Let’s make a little fishing noise

June 15, 2013

No one can really know how the fish will react to noise on any given day, but if you get enough data you can make some educated choices.

I bring up this subject to reflect on years of fishing on area lakes, and those of you who have fished with me know how I thrash the water.

Typically on most days, the noises from a large boat (inboard or outboard) can shut down feeding fish. This happens all the time, especially in the summer when anglers are competing with pleasure boaters.

I have seen the bite stop as a large boat comes too close to where I am fishing. Many times you can wait several minutes and they may start feeding again.

This won’t happen all the time, but it may be worth the wait if you were on good fish.

If the stripers and sand bass are deeper, the less impact the surface noise has on the fish. However, even fish deep in the water column can be impacted by large boats running on top of them. This of course depends on the day and how active the predators are.

It is a good idea for pleasure boaters to avoid anglers if possible. I believe on Granbury you are supposed to stay 100 feet away from other boaters per the Brazos River Authority. The TPWD rule is 50 feet on most reservoirs.

We all know that some days when the fish are really active, there is not much that will bother them when they are feeding. We also know that fish in shallow clear calm water can be spooked much more easily, and that is why it is good to make long casts to make sure you don’t spook the fish.

Most folks who haven’t fished for striped bass are surprised when I start thrashing the water to “call in” fish. This thrashing mimics feeding fish and those curious predators looking for an easy meal will come in to investigate. This works for several species, including white bass and hybrid striped bass.

Learning when to thrash and how long to thrash comes with experience. Though, initially a good water thrashing is good when you first arrive.

Once the fish start biting, you don’t want to thrash too much. When the bite slows some, you may want to start the thrashing again.

As I alluded to earlier, the large engine on a boat can stop the fish from biting. I have seen this many times. I have also seen that on Lake Bridgeport the big engine on a boat could be used to call in fish (believe it or not). Whatever the reason, I have seen it work.

It is my last choice as typically motor noise can spook fish. I only try that option only on Bridgeport and only if I am having a tough time getting the fish to bite (try anything at that point).

Another question to ask yourself is what would it be like being underwater on a busy weekend on Granbury with boats and jet Skis buzzing above you? This racket must have some kind of effect on the fish. If I was a fish, I would probably go hide.

Some species may move up creeks and such, but many of the stripers and sand bass probably go deeper. I believe this is the case on many area lakes on weekends.

Sound, as we know, is transmitted easily and travels more in water than air. Those who dive know how loud the noise of a passing boat can be.

Aluminum boats can transmit a lot of noise to the water as well. It is a good idea to use carpet on some kind of coating that will minimize noise on the water. Again, I have seen many sand bass anglers on Whitney “tapping” the side of their aluminum boat with a stick to call in the sand bass while they are jigging slabs. This tapping brings in the curious sand bass for sure.

My best advice is to gain experience on the water and gain confidence in using noise to your advantage. If the noise is not working, stop for a while and see if makes a difference. Conversely, if nothing is biting try calling them in. You may be surprised.


Water temperatures continue to rise quickly with the hotter temperatures. Some areas are pushing the 80-degree mark.

Granbury sand bass action continues to be good on most days on slabs. Black bass fishing is reported as good as well. Summer patterns are moving in.

The black bass action on Squaw Creek continues to be good for numbers of fish on soft plastics.

Lake Benbrook hybrid stripers are good to 7 pounds on live shad. Benbrook is less than two feet low and all ramps are open.

Possum Kingdom and Lake Whitney continue to boast on the sand bass fishing. Lewisville sand bass and hybrid stripers are good on mid-lake humps on live bait and slabs.

Good catches of hybrids are also available at Lake Proctor and Lake Bridgeport.

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Category: Sports Archived