The Last Frontier Of Sport Fishing
At this point in time there isn't much left to explore in the sport of fishing. Sure there are areas and bodies of water that haven't been explored but how you would fish them is largely already known. The only part of the sport that hasn't been touched at all is open water fishing!
Open water isn't targeted by anglers simply due to the difficulty. When fishing strcture or cover anglers are targetting high percetage areas that fish will use for feeding and are easily identified on maps or visually. Open water fishing is like finding a needle in a haystack. There isn't anything to concentrate fish in any area and the fish are constantly on the move. Despite the challenges open water fishing offers anglers a chance at some of the biggest and least pressured fish in their body of water as they are following and feeding on big pelagic baitfish.
So, how can anglers improve their odds of encountering fish while fishing open water? After analyzing the situation and preparing a strategy here's our tips for maximizing potential of catching fish while offshore fishing in open water:
Pick Your Time - All pelagic baitfish species exhibit diel vertical migration (DVM). This is the technical term for moving higher in the water column under low light conditions & deeper in the water column under bright conditions. Under bright conditions pelagic species are most likey to be more than 30' deep and outside the range most anglers can get to. Low light conditions offer the best chance at these fish as they move higher in the water column becoming more accessible. Pelagic baitfish also make shoreward movements in low light conditions. Anglers should consider targetting open water from summertime into early fall. During the spring most fish and bait are worried about spawning and will be near shore. As the mayfly hatch begins (Late June in Ontario) in deep mud flats this is the first chance fish have to move offshore.
Watch The Wind - Wind moves plankton around a body of water and as such the pelagic baitfish will follow. When there have been constant winds in one direction for an extended period of time (a few days at least but longer the better) the plankton, baitfish, and sport fish will concentrate on one windy side of the lake. If the wind has been switching or inconsitent everything will be spread out and your chances decrease significantly.
Find The Birds - Throughout the day anglers should keep an eye on where the biirds are in open water. The birds will not be far from bait as they are also feeding on them and will cluster on the surface above them. This is one of the few visual clues you will have to help find fish. Fish or bait may also be busting on the surface!
Electronics - Anglers need to be proficient with their electronics to spot bait and fish! Sonar is great but side imaging in open water is your best tool for spotting bait! Increase the side image range as large as possible to help you eliminate water.
Speed - Open water fishing means the fish can be anywhere. Anglers need to cover water fast as they search and should only slow down once around bait or fish! The faster you can cover water the better. This means trolling!
Lure Depth - Just because you are fishing overtop of deep water doesn't mean your lure needs to run deep. Use electronics to se where bai is sitting and keep your lure at or above this depth. Fish in open water feed up so if your lure is below them you're not likely to get bit! Species which prefer the surface temperatures as opposed to cold water in the depths will also rise in water column to digest their food.
The last few tips are things we have learned from reading about saltwater anglers that routinely fish open waters for tuna, mahi, and other species!
Floating weedlines, excessive foam, buoys, or other foating objects will have bait & fish nearby! This is a pattern that we extend into other forms of fishing as looking for the thing thats different. In a weed flat it may be the one rock pile and in open water its a buoy. The thing thats different concentrates fish!
Fish underwater structure like the ones in the image above even though you're well above it! Structures like ledges, humps, reefs will concentrate baitfish and interupt currents creating eddies and other fish feeding opportunities. Even if the fish are nowhere near the depth of the structure fishing nearby them is a surefire way to find more fish.
Don't be afraid to try something different and explore the final frontier of sport fishing. You might just be rewarded with the fish of a lifetime or action nobody else is aware of!
To experience a day of fishing on the water with us be sure to check out our YouTube channel at the link below.
New Wave Fishing Academy is here to teach you all we know and everything we continue to learn about fishing. Check out our fishing courses at the link below: https://www.newwavefishingacademy.com/learn-to-fish-ontario
If you or someone you know is looking to get into fishing or you just want to become a more successful angler be sure to check out our "Zero To Hero Fishing Masterclass" for courses on everything fishing! The masterclass is built to help you learn how to find and catch fish like the pro's by providing all the information you need and a clear development path! Don't miss out check it out now at:
Have you ever wondered why lures don't come with instructions and wanted to know how to fish them? Look no further than our "How To Fish" series where you will learn what each bait is, how to use it, when and where it excels over other baits, our preferred setup to use it on, and the common mistakes anglers make when using it. https://www.newwavefishingacademy.com/learn-to-fish-ontario/fishing-lure-instructions
Check out the results of our fishing students and teachers to see what you can accomplish with New Wave Fishing Academy: https://www.newwavefishingacademy.com/best-fishing-ontario