Learning your graphs

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Fishing small water can really help accelerate your graphing skills. This isn’t something that applies to fishing from the bank obviously, but if you have a small boat or kayak with a graph on it, knowing what you’re fishing around in a pond can really help you learn to identify what you’re looking at when you hit the big water again. There are even a few stocked ponds I’ve been able to get a fiberglass boat in.

Knowing that these ponds are only stocked with bass, bluegill and shad, I’m able to graph around and get a good idea quickly of exactly what I’m looking at. There are obvious differences in the size of all three of those species and how they group up. Where on a larger lake or river, I’m liable to see crappie, gar, carp, catfish and a whole slough of other species. So for someone new to electronics, there are far fewer variables in a pond.

This was particularly useful when learning to use forward-facing sonar a couple years ago. Forward-facing sonar is awesome. But, it can run you crazy as well. Being able to see fish everywhere, you can waste hours trying to catch something that’s not even a bass or spend a lot of time trying to catch bass that are inactive. Fishing in a pond where I knew what I was looking at with that technology translated to me more quickly identifying bass, and active ones, on bigger fisheries.