Thursday, July 7, 2016

This time I'd like to talk about patterning fish.

All fish are subject to changes in behavior directly associated with specific stimulus. Spawning, migrating and foraging are just a small part of the big picture. To truly understand your target you must consider it's habits completely. 
Right now in my neck of the woods it's prime time for mangrove's snapper so I thought they would be the most appropriate fish to discuss for the moment. 
To pattern these fish so that you're catching them on a consistent basis means that recognizing that there are multiple factors at play. Again, this is true for every species. First you must understand the fish's seasonal movements. If the fish aren't there to begin with none of the other factors at play will matter and you'll be wasting your time. Do your homework and you'll realize that these are subtropical and tropical fish. Ideally, the water should be pushing a minimum of 78-80 degrees. Much cooler than that and mangrove snapper can be tough to come by. Warm water gets them moving as it does for they're prey, warm water loving bait fish like mojara, pilchards and sardines.. Hmm... Right there you have a connection. Warm water fish + warm water prey species... 

Having identified that mangrove's are a seasonal species that are highly subject to water temperature and seasonal bait fish movements, you can go on to identifying likely habitat. Mangrove snapper are a structure oriented, ambush predator with a preference for high profile, rock or reef type structure. During the heat of summer, these fish stage near areas of high current close to inlets. Jetty's and bridges offer prime snapper grounds. The turbulent water and jagged structure make ambushing prey much easier. Immediately, here you have two more pieces of the puzzle. Heavy structure and current... Even though we've been discussing mangrove snapper, there is an elementary lesson to be learned here. Patterning fish means identifying and putting together pieces of the puzzle. So far so good...
story courtesy ofDavid Ronald Hartwell @ Big Dave's Slay City. Land based lessons

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