"POOR MAN'S NEEDLEFISH"
Hook: Eagle Claw L67 or L1197N
Lots and lots of fishermen love to fish in buckets and to do that means combat fishing. Anglers that have been around carry a negative association with the term combat fishing but I don´t. I love it, especially when there´s a lot of fish in the area. Look, there´s nothing you can do to stop fish from feeling the pressure of fishermen but you can use the other fishermen to your advantage when the bite goes off. It´s called "fishing pressured water", and it works.
The edification fish receive during any season where many fishermen are involved teach fish what "not" to bite. It doesn´t matter what angler´s use when there are a lot of them. Fish will go off the bite when the see the same things over and over again. It doesn´t even matter if it´s the same offering or a similar scent, pressure will put fish off the bite; but for the very reason that puts fish off the bite is the same thing that can put them back on.
Not every fish is going to get caught that gets hooked. Anglers lose fish all the time, but once a fish has been stung it has learned what not to bite. Not many fishermen know it but salmon and steelhead communicate with auditory (sound) and olfaction (scent) triggers. When an alarm from a hooked fish has been sent out fish will scatter and they "will remember" and stay off the bite. It is the motion of the hooked fish and the scent secreted through the skin, fish slime, which alarm fish; this is where the really important stuff comes into play. New offerings and scents introduced the water will trigger those same panicked fish into biting. I´ve seen it happen thousands of times over the course of the last two decades. In the presence of anglers fishing from the crack of dawn until noon when someone heads to the bank and almost immediately hooks into fish.
I do it all the time; especially when I want to fish in those buckets too. All you have to do is watch the other fishermen and make sure not to use whatever they´re using. I don´t mean to use a different color corkie when corkies are used or different kinds of spoons when spoons are used. I mean something different entirely. If corkies are being used put on some bait. If bobber-jigs are being used try a spinner. Make sure to adjust casting tactics as well. Watch combat fishermen, more often than not, they tend to fish the same slots, seams, and tail-outs. Fish further out or closer in towards the bank. If the fish have been pressured enough it is reasonable to assume that getting a strike within a few casts will happen. Knowing how fish behave given certain stimuli has aided me in catching, and releasing, many fish.