John's Journal...


How to Find Cover

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: You can have your cake and eat it too. Charlie Ingram, a bass fisherman on Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Alabama, on the Georgia/Alabama border, practices catch and release when he fishes for bass. But he also takes home a mess of crappie for the skillet on almost every outing. Ingram has developed a technique for bass fishing that allows him to catch big bass and large crappie at the same time. The bass go in his back livewell, and he shows them to his buddies at the marina before he releases them. He puts the crappie he catches in his front livewell and never opens it until he arrives at home. Click to enlargeThen he takes the speckled sides out to fillet. While fishing a jigging spoon at almost any time of the year, Ingram catches crappie weighing 3/4-pound to 2-pounds each. Also when fishing a jigging spoon in these same places, Ingram takes bass weighing 2- to 10-pounds each.

In years past, Charlie Ingram used his depthfinder to locate stumps and submerged tree tops on the edges of creek and river channels where he wanted to fish. Often he saw fish on his depthfinder, but at other times he didn't see any fish even on a small bit of cover. But he kept on fishing. "I Click to enlargefish every piece of cover I find on a river or a creek ledge because many times depthfinders will lie," Ingram said. "The depthfinder often will show no fish holding on cover when in fact plenty of fish are on that spot. The depthfinder doesn't really lie. It just doesn't have the ability to look under limbs, logs and stumps where fish are sitting in ambush. Also if fish are holding outside the cone angle of the depthfinder, you can't spot them. I've learned to use my depthfinder to locate cover and depend on my jigging spoon to find the fish."

Click to enlargeMany anglers who fish vertically won't stop and fish a piece of cover where they don't see any fish. However, they should, as Ingram has proved over and over again. "Bass have a notorious reputation for lying under stumps, limbs or roots," Ingram reported. "The depthfinder can show you the stumps, limbs or roots, but it can't show you the fish under that structure. Therefore, if you fish any underwater cover and not only cover where you see fish holding, many times you'll catch more and bigger bass and crappie than you will if you just fish the spots where you've seen fish holding on the cover with your depthfinder."



Check back each day this week for more about DOUBLE DIPPING SPOONS

Day 1: Where to Fish in the Summer
Day 2: How to Find Cover
Day 3: How to Fish the Jigging Spoon in Deep Structure
Day 4: How to Use a Satellite
Day 5: What About Pesky Bass



Entry 302, Day 2