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Janderson45

Help Me Improve?

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So I'm new to the website, but not new to fishing. I've been fishing most of my life, with more experience in freshwater, but i've fished saltwater plenty of times before too. I've lately tried to get more serious about my freshwater bass fishing.

I fish mostly off shore casting locations, but I do have a 17' canoe and occasional access to a bass tracker boat. I fish in New England, predominately massachusetts.

Also recently purchased a new rod and reel to do a good deal of my fishing with, it's a 6'6" st. croix med-heavy mojo bass rod, equipped with a bass pro johnny morris baitcaster reel and 50lb braided line. It's for texas rigging, topwater frogs, spinner baits, etc.

My other rod I commonly bring along is a medium action 6' graphite ugly stick, with a shimano sahara spinning reel, and 10lb mono line. (Usually equipped with 30lb braided, but I'm currently out of it)

The past two days Ive been fishing approximately 6 hours, and only landed one fish, about a 2.5lb largemouth bass on a texas rigged green pumpkin worm. Was with my first set up.

Since that fish, i've had a lot of issues. I ran into a few issues with the bait caster on a windy day, so I went to set-up number 2. It had been a rainy/overcast type of day so I went to a topwater jitterbug.. third cast I had a monster hit... line broke. Went back to the other rod, spinnerbait on.. water level was high and fairly clear, i was working it faster up near the surface of the water.. BAM big chain pickerel graps it and runs... the knot on my braided slips out and i lose the spinner. Same tactic, this time a bass skys and hits my spinner at the surface, spits it after bringing it down in the weeds and it gets tangled in brush and i lose another spinner. Worried why i didn't get a hook set, I tightened my bail and it seemed it did need it. Put on another spinner bait... lose it in a tree and get a big back lash.. whoops... moved spots to a different pond. Relined, got a topwater frog out on some lily pads and high grass. Things were going crazy for this. Probably had about 10 hits, didn't land a single one... a few just spit it, a few engulfed it i tried to set the hook, and it just flew out. After one final good overrun on the bait caster, i called it a day... very frustrating day of fishing. Now I need to restock on some equipment too...

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Like you, I often fish braid as well, I love the stuff !!

You had a great day weather you know it or not, the knots you are using could be your problem, one would guess, as for the frog, it's difficult to say, but when fishing a frog, bass will hit the frog and stunn it then turn right back around and hit it if they did not engulf it first, it could be you did not wait long enough for the bass to fully have the bait, that is only speculation of course, but you have to wait until you feel the rod load before you set the hook.

As far as getting wind knots in your lines, one thing that will help is to give the reel a touch more brake on breezy or windy days, if you are throwing a T-rig it can be difficult on such days when throwing lighter tackle, one other note when throwing lighter tackle on windy days, a low approach, a cast closer to the water surface will also help.

Hope this helps.

As for the tree...sorry can't offer any advise other than stay out of them, it rarely works out for the best lol.

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I was going to comment on his outing as well, sounds like a great day of fishing....too bad about the catching part but it sounds like these issues are easily overcome with a bit of helpful info. It looks like some has been given! You'll get em' next time!

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I also think your knot might be slipping, it happens with braid. I often use braid and almost always use the palomar knot.

http://www.bassresource.com/fish/knots.html - Article On Knots

For topwater fishing, I would keep the tip of your rod pointed downwards towards the water. Move the rod perpendicular to the fish when setting the hook (go against the fish). Keeping your rod down makes you more ready to set the hook and easier to control the fish after the bite so you can keep it from diving or jumping.

My experience with topwater frogs is that bass have bad aim lol. Like NitroFreak said bass will bump the frog and then come back and really hit it, but if you yank the frog 5 feet after the first bump, the bass may not come back for it ;)

Keep fishing and your casting issues and backlashes will go away, I promise! One thing that helped me a ton when I got my first baitcaster was a very frustrating night full of backlashes fishing in the dark. Just have to keep doing it and you get the feel for it :)

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Well I suppose the fact that I'm enticing so many fish to strike has got to be a good thing, right? Just wish I could have landed more of them!

Anyways, thanks for the tip about the bass "stunning" the bait and then circling back to engulf it, I hadn't heard that before, so I'll have to try and pause for an extra second or two after it gets "hit and spit" if you will to see if the fish will come back on it.

