Benton: How To Boat Giant Bed Fish Without Seeing Them
As temperatures begin to warm around most parts of the country bass begin to migrate to the shallows for their annual spawning ritual. While timing varies depending on what body of water you choose to fish, one thing is for certain. This can be the best time of the year to target your personal best. One technique that can be extremely effective during the spawn is “sight fishing”. Targeting spawning bass while they are on the bed or nest can be extremely rewarding, but often times equally as frustrating.
Big Bite Bait pros Drew Benton, has made an enormous amount of money targeting bedding bass, and has several tricks up his sleeve that will help you become a better “sight fisherman”. One of those tricks involves not seeing the bass whatsoever.
Drew Benton cut his teeth sight fishing for giant largemouth on some of the top fisheries in Florida and Georgia before qualifying for the Bassmaster Elite Series. Benton has relied on sight fishing for a large amount of his tournament success, and is an expert when it comes to catching them off of the bed whether he can see them or not. “Sight fishing is obviously one of my favorite things to do when I have the opportunity, but you have to realize that conditions are not always going to line up perfectly for you to visually be able to see every fish you catch of the bed,” says Benton. Day three of the 2022 Santee Cooper Elite Series event was a prime example of Benton relying on his instincts to put together one of the biggest bags of the event (28-15), and vault into championship Monday (Saturday was canceled due to weather). “I had found some fish late in the afternoon on Friday that I had planned on starting on first thing Saturday morning. When they canceled Saturday due to high winds, I was not very confident that those fish would still be where I left them.” Benton continued. Greeted by cloudy, windy, low light conditions on Sunday Benton headed straight to his pair of bedding bass, hoping to get the day off to a good start. “As soon as I got to the fish I realized that there was no way I could see them. The wind was blowing straight in on the bed, and it was really dark out. In a scenario like that I have to believe the fish are still there and try to visualize how my bait is positioned, and how those fish might be reacting to it.” After upsizing the weight of his tungsten slip sinker to combat the wind, Benton went on to quickly catch two fish that he couldn’t visually see off a bed on his Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog to get the ball rolling on his best day of the event. “Sometimes even if you can’t see the fish, you just have to believe that they are there and fish accordingly.” Benton concluded.
Give this trick a try the next time you are faced with adverse sight fishing conditions, and remember that you don’t always have to see the fish in order to catch them when fishing for bedding bass!