When is a Bass like a Cow?

Let’s set the scene for this…… I am uber busy with work at the moment and as I write this in between store visits in the food court of a shopping centre, the fact of the matter is I haven’t been for a fish in weeks. Maybe it’s making me crazy. Maybe it’s a stroke of genius. I’ll let the reader decide.

When I first mentioned this to Simon Goldsmith a year or so ago he chuckled and said “go on then, I dare you to write something on it”. Here it is.

The idea started easily enough as fishing for natives in impoundments requires you to use your minds eye to imagine what the underwater terrain looks like. Impoundments flooded sections of the surrounding land; the rolling hills or steep cliffs or whatever in between will give you an indicator of what to expect below the water. Some impoundments like St Clair, Glenbawn, Somerset, Windamere etc. etc. are flooded farm land and livestock graze right to its edges. So after imagining a lot of grazing land under water, I started imaging where the fish would be.

Now we get to the crazy part. The livestock tended to be where the fish would be. Fishing is all about patterns and I’ve been doing a lot of driving past grazing land and it seems to me that cows and fish have some similar habits.

Everybody "schooled" up under the one tree

Everybody “schooled” up under the one tree

How can these insane ramblings of a fish deprived person help you, I hear you ask! Well with ABT, BASS Nation, Hobie Kayak Bass and many other series coming into full swing at the moment, I think the opposite can be just as true. If you look at where the livestock is positioned and think about WHY they may be there, I think you will find Bass. Yellowbelly and other natives will follow a similar pattern. Thereby giving you a visual representation of what a Bass might do in similar circumstances.

Most seek shade during the heat while small groups still feed

Most seek shade during the heat while small groups still feed

For example, we all know dawn and dusk are peak feeding times for natives. Sheep, Cows, Goats and Kangaroos all do the same. As the sun rises livestock will tend to go into a “neutral” pattern laying around shady trees (standing timber) but you may well still find 2 or 3 still feeding out in the open but you will never see that “small school” of 2 or 3 cows sitting in the sun. They are out there to feed even if it is the heat of the day.

When it is cold in winter the livestock tends to the side of a hill or paddock that catches the light first to warm them the same way Barra might tend to the warmer side of a dam for obvious reasons.

Early morning sheep roam freely eating their fill

Early morning sheep roam freely eating their fill

The obvious thing I have left out is a food source. As livestock are herbivorous they don’t have the same requirement as fish to stay near bait schools. Having said that though I think when it comes to livestock, their “bait school” tends to be a water source. You can have pretty much all the cover, shade and safety but if it doesn’t have a water source to drink from the livestock will go for the slightly inferior cover that is close to water.

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Josh is rambling, Vicki is catching!

Rambling crazy person. I know. But I think that if you use what you can see in the livestock and ask why they are there at that time and use that knowledge to work backwards once you are on the water, I truly think it will help you find the fish you are after. Catching them is up to you 😉

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