Have you ever been on the water, trying to figure out why the heck the fish just aren’t cooperating — and then all of a sudden things just go crazy and you can’t keep your lure from being swallowed?
Yeah, we’ve all been there. Of course, we’re not going to complain when we have that hour or so of unbelievable fishing.
But what gives? What changed?
Well, Mississippi’s Sam Davis has it all figured out.
At least he knows where to go to figure it all out.
The former bass tournament angler turned die-hard speckled trout killer said he never hits the water without checking his secret weapon: a wildlife feeding table.
“You watch it: When you’re coming up on (when the table says wildlife should be active), note the birds and the wildlife and stuff start moving,” Davis said.
He told me this during a recent trip up a coastal bayou to catch speckled trout and bream (yep, we caught both within a 100 yards of each other), and it was almost like a switch had been toggled.
“We’re coming up on (a feeding period) right now, and have you seen the gar rolling like they are now?” he asked.
Gobs of small minnows of some kind also started showing up.
While our speckled trout fishing never picked up on our artificial lures, another couple of anglers using live shrimp reported an increase in catches.
When we switched to crickets for bream, we could barely get the little hoppers into the water before our corks disappeared beneath the water.
Davis said even his wife has noticed the difference.
“I was talking to my son on the phone the other day, and he said Carmen just said that I was catching fish because she noticed the squirrels and birds were moving around the house,” Davis said.
These tables are all over the web — and in this magazine, they’re called the Sportsman Moon Tables. So they’re easy to find.
Davis uses tides4fishing.com.
The charts include major and minor feeding periods, and Davis said both are times when you should be on the water and have your bait in the water.
“If you get to a feeding period — especially a major feeding period — and the tide and wind are right, it can get stupid,” he said.