Fishing on the Dock of the Bay

So, for all you music fans out there here is an oldie but goodie to listen to, while you contemplate this "Fishing on the Dock of the Bay" blog on how to fish a bay!  Sitting on the Dock of the Bay Music Video

Locating a great fishing spot inside a bay takes some skill but with a GPS, or Fishfinders, it can  be a lot less tedious than you imagine. When searching for a spot try to locate reefs, hills, humps, channels, holes, shallow shoals or convergence zones, just about any kind of terrain variation could turn into a hotspot for any angler.

A bay reef is really any solid form of structure under the water. Look for rocks shooting out from the shoreline, an oyster bed or even coral reef. There is also such a thing as artificial reefs like a boat wreck, bridges, jetties or that type of thing. They are also very good fishing locations. When fishing these areas keep in mind what type fish are inhabiting this territory and target them. Predator fish will usually circle the outside perimeter of the structure, while the baitfish remain close for safety reasons. Drop you bait near the structure and work it outward to the perimeter to catch the big fish, just like the reefs smaller residents do. If the reef is beg and deep enough it can have large species that live deep within the recesses of the reef, such as grouper. To catch these fish navigate your fish over the reef and drop a line with bait down deep to the fish which are lying in wait. You must keep steady pressure on the line when reeling in a fish that is near the reef so that it cant swim back inside the reef and cut or snag the line.

When fishing a hump or hill on the bottom you need to remember to drift while you are dragging baits across the bottom of this area. You can also swim live bait at different depths over the area to attract your prey.  Trolling the area with lure is another popular method for these type situations. When you hook a fish this way, know that other fish will be there also. Be sure and mark the spot on your GPS if you have one and continue to go back over the same location in the same fashion for even better results.

When you find a depression on the bottom of a bay it will either be a hole or a channel. Fish love to hide in these places. They offer some relief for intolerable conditions elsewhere in the bay, such as harsh temperatures, high salinity, fresher cleaner water. When attempting to fish a channel hole try to drift bait using a two-hook bottom rig. Keep your bait on the bottom. Don't be shy about trying different directions because fish will move with food sources and current.

If you happen upon a shallow shoal know there is an abundance of bait fish in that area. Look for a variation of terrain in that shoal. These are great night fishing spots. The fish move into these areas at night because they are hidden from the sight of predatory birds, by the darkness. You can easily troll, drift or anchor as an effective technique for fishing a shallow shoal. Many anglers love to actually get out and wade or pole their boat in these areas, but be careful not to run aground.

Most anglers know about convergence zones because they are such a great spot to locate fish. They work the same everywhere, fresh or salt water. You find an area where two bodies of water convergence and fish that area. In a bay convergence zone you will find that the variation of water salinity levels will also be an added benefit to fisherman. It attracts saltwater fish for feeding and breeding. The border of these two bodies of convergence may only be noticeable by some ripples or a change of water color it acts like a structure or wall to the fish. They become feeding stations where they can locate and round up baitfish.  Always explore both sides of the convergence zone when picking a spot. Trolling is a great way to cover a lot of ground in these locations. You could also drift bait or at it towards the breaks.

Bay fishing is fun, challenging and can be the best of both fresh and saltwater worlds. You are close enough to shore to enjoy the land, birds, nature and convenience of a freshwater experience, while still being able to nail some pretty large tasty predator fish and relax to the sound of waves crashing the shoreline. If you have never experienced the amazing surroundings of bay or estuary fishing you don't know what you are missing. Give it a try and you will be the richer for it.