When looking for “Places to Fish in a Bay,” there are several things to consider. You really need to look at the topography using a GPS or Fishfinder. When you do you will notice several types of terrain to choose from such as reefs, hills or humps, channels or holes, shallows or shoals and convergence zones.
Reefs offer great fishing and consist of any sold structure, natural or manmade. Look for oyster beds, rock outcrops, wrecks, bridges or jetties. When you are fishing these structures consider:
- Habits of the fish you are trying to catch. Predatory fish circle the outskirts of structures, baitfish usually wander in and out of the structures.
- For fish living deep in the structure fish with your boat over the structure, anchored. Drop the bait down to the fish. When you get a bite maintain a steady pressure on the fish to get it up so that it cannot swim back down into the structure to safety.,
Another great place to fish in bays is hills and humps. They are popular hiding places for prey and tend to redirect currents. When fishing a hill or hump consider:
- Position your boat over the structure so that you can drift while dragging baits across the bottom or gently swimming it over varying depths. These are great spots to troll and use live baits also. You can even anchor here and drop the bait down near the bottom.
- Once you catch a fish here, you will notice there are others in the same area here. Its good to mark a spot on your GPS and then drift back and forth over the hill or hump.
Depressions or Holes, along with Channels on the bottom of a bay attract fish. Fish can hide in these areas and they offer relief from conditions predator fish find intolerable, such as extreme temperatures.
- Since saltwater is denser than fresh, deepwater holds cleaner water with higher salinity levels. Predators prefer to patrol the edges of a channel or hole like this.
A well known popular area to fish in a bay is the shallows or shoals. They resemble fishing a hole, hill or channel. There is an abundance of bait in these areas.
- Look for a variation in the bottom structure to find the fish. Its best to fish these areas at night when game fish move onto the flats so they will not become a victim of birds. Depends on the situation, trolling, anchoring or drifting can be effective techniques over the shoals.
Last but not least, Convergence Zones are great areas in a bay to catch fish. Look for where the freshwater and saltwater merge. This is called a convergence zone. They are great place to fish because the salinity levels will attract saltwater fish for feeding and breeding. The border between the two bodies of water might only appear as a ripple or color change to an angler, but function almost like a concrete wall for fish. Many times they are of different temperatures, currents, colors and salinity. Fish will use them as feeding stations to round up bait fish.
- Always explore both sides of the break in a convergence zone before fishing
- Trolling is a great way to cover this ground, but drifting baits towards the break works well too.
Regardless of where in the bay you decide to try your luck, the bay is one of the most successful fishing experiences you will ever experience. Its a great place to learn to saltwater fish and affords beginners plenty of room to utilize different techniques and terrains. Get out there and fish one of the man Texas and Louisiana bays today.