What to do after you mark fish

Drew Stephens

Almost A Member
Dec 6, 2017
108
67
26
Ventura, CA
Name
Drew Stephens
Boat
Sunbird Neptune 230
Hey guys quick question. When metering around for fish and you come across a school, how do you go about dropping down on them? I know sport boats will do a big circle while throwing chum to see if they rise up but what about smaller private boats? Do you guys just take it out of gear and chum or reverse on them? What about deeper fish you're trying to drop down jigs and sinker rigs in them? Far as Im concerned a regular transom mounted transducer everything you see on the screen you're passing over. So how would one "set up" on marks to have them right where you want to fish for them?
 

MYNomad

Heading South
Dec 12, 2007
4,135
4,690
Pacific Northwest / West Coast Mexico
Name
Rick
Boat
Yes
Depending on species, the marks are not likely to be stationary. I have the benefit of scanning sonar, so I can make a big circle while keeping an eye on the fish. I don't have the bait to chum nearly as aggressively as the sport boats, but we will throw some out and keep our fingers crossed. In years passed, trolling was more effective than it is reported to be now, but a good percentage of my troll-caught fish have come from finding fish on sonar then continuing to troll around them.
 
Upvote 0
Mar 11, 2006
969
497
61
san diego
Name
curt ljungquist
Boat
22 sea cat/16 klamath
For me,
Inshore drift fishing : First get an idea which direction you will be drifting. Chances are the fish are on a rock, ledge or hard bottom. Turn into the drift and slow down until the marks stop. Stop the boat and try to drift back over the marks you saw. Anchoring well................... Start with drifting.

Offshore : Stop when you see marks. Throw bait and jigs and see if they respond to chum. Those fish are mostly on the move and without side scan you won't be able to follow them. Throw chum way down swell and drift through it.

Remember, you don't really know which side of the boat the marks are on. The marks you see are what just happened and what just pasted through your transducer's cone angle depending on the set frequency.

Sometimes its a guess, but the guesses get better with practice.
 
Upvote 0

SaltH20Angler

I'm not superstitious... cuz it's bad luck.
  • Aug 6, 2016
    1,372
    1,840
    SoCal - Corona
    Name
    Christopher
    Boat
    I know a couple guys...
    Hopefully the marks are thick. We generally putt around slow when seriously looking, so when the marks show... just throw the throttle into neutral.

    Quickly get a bait/jig in the water, and use your free hand to scoop a small net full of bait and flip a few dines in. Your fishing buddies should take turns flipping every so often until you get bit or continue looking.

    Your specific bait situation, thickness of marks, and how your day has been going up to that point dictates how often or how much you chum.

    The way I see it is that if the marks are pretty solid, then it's probably a good size school. If it's a good-sized school, the extra 20 or 30 ft you might slide after putting it in neutral at a low speed shouldn't make a difference one way or another as long as you get a hook in the water.

    That said... I probably do what @zing1402 said more often than not...😁
     
    Upvote 0

    NaClAddict

    Member
  • Jul 18, 2008
    549
    422
    torrance
    Name
    Greg
    Boat
    22 glasstron
    Small boat here. I never have more than 3/4 scoop off shore. I need to ration bait or I’ll run out. I don’t circle and throw bait. If I’m trolling I might circle or box Without chum. It really depends on recent patterns though.

    My boat is the biggest teaser I have, fish come up to fishy boats. I usually only throw chum if I’m going to fish the flyline, there’s been activity on or near the surface, or I see fish coming up on the meter.
     
    Upvote 0

    sickcat

    Silverback
    Aug 5, 2003
    3,608
    1,614
    64
    LA
    Name
    Kerry
    Boat
    Yellow spot
    Offshore? I'll idle around an expanding circle a couple times to get a better idea what i'm looking at on the meter. If they are over 50-60 foot deep I'll idle upwind enough to give the bait time to fall into the water column. Smaller private boats should have a bucket of chunks ready to go. Chum a couple at a time every 2-3 minutes after staring with have a dozen initially. If the meter looks really good then I'll drop some live chum initially and continue with chunks.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Blackfish
    Upvote 0

    Shane R

    Almost A Member
    Jul 30, 2020
    118
    96
    Yucca Valley
    Name
    Shane Reil
    Boat
    Next year hopefully
    Make sure you drop a pin so you know that is where the marked fish were last seen. Get out of the area as quick as possible. Marked fish are know to jump in the boat at anytime and cause damage to terminal tackle can get very expensive.
     
    Upvote 0

    dsl

    I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Nov 20, 2017
    1,286
    565
    California
    Name
    Larry S
    Boat
    Landlover
    Get on the radio and say the fish are 20 miles North
    Reminds me of salmon fishing when it's slow, boats are chasing the radio all day, then the bit turns on where they left.
     
    Upvote 0

    MYNomad

    Heading South
    Dec 12, 2007
    4,135
    4,690
    Pacific Northwest / West Coast Mexico
    Name
    Rick
    Boat
    Yes
    I thought I would mention a neat feature on Furuno fish finders -- maybe others have it too. You can scroll backwards through your finsh finder readings, freeze the screen where the fish echos are are, and put a mark on that spot. That mark shows up on your chart plotter, and of course you can push "go to" and engage your AP, which will take you straight to the spot.
     
    Blackfish
    Blackfish
    Yep, is’t a awesome feature. Was fishing with a guy in Florida who had that newer version. So cool.
    Upvote 0
    Upvote 0