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15 minutes ago, AlabamaSpothunter said:

Careful Jake, those hats make you rant about FFS like a lunatic 🤣

 

 

Awwww jeeze we like Matt Stefan and Fish the Moment/Jony Schultz and those guys use FFS plenty and Jake just digs the hat and the jerky.  No FFS hate here...mostly indifference but I can't say we disagree with all of RB ideas about technology necessarily - he just maybe needs to let it go and accept that people are always gonna disagree and then he needs to go catch a big bass or two....does the soul good.  He's a great angler and teacher - when he's not ranting about FFS.  Sorry hopefully not derailing positive thread here.  Hooray for catching bass and cured meats. 😂😂😂

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@PhishLI reminds me of John McClane. No matter the conditions, Phish just keeps fishing like John just keeps fighting.

 

 

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Well my first bass of the year, I am starting to think that there is something going on with the ecosystem in a pond that I have been fishing for 4 years now. The numbers and size and general health of the fish has been dramatically declining for the past 2 years now. Caught this poor little guy that could use a decent meal, caught on one of my bfs setups with 4Lb fluorocarbon. 1/16 oz micro shad head and a smelt shad fry z.

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Murph! Hail, hail, the gang's all here. And you're a furry Murph too!

 

That bass is two-dimensional. I bet the pond has a parasite. There's a pond near me where all the bass are scary skinny. 

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On 4/5/2024 at 5:42 PM, ol'crickety said:

You southern anglers have sure delivered

Pat and Alex carry. The rest of us just do doughnuts around the lake and sip on sweet tea whenever someone asks if we are catching. Disco likes to catch a 7lber every so often to keep us on our feet.

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@LrgmouthShad: Doing doughnuts around the lake and sipping on sweet tea sounds pretty, well, er. sweet!

 

When I fished the solar eclipse, the best part of my day wasn't catching, but poking around a stream I'd never fished. I'd paddle a bit, take the water's temperature, jab my paddle down to see if I could find the bottom, and imagine fishing it in the dark someday soon when it's warm enough for the bass to actually chase my lures.

 

I just wish I'd had a sweet tea with me or that my canoe was quick enough to do a doughnut. 

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Got a break in between storms, so took advantage of a rare cloudy day for me. Started with topwater (Spook) over potential main lake spawning flats w/o a bite. Moved into a creek arm and was able to get a killer blowup on a shallow laydown. Never could duplicate that bite though. Picked off two deeper fish on Ned-type stuff…and one more crappie brushing the 3 lb. mark. That’s probably it until next week.

 

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Were Back GIF by Corporate Bro

 

First two fish of the year on the board! 

 

My wife and I took our six month old to the park that's circled by the Chippewa. I threw on the waders and tied on a Ned rig. A few casts in I had hooked my first fish of the year. She was a beautiful, fat 13 incher. I know I don't look it in the picture, but I'm elated. That's my happy face:spacer.png

 

A few casts later I had the second fish of the year: a smaller and not nearly as colourful smallie: 

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My wife was kind enough to take the pictures and watch from the bank. After breaking off my last two Ned rigs (my spring resupply is still in the mail), I called it "good enough" and my wife and I finished the evening with a stroll around the park. 

 

Finally I can talk about fish and not naps or flowers. :D

 

Neither of these are giants, not even keeper size. But fish are fun and I'm living up to my username. 

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23 hours ago, AlabamaSpothunter said:

@deep  I really dig your style, you seem committed to the big swimbait.  Wasn't around when you were posting before.     I haven't found anything in Bass fishing that rivals catching them on big swimbaits.   Pure adrenaline from the moment they eat. 

 

That last fish is a beautiful freak show.....congrats.    

 

Thank you!

I am not committed to the big swimbait. I love jerkbaits and rats and frogs too. The last several years, mostly because I don't get to fish very often, when I do get a chance, I fish what I like to fish and what I want to catch a fish on that particular day. If I catch a fish or two, that's great; but if not, that's fine too. I literally fished 7 times last year, and caught 6 bass in all.

There was a time when I was committed to the 8" or larger swimbaits. About 10-12 years back. I fished swimbaits a lot, like almost everyday. I got skunked a lot too. I also caught a lot of big fish. Mostly walking the shorelines of small public highland reservoirs. I had good teachers though, mostly folks from SoCal, and a few from other places.

I still retain most of the knowledge. Just don't have the time/ opportunity to apply them on the water. And that's fine with me too. I'm just glad that I fished a lot when I had the chance to do so.

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10 hours ago, PhishLI said:
Last night was odd for a few reasons. At this particular spot, and at this particular time of year, I usually start on the northeastern shoreline because that's where the pads come up first. The entrance to this lake is on the southwestern side and I'll fly right through it. However, every spot I briefly lit up with my headlamp on the way over was loaded with bluegill, so I had to stop. Strangely, the bluegill were mixed in size, from very large to very small. I've never seen this here. They're always found in like-sized groups.
 
Got a smack and missed on my very first cast throwing a Savage Gear pulse tail bluegill, but then I couldn't buy a sniff, and I threw the kitchen sink at them while slowly working my way north. Spent the next 2 ½ hours blanking, it was getting late, and I was really starting to feel it in my back as I'm not quite in wading shape just yet. Nothing gets me in wading shape other than wading.
 
I finally booked over to where I should have started in the first place, on the eastern side, touched my toes a few times to try to loosen up, chucked the 6" 6th Sense Trace floater, and finally found a willing eater on my third cast. Go figure. By then it was 12:30 am, and I need my beauty sleep more than ever, so I called it a win and boogied.
 

