Have you ever wondered about what would have happened if you had stayed for two more days instead of fishing for just one day? I often think about this especially if I am out there somewhere exploring new swims. The general rule of thumb here is that one has to stay at least 24 hours on a new swim to get a general idea. One day gives us enough time to test the water during daytime as well as at night. Sometimes fish only bite on a given swim at night and at other times during daytime only. If no fish is caught within one day and no fish is seen in the area then probably there is no reason the return there in that particular season. I would like to highlight “in that season” meaning the swim still can be a very good one at another time of the year!
Here is the next question: OK. We have seen fish on the swim or we might caught one. Should one stay for a few more days? The answer is yes. This is the ONLY WAY to find out what a swim can do. Unfortunately I could not go out fishing at this time but my friends did, and as a positive example I would like to bring up their success story. Tough guys. Nothing more proves this than the fact that they went out fishing just one day after a two weeks long cold front left the Dallas area. It was a very cold two weeks, the nights were regularly freezing and the daytime temperatures stayed just a bit above freezing, and as a result of this the water temperature went down to 34F-40F. This cold water sent the fish to shock in my opinion. Luckily once the cold front left the daytime temperatures went all the way up to 68F. Still, it was cold at nights, and again, Dallas area just got out of a two week long cold front.
On the first day they caught nothing. Rick has seen a couple of fish moving but that was it. Second day until 2pm there was no fish at all. At that time he had been fishing for 24 hours already without any fish and that is already a deal-barker for me. In this case the situation was a bit different because Rick know the swim usually holds fish at least a few fish; he has seen more and more fish surfacing and he had a couple of bites too. Therefore, he decided to stay, and, he managed to catch one buffalo by the end of the day. They had to make a decision again: The weather was getting better, the water was getting warmer, more bites, 2 days worth of bait was already in the water yet only one fish so far. Should they go for day three?
Yes, they did and it paid off. On the third day they caught 11 fish close to 206LB combined weight. The biggest buffalo was 36LB. This was not only a great achievement for Rick, his son Ricky and Joey but also an important lesson for everybody doing short, day sessions only. If you stay for one day only then all you can say about a swim is if the fish were biting on that they or not. That is it.
Conclusions. Cold water should not scare one. The water was still cold but the warm sunny days managed to quick start the fish quickly. If you can, try to go for longer sessions. If it is not an option ask somebody to pre-bait the swim for you. The other suggestion is fish in teams. Perhaps two teams with two guys in each team and explore new swims together: One team goes sooner than the other, once the first team is done (lets say after two days) then the second team takes the swim over. Obviously next time the later team goes first this way everybody will have the opportunity to enjoy the “fruits” of a longer session. It is worth it. Great job guys!