Now I must admit, I walk cautiously into this one. Not because I don’t believe a HydroWave works, because they certainly do, but I believe some folks can get a little carried away with it. For those who don’t know what this device does, a HydroWave is an electronic device that has a speaker used to emit the sound of different baitfish and scenarios below the surface. I believe it is effective at activating and reactivating fish in certain scenarios, especially the ones we’re talking about today. It makes perfect sense that, if slapping the water gets a fish’s attention, the recordings of bass busting the surface would do the same thing.
I just don’t use it in all situations, like when fishing stumps in 2 feet of water in the summertime. If I’m targeting a fish related to a piece of cover in super-shallow water, why would I want audio playing at the foot of my trolling motor that may draw the fish away from the cover and to my boat? It can actually work too well at times, so learning when to use it is very important.
Activating schooling fish is one of those situations when it works very well. Rotating through recordings of different baitfish sounds and feeding scenarios has to help. I’ve seen it be productive myself and remember one particularly cool story from a trusted friend of a HydroWave’s drawing power. During a day on the water, this angler sat down to retie. As he made his way back to the front deck, he looked down in the water and saw a catfish nosing the HydroWave speaker on his trolling motor shaft. He had had his doubts himself up to that point about whether or not it really made a difference, but was understandably convinced from that moment on.
Fishing for schooling fish can be frustrating. It has its moments where you’ve never experienced anything better and then there are times where you feel like you’re chasing your tail. Use these three tricks to try to reactivate the school the next time one dies down on you. Slapping the water with your bait or hand can get things going again sometimes and throwing an intentional wake in the school’s direction works well, too. Don’t doubt the effectiveness of a HydroWave, either; it can be misused at times but undoubtedly has some effect on the fish and certainly doesn’t hurt in situations where the fish are in open water and not aggressive.