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Working the circuit intercepting the school


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How many of you have fished small creeks where you could see the bass cruising or migrating around a pool swimming the same circuit over and over. Some fish may pause in certain spots, but overall you can see them slowly make there way upstream and then coast quickly down only to start over. Sometimes fish will cross a pool from one side to another even going through a shallow section into another pool. This is a generalization but if you've seen this you know what I mean.

So how can we use this information? Is this behavior happening all the time? Lately I've been trying to visualize this behavior even when I can't see fish. Maybe intercepting the school of fish is a bigger problem than actually getting them to bite. Just try to get your lure in front of a school of moving bass when you can see them, sometimes it's tough.

What happens when you catch one or spook the school? Many times they head down stream if there's room to swim that way. Probably because they can travel faster with the current than against it. If you spook them and can get them going upstream you can actually corral the bass below a rapid catching quite a few. Eventually if they spook again they'll shoot right past you down river.

What happens a lot is you catch a fish or spook them they head back down river to the beginning of the pool or the lift area. Mean while our fisherman keeps plugging away upstream with a school of fish right behind him. Turn around and cast to the fish behind you or better yet always let your fishing buddy go ahead of you. Let him catch the first couple of fish but if you hang back you can catch a lot of fish as they spook and regroup at the bottom or lift area of the pool.

This may also be a case for working down river on bigger waters. You catch a fish or spook the school, they head down stream as you work down and the fish regroup and head up toward you. You can intercept them again and again.

So we're not only fishing spots were fishing trails. The waters moving, the fish are moving, our lures are moving and often we are moving. I'm heading out in the morning thinking about intercepting the school.


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I've used this concept with casting to visual cues in the murkier water of my flow. I'll throw downstream of the spot where I got the cue, it seems to payoff more often than not.


I have watched fish on a current break dart out grab some food, slide back with the current. They then flip back into the seam and move back up to where they started.


Maybe the fish are most active by the egdes of the pools because they have learned that this is where it is easiest to catch some food. Once their prey is up against a barrier of sorts it's easier to grab them.

I watched a pack of small pike do this to a group of minnows in a small pool. They worked together to herd the minnows into a corner and then tore into them. Maybe the groups of smallies are looking for prey they can do the same to.


The bottom, the surface and shorelines are the ultimate in edges and we have experienced feeding opportunities in all three. No reason why current barriers, though less limiting, couldn't be used similarly.


Maybe part of the reason the crankbait cast downstream and worked upstream works is because it intercepts fish on the move.


How about next time we try one guy working the head of the pool and the other guy the tail, maybe we take turns pushing the fish to each other. Just as long as you leave me the big ones... :rolleyes:

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