1. You can’t catch fish where there aren’t fish. The idea of patience in fishing is silly. I try to stick to the 20 minute rule; if I haven’t got a bite in over 20 minutes it’s probably time to either move on, or seriously switch my tactics. Fish for 20 minutes in a spot. Try a variety of baits, depths and retrievals.
No bites? That means no fish. Move on.
2. Don’t leave fish to find fish. If you are catching fish, don’t think that some other place could be even better. As long as you’re getting a strike at least once every 20 minutes and landing most the fish, stick around till the bite drops off.
3. Look for areas of change. Fish tend to congregate in areas where currents, flow, depth or other factors change. I like to look for areas where calm water meets a moving current, where there are sudden drop offs in depth, or where the bottom shifts from sandy to rocky.
4. Look for Structure. As a general rule of thumb, fish love to swim near structure or areas where they feel protected. Fish love to swim off sandbars, in weed beds, near docks and fallen trees, and they also swim near artificial structures.
5. Use live bait. When it comes to targeting the monsters, I have a strong preference for local and live baits. Fish naturally consume their prey every day, so they know what they eat; even the best lures are still just imitations.
Tips for keeping your live bait fresh: If you have trouble keeping bait fish alive, pick up a $15 water pump from your local aquarium store. These little pumps can keep bait fish alive for days. I also like to buy meal worms in bulk and keep them large flat plastic containers full of oats. They will live for weeks like this.