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Fish Feeding Schedules

Do Fish Feed On A Schedule


Most people like to eat their meals at about the same time each day. We like an afternoon snack at a regular time every afternoon and many of us have a bedtime bowl of something just before retiring. Have you ever wondered if game animals and fish feed on a pattern also?

I have often watched wildlife get more active and related their activity to the feeding times in the Solunar Tables. If you have ever been around the ocean, you know animals from crabs to tarpon schedule their lives around the tides. The Solunar Tables are based on the same forces that affect the tides. I believe in them enough to try to be on my best fishing hole at the best time.

Two June trips to Oconee a few years ago seem to point out a regular feeding schedule, at least on one point on that lake. My partners and I caught two good keepers on Saturday while checking out some places for a Flint River Bass Club tournament. Both those fish hit on the same point between 11:00 am and 12:30 pm.

The next day during the tournament, in my wisdom, we started fishing that point at 6:30 am and stayed there until almost 11:00. We fished other places until about 1:00, when we returned and fished for another hour. The only keeper bass we caught hit at about 10:45 that morning, not long before we left. We knew fish were there because they showed up on the depthfinder.

A couple of weeks later on Sunday I fished that point in a Spalding County Sportsman Club tournament. We could see the fish were still there. After about an hour of futile fishing, my partner and I were about ready to leave - at just about 11:00 am. As I eased the boat to the marker to pick it up, I thought I hung a stick on my jigging spoon. Imagine my surprise when a keeper bass came to the top as I reeled in the stick! That made me keep fishing.

About 45 minutes later, a fish hit hard enough for me to feel it and I landed another keeper. Then, at about 12:30, I hooked a strong fish. I had to lean over the side of the boat to keep the fish from pulling the rod against the boat and breaking it. I must have been straining, my partner Jim Blair warned me not to let the fish pull me in. I was sure I had a big hybrid on my spoon.

Just about the time Jim laid the net down to get his rod out of the way, a big largemouth came to the top right beside the boat. Jim was able to net it and I really started shaking. The bass weighed 7 lbs. 7 ozs., the biggest bass I had caught in quite some time.

We fished the point until the tournament ended at 2:00 without catching another fish. When we weighed in, I had three of the six keepers brought to the scales. My three weighed 10 pounds, more than the rest of the club put together. Fishing had really been tough for the 16 of us that day - except on that one point for about an hour and a half. It was the same time they had been feeding on it for several weeks.

Fish do follow a pattern. If you catch them at a particular time one day, check out that place at the same time the next day. It might pay off!

I caught my fish in an unusual way for this time of year, jigging a Cotton Cordell spoon around brush in about 25 feet of water. I lost all my spoons and searched all over Griffin until I found some more at Walmart. Jigging a spoon is a good way to catch fish in cold water and it seems to work year round. I always keep one rigged and ready!

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