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Slefler

Not Too Sure What To Use

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A little background( this will probably turn into a novel so I apologize ahead of time) I have a local pond that I started fishing last summer and has produced bass of nice size more so than any other pond that I fish since I don't have a boat. It's a pretty big pond I'm not sure of acreage. There's a track around it I used to run that went around the waterline and didn't deviate to any other trail, it was 2 ,lies to make one loop if that helps in judging size. It's stained(?) water clarity I can see about 2-4ft down but it doesn't have the brownish muddy hue to it. Ever since late fall and early winter the bite has just shut down almost completely. I went this evening for about 2 hours until the sunset only catching one bass about 1lb. I caught it using a Texas rigged Rage Tail Craw in Falcon Lake Craw color. It was very cloudy and about a 10mph wind blowing. Only 3 lures that I've used has produced bass for me, the most successful being a Texas rigged or weightless stick worm in the watermelon seed color. The other being a Rage Tail Craw Texas rigged as well as a Texas rigged Zoom Lizard. It's bottom composition from what I can tell is only what I can call "grassy". Hang ups happen every now and then. The deepest part is 60ft deep the way I learned this is a long story so I won't bother with telling it. The species in there is LMB, bluegill, catfish, crappie, tilapia, Shad, golden shiners, and crawfish.

The point of this novel is I am in dire straits, I no longer know how to fish for them let alone what to use, I want to learn different techniques but I'm not sure what else to use in this body of water. Suggestions? Tips? Advice people be greatly appreciated!

The gear I use is 7' med-hvy rod with 12lb mono on a shimano Curado is what I almost always use until I build my "arsenal".

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I've thrown spinnerbaits a couple times as did my Pop who goes out there with me occasionally. I've gotten nothing on them and he had a fish but lost it at the bank. We used chartreuse/white and chartreuse colors without a trailer. The water temp is still ice cold even down here in Texas that's a reason I didn't throw a spinnerbait this most recent time. I've tried walk-the-dog type baits when I get out there in the early morning as well as jitterbugs but nothing doing. I recently bought some scatter rap minnows and a scatter rap Shad but I haven't tried them yet. I'm still in the update process for my tackle box so I don't know which cranks to get or jerkbaits for that matter. I've been fishing since I'm could walk but never too serious about bass until last year and during this winter I started reading and researching about it trying to learn but it's like drinking from a fire hydrant.

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Slefer, sounds like a nice pond.

 

Here is my input for your consumption and consideration:

1.  Did the pond "turn over" this past fall? If so, you may have to wait for the water temperatures to increase and the thermocline to reappear.

2.  You write you caught some on plastics. That's a clue. Try a shaky head, drop shot and a weightless white fluke.

3.  If the water temperature is "on the cold side" fish slow. Have you ever heard of "dead sticking?" That is when you throw your plastic, usually a four inch worm, and let it sit in place for at least 90 to 120 seconds. Drives me nuts but try to see if "dead sticking" will produce any strikes.

4.  Remember, bass still eat in the winter. Their metabolism is very slow and it could take up to two weeks to digest a meal, but they do eat. So knowing the forage you need to think like a bass and remember to fish s-l-o-w as the things they eat will move slow in cold water. This is true for fishing on the bottom or pulling a moving bait through the water.

5.  Have you thrown any "flat sided" crankbaits or Rat-L-Trap Lipless types of cranks? Give them a try. And fish them at different depths at different times so you can figure out where the fish are staging or holding in structure.

6.  #5 Shad Raps. Silver with black back. Consider throwing one of these to see if they can muster some hits.

7.  Jerkbaits can work, too. These are fished slow and can be boring if no hits. Remember, a yellow eye means the jerkbait floats and a red eye means the jerkbait suspends. Just cast it out, and tweak it back to you. The bass will hit it between tweaks, which you can extend to 20 to 30 seconds before moving the bait again.

8.  Color may not be that important. A tight "wobble" in a crankbait is more important. If the water gets cloudy or stained you may need a tight wobbling crankbait with rattles.

9.  Jig and pig. You have to throw this one. Blue/black; peanut butter and jelly; green pumpkin; are all favorite colors. Add a bulky but short trailer to give the jig some nice bulk as the bass will not want to expend much energy to attack anything and they are looking for an easy meal dropped in their face.

 

We could go on but please try the drop shot and shaky head presentations first, using a Zoom Trick Worm or any nice 7 to 8-inch worm of your choice. Put it on the smallest jig head you can cast easily and keep a finger on your line as it comes off the spool so you can feel the hits. Plus, watch your line. Just like fishing stick baits (Senkos, Dingers, etc.) you always have to watch your line. If it moves; if the bait stops falling on the cast; SET THE HOOK HARD OVER YOUR HEAD!  Hook sets are free.

 

So go back out with your dad and you all form a plan of attack, with you throwing one bait and technique and your dad throwing another bait and technique. Your goal is to locate the fish (holding deep, off ledges, in any bottom structure, under bank foliage, by rocks, holding to any wood in the water, etc.) for that day.

