BAITCASTER AND SPIN FISHING
ADVANCED JUNGLE STRATEGIES
We recommend casting towards structure at a 45 degree angle from the boat.
Why? Our fish are usually found holding in one particular depth zone. This is often dictated by the time of the day (and the heat of the sun). Once that zone has been identified, a 45 degree angle'd cast will keep your lure inside that zone for longer.
Remember to try to keep your casts parallel to each other to maximize your ability to work together.
THE BIGGEST PEACOCK BASS IN THE RIVER LIVE ON THE POINTS
NOTE: Every one of our Guides approaches these points differently. That's a good thing! Watch and learn their methods.
Below is Michael's preferred approach.
SECONDARY - EDGES
SECONDARY - EDGES
If you are looking for the largest peacock bass in the river system, look for the points.
The primary zone is always along the submerged point. With the water being so dark, it can often be difficult to know just how far the point goes underwater. We prefer to start from the outside and work our way in. A deeply fished bucktail jig should be your first choice here, but the standard jumpin' Minnow or Rip Roller are fine as well. BIG FISH LIVE HERE. Use your heavy rod and be ready for anything.
The secondary zones are the edges along the point. These areas offer great opportunities to cast to cruising fish. Cruising fish are usually on the hunt, and are very competitive with each other. It will really get you hear pounding when you see a school of attacking peacock bass cruising along the edges of a point!
PRIMARY target area:
This is a prime lie, and the largest of our fish will always hold the prime lies. This area offers the best cover for ambushes and also provides protection from predators. It gives them a place to sleep at night and an unlimited food source haplessly swimming past. Dominant peacocks will defend these areas ferociously.
THE KEY TO SUCCESS in this area is all about where your lure lands. If it lands deep inside the cover, then that peacock will react and will often chase your lure all the way to the boat to eat it. If it lands outside of the cover, he will still see, but he will treat it like the other hundred bait fish that are swimming around his water. He doesn't need to eat it, or push it out of his area. He could care less.
SECONDARY target area:
Unless there are larger fish cruising through this area, this area is often held by small to medium sized peacock bass. There is less cover, fewer places to hide and ambush, and less available food. Because of this, you will often see schools of fish in secondary target areas. Their numbers offer a slightly better chance at survival. The good news about this area is that if you hook one fish in here, you will very often see multiple fish following. Sometimes they will swipe at the lure that is already hooked in your fish!
THE KEY TO SUCCESS in this area is how you fish your lure. Schooled-up peacocks need to be teased into striking. HUNT your lure, really work it. You will see multiple fish dart out and follow here, but none of them want to be the first to strike. MAKE them strike, then have an absolute blast trading off doubles with your fishing partner.
Once you've landed a few fish in here, watch closely for larger fish that may have been attracted by all the commotion and have been drawn out of their primary lies.
OUTSIDE the target area:
Have you noticed that the further we move outside from cover, the larger the target area is? What does this tell you about the importance of an accurate cast in our waters?
Our lure usually lands here by accident. We clicked our bail closed by accident, or a birdsnest has developed and your lure has now splashed on the water. Even though we call this a failed cast, fish it all the way back to the boat.
THE KEY TO SUCCESS in this area is how you fish your lure. FISH IT THROUGH. Just because we can't see anything in here, remember that our waters are full of fish and there is a good chance something is looking at your lure. Make the best of a bad situation, and you just might have an epic fish story to tell at dinner!
READING THE WATER - OUR APPROACH TO FISHING STRUCTURE
Look closely at the photo above. Where will be your first cast?
OK, let's try an easier one. Look closely at the photo below. Where are your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd casts going?
(Yeah, we know that's a fly rod, but the same strategies apply)
LOOK CLOSELY AT THE PHOTO ABOVE...
What do you notice? Chase has a beautiful paca peacock bass literally jumping 6 feet away from him, but he's not even looking at it. Hmm, why do you think this is?
Well, always watch the Guide first. What is Tino doing...he's pointing with his teaser rod!
What is David doing? He's already in mid-cast! Not a word has been spoken, but everyone in the boat knows exactly what is going on. The more our anglers work WITH their Guide, the more in-tune they become with what is happening around them. Our Guides are not boat drivers, they are Fishing Guides. Their insights are absolutely essential to your success in our waters.
Here's what's happening: Remember, always look behind a hooked fish, there is often a second (and much larger) peacock bass that has been drawn out of his primary lie by the commotion. That is exactly what has happened here, and David has been able to respond quickly and accurately. Everyone working together, that's what our experience is all about!
A note from our Fishing Manager, Michael:
"What's the difference between a good and a great angler in our waters?"
A Great angler:
Trusts their Guide. Works closely with their Guide.
Anticipates a strike on every cast. They are actively watching their lure, anticipating exactly when and where the strike will occur.
Fishes every cast, even if they missed their shot. No cast is wasted.
BOAT POSITIONING AND BOAT ETIQUETTE
(This is important)
Imagine a dividing line that begins at the console of the boat. This dividing line is always 90 degrees from the console, regardless of the angle of the shore. The angler in the front (red) should never cast behind the center console, and the angler in the back (blue) should rarely cast in front of the console. The theory behind this strategy is all about allowing the Guide to maneuver the boat in order to maximize the angler's coverage of the structure.
Each angler has his own responsibilities. The job of the angler in front is to work closely with the Guide, listening to his suggestions. If the Guide is using a teaser, Angler A should be casting right behind or along side the teaser. The job of the angler in the back to work closely with the other angler, timing his casts and making sure the lines do not cross. Avoiding collisions is Angler B’s responsibility.
OK, time for a POP QUIZ!
What's wrong with the picture below?
SLIDE 1: Working together as a team. Focused. Engaged with the fish that the Guide is attracting. This boat will catch the most fish, the biggest fish, and will have the best experience with their Guide.
SLIDE 2: Not working together. Anglers are oblivious of the Guide and of the fish that the Guide is attracting for the them. This is very common!
SLIDE 3: Angler A is oblivious of his Guide's efforts. Angler B is trying to work with the Guide, but is crossing lines with Angler A. It is extremely difficult for the Guide to properly position the boat for these anglers.
SLIDE 4: Focusing on the spots he missed, fisherman A continues to fish behind the boat. This forces Fisherman B to fish even further behind the boat. Neither Angler sees the fish that the Guide is attracting for them. Now the Guide has to back a boat into an area to get the Anglers to cast in the right place. This is a dumpster fire, and this is very common!
ANSWER: Where are the anglers casting? That's right, BOTH groups of anglers are FISHING BEHIND their boats! It's easy to break it down and figure out why. They probably missed their first few casts, and are trying once again to make the shot. They've missed the fact that each Guide has already positioned them into prime water and is patiently waiting for someone to cast into it. But...no one is fishing it! This is a very common scenario. The result: a mediocre day of fishing for the Guests, and a frustrating day for the Guides.
The GOOD NEWS is that this situation is easily fixed! The Guest has every right to ask the Guide to hold back so they can try another shot, or to circle back and hit that section again. That is NO problem, and the Guide will be thrilled to see that you are actually paying attention.
(Below: The RED line indicates where the anglers are currently casting. The YELLOW line indicates where they SHOULD be casting.)