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CPBassFishing

Skunked Often.....please Help.

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Hey everyone I just got skunked again today. I know there are fish in the ponds I fish because I have caught them before. Yesterday, I went to a small drain pond, and my friend caught 1 fish on a weightless space monkey. it was really warm, about 65-70 degrees. I got skunked. I threw a jig, a wacky senko, a shaky head, a small crank......everything. today, I went to a different pond. My friend had caught 3 fish yesterday on a tube. It was down to 50 degrees and extremely overcast and misting rain. I fished for 2 hours with 1 bite (using a small tube), and no fish. He caught a fish right after I left. I had thrown everything at them again. Is it me or do I just have awful luck? I'm sick of getting skunked and I'm starting to think that I'm just a bad fisherman. :( I have gotten skunked at least 5 times in a row, and when I do catch fish, I never catch more than 2.

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From your post I assume you have bass angling background. Therefore just hang in there and maintain patience. Keep fishing and reflect back on previous fishing trips. Don't tense up and worry about catching fish and most important stay confident. I don't care how good you are or think you are, we all have bad days. If you allow those days to affect your thinking it will effect your fishing. Relax, keep pitchin, and put the "Gone Fishin" sign on your door. Bass fishing is like everyother sport, Practice makes perfect! If that is you in the pic, you have your whole life ahead of you young man, and you have chosen a great sport to put your free time into! Good Luck!

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Don't get discouraged.  This time of year can be brutal.  Think more in terms of presentations then lures.  Even with warming, the water temp would remain pretty consistently cool... throw in the rain and fog..... and it was much more "winter" in VA then the air would have felt.  

 

Keep slowing it down and see what that does.  Change up how long you pause baits and see what draws the strikes.  The shakey head is a fine idea.... if you have located fish.  If not, hard to search water with that technique.  Also two hours is not long to be out there... so don't be upset if a quick trip like that (from shore right?) does not produce fish.  If when you do locate fish your catching two in such a short period of time, well that is a great job.  

 

Think, like all seasons, now is about locating fish.  Then it will be about putting something in front of them that can stay in front of them and make them react or annoy them into a strike, because there will not be that much feeding going on compared to pre spawn.  

 

Your getting out ...... that means your ahead of 99% of fishermen right now.  Seems to me your doing well.  

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Thanks guys you made me feel a lot better haha. Yes that's me in the picture. I have been fishing for about 3 years, I was out of it for one spring and summer when I got into flying rc planes. I will try to cover more water and find fish, but that is really hard on a 6 acre pond with almost a mile of shoreline. What should I use as a search bait?

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I have been fishing for 15 years on and off and get skunked all the time. Including the last three times out, just keep on it, be methodical, wrote down what did and didn't work, can't cover all the shoreline, start in one place and work in one direction the next time start where you left off. Slow and methodical

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Everything said is great advice. Just remember it is January and exponentially harder. While you know that, that alone should lessen your self-criticism. I'm no expert by any means with a jerk bait, and quanjig could pitch in a little more, but i would try that out with long pauses out in those ponds. Good luck. I'm going to have to join you eventually on those ponds!!! Get em. Like Broke Bass Fisherman said, you will stick one unexpectedly. It's going to happen. Just keep spending time out there. 

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Most importantly KEEP YOUR HEAD UP AND SHAKE IT OFF. Bass fishing is the most popular fishing sport because it is a challenge, it is not easy. Everybody here had great advice for you. IMO, the best was to continue to go fishing every chance you get. And when you feel down and like the bass got the best of you, get on here and we will be here to pick you up again. Remember keep your head up.

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Hey Cp, considering the time of year and your location, small crank, spinner bait or jig. My understanding is your weather is gonna turn cold and blistery soon, so make sure you fish these real slow. You might even want to try a drop shot but that's a little more difficult if you're fishing from shore. Slow is the key in cold weather, hard to do, but works. Also, if you see you have a couple of nice warm days comin up, try and go on the second day, around noon give or take.

