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5 Dollar Fishing Game

2 Ponds Today Update

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Well, took a break from the big lakes and hit two ponds. The first pond has some huge trees on the outskirts and is about 2 football fields in size. The deepest is about 20 feet and caught one 2.5lbs. bass on a drop shot worm. This was in the first 5 minutes of the fishing start. Stayed about another hour and got nada. The second pond is about the size of one football field and the whole pond is about 3-4 feet deep. You can see the bottom clear as day all around. The bottom looks like tiny plants all over and the bass kinda swim "through" them and attack the lures like crazy when it is hot. Today was overcast and about 50 degrees. The water felt like 40 degrees. 0 bass in the little pond. There are some downed trees and big logs but we found no bass from the johnboat. Where are they? In the summer I can catch 30-40 bass in about 2 hours and they are all about 1-3 pounds. In the bigger pond are they in the dead center at the bottom? The one today bit near the shore but I was not in the boat then. Where are they in the shallow pond? thanx! joe

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Joe, you have asked the $64,000 Question!

Where do the bass go?

I would love to put some tracking devices on the bass and track them like the marine biologists do from time to time to see where they go during the day and in different weather conditions.

So where do they go?

Well, with all of the books, articles, DVDs and talking to pros we have some ideas. Everyone has their own interpertation of where the bass go depending on the water temperature, color and weather.

I think they go deep and get lockjaw. Then, they swim to warmer or cooler water where there is more oxygen or heat, depending on the time of year, and sit along any bank or structure they can find and just sit there,not interested in eating or chasing a meal.

To illustrate this point, I have mentioned the following a number of times on this Forum and I think it is necessary to repost it again.

At a Bassmasters University program in Richmond, Virginia, Ken Cook who has a Zoology Degree from Oklahoma State University (http://kencookoutdoors.com/ken-s-bio), presented a very interesting seminar on the speed of metabolism when a largemouth bass eats a minnow.

Remember, the following illustrates how long it takes to digest a minnow. Think how long it would take to digest a bluegill or a crawfish.

40* = 8 days

50* = 7 days

60* = 2 and a half days

70* = 24 hours

80* and above = 18 hours

73* to 75* water temperature is the most efficient metabolism of a largemouth bass.

Search and destroy missions are also important to a largemouth with them having an ambush advantage over their prey. Edges are important to a feeding bass.

However, bass feed 10% to 20% of the day. They rest of the day they hide for the remaining time by structure and cover and they just "hang out" (Cook's words) doing nothing. Bass like to have a "roof" over their head when not feeding so they will go into and under anything to give them a "feel good" feeling of safety.

Bass wil use water for a roof and go deep if there is no nearby structure, in additon to grass beds, lilly pads, boat docks, piers, stumps, brush piles, rocks, rip rap, poles, etc. Any place they can feel secure.

Add in the fact that a bass is an opportunistic feeder, meaining they will hit anything that presents itself for an easy opportunity and you have a good profile of your target.

So where are the bass? Somewhere out there. Next to a stump; under a tree; along a dropoff; in the grass or pads; under a dock; next to a tire; in a bursh pile; or just sitting there, minding their own business.

And how do you catch them? Depending on the size of the prey they ate, water clarity, water temperature, biometric pressure, time of day, cloudy or blue bird skies, and the time it will take to digest their last meal you have to make them take your bait by aggravating them to kill whatever you are presenting.

This is why dead sticking and moving your bait s-l-o-w in cold water gets strikes as your bait sitting there can drive a bass nuts. This is the theory behind the drop shot. Throw it out, let it sit, allow the current to move the bait, move it slightly every now and then, and make the bass hit the bait out of anger.

Uncle Homer Circle once wrote that when he and Glen Lau were filming the Bigmouth series the big old lady bass would pull back and hide at the sound of a trolling motor or outboard motor. So if you are using your trolling or outboard to tool around some of the bass will recognize the vibration or sound and avoid anything you throw at them.

Sorry to give you such a long reply to such a short query but you asked the one question that takes hours to learn: The Pattern.

Finding the daily pattern is the key to bass fishing success. Easier said then done!!!!

And then your add in your bait selection and color and before you know it, you are on your way to the mental hospital as those little green monsters laugh at us in our boats with our $500 worth of tackle and equipment searching for them.

This is what makes bass fishing fun.

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Christmas Day is my 1 year anniversary of bass fishing. I still learn every day and love it more ech time I catch a 5 pounder! Thanks for the long reply. I learned a bunch! I will use my drop shot a little bit slower too. By the way I would love $64,000. :-)

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Bass will suspend with a neutral attitude, something between sleep and a fish version of hibernation.

These fish are virtually uncatchable. The only thing that might work is The Rig. A school of fish swimming

in front of their nose should get some attention from any fish that is alive.

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I sometimes wonder if bass are as inactive as we think they are in cold water. Last Winter some friends and I went to a small pond (2-3 acres) to see if we could catch bass through the ice. This pond has a max depth of about 8 feet and we started off drilling about 20 holes all around the pond from the shallow areas to the deepest parts with a power auger. After we drilled the last set of holes, we went back to the first holes we drilled and started catching fish. We caught fish at all depths and wound up pulling a dozen or so out in about 3 hrs.

What really got me wondering about how inactive these cold water fish are was that I hooked one jigging a small grub off of the bottom on one end of the pond and he broke me off. Less than a hour later my friend caught the same fish with my grub still in his mouth on the opposite side of the pond on a live shiner. In less than one hour, he tried to eat, got hooked, moved about 2 1/2 acres to the other side of the pond and ate again. We were also able to mark fish on a sonar unit as they moved into and out of the areas we were fishing. The fish weren't holding in one area, they were on the move throughout the day. These were northern strain so they are more tolerant of the cold but I was still surprised at how much movement and activity we were seeing under the ice.

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Where are you fishing? I'm just over in Garner and I know a few ponds where I can still catch fish.

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