Posted by: Tom Keer
October 6, 2011

Tom Keer

Boat Positioning

Our boat drifted along the end of Great Island, Mass. with the current.  I watched my son in the bow cast repeatedly and not catch a fish.  My daughter was in the stern, and at one point she caught three fish in four casts.  She absolutely hammered the striped bass. And me?  I was behind the console, which put me in the middle in more ways than one.

Both were using an identical plug cast on an identical rod with an identical leader.  On the next drift I turned the boat 180 degrees.  Low and behold my son started
catching ‘em up and my daughter went fishless. All was well with the world.

The problem?  It was that the boat position was better suited for the angler in the stern.

When the anglers in the bow cast on a 45-degree angle straight ahead, the boat drifted towards the plug. Anyone in the bow could simply not reel fast enough so as to add action to the plug. Anyone in the stern had a lay up and as soon as the line came tight, either a striped bass or a bluefish was hooked up.

Whether you’re drifting with a strong ocean current or a trolling motor, keep in mind how you cast.  If the boat is heading towards your lure the odds are good that you won’t catch a fish.  Cast on an angle to the boat, let the line come tight, and add a sassy action that will drive the fish crazy.  (Top Photo Copyright Barry and Cathy Beck)

Tom Keer is a freelance writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He regularly writes for over a dozen magazines, and is the contributing editor of Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America and a columnist for The Upland Almanac. His book a “Flyfisher’s Guide to the New England Coast” was published by Wilderness Adventures Press in 2010. Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com

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