Here are some things to watch for to find the bait:
- Most obvious - small minnows jumping out of the water - sometimes with swirls of bigger fish behind them
- Loons feeding
- Gulls feeding - often circling one spot
- Herons on the bank
- Small dimples on the surface of the water. When shad are near the surface, it often looks like small raindrops falling over a limited area of water.
- Seeing balls of baitfish on your depthfinder
- Groups of boats fishing one area. This is especially true of crappie fishing in the spring.
When you find the baitfish, try to match their size with your bait. Match the hatch. Vary your depth till you find the feeding fish. The fish you want to catch will be near their food source.