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Can'tFishEnuf

How Long Before Moving to a New Spot?

9 posts in this topic

With open water almost upon us I thought I would ask a question. How long do you sit on a spot before firing up the engine and moving? In the past I have probably been too patient, mainly because going and finding some other spot/structure took so long. For example, I will work a sunken island or bar walleye fishing for 2-3 hours without a bite before I move. This year I have the Lakemaster chip, so finding spots should be much easier. I know this will probably be different for different species. When bass fishing I'm almost always moving. Just thought it would be interesting hearing from some of you.

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20 to 30 minutes tops. If there's nothing happening we're moving. The exception would be waiting for sunset on a known walleye spot that's a proven evening bite hot spot.

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I'd agree with gunflint. A few passes or a few casts working the structure (20 minutes or so) and if nothing, move on. Unless I'm marking fish and the likelyhood of them being walleyes is high. Then I'll work it up to an hour. If still nothing, I'm moving on.

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Tough question and the answer depends on the lake and the situation.

One extreme ..... In some tournaments my partner and I have been on the spots that eventually produced the winning fish but didn't stick it out long enough - the winners and some teams that placed high in the money stuck it out on those spots all day long, catching nothing most of the day, but being in the right spot when the big fish moved in or turned on. The guys on those spots that stuck it out through many fishless hours were eventually rewarded. It doesn't always work that way though, many teams that think they're on a good money spot stick it out all day only to never cash in on a good bite that day. It's tough to stick it out all day long when you're not getting bites, especially in a tournament where you have time pressure and deadlines, but sometimes having faith in your spot / technique is the right way to go.

Another extreme - fish fast and stay on a spot only as long as there's active biters there, or until you decide the fish aren't active. That depends on the size of the spot and the technique you're using, maybe it's only a couple casts with a jig or a slip bobber, or a couple drifts over some midlake structure, or a couple trolling passes. Run and gun, and cover a lot of water.

Generally I would rather fish "fast" (relative term to the technique I'm using), search for active biters, and watch my electronics to look for fish that I think are active. But ..... it all depends on the situation, sometimes I'll slow down or stick it out in an area and wait for the fish.

Not sure if any of that helps or not. But remember, just because you leave a spot doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't go back to it again, maybe even a couple of times during the day.

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Whether I know a spot is huge...like gunflint said, if It's a known evening producer, I'm sitting tight. But then again, I won't be setting up there at noon...I don't have lake chips and what not, still find my spots the old fashioned way (tho' that may change soon), so I'm used to useing the less productive times of day to search, cover water, try new techniques.

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for me it depends on if there are fish there and just not biting.. or if I am not even marking fish?.. An underwater camera to show me fish are there, just not biting will keep me there to try and get them to bite.

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Thanks guys, some great info so far. Deitz, while using the underwater camera, is it common to see fish below that don't show up on sonar? I never seem to mark many fish in less than 20 FOW, I've heard others say the same. I don't know if there is something wrong with my sonar or if it's just that the boat passing over makes the fish move. Is an underwater camera a good investment?

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Are you old enough to remember the Virgil Ward fishing show? He always said 15 minutes... then move.

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In 20 feet of water your cone angle is quite small.. only about 5 feet of bottom coverage. So, Yes, you can see fish when you are not making them on the depth finder... expecialy in weeds. I will say this.. I do mark fish in less than 20 feet of water.

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