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#11775075 - 08/13/16 02:58 PM When Graphing, What Do You Look For?
tbates Offline
Angler

Registered: 03/18/12
Posts: 266
Loc: Lubbock
This is my first summer with a graph and I'm starting to understand it quite well. Sometimes I think I spend more time graphing than fishing so I can learn more. What I have found out that the when schooling bass that leave streaks on the screen are easy to catch. The ones sitting still and showing up like arches seems to be pretty tough and strike softly. I've also noticed some holding to structure, some suspended and very few just sitting on the bottom. I don't stop for ones and twos as I don't feel it's worth the time. Here is the funny thing, I don't really catch a whole lot in the deep zone unless they are really active.

So here is my question. Do you like to graph structure and fish it, or do you like to graph fish and target them. Not really sure if I'm making rookie mistakes by watching a screen all day...what's your thoughts?


Edited by tbates (08/13/16 03:20 PM)

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#11775193 - 08/13/16 04:32 PM Re: When Graphing, What Do You Look For? [Re: tbates]
Donald Harper Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 12229
Loc: Justin, TX.
You have to understand that it is shooting a very narrow band of the bottom. Some of the biggest and numbers of fish have come when I only saw one or two fish on the screen; but they were good ones.

Graphing structure and fish are one in the same to me. You will find that a piece of structure like a ledge with heavy cover on top in 15 ft. of water in the last 1/3 of the major coves or creeks will be your best search areas. I like to start looking back there when the water depth is 20 ft. in the middle of the creek. On lakes that are holding heavy cover with hardwoods and grass; I will start at the 30 ft. mark and work toward the back.

I use a hard map to locate the channel swings as the creek bounces from one side of the cove to the other. I am always looking for irregular features like:
- Very shallow points with the steepest drop into the creek channel.
- Sharp bends in the creek. I like both inside and outside bends equally well.
- Heavy cover on the lip of the creek.
- Creeks with a sharp lip of a 5 ft. drop into the creek or more.
- 12 ft. has been the magic depth for me. You are shooting a narrow band at that depth. If that area has the quality and you see one or two fish; then fish it.

I want to find the shallow water fish at daybreak before moving out to deeper water in that area to search. If there is a great top water bit shallow then you can figure that they live close by during high skies. A great area would be one that produces quality fish on a regular bases in the shallows. I spend many hours fishing shallow to find these quality fish then figure out where they are coming from
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#11777780 - 08/15/16 08:49 AM Re: When Graphing, What Do You Look For? [Re: tbates]
tbates Offline
Angler

Registered: 03/18/12
Posts: 266
Loc: Lubbock
Mr Harper, I'm glad you mentioned the swath of the radar. Now that I think about it I've, been scanning with 200hz in about 15-30 ft of water and that is about a 5-10 wide path with 200hz. I think I'm gonna keep looking in the same spots Ive been looking, not to mention what you suggest. I'm going to change to 83hz and get a wider picture and focus on good cover. At Alan Henry, that's 95% of the lake! I'm going out this Friday, Ill let you know how it goes. Thanks, man!

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#11778357 - 08/15/16 01:34 PM Re: When Graphing, What Do You Look For? [Re: tbates]
flexpress Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 02/04/02
Posts: 5916
Loc: Terrell Tx
are saying 83hz is wider ?
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#11778360 - 08/15/16 01:38 PM Re: When Graphing, What Do You Look For? [Re: tbates]
flexpress Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 02/04/02
Posts: 5916
Loc: Terrell Tx
are saying 83hz is wider ?
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#11778371 - 08/15/16 01:45 PM Re: When Graphing, What Do You Look For? [Re: flexpress]
Wayne P. Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/16/10
Posts: 3431
Loc: Charlottesville, Va
Originally Posted By: flexpress
are saying 83hz is wider ?


Humminbird's spec coverage for 200 kHz is 20 degrees. Its 83 kHz coverage is 60 degrees or three times as much.

Using the spec coverage, 20 degrees equals 1/3 the depth and 83 kHz equals the depth. Those are measured to the -10db pulse strengths.

The actual coverages are more at lesser pulse strengths.
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#11778399 - 08/15/16 02:01 PM Re: When Graphing, What Do You Look For? [Re: tbates]
bellamy72 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/28/11
Posts: 145
Loc: RED OAK
Nice facts to keep in mine.

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#11779350 - 08/15/16 11:17 PM Re: When Graphing, What Do You Look For? [Re: tbates]
Big Kev Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/20/15
Posts: 72
In my experience there are two basic schools of thought here. One is go fishing and locate fish the other is try and pin point the fish and focus on them. Both have merit in my opinion. But it has been my experience (I am no pro and have not won any big tourneys yet) it is much more efficient to try and pin point fish and then fish for them, provided you have side scan. I find most of my fish with it. When I am idling around I locate most of my bass on side scan (80' both sides). I am running a Lowrance Gen 2 at the console and up front. Both have been tuned by Slade and the only other units I have seen that compare are the Humming Bird Onix on Keith Combs boat (bad to the bone). Not sure if all Onix units are that clear or if he has them set up properly (I am betting he just knows his stuff). I came to this conclusion (pin pointing then fishing) after fishing in the Pro Bass Class last year on TB. I had the chance to fish with the big boys and I noticed this is how they locate fish out deep. Basically they sit down with a paper map and mark up an area of the lake of spots they want to look at. Then they head out there and start looking. They fish each spot for 20 to 30 minutes (if they see them on the graph) or until they get bit. If it is not very productive they move to the next and so on. In my simple mind this allows for a couple of things. First you cover lots of water in a short amount of time and it allows you to focus on areas that are productive and not just fish dead water. Now this does come at a cost. Some of those really big fish like to hang out alone and will not school up with the small fries (under 7#ish, just my opinion). Plus there are a lot of areas that will hold one or two decent fish that you will not be targeting.
Having said all of that I will also tell you 2 years ago my largest one day stringer was about 12 lbs. Since I have started to learn my electronics my daily average has been climbing. I am not where I think I should be yet but I have had some 30 lb days and those days are just phenomenal. Of course they never happen on tournament day but one day they will. Just keep in mind there is always more than one way to skin a cat and you need to find the way that best suites you, then build from there.

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#11779741 - 08/16/16 10:24 AM Re: When Graphing, What Do You Look For? [Re: tbates]
bellamy72 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/28/11
Posts: 145
Loc: RED OAK
Keep plugging it will happen.

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#11779963 - 08/16/16 12:15 PM Re: When Graphing, What Do You Look For? [Re: tbates]
the skipper Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/04/11
Posts: 1828
Loc: nederland, TX
Your doing it right. On the fish that won't bite, try a crank or really hopping a worm up off the bottom. You have to get that first reaction or two then the rest will start eating too. You will eventually learn what size fish you are seeing on the graph and whether they are worth stopping. I can't tell you what exact weight the fish is but I can tell when its 3+lb fish from little dinks.

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#11780045 - 08/16/16 12:47 PM Re: When Graphing, What Do You Look For? [Re: tbates]
EastTexasBassin Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 07/15/09
Posts: 793
Loc: Lake Ray Hubbard
On structure, I'm mainly looking for baitfish. If I see shad, I fish it. Even if I don't see anything that looks like bass.

There have been plenty of times when I caught big fish on a point or hump and all I saw when I graphed it was a school of shad.
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