Most of us started out fishing from the bank or off the end of a dock, most likely with a bobber and a worm. At this point, some people will stick with fishing and take it a bit more seriously over the course of their years. Eventually, these same people may upgrade to a small pond boat and then even a fishing boat, complete with livewell and trolling motor. It’s at this point when such anglers realize the importance of knowing how to properly position a boat, especially where lure presentation is concerned.
Boat positioning is a crucial part to your fishing technique, as proper positioning will make presenting your lure effectively much easier. For this reason, you should always try to use it to your advantage. However, you also need to try to stay in place where you won’t spook or scare the fish. This safe area will change, however, on a daily basis, depending on water clarity, current, wind, or light conditions. Learning where this safe area is on a given day takes time and experience.
Even when you’re in a location where you aren’t prone to spooking fish, it’s still possible to make mistakes that will frighten fish. To prevent this from happening, start making longer casts when you’re in clearer water, in order to avoid being spotted. Next, never hit the cover or bank when possible, as this will create unnecessary noise and disturbances. Also, look to your surroundings for help by utilizing cues such as depth, GPS locations, physical land objects, and distance from the bank to help better position your boat.
There are a few aids you can employ to help you better position your boat, as well. For instance, depth finders (LCD’s and flashers) allow you to determine not only depth, but also fish and baitfish activity, bottom hardness, and thermocline. Furthermore, these devices can find an exact location, right down to a few feet, which can be quite valuable when it’s time to seek out your favorite honey hole. Other than electronics, marker buoys are great tools for staying on an exact spot or school of fish. Using a trolling motor too much can be a bad thing, which is where wind socks come into play. These beauties are great for fishing break-line or drift situations. Lastly, you have anchors, but I suggest using them only in extreme conditions, such as to protect a spot, or when bed fishing.
Knowing how to not only get your boat into the best position possible, but also keeping it there without disturbing the fish is a great skill to have on the water. Hopefully, the tips outlined above will help you do just that the next time you’re out.