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This is a question I have always wondered about and am interested in your opinions. Let me set the stage for you as to why I ask.

On Friday afternoon I was catching white perch at a steady pace. I was drifting and bottom fishing as I usually do. White perch are one of my favorite fish, and I use them for all kinds of recipes from fried fish to chowders to fishcakes. About 100 yards from where I was fishing for white perch, some birds started hitting the water. They are out of casting range, and I would have to start the boat and move off of a productive drift to get to the possible rockfish.

The birds stopped after 15 minutes, and I was still catching perch. I continued to catch perch for two more hours, repositioning the boat and starting new drifts about every half hour. The birds did not start diving again while I was in the area.

So the question is, if you are catching fish, would you leave those fish to take a shot at some possible rockfish that are nearby?
 

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Yes. The most memorable time was two years ago at the CBBT where gw204 and I left a huge school of schoolie bass in the 24-28" range on light tackle to start trolling for bubba. We had caught so many schoolies that we had cut up hands and were bored. I am glad we did because we had a nice run of fish over 38".
 

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Actually Shawn's boat lets out chum from the bottom of the hull and all the fish follow him LOL :D
 

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all the time.....................
 

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Yes. I'd leave perch to target rock, leave schoolies to look for lunkers. Leave blues in a heartbeat. Be hard to pull up off a good croaker hole though.....
 

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I leave fish if they are small and I know where there are bigger ones, sometimes I don't even stop where there are working birds if I fished there recently and most of the fish were small, or if its crowded. but its usually always worth it to try for a few minutes or even a half hour
 

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my old mans first rule of fishing... never leave fish to find fish. Rules are meant to be broken.

I will work a school of perch for some time, then get bored. I will work a group of schoolies for some time, then look for the home run. It's kinda like loading up the bases for the clean up batter. The thing with the perch... they will be in the same hole for a long time, you can always come back.
 

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Yep, would always leave perch for some rock. Just mark and come back!!! The perch aren't gonna move much. If you don't have a gps, make up a marker buoy- like a small piece of noodle float with a weight, mark your spot, look for better fish and return if no luck.
 

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This is a great post. I honestly try not to for the most part. When I think back, there have been plenty of times when I did leave fish to find some more and found the motherload. But, there have been way more times when I have left a bite to find something else better and never came across anything as good.

I think it depends on what has been happening and whats likely to happen. For instance if I was on a school of 18" fish and was catching them good I would probably never leave. . if I was at Solomons in July.

However, if I was at the CBBT in December, I would keep looking.

A lot of times I don't leave fish to find fish as much as I leave tide to find tide. If I notice a bite is likely not to last, and the current is starting to peter out, I try to run into some better current to increase my odds.

For me it depends also with who I have on my boat. With kids or people who don't fish very much I would stay on a school of 16" rock until everyones arms get sore. If it's like Daryl and I, we would catch half a dozen fish and then leave looking for something bigger.
 

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All the time, heck this year offshore there were so many dolphin you got tired of catching them
 

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Never, Ever leave Fish to find Fish!!!!

Now, if know somewhere else that the fish are, Go Go Go !

But please, don't run the School over.

Les
 

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I'd agree, if the grade of fish or species leave something to be desired (ie. small fish to find bigger or leave blues to find rock) than I will leave fish to find more fish. Otherwise I'm happy staying put.
 

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You can only use so many perch. It's great fun for a while but gets old unless you have kids on board. When you have had enough go to another location for another kind of fish. Mix it up!.............Gary
 
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