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The one thing I'm jealous of you northerners about. I could never bank fish that late at night with the gators here.

 

1 hour ago, Team9nine said:

Got a break in between storms, so took advantage of a rare cloudy day for me. Started with topwater (Spook) over potential main lake spawning flats w/o a bite. Moved into a creek arm and was able to get a killer blowup on a shallow laydown. Never could duplicate that bite though. Picked off two deeper fish on Ned-type stuff…and one more crappie brushing the 3 lb. mark. That’s probably it until next week.

 

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S L A B

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5 hours ago, Aaron_H said:

The one thing I'm jealous of you northerners about. I could never bank fish that late at night with the gators here.

Then I'd recommend finding a spot without dinosaurs in it. For a number of reasons, night fishing provides a completely different rush. Between the darkness and relative silence, I'm just tuned in on a different frequency. Heart pounding and the shakes are ramped up during the hit, fight, and landing. It's electrifying really, and the closest feeling I've ever had to cracking my bike's throttle wide open at night on a deserted highway when I was young and insane. Alas, I'm much older now, and far less tempted to dare God with my life, but I can get that same buzz on the cheap by fishing in the dark.

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35 minutes ago, PhishLI said:

For a number of reasons, night fishing provides a completely different rush. Between the darkness and relative silence, I'm just tuned in on a different frequency. Heart pounding and the shakes are ramped up during the hit, fight, and landing.

Absolutely. I'm really looking forward to it. Normally I'd be about six weeks out from going nocturnal right now, but this spring, who knows? Last August I added these guys into the night fishing mix. 

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They up the excitement ante by a big margin. 

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@PhishLI and @T-Billy are spot on. Plus, big girls are creatures of the night. I spent a lot of time this winter looking back at my 2023 catches and I noted that most of my biggest bass were framed in black.

 

 

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4 hours ago, PhishLI said:

Then I'd recommend finding a spot without dinosaurs in it. For a number of reasons, night fishing provides a completely different rush. Between the darkness and relative silence, I'm just tuned in on a different frequency. Heart pounding and the shakes are ramped up during the hit, fight, and landing. It's electrifying really, and the closest feeling I've ever had to cracking my bike's throttle wide open at night on a deserted highway when I was young and insane. Alas, I'm much older now, and far less tempted to dare God with my life, but I can get that same buzz on the cheap by fishing in the dark.

 

Good luck finding that in Florida! 😂 I've seen decent sized gators in a spot of water smaller than my driveway. Any speck of water that's been there long enough to be worth fishing is gonna have gators in it as well.

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My favorite 'night' to fish happens just before the dawn.  I set my alarm clock for 4 am starting in about July.  Topwater in the pitch black before the first rays of the sun are seen can put the fear of God into anyone.  It's spectacularly electrifying.  You feel all of what makes humans animals firing at once.  You get so tuned into the rhythm of what's happening around you at night.  It makes you a MUCH better angler IMHO.

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Not sure I would consider getting up before the sun rises to be a "night" fishing outing.  Ya you might be out there for an hour in the dark but the majority of your time is still during daylight hours.

 

What @T-Billy, @Catt, and @PhishLI do is night time fishing.  They specifically set out in the middle of the night or just prior to sunset and fish the wee hours of the night.  That's raw.  I used to do it a lot when I was younger and walleye fishing.  We'd use lighted slip bobbers.  It was extremely effective.

 

I don't have the energy to be a night owl anymore.  It would really screw up my sleeping habits for a couple days too.  Sometimes I do start before it gets dark and then fish an hour or two after the sun goes down.  Still wouldn't specifically call that fishing at night time though.  Also, I generally do not have to resort to fishing in the dark because it doesn't get hellaciously hot here for weeks on end like it does down south.

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I agree with @gimruis. I'm not a true nighttime angler. I launch at four in the morning and it's dark, but not for long. Still, in those brief, dark moments, I catch some of my biggest girls. 

 

@Pat Brown: Well described, Pat! It is spooky and thrilling. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, ol'crickety said:

I noted that most of my biggest bass were framed in black

I can go back through decades of my big fish pics and find two common themes. The majority were either caught in the dark, or from cold water. Sub 55 degrees gets me excited. I've caught big's in about every condition, but those two factors definitely up the odds of connecting with a giant. 

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I like to fish til 1 am in the late spring but that bite seems to get less good in the later summer!

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36 minutes ago, T-Billy said:

I can go back through decades of my big fish pics and find two common themes. The majority were either caught in the dark, or from cold water. Sub 55 degrees gets me excited. I've caught big's in about every condition, but those two factors definitely up the odds of connecting with a giant. 

 

Tim, I've been struggling this Spring, as you likely already know, with water in the low forties at the surface. I'm guessing the water is upper thirties six to ten feet down, where I've caught a few, but boy, they make me work. They don't exactly "hit" the lure. The rod just gets heavy and in the canoe, they are so cold to the touch.

 

However, I'm not fishing big fish water yet because I stashed my canoe at the land I bought and that lake isn't a big bass lake, although I think it's on its way as the fish are an inch longer, on average, then they were in 2022.

 

Soon, I'll bring my lightweight canoe out of the woods when I stash a heavy, old canoe there and use my lightweight canoe to fish for big spring bass. 

 

3 minutes ago, Pat Brown said:

I like to fish til 1 am in the late spring but that bite seems to get less good in the later summer!

 

You are brave, Pat.

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