Tips on Sight Fishing for Big Fish

Daniel C Nielsen   Thursday, March 22, 2007 11:35 PM

Sight fishing is absolutely one of my favorite ways to fish. It puts you one on one with fish that know you are there. It makes catching them a whole lot more satisfying because the odds are more even.

I have been sight fishing for years. It was one of the first ways I started catching bass. And it is one of my primary methods of catching fish in and around weed beds.

Anyone can sight fish as long as the water is clear enough to for you to see the fish. The water visibility factor will affect how receptive the fish are to your presentation. It will also affect what your presentations will be.

First off, there are a lot of ways to sight fish, but one of the best ways to catch bass involves sight fishing live bait for them. Whole nightcrawlers on free-rigs are absolutely deadly on these bass. Minnows work better around twilight unless you come across a huge school of crappie. If you keep your eyes open and your attention sharp, that is not as hard as you think. Leeches can be incredible in the early morning hours for walleye and bass. Crayfish are great for shy smallmouths.

I have been experimenting with head hooking two crawlers on one weedless hook and let me tell you, the results speak for themselves. Almost like using a pork frog and dancing it across the weed tips to entice the fish. The tails of the two crawlers writhe independently and entice spooky fish far better than anything else I tried.

Sight fishing in general usually involves soft plastic baits. grubs, twitch and stick baits, smaller pork baits,and smaller straight tail worms. These presentations are used because they can be cast in front of a fish and feathered so they land softly and don't spook the fish. They are also tough enough to stand the vicious wear and tear of smaller fish attacking your presentation. If you are sight fishing correctly, this will happen pretty often.

No matter what presentation you try, drab and natural color clothing is the only way to go. Bright colors are easier for fish to see and you want to remain as "invisible" as possible. Stay away from whites, yellows reds and oranges. Browns, Blacks, greens and blues are alright because the blend in to the background better.

I do know one sight fishing fanatic who actually wears camo clothing and face paint to catch some of the largest bass I have come across in the state. So much so in fact that I am actually considering the tactic to use at some of my favorite holes to see if it increases the size of my catches.

Wading can be the best way to sight fish. it puts you further out in the water and enables you to see fish from a vantage point that is not accessible from the immediate shoreline. If the water isn't that clear, then even a few inches can make a difference in the fish you see and the fish you miss.

Another tip is to keep the sun to one side of you, never in front of you. When the sunlight hits the water at certain angles, it enables deeper penetration and allows you to see more fish. This is especially evident in areas of shade. If you look closely, you can see fishing hanging in the shady areas. If the sun is in front of you, it is reflecting back at you and hampering your view of your surroundings.

If you do choose to wade, move slowly and surely. There is never any hurry. One fall in the water can scare any potential fish not to mention put you in some serious danger.

Top waters are a good choice but usually my last choice. Too many other options work with this tactic, but an angler should always be ready and unafraid to experiment. It is how we all learn and is important to the overall learning process.

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re: Tips on Sight Fishing for Big Fish
6/16/2008 3:27:40 AM  dimitri says,

i'd like to have a fishing tutorial or lessons, i like fishing so much but the problem is i dont know how to use my fishing house is near in the sea inshore...i sit there all the time..can you help me? best regards to all and more power...

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