Conventional wisdom suggests you must be a fisheries biologist to be a lake manager.  Ask a lake manager his opinion.  He’ll tell you it requires creative skills somewhere between a fish whisperer and a coach developing a game plan to win the Super Bowl.  Growing trophy bass is achievable. Just maintain off-the-chart food chains.  Catching them, however, can be a BIG challenge.

As the old saying goes, bass and bucks become trophies being—smart.  With patience, you can sit on the dock and train bass to eat from your hand.  For a reality check, watch You Tube clips of them inhaling a crank bait or worm and quickly spitting it out.  The angler never feels a tick on the line or suspects he had a bite.  Watch them swim up to a crawworm, a favorite forage, and swim away without striking.   Here’s where it pays to be a fish whisperer and understand their psychology.

Fish in the below screenshot demonstrate moods.  You assume locating such a school would produce a record day.  The angler drop shot jigs and spoons for 30-minutes.  He should have been able to snag one, but never got a bite.  Soon, the fish moved away.

Fish finder

In early days of lake management, the rage was stocking pure Florida bass.  They had genetics to exceed 10-pounds and set records.  But, as Florida’s reach trophy class, they become as savvy as a wily coyote or that big buck you’ve chased for years.  Then, you might ask, why we catch one with the tail of its last meal still protruding from its gullet.  That’s where fish whisperer savvy would help.  We just know bass are top line predators.  Even though, it shouldn’t hit your lure from hunger, we speculate it was a defensive reflex because you intruded its territory.

Granted, some days conditions are perfect.  They’ll hit a bare hook just because sun reflected off of it and resembled a shad.  Like we’ve experienced too often, getting a bite can be as hard as getting your wife to go on your first date.  Catching is fun, but matching wits with big bass can be equally rewarding; especially in February and early March when pre-spawn weights approach lake record levels.

Fish in water

If you’re pondering a way to test fishing skills and observe what we described, stalk the shoreline this spring.  Flip to a big female on a spawning bed.  It can be an–exciting and/or humbling experience.