 

One more thing to consider. In the winter months the western and northern banks warm up faster. This is why we fish them in the winter first, if possible. Even a two or three degree change in water temperature due to rocks, wood, etc. holding heat will attract the baitfish and the bass. So fish the pond's northern and western banks first, understanding that parallel casts along the bank can be very productive as the bass wake up and decide to try their luck at breakfast.

 

Let us know how you do. And please read, read, read and watch videos about bass fishing. I will be "personal messaging" you a Facebook site to subscribe. It sends out too many videos about bass fishing but you need to read every one. And also subscribe to this Forum on Facebook for its releases and sign up for Bassresource videos on YouTube.

 

All the best and Tight Lines!

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If It were me I would slow way down. The bass are still there they simply are not eating at the rate when their metabolism was much higher.(Late Spring through late Fall)

 

I would pick the one bait you have the most confidence with and fish the fire out of it SLOWLY. Pay close attention to your line and anything at all that feels different. As they say, hook sets are free, so when In doubt set the hook. 

 

Lastly, go out there and have fun. There are many folks that would love to have fishable water this time of year. 

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One more tip.

 

Put some MegaStrike on all baits you throw.

 

Just a suggestion.

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thanks for the responses guys. Yesterday when I went out there I fished as slow as I could dead sticking and just barely bumping along the bottom. I can't begin to tell you how many articles I've read on fishing cold water and they all reiterate to fish slow so I got that down and I'd have to remind myself as the fishing progressed and I'd start to get antsy. 

 

I haven't tried any crankbaits yet, I've been trying to find some to buy but there are some many choices I get "lost in the sauce" on which ones I'd like to try let alone which color but as you said it's more presentation than color (I've read numerous threads concerning this argument I'm not looking to start that debate lol) so I'm not sure which ones would work best, any suggestions? I'll pick up a Shad Rap when I buy my next batch of lures. the same goes for jerkbaits, I've looked at em all on TW but I've yet to make a decision and everyone has their own preferred lures I've noticed when reading the different forums and boards on the topics of jerkbaits and cranks. All I'm left with is about 15 different lures to choose from and a confused feeling on not knowing which ones would work best.

 

I'll also be ordering some jigs from Siebert Outdoors really soon to try out, I like his color selection.  I have a couple SK Football Head jigs in varying colors and sizes but I haven't committed into throwing one just yet. 

 

I recently bought the VMC Rugby Head to use as a shaky head and I got some Roboworms and SK Finesse worms for it and also during my next batch of tackle I really want to get Megastrike Shake2 Pro Model to try out. 

 

I subscribed to BassResource's YouTube channel and watched all his videos which were awesome and extremely helpful!

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How did I not know this? A great tip amongst a whole pet of great info. Thanks.

[quote name="Sam" post="1442938"

1. Remember, a yellow eye means the jerkbait floats and a red eye means the jerkbait suspends.

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You said that you had luck with weightless stick worms in watermelon seed. I imagine that you were using a standard 5" stick worm, so you should try using a smaller 4" version. I usually have luck with curly tail worms, and as the fish get more finicky I'll go down in weight and if that doesn't work I'd use a smaller size. Based on the conditions you're faced with I would try a 6"-8" worm with an 1/8 or 3/16 ounce weight in either a green pumpkin or watermelon color. I'm partial to Netbait C-Macs, Berkley Power Worms, and Havoc Juice Worms. I'd also try some 6" or 4.5" Big Bite Squirrel Tail Worms in the color of your choice (I'd try a watermelon red flake) on a shaky head. There's no reason that they shouldn't be hitting a spinnerbait if you're fishing it slow enough, but they may not hit a full sized one. Try going down to an 1/8 ounce model like a Strike King Mini King. I'd try a chartreuse/white, chartreuse/white/blue, or a pure white. Zoom Super Flukes will most likely be one of the best lures to use, but when you buy a pack most of them will have bent tails. This is easy to fix though, because all that you need to do is boil the tails for 10-15 seconds. I would use a pearl white, and if that doesn't work I would try dipping the tails in a chartreuse dye like Spike It or JJ's Magic. Try multiple retrieves though because some days they'll want it in a walk the dog retrieve, a stop and go retrieve, the regular jerking retrieve, and sometimes they just want to hit one that is going in a steady straight line back to the boat. I actually caught my PB on a watermelon seed fluke that I dipped the tail in chartreuse and retrieved slowly in a straight line. You can also try throwing out a drop shot and slowly dragging it back to the boat. I hope that this helps.

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one of the best things I've seen in cold weather is the Chatter Bait, retrieve just fast enough to feel the vibration.  hammer the area repetitively, sooner or later you'll tick something off and get a reaction strike.

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The next time I can commit half a day out there I'll try down sizing my worms.  

 

I keep hearing about chatterbaits but I've never tried them, who makes some good ones?

