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Thread: How fast should you go when covering an area?

  1. #1
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    How fast should you go when covering an area?

    The idea for this question came from the "who don't you like to fish with" thread.......

    Say your fishing an area and want to cover it thoroughly...just how fast should you go?

    .7 MPH on the GPS? (I try to notice what our drift speed is on the GPS)

    Slow enough that you can work a Phantom or similar twitch bait slowly all the way back to the boat?

    I know it's a loaded question but "some rules of thumb" would be helpful.

  2. #2
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    RE: How fast should you go when covering an area?

    >The idea for this question came from the "who don't you
    >like to fish with" thread.......
    >
    >Say your fishing an area and want to cover it
    >thoroughly...just how fast should you go?
    >
    >.7 MPH on the GPS? (I try to notice what our drift speed is on
    >the GPS)
    >
    >Slow enough that you can work a Phantom or similar twitch bait
    >slowly all the way back to the boat?
    >
    >I know it's a loaded question but "some rules of
    >thumb" would be helpful.

    depends on the complexity of the area ... and conditions at the time. all areas are different. it's a 3-dimensional jig-saw puzzle that changes all the time.

    the guy in the back of the boat who isn't paying attention to the shape and complexity of the spot or isn't asking about it is one of the guys i hate fishing with ...

    make sense?

    edit: ... excellent question to ponder!

  3. #3
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    RE: How fast should you go when covering an area?

    That is a very good answer Jon!

  4. #4
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    RE: How fast should you go when covering an area?

    .
    >
    >depends on the complexity of the area ... and conditions at
    >the time. all areas are different. it's a 3-dimensional
    >jig-saw puzzle that changes all the time.
    >


    Let's say it's a 75 yard long 6 feet deep flat inside a bay with solid cabbage and the entire area holds fish. Wind blows the entire flat the same and you've boated fish across the entire area over the years.

    I know a guy that would take three cast horizontally across the flat and be ready to move.

  5. #5
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    RE: How fast should you go when covering an area?

    >.
    >>
    >>depends on the complexity of the area ... and conditions
    >at
    >>the time. all areas are different. it's a 3-dimensional
    >>jig-saw puzzle that changes all the time.
    >>
    >
    >
    >Let's say it's a 75 yard long 6 feet deep flat inside a bay
    >with solid cabbage and the entire area holds fish. Wind blows
    >the entire flat the same and you've boated fish across the
    >entire area over the years.
    >
    >I know a guy that would take three cast horizontally across
    >the flat and be ready to move.

    sounds like a nice campground ...


  6. #6
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    RE: How fast should you go when covering an area?

    >>.
    >>>
    >>>depends on the complexity of the area ... and
    >conditions
    >>at
    >>>the time. all areas are different. it's a
    >3-dimensional
    >>>jig-saw puzzle that changes all the time.
    >>>
    >>
    >>
    >>Let's say it's a 75 yard long 6 feet deep flat inside a
    >bay
    >>with solid cabbage and the entire area holds fish. Wind
    >blows
    >>the entire flat the same and you've boated fish across
    >the
    >>entire area over the years.
    >>
    >>I know a guy that would take three cast horizontally
    >across
    >>the flat and be ready to move.
    >
    >sounds like a nice campground ...


    lol....nice sled...thanks

  7. #7
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    RE: How fast should you go when covering an area?

    It all reverts back to the theory of strike zone that In'Fisherman talked about decades ago.

    It changes with conditions. If the fish's strike zone is twenty yards, which I'm sure it can be in clear unpressured Canadian water, or 20" which I've seen on dark pressured water, you need to put a lure in the strike zone to get bit.

    As the weather changes the strike zone changes and you need to be able to control the boat to be able to cover the water and work the lures well enough to provoke a strike.

    As I mentioned in a different post a while ago, I'll run at up to 2mph on the trolling motor IF the fish are snapping and there are three in the boat on a clear water Canadian trip. It doesn't happen very often though. On the other hand, I'll sit as stationary as possible in an area until I see bubble/line trails covering everything I think might hold fish when working crappy conditions on dark water, or when letting a lure sink deep before a retrieve is required.

    I believe this all gets back to experience and time on the water. The good sticks have a feeling about speed and time spent in spots that's usually right on target. They know the complexity of the spot and the best fish holding locations so they just stay until they have them covered to a degree that feels right. Sure wish I was that good! It would save a lot of time.

  8. #8
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    RE: How fast should you go when covering an area?

    Thanks for all the replies so far. I understand the complexity thing.

    Go with what the other poster said....75 yard shoreline...inside and outside weed edges pretty well defined.

    I consider myself an "average at best" stick but think that we should be seeing more fish than we do. I'm pretty sure we're in good areas but I'm usually trying to find active fish.




  9. #9
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    RE: How fast should you go when covering an area?

    Assuming it was a good spot and it was just me in the boat, for 75 yards of weedlines, if I was under what I'd consider normal conditions and the weeds grew down to 13-15 feet, I'd probably be looking at 45 min to fish the entire area in summer. That would cover pretty much everything. Less time if the inside and outside edges were close enough that you could cover both with a single cast or if there were no inside turns, points, and pockets. Maybe a lot more more if the weeds were gnarly junk weeds instead of cabbage or coontails, where you had to clean your lure after almost every cast. That's really a tough question to answer without seeing the area!

    It would also depend on whether you were on a small lake with very limited spots to fish or whether you were on something huge like LOTW. I'd spend a lot more time on the small lake than on a big lake with unlimited areas to fish. On the small lake you would know you are in an area the fish must be using sooner or later during the day. On the huge lake you could fish for days and not be anywhere near the motherload, just finding a straggler here or there if you were lucky.

    In spring or fall I'd probably slow down a little more too either because the fish were not agressive or because there are more depths to cover in the immediate area outside the weeds.

  10. #10
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    RE: How fast should you go when covering an area?

    Depends on what your idea of thorough is. Does that mean picking off active fish, or trying to get every bite possible out of the spot?

    JEM has good thoughts and I echo what he says.

    In addition it also depends on whether you have fished the spot before, and how many times. First several times I would spend more time for the simple fact of learning it, and learning where the fish typically set up. Along with this comes the experience of knowing how much action you should see while fishing it, and that will enable you to be able to make the call on future trips on how fast to work. If you burn through it fairly fast and didnít do a thing, but know typically you contact several fish, you should probably fish it through again but much slower. The complexity of the spot will really dictate how fast you need to move. A weed bed will take much longer than a boulder strewn shoreline. Lots of fallen timber into deep water could take longer than the weed bed. Mid lake bar with varying depths and lots of fingers may take longer than all of them as not only do you want to cover the rock bar, but the deep water off the edges.

    As JEM mentions time of year will also play a role, with me usually moving the slowest in the fall, but making sure I pick apart structure that I know should have fish. Fall is a great time to learn some spots really well in my opinion, but a poor time to learn a lake.

    Travis Kopke

    "Let em go, Let em grow"

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