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Master Bait'r

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I was off the water by 9:15 this morning. I caught 22 fish: 2 pickerels, 10 smallmouth, and 10 largemouth. Seven of the smallmouth were at the back of a windblown bay. They were fun. My biggest lmb was 18.5" and she's at the bottom of the photos. I'm going fishing again tomorrow morning! I saw an osprey dive on a fish that was so big that the osprey was struggling to fly with it. I caught them on a bone-colored Whopper Plopper, a Yo-Zuri popper, a Golden shiner-colored lipless crankbait, and a shad-colored paddletail. I took nightcrawlers with me in case I saw the bass smacking the surface again that I couldn't catch, but they were gone, so I never used them. The 18.5-incher wasn't thick, but she didn't look unhealthy.

 

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1 hour ago, ol'crickety said:

 

Jeff, your friend's beauty is still thick for post-spawn. Heck, she's thick for pre-spawn. 

 

Yes ma'am! They been eating good!

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7 hours ago, T-Billy said:

LOL. I will be, starting next week. Last night was a recon mission. It's about to be on, when the bass come off the beds.

 

 

We have one more cold front and then the full moon in a week.  I can't wait.  I feel like this time last year we were already way more into the summer/post spawn.

 

I saw bass making beds last night at the pond so it's all out of whack.

 

The water is still in the low to mid 70s though so it makes sense to me...just wild how long the spawn cycle has gone this year here in NC.

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1 hour ago, Pat Brown said:

just wild how long the spawn cycle has gone this year here in NC.

Same deal here in OH. They've moved up only to be pushed back out by cold fronts several times. 

 What a difference a day makes. I took a skunking today. Same conditions, totally different fish behavior. Only saw two quality fish up shallow, and not nearly as many bucks cruising. I fished from 15"-15', grass, wood, rock, clay, moving baits, bottom contact...... Couldn't buy a bite other than a couple redears. Couldn't believe it after what I saw yesterday. 

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It’s been a heck of a weekend so far! Back up to Monday. Dropped my truck off at a local shop (first time) as I had a P0455 large EVAP leak CEL and my left exhaust manifold gasket gave up the ghost after 177K and 18 years of use. Picked it up Thursday. Said they wouldn’t try the manifold as it was too rusty, and they smoke checked the EVAP system and found a leak at the top of the tank, but once again, passed on the repair due to “too rusty”.  I fished yesterday morning and called a shop I stopped at on the way home Thursday. He said it may take longer due to possible snapped bolts so if not, I would not have my truck until Tuesday at best. All the bolts snapped. Needed a new manifold as well. He was finished at 4:30 and 1/2 the cost quoted at the other shop. Came home and reset some hoses on the charcoal canister and cleared the code. No new code after 60 miles of driving!

 

So…having a truck, I decided to fish Lake Raven. Now, 203 acres is not huge, but it’s way bigger than the 2-5 acre ponds I fish 99% of the time. Only fished there once before and got skunked. I am not used to fishing deeper water, and having loads of hydrilla. It’s a learning process. I started on top with a Whopper Plopper, then worked the lily pads with a Texas rig. No strikes. Then I started casting a chatterbait, which lately has been producing. After 10 minutes or so I thought I had a strike and set the hook. I felt it pull and then…boom. Dead stop. I thought it threw the hook and I snagged a log. I kept pulling and still felt a fish. I’m thinking “what is this? A DD?” It was. Almost 3 lbs. of bass wrapped in 8 lbs. of hydrilla lol. I switched to a jig (another bait I rarely use in ponds) and caught another nice bass. Plus I hooked a 20” gar but it threw the hook at the boat. Probably a good thing. 
 

So, only two bass but both were good. I have to fish this reservoir more and learn how to fish it. 
 

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1 hour ago, BrianMDTX said:

Almost 3 lbs. of bass wrapped in 8 lbs. of hydrilla lol.

3+8= 11lbs.  Technically that is a DD.  

 

I've got some kind of stomach bug today.  I managed to catch 4 in between finding places to take a dump.   3 dink Spots and one barely not a dink Largemouth.   

 

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Might as well post up my trip during the hour paddle back to the ramp

 

Hey, first, please excuse my sunscreen face and gas station sunglasses. 
 