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Fish in the southern states can REALLY be affected by cold water and extended periods of cold weather. I think they probably went deep where you cant reach them. But a few warm sunny days and they should move back shallower.

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That's what I've been thinking but we haven't had a warming trend for me to test the theory.

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I'd tie on a swim jig.  Use either a boot tail or LFT magic shad for the trailer.

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As you can see, Sam knows next to nothing about fishing.  :teeth: :teeth:  Just being a smart so-and-so.   I may have to learn to use my Facebook account.  Sam, would you send me that link as well?  Thanks.

 

OP, I noticed there are golden shiners in the pond.  I realize most of us dislike using live bait, but I know for a fact those live shiners can be killer baits.  Couldn't tell you if water temperature makes a difference.  We tried some shiners (caught with bread in the lake we were fishing) one day last year in May.  This was in Florida with my brother-in-law.  His son had told him how effective they were so my bro-in-law wanted to try the shiners.  They were dyn-no-mite!

 

I would suggest using anything but bread to catch them with, tho.  :teeth:

 

I hope I don't get thrown off the forum for mentioning live bait.

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New2BC4bass- I've been there, done that, lol. I threw a cast net at a spillway when water was flowing heavily out of a drainage pipe and into the pond, the baitfish were trying to leave the pond and swim up into the current and into the drainage pipe. It was kind of fun to watch since they would swim hard and leap out of the water and hit the water flowing out and swim as hard as they could to try and make it into the drain pipe. When this happened I ran to my truck and grabbed my cast net and threw it where they were holding at the end of the run off and caught tilapia, shiners and Shad. I used live shiners but to no avail nothing hit them.

Gripnrip- I'll be getting some swim jigs from Siebert Outdoors hopefully when I have extra money. Are there any colors you'd recommend? Any advice on trailers for them as well?

I appreciate the advice and tips. This forum has been a TREMENDOUS help in trying to learn more and the intricacies of bass fishing.

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Blue gill, bloody shad, and smokin silver.  Green pumpkin and some orange and brown colors as well.  I basically have a 5 color limit with any of my lures including jigs.    The first 3 are killer for me.  For a trailer I use either a skinny dipper or a LFT magic shad.  

 

I purchase grass jigs to double as swim jigs.  It doesn't matter to me if my swim jigs have eyes.  Just a thought if you want to save some money. I have also used Rage tail baits as trailers to.  

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I almost forgot.  I did a review on the bluegill grass jig that I used as a swim jig.  Click on the link.

 

http://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/topic/119539-siebert-jig-reviews/#entry1306876

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Great review, thanks for the help. I'll be picking up some jigs and spinnerbaits from him hopefully soon. Right now I just have two decent combos that I use one is a 7' med hvy Veritas with a revo sx spooled with 12lb mono. My other one, the one I use the majority of the time is a 7' med hvy Kistler custom that was given to me, paired with a Curado 200G also spooled with 12lb mono. When I get my order I will tie on a jig on one and only use it so I can focus and play with only that bait. I'll buy the 3 colors you suggested and see how they work in my neck o'the woods.

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Update:

Fished there for about three hours this morning. I used a zoom fluke, football head jig with rage craw trailer and a VMC rugby head with a Roboworm. Got two bites on the jig and absolutely nothing else on the other two. I fished SLOWWWWWW.

I've yet to buy anything from Sierbert like the swim jigs to try out there. Unfortunately I'll be goin to Louisiana for a month so I won't b able to get back out there anytime soon, hopefully I won't miss the spawn.

Any other bait/ technique suggestions?

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Update:

Fished there for about three hours this morning. I used a zoom fluke, football head jig with rage craw trailer and a VMC rugby head with a Roboworm. Got two bites on the jig and absolutely nothing else on the other two. I fished SLOWWWWWW.

I've yet to buy anything from Sierbert like the swim jigs to try out there. Unfortunately I'll be goin to Louisiana for a month so I won't b able to get back out there anytime soon, hopefully I won't miss the spawn.

Any other bait/ technique suggestions?

You can swim any jig.  Put a trailer on and go!  The rage trailer you used may be a little to much action.  Try a beaver style bait as a trailer.  I use the Missile D-bomb on my jigs.  A thicker trailer slows the rate of fall.  

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I've got some RI 4.20 Beavers I could try out as well as Zoom Z hog both match my jigs as far as colors. If I were to swim a football head what type of retrieve or cadence would you use?

So basically try a bulkier trailer to enable slower fishing?

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I've got some RI 4.20 Beavers I could try out as well as Zoom Z hog both match my jigs as far as colors. If I were to swim a football head what type of retrieve or cadence would you use?

So basically try a bulkier trailer to enable slower fishing?

Either would work.  A bulkier bait has a slower fall rate.  The thicker  bait creates more drag in the water.  Small bait will sink faster.  Slow roll the jig.  Then kill it.  Count to 5 pop it a few times. Count to 5.  Slow roll.   Or yo-yo it as you slow roll it.  Mix it up.  If you get bit, remember the cadence.  Develop a pattern.  

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