As the name suggests, they help fishermen catch more fish. A FAD is essentially flotsam (something floating out at sea). It is seemingly still unknown as to why fish choose to congregate around flotsam but they sure like doing so. Perhaps there is something appealing in flotsam whilst for miles and miles in every direction there is nothing but open sea.
This week, MaxSea partner Olivier Journaux, A.K.A. Cpt. OJ, gives his advice on how to find the best fishing spots. He does this both by using the right onboard equiment, and by understanding the types of areas that certain fish like to be found. Cpt. OJ is an accomplished athlete who now provides sport fishing lessons in France.
When fishing with a line, jigging or vertical bait fishing, it has become essential to be extremely precise. In my line of work, I coach recreational sport fishing.
For this, it is important for me to position the boat as close as possible to the fish so that my customers can enjoy close contact with the beautiful fish.
It is also essential to constantly discover new fishing areas, which allow me to manage the amount of fishing in each spot. In this way, I take one or two fish per area out of the water and practice the “catch and release” technique that I described in this earlier MaxSea blog post here.
Then I move on to another area before returning again several days later.
Finding predator fish
To catch a predator fish, first we must find the place it is most likely to be. This is obviously the biggest job, the hardest and longest one to master.
Where are the fish
95% of the time, bars, shade-fish and saithe can generally be found near the water surface. They position themselves above their prey and upstream of the current. The pout, their main food source, usually hides in hollows. As a result, it is very common to catch bars and lean on rock surfaces as this is where the pouts can be found.
To be able to localise the fish, it is essential to have a sounder and GPS system with nautical charts. Unfortunately electronic charts are never 100% accurate. Maxsea TimeZero PLOT or MaxSea TimeZero SportFishing are perfectly suited to fishing as it allows the user to record the sea floor and generate their own, extremely accurate chart of their favourite fishing grounds.
Useful features within MaxSea TimeZero
A computer with MaxSea TimeZero connected to the GPS and sounder can store unlimited depth points, and adjusts for the current water level depending on the time and date (integrated tide information).
This means that by simply navigating in your fishing spot, you are simultaneously saving thousands of contour lines and the precision of your seabed data becomes increasingly sharp.
Thus, in places where all charts tell you that the bottom is flat, you discover hidden contours, sometimes more than 10m high over distances of 500m long. All you need to do is to explore the area with your sounder.
MaxSea offers the ability to create whatever you want, ideal routes, specific marks that can represent fish, rocky peaks , buoys, wrecks etc.
Then you can also add comments to each mark. In TimeZero software, you can consult classic hydrographic office charts, and add your own bathy data, and even record a bottom classification to view the type of sediment in each area
Types of spots favoured by fish
Depending on the direction of the current, we can have a good idea of where fish are most likely to be found.
They are usually
upstream of the current and
above the rocks (the highest point)
just below the first step of a rocky “staircase” if there is one in the area. They like these spots because it means that they are high up yet sheltered from the current. It is often a favourite spot for saithe when the current exceeds 1.5 knots.
By following these steps, I personally found wonderful fishing areas in the rocky waters of Antioch and Breton in France where I came across beautiful fish that had never previously been disturbed by humans.