Now, despite the vision advantage, even tower fishing can see its valleys of boredom. Maybe it’s a hot summer day when the fish are holding in deeper, cooler water or hiding under rafts of matted vegetation in the marsh.
A cold front will also scatter the fish and put those you find in the aforementioned state of lethargy. When this happens, it’s imperative that you stay sharp and focused, as your next target of opportunity may pop up at any moment.
One strategy for staying on the ready is to simply switch positions. With towers made for one angler, just trade places with your partner standing on the deck. If your tower fits two anglers, swap sides. It’s tempting to rack your rod during extended lulls, but the second you do that, you can just about bet on a flurry of activity that will likely leave you scrambling, stumbling and generally ineffective in your response.
The absolute best case of tower attention strategy that I ever witnessed came during a photo trip with a pair of redfish tournament anglers who were scouting the Delacroix area. Texans Danny Adams and Scott Isbell had rigged their Ranger Bay boat with a custom-built aluminum tower with a two-man deck fitted with a crescent-shaped front rail that looked a lot like extended bicycle handlebars. The kicker was an old-fashioned thumb bell — the kind you’d expect to find on a training wheels, banana seat, sissy bar special.
After several hours of sporadic ring-ring, ring-ring, I had to inquire about the bell’s purpose. Maybe the partners were alerting one another to an incoming target, or perhaps they were warning off fellow competitors who may have encroached on their pond. Surely there was some deep-rooted tactical meaning.
Nope. Isbell summed it up like this: “When we get bored, one of us rings the bell.”
You gotta love it.
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