Where To Find Predator Fish In A Large Baitfish School (90-10 Rule)
Here’s a frustrating scenario you might’ve experienced before…
You’ve finally found a school of baitfish and you’re seeing predators actively feeding on them.
But no matter what you throw at them, the hungry predators just won’t touch your lure.
Why is that?
It could be because you’re focusing on the wrong area.
Check out this new video where you’ll learn where most predator fish position themselves along a school of baitfish.
Where To Fish A School Of Baitfish [VIDEO]
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Have you heard about the 90-10 rule?
It simply states that 90% of the fish are in 10% of the water.
And even when fishing a school of baitfish, this rule holds true.
The other day I found a school of mullet spread out parallel to a shoreline about 50 yards away from it.
There was a lot of action everywhere, but I caught the most fish on the shallow edge between the shore and the school.
Why is that?
Because if they were on the deeper side, their backs would be exposed to dolphins and other larger predators.
By feeding on the side between the school and the shoreline, that minimizes the odds of bigger predators coming to eat them from behind.
And here’s a tip to catch fish when fishing large schools of baitfish: use a lure that will get the predator fishes’ attention.
Lures that produce a lot of commotion, like topwater lures or paddletails, are best.
And you also might want to have lures with some color to get them to stand out from the hundreds of other bait.
I like to use lures or jig heads that are red, or lures that are a bit of a darker color.
Just because you see predator fish feeding on a large school of baitfish doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to catch anything.
You’ll still need to find the 10% of the water where the predator fish are feeding in, and usually that’s on the edge of the school near the shoreline.
Have any questions about finding and fishing big baitfish schools?
Let me know down in the comments.
And if you know someone who’s frustrated with getting skunked, please TAG or SHARE this with them!
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Thanks Tony. Been in that situation a few times and could not get a Bite. Good info. Makes a lot of since.
You’re welcome Billy!
Nice video Tony! I liked the look of the Video overlaid on the still photo.
Your comment on not matching the hatch is on point here. One of my favorite colors in this scenario is the Mirrolure 808 or Halloween color. Black back, gold sides and orange bottom. Definitely stands out in the crowd.
Thanks Pat! I used to love using the skitterwalk in that ornage/gold/black combo. Works great in dirty water too. Another tip if you do cast in the middle of the school of bait is to do a high cast and let the lure crash down loudly to spook the bait where it lands. Helps draw attention as well, and give a few aggressive pulls on the lure.
That was not a very useful vid. Would have liked to see some on-the-water examples.
Hey Joan! Thank you for the feedback!
We have weekly on-the-water tutorials and fishing reports in our insider club, where you can see this in action along with a full map analysis of the area being fished.
Definitely worth checking out the club for those exclusive tips and reports!
Great information Tony. I find that when the mullet school is close to the mangroves it is more likely to hold fish predators for the same reason, dolphins. Also each big snook will ambush the mullet every so often, they wait maybe 5 minutes or so in between attacks. They don’t usually do this from the middle of a school. It’s usually from the perimeter. Small snook will hit more frequently. Finally, if you see the mullet get attacked, immediately cast there! That’s the 100% rule🎣 💪🏻
Thank you for the great feedback and additional tips Jeff!
Forgot to include question about baitcaster reels. Was always blown off at tackle stores and steered back to spinning because they said baitcasting was too hard? How do they work/ do you have a video on their operation?
It isn’t necessarily difficult. Some people start out using bait casters and stick to using them, others start out using spinning reels and stick to them. Even if you look at the options for “saltwater bait casters”, there aren’t many out there in comparison to spinning gear. Just simpler and more universal to use spinning gear in my opinion. If you switch lures on a bait caster you’ll have to re-adjust settings on it and to me thats just extra non-sense to deal with.
I always hear you folks talk about “twitch twitch pause” and Wyatt has mentioned “walk the dog” often. Do you already have videos demonstrating these or could you do one?
Also, everyone mentions the Johnson spoons. Never tried one but used to swear by Daredevil spoons for walleye and northern pike. Are they the same?
The twitching and pausing is all in the action of the rod (how you are working the lure). Walk-the-dog refers to the style of action a topwater plug puts off. It darts from side to side on the surface (sort of like how a dog tends to walk from side to side on a sidewalk while being walked).
I haven’t heard of the daredevil spoons, but we do have quite a few videos on the Johnson spoon and some other brands:
Great points Tony. Shoreline side unless bait is jumping in the middle, and do not match the hatch in this situation. Use a color or a type of bait that stands out from the school.
Thank you for the great feedback Jack! You got it!
A Chartreuse Spook Jr. used to be my go to over there in that situation !!
I try the bone colored Spook Jr. in the Jupiter area often, in front, behind, in the middle, fast, slow, stop, alternate, and get nothing, but in the evening, I’ve heard morning is better in this area however.
Good stuff George! I like to throw the black/gold/chartreuse spook jr as well!
Great info, Tony! I see this all of the time and have always focused on the shallow edge, not knowing why it was the better choice. I’m usually shallow, so it’s just convenient.
Thanks David! It’s always nice when the convenient things we do are the right things haha.
Tony, great info, especially the comment about not trying to “match the hatch”. I like the concept of always thinking like the predators….I want to get to the closest McDonalds but not be an item on the menu……
Many years ago when there was waay more baitfish (60’s).The chances of predators even seeing your lure was very slim. I have had really good results throwing large spoons (Baracuda Reflecto #4 & 5). As it was about to hit the water, I would start reeling fast with my rod tip high, skipping the spoon. This method spooks the bait, clearing an area where your lure will be seen, singled out and struck. Try it, you’ll like it >—“,)> Thinking like a fisherman, inside the school (box) : )
Thanks Frank! Always think like a fish!