It happens more frequently than not. You approach your favorite spot. The spot you always catch fish at but today you get skunked. You know the fish are always there but now they have disappeared. Where did they go?
Well, maybe they are still there but they saw or heard you before you saw them? In most cases, your presence spooked and scattered them. So how to prevent this from happening next time?
There is a child’s game called hide and seek. This popular kid’s game is where the kids attempt to conceal themselves from being seen or heard. The goal of the game is to be the last player found.
Even though they are not aware of it, anglers frequently use the same skills of hide and seek. An angler who stands out on a bridge or shoreline with bright clothing, erratic movements or makes noise not natural to the area is sure to spook an already skittish target. So being stealth is the ticket for improved success.
Most targeted fish have tremendous eyesight and other senses that will warn them that danger is close. Anglers should keep this in mind when planning their next fishing trip, selecting a location or even what prey they plan to target.
Clothing is the first line of hide and seek. Wearing a contrasting shirt color against either a bright or cloudy day can warn the fish that some type of danger is present. So anglers should try to avoid standing out or causing a shadow against the background.
A good rule is “If the sky is a bright blue, your shirt color should blue”. Similarly, if there is an overcast day, your shirt color should match as close to the background as possible. In this case, your clothing could be pale or light grey.
But what about partly sunny or clouds, colors should be neutral or natural. The best rule to follow is use only colors that are not bright or result in the angler to standing out.
Erratic angler movement can also influence a targeted prey to flee. When fishing on a bank or other structure, the angler’s movement is probably just as important as camouflage clothing. Trees or other vertical structures do not move erratically unless there is wind or significant weather condition.
Fish can sense the surrounding weather conditions including wave action, wind and other environmental influences, so they will know what is unnatural. Anglers should limit their movement to a minimum.
Unnatural noise and sounds are also a component of being stealth. Loud voices and talking, haphazard placement of gear, dropping or banging of objects should be kept at a minimum.
Basically, any noise and unusual sounds that are not typically found in a specific location, or other similar noises put up a warning to our target. Even low level voices or placement of gear can be felt or heard for quite a distance both through the air and water.
Being stealth and using good camouflaging techniques will give you a significant advantage. Smart anglers consider these techniques as well as many others when trying to avoid being detected.
If you notice in the attached photo, the anglers clothes match the surroundings.
So next time you visit your favorite spot, be stealth, it might just help improve your catches.
Until next time – Tightlines. Capt. Tony