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Big Stick Joe

Spooked Fish

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Hey guys. I'm fishing a small lake in AR and 2 days ago i was walking the bank and came across 2 good size females that were 15 ft from the bank and 30 yards apart, the water is clear. the 1st one appeared to be hovering over/near a bed with a small male within a foot. This female would spook very easy but always come back to the same spot. I know it is hard to ask over the internet but why do you think she was so spooked and is she catchable? I spent about an hour trying to catch her before giving up and going to the next fish.

 

The 2nd bass was 2 feet from her bed which was a old tire someone threw in the lake. There was a small male guarding this bed. I probley spend 2 hrs trying to get her to bite but no go. She would nose down to it and circle around it. I even bumped her a few times trying to get a reaction bite but no go. This morning i went back out there and the 1st fish was gone but the 2nd was still there. I caught the 2nd fish's male 1st thing because yesterday there were a few times when the female were nose down to the bait and then the small male would get her attention and she would swim away. But once i caught the male, she disappeared for 30 mins and then came back. I was using a 3/16 bullet weight and w 1/0 worm hook zoom white lizard t-rig.

 

Any ideas on why the fish was spooked would be great. 

Thanks guys

Joe

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She saw you or heard you would be my guess. You have to read the fishes body language to catch them off a bed. If a fish leaves the bed and comes back fairly quickly they are catchable. I'm really surprised you were able to get a fish to nose down on a bait and not get it to bite. Usually once they tip down on a bait it's a done deal. Try a different kind of bait would be my best suggestion. A drop shot can be very effective on a bed because you can move the bait without pulling the weight off the bed to really annoy the fish into biting. Try to wear natural colors and stay back from the edge of the water and crouch down so you're harder to see. Another bait option is to put a bluegill or carp swimbait into the bed. Sometimes this will get a vicious strike from a big female trying to protect their nest. 

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1.  When moving around a pond it is very important to walk 50 directly away from the pond and then walk very cautiously to 50 directly away from your next spot and walk gingerly to the bank. The fish can see you if you can see them and they can feel you walking along the bank via vibrations. This is Hank Parker's "50 Foot Rule of Pond Fishing."  And you may have to start fishing 10 feet or more from the bank if the water is clear or you come across a bed.

 

2.  Wear clothing that blends in with the sky. Carolina blue for sunny days and camoflauge for darker days. Do not wear white or bright colored tees or shirts/shorts. Blend in with the sky as best you can.

 

3.  Always wear poloraized sunglasses.

 

4.  The bass are on their beds. They are not feeding. You have to throw plastics at them to aggravate them into hitting your bait. Otherwise they will either keep circling the bed or just hover above it to keep the bluegills and crappie away.

 

5.  If they are on their beds and will not take your bait fish the rest of the pond for those not on the beds. However, always be on the lookout for new beds or the bass acting like they are guarding their beds that you cannot see.

 

6.  Travel light. You don't need a big tackle box and ten rods/reels to fish a pond. Two baitcasters and two spinning rigs should do fine all day. Too much tackle can make your presence easily known as you walk around the pond's bank. You will look like The Hulk carrying a lot of tackle.

 

7.  Don't forget your fan casting. Left to right and then right to left from every spot you fish on a pond.

 

Just remember that stealth is your friend when pond fishing. We all make the mistake of walking along the bank and don't understand that the bass can feel us there.  Using "Hank Parker's 50-Foot Rule" you should be able to approach them like an Army sniper.

 

And don't forget your needle nose pliers.

 

I plan to drive two hours after my client meeting in Palmyra, Virginia this Friday to do some pond fishing in Dinwiddie County at my double secret pond.  It is worth the drive. Believe me, it is very worth the drive.

 

And you do the same.  Let us know how you do and post some pics.

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I'll make this quick since I'm at class. Thank you all for your replies. Since I'm at training right now, I don'treally have the right clothes with my to blend in. II'll have to remember the walk cautiously part and stay away from the bank. I've already scored once at this pond. 10lber would be my guess. I'll reply later in full to a few more questions I have. Thanks again

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Well guess my picture didn't make it, I'll load it up when I get back to my hotel room.

