sweet spot.

 As Rowland works his boat along the shore in semicircles around the particular fish he is targeting.  He casts to the fish from three sides.  He concentrates most upon bedding fish and the sweet spot. 

“When we travel down the bank,” stresses Rowland, “we may want the boat to stay in anywhere from 5 to 6 foot of water and follow that contour line with it.”  This way the boat actively changes positions as it travels down the bank.  “The most important thing if you going to structure fish is to keep the boat in position by constantly watching the fish locater. 

Windy conditions make it more difficult but do not change the pattern. 

When fishing a point in the summer, throwing a Carolina rig on windy days, it makes it a lot harder to keep the boat in the position so that you can fish the drop off as you desire.

 When not sight fishing you are actually doing is the same thing you just can not see it.  Rowland explains that he looks for a spot on the point and once he gets the bite he knows where the fish are going to bite.  As he moves from point to point Zell looks for the same scenario to set up on each point.

 “I start on the side of a point and thoroughly fish that point,” says Zell.  “I will want to cover every 4, 5 or 6 feet of that point as I move around it.”  Roland keeps his boat in the same depth of water as he moves around the point.  That makes fishing deep water structure more effective.  He does not go in with a pre-conceived idea but rather responds to the first bite.

 “What the fish do is tell me that they are at this depth, on this type of bottom, and they are either on the right side or the left side of this point,” says Roland.  It also tells him if they are out on the main drop off.  Zell points out that a lot of times in the spring he will position on a drop off and cast parallel right down the bank.  It allows him to cover twice as much water in a lot less time.

 Roland will use a number of different styles of baits.  “Fish hit a lure, shad or crayfish for one of four reasons,” says Zell.  The reasons are sight, sound, smell or vibration.  He maintains that vibration is the reason bass anglers have more than two baits in their tackle box.  They have big crankbaits; they have medium size crankbaits and small crankbaits.  “Normally a fish is going to tell you if he wants to take the big, medium or small bait today,” states the pro. 

Rolland is quick to point out that one should change the action and speed of each lure before switching to a different bait. 

Boat position is the key to catching bedding bass.  Attention to such detail makes for successful angling.

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