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Top Fish-Finding Tips: Reading The Water

For loads of us, getting out on the water to drop a line and see what’s biting is a favorite summer-time activity. Whether you cast from the shoreline or take your boat out into open
waters to try your luck, reading the water is crucial to the overall success of your fishing ventures.

At Fusion, we work hard to make sure your fishing expeditions are enjoyable as possible with our top of the line marine audio equipment – you need something to do while you’re waiting for the fish to bite, after all! So grab your rod, download your favorite playlist, and follow these top fish-finding tips to make the most of wherever you’re tripping to on the water this summer.

Ocean Fishing

If you’re coastal, and someone who enjoys heading out into the wide open spaces of the ocean for a spot of fishing, learning how to read the sea for saltwater fish is key. To the untrained eye, the ocean can seem featureless, but when you know what to look for, you can maneuver your boat to the best fishing spots all summer long.

The same principles apply to oceans as they do with lakes and rivers, which we cover next. Put simply, you want to find cover, depth change, and currents. Rocky areas in bays are ideal because they provide all three of these key factors. Scan the water in your chosen area for disrupted water - a sign of schools of bait fish, as well as birds sticking close to one specific area of the water. Follow the diving birds, and you’ll find the fish you (and they!) are looking for.

Essential Ocean Fishing Tune: "Fishing in Our Soul" by Jill's Cashbox

Lake Fishing

Fishing on the lake is (comparatively!) easy when you’re atop the water and can navigate the boat from place to place looking for fish. However, if you’re standing on the shoreline and trying to find the best place to cast, there are a few ways you can increase your chances of finding fish.

Firstly, look for places along the lake that have some cover. Find a nice spot that has weeds, rocks, and changes in water depth - the more severe the drop off, the better. If you’re out fishing on a windy day, fish on the side of the lake that’s downwind so the waves carry the food source toward you to act as bait for the bigger catches that you came for.

Essential Lake Fishing Tune: “Bait a Hook” by Justin Moore

River Fishing

Fishing on a river poses unique challenges when it comes to reading the water. Because of the current, it can be tricky to know what to look for, especially if you’re used to spending your time on ponds or in lakes.

Fish in rivers tend to gravitate toward slow-moving water because it requires less energy to swim against the current in these areas. You’ll also find schools of fish hanging out in these areas because the slow-moving current makes accessing food significantly easier.

As we’ve said already, look for areas in the river that have cover or breaks in the current. Scan the water for rocks, debris, a bend etc – and cast your line in these areas. A lot of the time, you’ll be able to identify where the fast-moving water meets the slow-moving water by a line of bubbles that makes its way to the surface. Find a deep patch of slow-moving water and you should be walking away with a brag-worthy haul at the end of the day.

Essential River Fishing Tune: “Lazy River Road” by Grateful Dead

Becoming a more efficient fisherman is simple when you know how to read the water and coastline. Looking for cover, food sources, and minimal current are key to finding as many fish as possible. So, turn up your tunes and follow these tips; your catch will make you a fast favorite at family BBQs this summer season.