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jitterbugs

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does anyone have a good technique for the jitterbug. I reel it in nice and slow but whenever i see afish go after it it always missses it. I will see the splas but it never bites at it. It is really weird. Today i went out kayaking on the river and I had at least twenty splashes but I didnt catch one fish!!!!!!

Any help would be appreciated.

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When that happens to me, I do two things.  First I vary my retrieve.  It may be the speed of the retrieve, or varying the retrieve, such as stop and go, or reel 6inches then pause.  If the splashes continue I try a different color, or size. Which IMO color doesnt really matter with topwater lures.  If the splashes still continue after those changes, I try a different topwater.

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Hmm, were you pausing the lure at all? If not try a 4-8 second pause every so often. If the fish attacks it on a pause it will most likely get hooked. The only reason that comes to mind for me when you said you missed all them hits is because the fish is attacking the bait while its moving and just basiclly missing it. Ive noticed sometimes the fish just isn't in the mood to chase a bait and will often miss the bait and not bother trying a second time to catch it. Usually in this case a slower retrieve with many pauses is the way to go. They say when the water is beginning to become cold the fish doesn't like to use alot of energy to catch a bait, the fish is in search of a easy meal, not something thats hard to catch.  So next time this starts happening to you again, try constant pauses, I can almost guarantee you'll hook more fish.

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I use Jitterbugs a lot and it sounds very unusual to have so many boils without actually striking the lure. The Jitterbug is often (always in my case) fished with a steady retrieve and is easier for a fish to home in on than a lure fished erratically.

Sometimes after a boil, the fish will strike a few casts later. But you should think about throwing a topwater which is fished more slowly or quickly toss a soft plastic into the area of the boil.

Are you sure it's bass that are doing the boiling?

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Guest avid

I suspect that as you see the bass approaching, you get excited a without realizing it start reeling a little faster.  This will throw off the basses timing, but more importantly will make him "suspicious".  I know it's hard but concentrate on maintaining a steady retrieve.  You'll get bit.

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I had posted this in another jitterbug thread.

The jitterbug is a great lure. For me it has worked best on calm water in the evenings. I retrive it as slow 'n steady as I can and still get that gurgling sound.   ;)

If you have a newer jitterbug do check the spoon and hooks for loose screws. You can take them out and add a little super glue when you put them back in. The newer jitterbugs just aren't as tough as the older ones.  :'(

If you want to look at more jitterbug info  ;)------->http://www.bassresource.com/bass_fishing_forums/YaBB.pl?num=1161204727

Two things that I forgot to add last time; First, after landing on the water I let it sit there for a few seconds. Sometimes I'll get a strike right after it lands. Second, sometimes(if slow and steady isn't working) I'll stop it for a few seconds around structure during my retrive.

BR

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Theres really no technique involved  ;) action on the jitterbug is automatic, vary your retrives from fast to slow and find out ehat they want -WM

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if bass are slapping at a bait especially alot there is something they dont like about it.i would think the noise is attracting them or at least aggitating them but something is causing them to slap instead of eat.id try a differnt type of topwater...spook,or devils horse

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I do not fish a jitter bug much but if I am fishing the river and the smallies are just jumping over my top-water bait or near it without actually hitting it I take it off and try something else.  I have had this happen at times with a spook and a torpedo.  I usually switch to something very different like a jig or a spinnerbait.  When they are jumping near your bait you know where the fish are ;D switch off to something else and catch them ;D

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I suspect that as you see the bass approaching, you get excited a without realizing it start reeling a little faster. This will throw off the basses timing, but more importantly will make him "suspicious". I know it's hard but concentrate on maintaining a steady retrieve. You'll get bit.

I totally agree! I have used jitterbugs extensively, and I consider them as one of the most reliable, if not THE most reliable, topwaters. I fish them only for largemouths, so I don't know if there is any difference on how smallmouths hit it. Nevertheless, I did have similar situations myself when I first started using them back in 2002. What helped me a lot was that I started using them at dawn and dusk, when i couldn't notice if a fish was approaching, and the "explosion" was the clue that I had a bite. Since then, my bite/hook up ratio has been more than 90%.  

A few things I have found (that have already been mentioned by other people):

1. When you cast the jitterbug, let it sit still at the very least until all ripples on the water have disappeared. I don't remember a fish hitting it without moving, but I had a lot of strikes in the first few seconds of retrieve after I let it sit still. I believe the splash draws their attention, and as soon as the lure starts moving, they attack it because they are afraid it will gone (sort of reaction bite).

2. Play a bit with retrieve speeds, but not during the same cast. What I mean, make one cast and retrieve it rather fast, then another cast rather slow, then one ultra snow (fast enough just to make the gurgling sound), then a medium speed - until you find the retrieve they like. But for some reason they don't seem to bite when the retrieve spped varies within the same cast.

3. If you see a bass hitting it stop your retrieve for one or two seconds - there is a general tendency with topwater lures to strike a second too fast and miss the fish.

4. I have found that the ideal time to use a jitterbug is when there is a slight ripple on the water during the day. With a heavy ripple they don't work well, and with a glassy surface they rarely get attacked. But perhaps the best time to use them is just after sunset until dark, and from darkness until sunrise.

5. If you have missed strikes, try to observe what happens to the lure after the missed strike. Oftentimes (and this is true for most topwaters but especially poppers and jitterbugs) after a missed attack you will see your lure being thrown a few inches away. What happens in this case is that you have irritated a non-feeding bass which just kicked your lure away from its area. If that happens then this very same bass is readily catchable with a plastic lure thrown where the boil occured.

If though the bass just miss the lure without actually hitting it then it might be something in the general image provided. Usually it's either a too large lure (ie downsize a bit) or retrieve speed. I doubt that a color change would be needed, just a size or speed change.

6. Finally, be persistent, don't hurry, and you will be eventually rewarded!  

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i have this happen alot on jitterbugs, after they miss it just let it set a few seconds then just twitch it a little and it usualy gets hit again.

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