The Secrets of Fishing Top to Bottom
By Guest Blogger, Captain Gary Burch
While fishing around the inshore waters, flats and back bays, I have always preached to my clients that fish don’t always hang out on the bottom to feed. For that matter, offshore species don’t either.
It is very important to find out where in the water column the fish will be feeding. The water column refers to the surface, mid depths and the bottom. It doesn’t matter whether you use artificials or live baits, follow these simple suggestions this Fall and you will increase your chances of catching more fish.
Fishing the surface with floating lures can be done almost everywhere. You can cast baits in six inches of water all the way out to hundreds of feet deep. Best time to fish floating baits is in the early morning or dusk. Fish will feed on the surface in these low light conditions.
Next, let’s look at the mid depth area as it relates to the water column. This refers to below the surface and above the bottom.
These lures are called subsurface or suspended baits. Most of these lures are made to drop down one to three feet below the surface. The action from this type of artificial is very similar to the floating lure but it’s below the surface. Also, jig heads and live baits can be suspended in the mid depth area by using a float.
Last, is fishing the bottom area. Fish do hang out on the bottom in the grass, along rocks and oyster beds to ambush their food. This usually means that you will have to use some type of weight to get your artificial or live bait down to the bottom. One of the most effective methods for catching snook in the passes is to throw out a pinfish or grunt and let it slide along the bottom naturally.
If your fishing conditions change or the action is slow, try fishing another part of the water column. Keep looking for the right combination and I know you will catch more fish!
Captain Gary Burch has been fishing the Tampa Bay fishing region, including Clearwater and Dunedin, for over forty years. He grew up fishing the local inshore waters for tarpon, snook, redfish and trout. For more information about Captain Gary Burch or to book a charter, please visit www.allcatchcharters.com