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Don't get discouraged.  This time of year can be brutal.  Think more in terms of presentations then lures.  Even with warming, the water temp would remain pretty consistently cool... throw in the rain and fog..... and it was much more "winter" in VA then the air would have felt.  

 

Keep slowing it down and see what that does.  Change up how long you pause baits and see what draws the strikes.  The shakey head is a fine idea.... if you have located fish.  If not, hard to search water with that technique.  Also two hours is not long to be out there... so don't be upset if a quick trip like that (from shore right?) does not produce fish.  If when you do locate fish your catching two in such a short period of time, well that is a great job.  

 

Think, like all seasons, now is about locating fish.  Then it will be about putting something in front of them that can stay in front of them and make them react or annoy them into a strike, because there will not be that much feeding going on compared to pre spawn.  

 

Your getting out ...... that means your ahead of 99% of fishermen right now.  Seems to me your doing well.  

 

Agreed. You need to fish the water temperature, not the air temperature. In the last few days of warm weather here is south La, I have been catching 4 or more bass a day on my 35 minutes of lunch left from eating and socializing in the pond outside my work. The back end is incredibly shallow (less than two feet) and is covered in sunken vegetation from the summer (think mats of moss). With water that shallow and some direct sunlight in 75 degree weather, those shallows warmed up quickly. Even thought it was only a few degrees, it was enough to send bass flocking to it. Here I am mid January picking up bass left and right on a white super fluke with a twitch twitch pause retrieve. Not typical winter patterns.

 

It's difficult to describe the way I locate fish when it is cold this time of year... Tossing a flick shake setup, let it rest on the bottom, and slowly twitch it. I then pop it up a good two feet or more, and then let it fall as I take up slack. Let it sit, pop it up a few feet, and allow the pop to be your retrieve.

 

If that doesn't work, try dragging a jig n' pig. Scent is a huge plus. It may make the difference. Use trailers that can imitate both bluegill and crawfish. I was given one rage claw a while back and still have it on my jig. It's action doesn't seem to be too fast for what I do, which is dragging bottom. I really enjoy the mini and normal size mop jig this time of year. Awesome jig to drag bottom with.

 

Parallel your drop offs from shallow water with a suspending jerkbait while throwing as faaaaaar as you can. I'm looking to really get some of these soon, as it seems to be a good way to try and hook some winter bass. I know guys that are tossing them in Louisiana (notoriously known for stained water) and hooking a respectable amount of bass on them.

 

Large swimbaits can be a good choice to hungry bass. Not talking skinny 6" paddle tails, more like bulky swimbaits or long ones. Big meals can tempt some husky bass into striking.

 

Keep us updated and if you have any questions, shoot me a PM! I'll keep you updated on what's working for me!

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If the sun is out try a suspending jerkbait in the shallows. If not try a drop shot deeper.

 

I recently have been catching a couple here or there in deep water on the DS. I just watched Ikes vid on drop shotting where he said to let the bait sit and impart less action on it. I did much better today with that method.

 

Fish also turned off about 2 pm so you just never know when they will bite. Frustrating when you are marking fish and know they are there.

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Dude, I got skunked 6 trips in a row before I decided to switch to trolling for a day and then caught some nice trout (great dinners for me and wifey). I'm going back for bass when I find the time again (and the sun is shining better).

 

Hang in there. These skunkings are why bass fishing never gets repetitive. That next one you catch will feel like winning the lotto!

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Everything said is great advice. Just remember it is January and exponentially harder. While you know that, that alone should lessen your self-criticism. I'm no expert by any means with a jerk bait, and quanjig could pitch in a little more, but i would try that out with long pauses out in those ponds. Good luck. I'm going to have to join you eventually on those ponds!!! Get em. Like Broke Bass Fisherman said, you will stick one unexpectedly. It's going to happen. Just keep spending time out there. 
yeah shimmy my friend had an 80 fish day on that pond. So they are definitely in there. :)

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Thanks for the help everyone, I'll throw a small X-rap around and see if I get any followers.

