School’s in! Targeting high-pressured fish on the weekend

Terry TumaNow in the back-in-school season, we’re seeing more weekend anglers. So do I give up fishing weekends this time of year? Absolutely not. I love fall fishing, but I make sure I’m one of the first people out there in the morning. For certain species of fish, this also means fishing after dark. When pressure increases on a lake, it’s even more important to eliminate noise factors. You’ll also see me downsizing lures, working slower, and using more scented baits.

This can be some of the most productive fishing of the year, but don’t hurry the fish. Concentrate on what you are doing and let fish tell you what they want.

I often see how successful anglers have more confidence. Does that indeed play a role in catching piscatorial critters in a high-pressure situation?  You bet it does. If you feel good and feel like you have a good spot, that plays into high confidence to catch fish. It’s good to have favorite spots, and everyone has them, but have secondary locations on your radar.

This works even in highly pressured waters, say a location someone else just vacated. Will I still fish there if I believe it’s a good spot? Sure, because those fish may turn back on again. That said, I at least go to the outside edge, especially if I’m seeing a lot of angling pressure.

Some might ask, “But someone was just there. Aren’t those fish spooky?”

Don’t get too worked up about pressure, with bass especially. They may have been hooked before, and we can catch fish again. Earlier this summer I caught a big bass on a plastic. It had a big plastic worm in its mouth, which I removed, then I released the fish! No doubt someone else caught the fish again later, maybe multiple times this summer and early fall.

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