Watson Country Outdoor Report: There’s no fish here!

February 2, 2020

There’s no fish here!

The Watson Country Outdoor Report is a presentation of the Watson Auto Group, selling Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Fiat in Ludington, Manistee, Benzie and Rockford. “Every season there’s a reason to visit Watson Country. For more information, visit watsoncountry.com.

By Mark Platt, MCP/OCP outdoors writer.

Fishing, one of the many outdoor activities that span and can be shared with generations of family and friends.  Often times, you will hear someone say, “the fish weren’t biting today.”  This can be true from time to time.  However, any angler that spends time learning more about fish behavior is usually going to be the more productive angler.  This is my favorite time of the year to read, listen to speakers, and learn about the science of fish.  There is a wonderful book entitled “Knowing Bass.”  It is out of print and is expensive, but it is a book based on science and has much information about multiple freshwater species. Fish have three patterns of activity:

  • Negative: Fish activity is low and often after a frontal system, especially a cold front comes through.  These days are often associated with high barometric or rising barometric pressure.
  • Neutral:  This is most days.  Fish activity is average and the better the angler will catch more fish. Barometric pressure is stable. 
  • Positive:  This is the day where it seems like everything you throw gets bit.  These days are often a pre-frontal situation on the verge of a storm. The barometric pressure often is going down.

A few helpful hints about barometric pressure.  It isn’t the “secret” to fishing, but it does play a big part in fish behavior and should be taken into account as it will help you with presentation style, line choices, and lure selection.  The barometric pressure seldom goes above 31 inches or drops below 29 inches. Normal sea-level pressure is 29.92 inches.  You can also check your local pressure on most weather apps or checking some very helpful websites Click here.  My personal favorite is available on both the Google Play Store and the Apple Store and is called MyRadar.  I heard about MyRadar from Kevin VanDam. In my opinion, the best professional angler on the bass circuit.

Regardless of a person’s catch, it is hard to have a “bad day” on the water.  It is where memories are made and the fish grow more every time a story is told.  Even when armed with information an experienced fisherman is bound to say, “There’s no fish here!” 

The picture above illustrates this point perfectly.  It was a neutral/negative situation on the water.  My two friends are both avid anglers and we were struggling.

Pete, my college roommate, was almost through the infamous sentence when he set the hook.  It wasn’t much of a fish and Pete got a little careless taking the hammer handle pike off the hook. When the fish wiggled feverishly it set the treble hooks into Pete’s hand (we always carry small hook cutters so this an easy fix).

While Pete and Rob worked to get the hook out of the fish and Pete’s hand, I decided to reel in the two lines that were still in the water as we were slowly drifting down a slow-moving river.  Mine was closer so I reeled it in first.  Pete’s was obviously in and so, I grabbed Rob’s line and reeled it in.  It was stuck in the weeds. I gave it a jerk to free it from the weed’s when all of a sudden the Muskie grabbed the lure while skipping across the surface.

Yep, Pete was wrong, there were fish here!  The pic is great as Pete is taking the picture.  You can see Rob’s face in the background with a disgusted look on his face.  It’s what friends are for I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Mark Platt is an avid outdoorsman, especially in the world of fishing. At his day job (and night job, plus weekend job), he serves as superintendent of Hart Public School.

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