Pick the highest percentage

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You’ll also find yourself at times having to pick between two equally enticing opportunities; a situation where neither piece of cover is that much more likely to hold a bass than the other. But still, there’s often some factor that will prioritize one piece of cover over the other.

A pine tree laying directly beside a hardwood is a good example of this. Both are likely to hold a fish, but even if I come to the pine slightly before the hardwood, I’ll go ahead and throw to the hardwood first.

Why? Because the hardwood is less likely to hang. Fishing line, especially braided line, which I personally like to throw a lot around cover, is notorious for digging into the coarse bark of a pine tree. So since I’m more likely to hang my bait up in the pine and then disturb both pieces of cover by going to retrieve my bait, I’ll just fish the hardwood first and then move to the pine once I’m done.

Similarly, if I’m fishing docks I’ll typically pitch to the poles of the dock before trying to skip under it. Even though I catch most of my fishing getting my bait back under a dock, I also realize there’s a risk of banging my bait off the dock on a bad cast and sounding the alarm for every fish in the vicinity. Instead, by casting to the lower-hanging fruit of the dock I stand a better chance of catching a fish before it even knows I’m there. Then, if I don’t get bit or even if I do, I’ll skip the dock before I leave.