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Fishing for a Fish Pattern

By Kastking | 22 January 2018 | 0 Comments

Fish patterns are represented by a fish’s repeated behavior during a specific time or point in the season. Here’s more –



We’ve all heard about “fish patterns” when fishing.  We know it as an elusive thing that anglers search for and the pros talk about it all the time.  But, really, what is a fish pattern?  And how can we establish one when we are on the water.


Every angler has had days where they are hard pressed to toss any lure into the water and not get bit, at least by a short fish.  And other days when we launch the boat, it is almost as if we are destined to spend the day alone.  It can even happen from one day to next on the same body of water.  But, people tell us, if we find the pattern, we will find the fish.  Unfortunately for us, finding the right pattern isn’t as easy as hitting the craft department of the craft store and scooping up the perfect afghan pattern.  We have to search for our patterns, and we have to conduct that search every time we get on the water.


fish pattern, bass, kastking

Following a fish pattern can reap rewards for the knowledgeable angler

The fish pattern we are looking for starts with the time of year and the water temperature.  Some anglers believe that prespawn is the best time of year to fish.  They say that this is the only time of the year that all of the fish are doing the same thing!  The fish, by and large, are cruising up into the shallows from their wintering holes.  They are looking for spawning flats in the warmer shallow water.  From then, some spawn, some are late-comers.  Others are still cruising the flats.


After the spawn, the females move out to adjacent deeper water areas while the males guard the nests against predators.  By mid summer, many of the big fish have chosen deeper havens, and will come up to eat depending on the forage.  This is no surprise to any bass angler.  But what does this have to do with that “pattern” we keep hearing about?


When we’re out on the water looking for a fish pattern, of course the water temperature is very important.  In fact, that will often be the biggest factor early in the year at spawning time.  Water temperature, and available cover, can help us know where to start to look for a pattern that will help us to find fish.


fish pattern, largemouth, bass

Fish such as largemouth bass follow a pattern

Most anglers use search baits to determine a pattern.  Search baits are those that can cover water quickly such as crank baits, spinner baits, or swim jigs.  During the “search” phase, actually hooking fish and getting them to the boat is good, but really, anglers are just looking to find the fish, to see where fish are located and what is holding them.  Once an angler finds a few fish using this method, many will slow down and use a different method such as a jig or soft plastic bait.


It is important to pay close attention when using search baits.  While an angler may think he or she is simply fishing a point, that may not be the actual pattern that will be successful.  It may be a slowly sloping point, or a point that dumps off into deep water quickly.  There may be wood, or a certain size rock that the fish are holding on or around.  All of these factors make a difference.


Catching one fish, or sometimes even two, does not always constitute a fish pattern.  However, the more fish an angler can catch, or even find, the closer to the pattern the angler will get.  In the example above, if an angler were to catch three or four fish all on wind-blown points with chunk rock close to deep water, he or she would know that this is the pattern that will bring success.  If an angler finds several fish on the sunny side of the lake, holding close to wood, that is an indication of what to fish, at least for that part of the day.


It is important to remember, too, that the game fish will be where the bait fish or other forage are.  If the fish are keying on crayfish as a food source, they will be looking down, and will be in areas where crayfish are prevalent.  If they are keying on bait fish, they will be looking up, and following those schools of smaller fish.


The most important thing an angler can do when attempting to establish a pattern is to pay attention.  There may be visual cues as to what is holding the fish, or it may be something more subtle that is not easily understood.  Once an angler suspects a pattern, he or she will then attempt to find that set-up in various area around the lake.  Only then will the specifics of the fish pattern come to light.  Electronics have become increasingly important in fishing, but there is no substitute for an angler’s eyes.  Pay attention to everything around you as you catch a fish.  Remember how you were working your bait, fast or slow, steadily dragging it along the bottom or hopping it up in the water column.  All of these things can help you pattern and catch more fish.

By — Beckie Joki

Beckie NokomisBeckie Joki is a freelance writer and tournament bass angler in Wisconsin.  She has been freelance writing for several years and fishing since she was a kid.  While bass fishing is her primary focus now, she has fished for many freshwater species over the years.  She is the vice president of her local club, The Hodag Bassmasters, fishes a team trail, the Central Wisconsin River Series, and fishes with the Park City Bass Anglers, a TBF-affiliated club in Wisconsin as well as fishing any open tournaments  that will fit into her schedule.  She enjoys the chance to combine her love of the outdoors with her freelance writing any time she can.


About Eposeidon:


eposeidon, fishing, tackle, logoEposeidon  brings a fresh, innovative approach to anglers by offering quality fishing tackle products at the best prices and no cost, or low cost shipping. Eposeidon’s goal is to exceed expectations through outstanding customer service and superior product value to their customers. Eposeidon is continually expanding its product lines, which include KastKing® fishing line, fishing reels, and fishing rods, MadBite fishing lures, Ecooda reels, and other fishing tackle products, to meet individual fishing equipment needs. Eposeidon is headquartered in Garden City, NY, USA and sells fishing tackle products globally. Eposeidon is the exclusive North American Distributor for Ecooda fishing reels.

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