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Casting Angles

Blog by: Jim McFarland , Colorado 9/26/2017

A couple months ago while fishing one of our beautiful mountain lakes, I had a perfect day.  There is nothing better than catching the breeze just right so your tube drifts the exact direction you like at the speed you like.  This was such a day and drifting the lake that way was pure perfection.  My recollection of how many greenbacks came to the net that day is hazy, however suffice it to say there were many.  As long as I was drifting with the wind and casting at a particular angle, fish on!  Kicking on the way back was a different story and vividly recall only landing 2 fish on the way back, although I was casting to the same places as before. This was really nagging me and then remembered FishfulThinkers (Chad) recent show with LastKast2010 (Kris) where they specifically spoke about casting angles. So, I emailed the stars of said show and one more pro RonnyCast (Ronny) and asked for more info. The response was wonderful to say the least.

Ronny stated, “It could possibly be you caught the bulk of the active fish first time through therefore less going back.  Angles or direction of cast and retrieve however can make a difference.  Especially if there is a current.  From your description, speed might also be a factor.  Drifting in the wind as opposed to kicking into it will speed your jig up or slow it down. Sometimes on cover the fish end up on one side of it or the other following the shade so casting angles to that cover can be key. That can also be the case on structure as well especially on points.” 

Kris added, “I am a huge fan of fishing angles. At a lake like Navajo.. with SO much different cover (rock, brush, trees) making the right cast is MOST important. Most of the time I am fishing a shady side of some form of structure, which is where the bass will be staging up this time of the year. (summer and hot) The wrong cast can not only ruin the chance of the fish biting, it can also ruin the spot for a few hours… Spooking the fish. When fish are shallow this time of year, they become very aware of what’s around them and become spooky. A miss-placed cast can be fatal for getting that fish to bite or react for a while. I also believe that this time of year is also very much about LONG cast, which can also make the … accurate cast very hard to pull off. I do agree with Ronny, that going through an area will produce most of the active fish on the first pass, but angles WILL play a part with doubling back and making a second pass through a good area. Being vigilant with understanding angles and remembering the correct angle and maybe even looking for a marking like a tree on the bank to help set up or repeat a cast can help.” 

As for Chad?  Well wouldn’t you know he already has published an article specifically about casting angles.  I’ve taken the liberty of excerpting a piece of his article for this blog as follows. While the term “angling” is originally derived from the angle of crude, middle ages fishing hooks, it might as well be a reference to the all-important direction from which you present and retrieve your fly or lure. Yes, casting angles are that important! Short of pure vertical fishing (think ice fishing or perhaps vertical jigging), casting angles play a critical role in getting fish to bite. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about trout in a river, bass in a pond or sight fishing redfish on a flat – if your lure comes in from the wrong angle, you won’t get a bite and in many cases, you’ll actually spook the fish you’re trying so hard to catch. Conversely, find and execute the right casting angle and the bites will come easily. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the right lure presented at the wrong angle is less effective than the wrong lure presented at the right angle. What exactly do I mean by casting angle? I mean the angle which the fly or lure is presented in relation to structure, cover or visible fish. Each scenario is different, but the importance of the angle is equally important across all three.

You know, it’s amazing how simple yet in the same breath how very technical fishing can be!  Who would have thought how important an angle of cast could be?  Obviously our FxR pros have.  Ronny, Kris and Chad, thank you very much for your input and insights on this topic! 

What I posted from Chad is a fraction of his article. The full piece can be found here:

Cool MarkingsGreenback on my fave HD patternit was a great day
my battlefield 
Blog content © Jim McFarland
Blog Comments
team FMFO , CO   9/26/2017 8:29:56 PM
Good read Jim & nice pics.
bron, CO   9/26/2017 8:44:48 PM
Great read Jim! Angles are equally important from shore, you never catch as many casting straight out as you do at an angle down the soreline....especially when you drop it in front of cover.
Kev-o, CO   9/27/2017 3:40:34 AM
I never thought that casting at structure where fish are holding would be so incredibly important. Right lure will trigger hits you'd think. Wrong lure right presentation is a real eye opener to me. Definitely food for though Jim. Thank you.
LastKast2010, CO   9/27/2017 9:35:08 AM
Great article Jim... angles are important.
Fishful Thinker, CO   9/27/2017 3:21:25 PM
I had just published that article so your timing was great. Thanks Jim! CL
Ajax5240, CO   9/27/2017 3:32:08 PM
So... you mean... like, the angle that your powerbait hook hangs off the line? Does it matter if the powerbait has glitter in it?
Kithme, CO   9/27/2017 11:15:14 PM
Vary obtuse.
Jim McFarland (anglerwannabe), CO   9/28/2017 9:02:41 AM
thanks guys and for more in depth information about angles, please read Chad's article. Ajax, sir, it is quite challenging to put power bait on a single J hook. Angle of placement is critical and glitter oft adds cohesion.
Fish4Colorado, CO   10/27/2017 3:02:34 PM
Thank you for the informative article. It amazes me how well it can work with bass using certain lures and various angles.