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try a spinnerbait for a search bait and we all get skunked thats why is called fishing and not catching watch all the vidoes you can fishing shows and read all you can and spend all the time you can on the water and when you do catch a fish take notes where when how deep and you will soon see a pattern

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I rigged up a carolina rig with a 1/2 tungsten bullet weight and a small floating livetarget bluegill crank. I'll twitch it along the bottom and see if I get any takers. I'll also try the spinnerbait.

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You already mentioned most of the presentations I throw when everything gets tough on the water. A wacky senko, weightless t rigged senko, shakey head are go to in my aresnal. I will say a mojo rig/finesse carolina rig can work well in tough situations. I've also started throwing a dropshot and its produced some decent fish. Another presentation I rediscovered and had success with recently are flukes, either weightless or with a keel weighted hook. SK Caffeine Shad has a really nice action on the fall.

 

Anyways, sometimes you wind up throwing everything plus the kitchen sink in the water and still walk away with nothing to show for it. Its happened to me plenty of times, after several hours of fishing. Also, like mentioned above, just being out at this time of year deserves some props. IMO, any fish right now is a good fish. So, don't get discouraged and keep on pluggin away. You'll start hookin into them again soon enough and remember why its so fun to be out there.

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CP, try the deeper water areas of the pond. See if you can determine where the drop off occurs from the shallows to the deeper parts of the pond. Like Shimmy said, try a pointer 78 along the drops with longer pauses. My go to this time of year in the small lakes and ponds is a bitsy jig with a small finess worm as a trailer! 3/16 black and a small RI flirt worm.

I've fished the small ponds in NOVA the last couple weeks and have been skunked each and every te so far in 2013, but I'm still trying! You can't let it get you down, each outing is a learning g process, when you start to get discouraged, deep breath, relax, enjoy the day, slow your presentation, and concentrate on your presentation. Try to envision what your bait is doing down there and know you have fish looking at your bait. It's cold water fishing, they are not going to exert a lot of energy to chase down a meal. Give them something they can't pass up!!

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You have got the best advice from everyone that one could get.

 

I have nothing to add to what has already been said other than, I think the most important part of everything here is for you to slow down.

 

Patience is really the most important key in what you are trying to accomplish, the water is cold, everything in the water will be moving slow, you should be doing the same, down size your baits with bitsy jigs, when you have the jig on the bottom, let it sit for 20 seconds, bounce it 3 times with very small jerks on the rod tip, just enough to get the jig to hop up an inch or two, pause for about 2 seconds in between each hop and after the third hop, SLOWLY, drag it for about 3 feet, stop and let it rest for about 20 seconds then repete the process again.

 

Remember also these bites will be very hard to feel, they just don't exert much energy this time of year and swim away with the bait, anything that feels different set the hook !!!

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Just fish with confidence.  

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Never has this video been more appropriate

 

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Two great pond search baits for me are white spinnerbaits and chrome or white traps. Most of my pond bites have come from casting down the shoreline rather than casting out to the middle.

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Hey everyone I just got skunked again today. I know there are fish in the ponds I fish because I have caught them before. Yesterday, I went to a small drain pond, and my friend caught 1 fish on a weightless space monkey. it was really warm, about 65-70 degrees. I got skunked. I threw a jig, a wacky senko, a shaky head, a small crank......everything. today, I went to a different pond. My friend had caught 3 fish yesterday on a tube. It was down to 50 degrees and extremely overcast and misting rain. I fished for 2 hours with 1 bite (using a small tube), and no fish. He caught a fish right after I left. I had thrown everything at them again. Is it me or do I just have awful luck? I'm sick of getting skunked and I'm starting to think that I'm just a bad fisherman. :( I have gotten skunked at least 5 times in a row, and when I do catch fish, I never catch more than 2.

 

Story of my life! Don't give up:

 

http://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/topic/112314-do-i-suck-at-this/?view=findpost&p=1224905

 

http://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/topic/112639-my-luck-has-finally-improved-monster-bass-pics-56k-warning/#entry1229318

 

http://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/topic/112706-sigh-i-think-i-do-suck-at-this/#entry1230322

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