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I learned 20 years ago, to shut the motor off and approach what ever your target is to be extremely

stealthy, no wake or noise from the boat.  Try a lizard and put it directly on the bed, they won't be

able to stand it.  Lizards eat a lot of their fry.  They will try to move it off the bed or kill it.

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@downeaster. A White Zoom lizard is what ive been doing alot of my damage on, it was the bait i caught the 10 pounder on. Green Pumpkin Zoom finesse worm was killing the dinks tonight. I'll remember what you said tho, thank you.

Joe

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I wish I had read this Hank Parker 50 foot rule before I went out this afternoon.  I went to try a new hotspot and from a distance I saw a ton of bass.  Including some really big ones cruising the shore.  

 

I did walk lightly and casted out from a distance and caught a nice keeper.  I then proceeded to go to the edge and put the bass into the water quietly.  After that they were gone!  Clearly went from a ton of bass in a spot to nothing in less than an hour.

 

Tough to bank fish.  I need to lose weight.  LOL

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I do believe in being stealth when approaching the fish, but as long as you are not causing a bunch of commotion and moving a lot the fish are still catchable.  If wearing different color clothes makes you feel better about it that's cool, but if you stay in one spot for a few minutes, you become apart of the back ground to the fish.  Now if you are doing jumping jacks between pitches I could see problems. lol

 

I caught the same male fish 3 times yesterday while trying to get the female to bite, but she was just wandering around the bed and had not yet locked on.  The fish I did catch though, if he couldn't see me, he knew I was there.  Went to a different pond and was walking the bank and saw 3 fish hanging out in less than 10 inches of water, pitched to them and hooked a fish on 3 consecutive tries.  I like that you're using a white lizard because 2 of the fish yesterday I caught I could not feel, but only saw the white vanish for an instant.

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@pondboss: Yea, using the White bait was amazing. depending the water, you can see it for miles in the water lol and if the fish just scoops it up, you will see it. This pond i'm at, i am killing the dinks but can not find the big mamas. Since reading HP's 50 steps, i was alot more cautious today walking around the lake. 

 

Now a different question for everyone. Do pre-spawn fish bust schooling shad on the surface or is that a post spawn thing?

 

Joe

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Once they see you its over. Don't bother. Same thing was happening to me. I started just making long casts parrallel to the bank. You may not be able to see them but they cant see you. Chuck worms, jigs, poppers, spooks anything really along the bank from afar and you'll have a better chance at getting bit.

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I think as long as your casting ahead of you your all right. I will fish ponds and pretty much never leave the edge unless the terrain makes it so I have to. Sure as I walk some fish will dart off to the deeper water but I know my bait has already gone by them and they didnt bite it so..Even after being in a spot for a few minutes sometimes I will turn back and cast the way I just came from and catch fish I could of spooked away 5 minutes ago or maybe they just wanted the bait coming from a different direction. I guess it depends on the pond but I am always casting ahead of me and catch more then enough fish.

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Many years ago, I was fishing a tournament with a partner.  I had located bass during the week, so we were in fair shape.

The bass had moved into an area where a small brook provided cool and clear water.  The entrance was maybe 100 ft

wide and continually narrowed and getting shallower.  The water was maybe 5 ft deep to start, and where the fish were

congregated it was 18 inches.  We both used a topwater Devil Horse, making long cast ahead of us until we hooked up.

We held the boat at a distance of 30 to 40 yds, not daring to move closer.  The bass were schooled up heavy as far up

the brook they could get.   We caught a 10 bass limit that day all from that brook inlet, and at the weigh in only one

other boat had a fish.  We were culling.  I learned a good lesson that day.  We had to throw the Devil Horse up as far

as we could and let it sit without moving it.  The bass would eventually hit it.  We would work the fish back to the boat

without moving forward.

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