I'm also going to have to start to get a few more complicated knots down I think, I don't often lose fish because of my knot tying, but it's also not the first time that I have..... and that's got to be one of the most frustrating ways to lose one.

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I also think your knot might be slipping, it happens with braid. I often use braid and almost always use the palomar knot.

http://www.bassresou...fish/knots.html - Article On Knots

For topwater fishing, I would keep the tip of your rod pointed downwards towards the water. Move the rod perpendicular to the fish when setting the hook (go against the fish). Keeping your rod down makes you more ready to set the hook and easier to control the fish after the bite so you can keep it from diving or jumping.

Thanks for the link, as far as the rod tip with the frog goes... well the way you're recommending I fish it was the way I instinctively fished it the first time out, and had a few hits, just missed the hook set. I then saw some advice from a guy online who said that he always fishes frogs with the rod tip UP so that when the fish hits he has to drop the rod tip and then set the hook, so it takes a little longer and gives the fish more time to take the whole frog in... this seemed to make sense so I tried it, however I think this guy might have been tackling some bigger fish than me, as I often found after I dropped the rod tip it was too late they had already spit it.. So now I'm back to my original school of thinking that having the rod tip down a bit for a faster hook set as soon as i see the fish take it under may be more effective.

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the second your topwater is underwater is the time to set the hook. some guys say count to 3 then set it, i disagree with that. i figure by the time i count to three then set its too late, whereas just going ahead with the motions and setting the hook is probably a couple seconds in itself...

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I caught 20 bass on the same Rage Tail frog the other day walking it on heavy mats of veggies. I noticed the "stunning" for sure but most of my catches were on split second hook sets. Of course super line and cutting tip hooks make it waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay easier.

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Maybe shorten the legs on your frog. I assume it's a hollow body cause you missed fish. Some times they grab just the legs and it will have a wider walk. Like other people said they will just swipe it some times. If that happens I like to gently twitch it so it makes little rings on the water but doesn't move and often they hit it again.

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Here's another site for knots. http://www.animatedknots.com/indexfishing.php sounds like you had a pretty frustrating day, but you must be doing something right since you seemed to attract a lot of fish. Frogs can be really frustrating, but they are fun. I still have nightmares about a hit I had on a frog during a fishing trip last year. He clobbered my frog so hard it was like someone threw a bowling ball into the water. I set the hook, felt the weight, then he(or she) dove down into the slop and came unbuttoned. I said some things I was not proud of, but I'll remember that for a long time.

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Topwater frog fishing can be tough. I would think it would be hard to move enough line with a 6'6" rod from a seated position in a canoe to hook a decent percentage of those fish. I would consider a longer rod for your frog fishing.

Otherwise, it seems like you need to work on the of the basics such as casting, line tying, etc. that stuff will come with time. Just keep fishing...no substitute for TOW (time on water).

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Topwater frog fishing can be tough. I would think it would be hard to move enough line with a 6'6" rod from a seated position in a canoe to hook a decent percentage of those fish. I would consider a longer rod for your frog fishing.

Otherwise, it seems like you need to work on the of the basics such as casting, line tying, etc. that stuff will come with time. Just keep fishing...no substitute for TOW (time on water).

Interesting thought, thanks for the advice. For what it's worth however the topwater frog fishing was done on shore, not in the canoe... but I had planned to try it in out in the canoe next week...

It's one of the nice live target hollow topwater frogs, I've tried to bend the hooks out a bit from the body with a pair of pliers, but they didn't want to budge too much.

There aren't really any "legs" to shorten, but the skirt or trailer behind the frog could potentially be trimmed some in order to maybe narrow the area that a fish would want to strike...

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Your tackle should match where you fish; shoreline cover like weed beds fishing with frogs requires at least med/hvy rod and 15 to 20 lb premium mono line to get the heavy wire frog hook into the basses mouth and to control the bass after it's hooked. 50 braid on the bait caster is good, however braid can be difficult to cast because it stays dry, mono line stays wet, floats and is far easier to cast; 20 lb big game should be good.

The spinning tackle with 10 lb mono is good for lures about 1/4 oz and hooks with light to medium wire; no larger than a 3/0.

Bass often strike a surface lure and do not get a good hold on it, it is better to let them turn away from you before hook setting; pause about a second or so; timing changes with feeding activity levels.

Tom

PS; practice your knot tying; braid use a double Palomar; same as the standard except double the overhand loop, 2 turn instead of 1 turn.

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