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papajoe222

Ask Yourself This Before The Next Time You Go Fishing

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Where am I likely to find concentrations of fish when I go fishing tomorrow?  I've seen it numerous times just on this site. Someone will ask: I'm going out tomorrow, what should I be throwing?  A ton of suggestions are made and most are excelent. The  problem is we all assume that the person asking the question  either has some experience or knowledge about catching the fish. 

With that in mind, I'd like to share some of what many of you may consider to be common scence facts, but many of you may be unaware of. First and foremost, a fish's brain is the size of he tip of a Q-Tip. It doesn't reason, plan, or for the most part remember. Don't assume it's thinking about whether or not your bait looks appealing to it, that fish could care less whether or not it has a $40 paint job or only cost you $.99.  Second, a fish's movements whether seasonal or daily are driven by one of two factors. It's either making movementsthat relate to spawning,or is active or inactive in relation to feeding.  Sex and food. That's about it when it comes to how a bass 'thinks'   Survival, in a nutshell

So the next time you go out, ask yourself: Are the fish preparing to spawn, spawning, recovering from the spawning activities, or are they in their survivor mode of feeding and possibly avoiding being preyed upon?.

Once you answer that question, others will surface (how they're relating to cover or structure, the front that just passed, rising or falling water or water temps, etc.)  Remember, I'm not in any way saying catching is easy. What I am saying is that you are smarter than any animal on this plannet. Don't go mountain lion hunting in the desert.

 

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My smarts are my problem.  Because I'm smart, I remember everywhere I've caught fish and I go try those places for several days, catching little, until I adapt.  In short, I'm the stupidest smart animal you'll ever meet.

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Great post and responses so far.

 

I've never watched a fishing tournament before, but I watched the first free episode of majorleaguefishing the other day and watched pros struggle.  Never really actively thought about it before I guess but I'd just assume that those guys are killing em anywhere and anytime they go out.  I won't feel so bad now if I don't "do well" or even get skunked for that matter.

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Consistantly catching predator fish like the 3 most popular fresh water bass doesn't require any angler to out smart the fish, it simply is being at the right place at the right time with a lure or bait the bass will strike.

The beauty of bass fishing is these fish will strike a wide variety of artifical lures, that is a blessing and curse.

Being at the right place can be dumb luck and nothing wrong with that, or using your large highly developed brain and learning something's about basic bass behavior.

My friend Bill Murphy would put it this way; bass eat in the kitchen where the food is. Understanding that you can't catch bass that are resting or sleeping in other areas of their house is important and knowing it is easier to catch feeding bass in the kitchen is essential to consistantly catching bass. Bass, like all predators, are never far from their food source.

Before you start out to catch bass each trip, first determine where the bass should be located based on seasonal periods, this makes it easier to locate their kitchen.

Good thread!

Tom

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Good thread and I will speak up for the silent "newbie" who might stumble onto this page.

 

So you've started an informative conversation about how bass behave and their primary motivations when it comes to movement. I think the next logical step is discussing how to apply these observations with where bass are much likely to be located on a body of water.

 

My biggest issues when starting out as a bass fisherman was the lingo. Many of you grew up speaking terms like "beds", "flats", "creek channel", "drop offs" and "points". Many of the articles on this site haphazardly throw this jargon around but to the layperson who never learned how to interpret a topographical map and didn't have a fishing dad teaching him/her 20 years worth of bass info, it all becomes white noise.

 

So I'll limit this to the current season. 

 

It seems to me that we are still in "winter mode", which varies by location. In SoCal, water certainly isn't frozen and water temps. have hovered around 55 - 57 degrees. In the NorthEast, I'm sure it's a different story. 

 

To me, "winter mode" means slower, lazier bass that won't move too much to catch prey. They are looking for stable (and warmer) water temps. which presumably is still towards the deeper parts of the lake. Your lure selection and presentation need to be slow and meticulous since you are attempting to dangle the bait right on top of their faces. 

 

The last time I was out on the lake, I noticed a school of baitfish hanging around the shallows, actually inspecting where my line touched the water from time to time. Conventional wisdom tells me that bass follow this food and should have been close to the shallows as well.

 

So my question is: how do these two things jive with each other? Winter tells me bass are still deep and baitfish in the shallows tells me bass are shallow.

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Good perspective Joe. Bass fishing is like figuring out why your lawn mower won't start. Fuel ? Spark? Compression ? Knowing the questions to ask is as important as coming up with the answers. Each angler should have a system of questions based on the biology and behavior of the fish. When I get messed up is when I get a false positve. Not all fish are doing the same thing at the same time.

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Stay focused on the ( A-B-C ) 's that nature has given us all.The instinct for a fish to survive is to  learn and remember, then pass it off to their offspring in their gene pool. This keeps the lure manufactures in business.

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Good perspective Joe. Bass fishing is like figuring out why your lawn mower won't start. Fuel ? Spark? Compression ? Knowing the questions to ask is as important as coming up with the answers. Each angler should have a system of questions based on the biology and behavior of the fish. When I get messed up is when I get a false positve. Not all fish are doing the same thing at the same time.

You bring up an excellent point, that being not all fish in a given body of water are doing the same thing at the same time.  This is extremely evident is large impoundments.  One thing I should've mentioned is that nothing is gospel when it comes to a fish's behavior. These are just general knowledge tid bits developed to help us narrow things down. There are exceptions to every rule and there are conditions that will change the rules, rest assured. When you're ready, you'll learn the what and how, kinda like learning the alphabet, then spelling, followed by reading and writing. 

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Second, a fish's movements whether seasonal or daily are driven by one of two factors. It's either making movementsthat relate to spawning,or is active or inactive in relation to feeding.  Sex and food. That's about it when it comes to how a bass 'thinks'   Survival, in a nutshell

 

 

 

I never knew I was so much like a fish haha

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In the tournament bass fishing world there are always going to be guys who just don't "get it". We all know them. They might not be bad fisherman at all, but they are one trick ponies.These are the guy's who will bust a big sack when........for example.........the skipping a senko under a dock bite is hot, but struggle with even catching a fish as soon as something changes. Yet when they do start struggling, insted of trying to figure the fish out, they are convinced changing senko colors is the way to go.........LOL. Then there are the perpetuial celler dwellers at every event, nice guys, enjoy fishing, but are more concerned with what "color" spinnerbait works good, and are convinced that there is some "magic lure" that all the top finishers are using.

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Papa Joe, good post.

My first thought to your question was toilet paper.

But great info. Keep those cards and letters coming!!!!!

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