But today was real interesting. I caught two more dinks in precisely the same location as yesterday. Had a lot of little fish try to eat my worm there, but only caught those two. I’d been fishing in the same fashion for the whole morning so I basically decided that I was playing a little fish game and should try something else.
 

Heres where it gets interesting. Yesterday I graphed something real interesting. It was an isolated hard spot in 19ft of water with some intermittent hydrilla. I fished it twice yesterday and no luck. Then I graphed over it today, didn’t see much too too much except for one very large solid mark. After I was done fishing some new areas, I came back to that spot, but this time I did not graph it. I merely dropped anchor about 40ft away, and went to casting. Third cast got the 4.5. I wonder if the mark I saw on my graph was this fish. 
 

Bait wise, the zoom mag II is once again asserting that it is king of summertime. Plum color variations are good. 
 

I like this lake! But it fishes a little weird. I’m finding that I have to look for the oddball stuff.

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Son and I had a great tournament today. Unfortunately my bass club is not teams so we were competition.
Three fish Limit club.
 

I won heavy stringer with 10.59 and big bass with 5.18. My son brought in 5.5 lb stringer!

 Second place had 10.56 and weighed in last. Close call!!

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I did some more damage on the brown bass today. These things are shaped like footballs. Thanks to @GreenPig I can now take some action photos by myself using a timer on my camera phone.

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@gimruis, your third bass is so fat it made me laugh!

 

Way to go, @Cbump!

 

@LrgmouthShad, I like the last photo of your big girl. I am terrible at discerning the size of a fish when the fisher's arms are extended, but your big fish right beside you really lets me appreciate her size. Cool how you caught her too. You are wily!

 

@Woody B, I hope you're not reading this because you're sleeping and getting well.

 

Cool that you're fishing new water, @BrianMDTX.

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5 minutes ago, ol'crickety said:

@LrgmouthShad, I like the last photo of your big girl. I am terrible at discerning the size of a fish when the fisher's arms are extended, but your big fish right beside you really lets me appreciate her size. Cool how you caught her too. You are wily!

Thank ya! I'm stumped how to duplicate that into more good fish though, without first spending a lot of time graphing. So likely my last day tomorrow will be spent doing a lot of just that. Graphing. 

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15 minutes ago, ol'crickety said:

@Woody B, I hope you're not reading this because you're sleeping and getting well.

 

I'm good, I'm just full of crap.  LOL    

 

Nice fish everyone.   

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Always great getting out early enough to see the sunrise on the water.

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Solid one on a spinnerbait

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Pops with one on a Keitech

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First whopper plopper fish of the year. Really lucked out having the hook fall off as it went into the net. Good reminder to check those split rings. ?

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@ol'crickety New water is fun, but I went back to old water this evening lol. Only thing that got bites was a wacky rig. Caught two dinks then a decent 2 lb’er. Just as I got it in the boat, the knot broke at the hook. That’s on me, as it’s been tied on a while and I should have retied it. It fell on my fish mat and I lipped it and was going to snap a pic, but it headshaked itself out of my non-GI Joe kung fu grip and back in the drink it went. Caught two more dinks then I hooked one big enough it pulled drag. And then…poof! It was gone. It’s very rare I lose a bass on a wacky rig, so I’m guessing I barely hooked the lip. Darn. That was a good bass! I ended up working a Neko Macho Texas rig. Went to bomb cast it and it went about 20’ and I watched it sail into oblivion as my reel exploded line all over. Must have had a wind knot or something. Oh well, it was spooled with Big Game so respooling is cheap. Might try new “new” water tomorrow or Monday. 

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4 hours ago, gimruis said:

I did some more damage on the brown bass today. These things are shaped like footballs. Thanks to @GreenPig I can now take some action photos by myself using a timer on my camera phone.

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Excellent 

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Fun first couple days of vacation , got one with spinnerbait and a decent one ate a swim jig off the surface in water willow, fun fun fun . Then caught some in the middle of the day with some threadfins we netted. Tried a new spot below a dam this evening and we didn’t do any good but there’s big spotted bass potential (we think). 

 

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3 minutes ago, TnRiver46 said:

Fun first couple days of vacation , got one with spinnerbait and a decent one at a swim jig off the surface in water willow, fun fun fun . Then caught some in the middle of the day with some threadfins we netted. Tried a new spot below a dam this evening and we didn’t do any good but there’s big spotted bass potential (we think). 

