What is Sight Fishing?

John Thompson with a giant bass caught while
sight fishing with Guide Richie White

     The obvious answer to this question is that sight fishing is fishing for fish you can see rather than those that are not visible. The best time to take advantage of this unique style of fishing is when the bass enter shallow water to spawn.
     As you probably already know, the bass spawn is the process of the female putting eggs into a nest (often called a bed) while the male fertilizes and protects them. This process is very similar to what we see when birds build nests and lay the eggs. Bass will clear out a spot on the bottom of the lake and create an indentation in it to deposit the eggs. Then, the bass will stay close to the eggs to guard them from predators. When the water is clear enough to see the fish, bass fishermen are able to take advantage of those protective instincts and catch bass that are not biting out of hunger. This is the basic premise to sight fishing for bass.
     The eggs are usually too small to see with the human eye, but they can sometimes be seen when the water is clear enough. The ideal depth for spawning bass is around 3 to 4 feet, but they can spawn much shallower and as deep as 20 feet. The bed will usually contrast with the bottom. If the bottom is very light, there will often be a dark bed. Likewise, if the bottom is dark, the bed will be light.

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