 

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Ummmm excuse me but you can't just drop "caught one with a spinnerbait" and leave it at that. This is front page bass resource news.

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I got out a few more times the past few days. I went Thursday for a hour and got skunked lol. I fished the river for a hour in allegan and caught a decent small pike probably 26 inches on top water, I was using a chrome shower blow 105 walking it fast and got within 20 feet of the bank and couldn’t see due to the sun and heard the explosion and set the hook and thought I had a good size smallie. Nope pike got it right beside the bank and tried to lift it up and he got beached and flailing and threw the shower blow back at me. I didn’t get hit, he slowly worked his way back in to the water, no pic of that one.

 

 I got out yesterday and caught a few small large mouth, got bit off by a pike because I seemed to have misplaced my titanium leader. Then on my way back to the car I checked a spot in the river where I know the smallmouth hide and saw one swimming. I sneak down to the bank and make a pitch and I was off, second one was perfect. I am looking at the fish and I don’t think it sees me, slowly working it back and come over the rock and it just smashes it. A decent little fish. 
 

I bought my wife her fishing license and took her and my daughter out to the lake where we buy the annual pass. My wife caught the only fish there and my daughter let it go before we got a picture of it lol. I am happy, my family should be happy now and things are sort of getting better in areas so that’s a start that I will take.

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20 minutes ago, Jmurphy87 said:

I got out a few more times the past few days. I went Thursday for a hour and got skunked lol. I fished the river for a hour in allegan and caught a decent small pike probably 26 inches on top water, I was using a chrome shower blow 105 walking it fast and got within 20 feet of the bank and couldn’t see due to the sun and heard the explosion and set the hook and thought I had a good size smallie. Nope pike got it right beside the bank and tried to lift it up and he got beached and flailing and threw the shower blow back at me. I didn’t get hit, he slowly worked his way back in to the water, no pic of that one.

 

 I got out yesterday and caught a few small large mouth, got bit off by a pike because I seemed to have misplaced my titanium leader. Then on my way back to the car I checked a spot in the river where I know the smallmouth hide and saw one swimming. I sneak down to the bank and make a pitch and I was off, second one was perfect. I am looking at the fish and I don’t think it sees me, slowly working it back and come over the rock and it just smashes it. A decent little fish. 
 

I bought my wife her fishing license and took her and my daughter out to the lake where we buy the annual pass. My wife caught the only fish there and my daughter let it go before we got a picture of it lol. I am happy, my family should be happy now and things are sort of getting better in areas so that’s a start that I will take.

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Nice fish and a fine pair of liberty’s 

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I took a couple friends to an area pond. The husband was fishing and the wife was paddling, so I did some fishing and some paddling, about 50/50. It was fun visiting with the wife and fun seeing the husband so happy, but he was fishing with 6 lb. test and lost a couple nice ones. I told him he needs to upgrade, that 6 lb. test in open water works for smallmouth, but not for the thickets were so many largemouth live. I caught a nice one, 21". Nice belly too and she had those strange bulging eyes like Alex's fish have. She took a Whopper Plopper in the Loon pattern right beside a laydown. I caught some smaller, fat ones too. It was cool to have the photo taken by someone else for a different perspective. I included a pic of a smaller bass so you can see they're all chunky, plus one of my friend's bass with a nice belly.

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2 hours ago, Jmurphy87 said:

I am happy, my family should be happy now and things are sort of getting better in areas so that’s a start that I will take.

 

Well, ^now^ I'm happy too!

 

I enjoyed your photos, @TnRiver46. I'm a sucker for photos of kids with fish. 

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Morning session was pretty good, I got a decent one with a fluke on top in some salad, managed to get it out with 8lb seaguar basix on a spinning outfit. 
 

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@ol'crickety, I was outfished by my buddy’s son in the back of my boat 3-2 this morning, he’s a hammer!

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No pics for me...got out from 730 til 10 today...caught 13 biggest 4 were in the 2.5-3lb range. The other 9 were between 1-1.5lbs. Caught a few on a swim jig but a Texas rigged big bite baby creature did the heavy lifting.

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