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Buck Perry

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After doing considerable reading on this site on structure fishing I decided to order and read "SpoonPlugging". I am about done and have really enjoyed the book, a great read. I know I have wasted many years on haphazard fishing. I want to implement a lot of what I have read. I also ordered Bill Murphy's book. Hey, lots of time until ice off. 

Anyway, one big question I have is what do those of you, that utilize Buck's principles, do for really checking deeper water? I don't intend on buying any of those spoonplugs. I'm also not sure how to feel about trolling. I did plenty of it walleye fishing, but not so much with bass. I also believe that with our mapping technology we now have, maybe that takes care of alot of why he trolled.

I guess my bigger question is how have you used his principles? Thanks.

 

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After doing considerable reading on this site on structure fishing I decided to order and read "SpoonPlugging". I am about done and have really enjoyed the book, a great read. I know I have wasted many years on haphazard fishing. I want to implement a lot of what I have read. I also ordered Bill Murphy's book. Hey, lots of time until ice off. 

 

Anyway, one big question I have is what do those of you, that utilize Buck's principles, do for really checking deeper water? I don't intend on buying any of those spoonplugs. I'm also not sure how to feel about trolling. I did plenty of it walleye fishing, but not so much with bass. I also believe that with our mapping technology we now have, maybe that takes care of alot of why he trolled.

 

I guess my bigger question is how have you used his principles? Thanks.

 

If you liked the book "Spoonplugging," then you'll like Murphy's book, too. BTW, Murphy was a troller part of the time even though he personally disliked the technique. 

 

As for the deep water part, I'll throw in my two cents. Part of trolling a spoonplug was to map and interpret the bottom, yes. As you suggested, a lot of the mapping now days is largely done for anglers due to the chips and technology available. Still, there is nothing like putting a lure down there to feel out things like bottom content, whether there is any cover in relation to those breaklines/structure/etc. and what type, as well as to simply see if there are biting fish using that structure. Also, not all maps are 100% dead on when it comes to subtle structural differences (fingers, breaks, etc.).

 

That said, the other part of trolling was to check all speeds. There is simply no way you can reel a bait faster than you can troll it, and at times, that type speed will be the trigger that makes a fish bite. You'll read that again in Murphy's book when you get to that part. So yes, you can fish without trolling, especially if you simply focus on fishing prime structures as opposed to searching general areas, but realize that you'll be leaving a certain segment of speed control out of your game. Beyond that, you can cover speeds well from casting and retrieving cranks or similar plugs as fast as reasonable, all the way down to dead-sticking or drop-shot type presentations with almost no "speed." You'll be able to cover most of the speed range casting, but not all, especially as you go deeper.

 

-T9

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Buck Perry's writings apply to lakes that he was familiar with, i.e. older lakes where all the major wood was clear cut prior to flooding and the basin structure was the primary fish attractant.   Lakes that were constructed after he quit publishing, like Truman Lake in Missouri, 40,000+ acres of flooded forest, not as much.  I dare you to go try to map out structure in Truman with spoon plugs.   You will bankrupt yourself, probably before you get one cove mapped.  I wonder if Buck Perry spend any time on Ozark Highland lakes.

 

Buck Perry doesn't address water color very much.  Other than mentioning that deep water is the home of fish he doesn't really go into how deep, he doesn't mention thermoclines.  He isn't that concerned about water temperatures. He doesn't even go into how deep in relation to the average depth of the lake.  All of these are important points.

 

From a historical perspective, I think that it is important to try to understand what Buck Perry was talking about, but I think that he left many fish location issues unaddressed.  Mostly I think that it because of the kind of lakes he fished.  The farther away from the kind of lakes he fished, the less his thinking applies, IMO.

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I rely on topo maps and my electronics.  On the majority of lakes I fish, I don't look for fish with my electronics. I'm checking out the information I get from them with the maps and I'll make indications on the map of bottom content, presence of weeds, and any differences in the depth changes that are or aren't indicated on the map.  I don't fish any big impoundments, so I'm able to check out the majority of spots that interest me before I begin fishing.  After being on the lake a few times, I'll have enough info to forego that process.

The biggest obsticle, IMO, to applying Buck's structure principles is to being able to apply them to whatever lake you're on.  You may not use spoonplugs in your maping of an area, but fish location based on the structure and cover is where this game plan of his really shine.  Water color, temps. (other than seasonal), and the presence or absence of a thermocline are irrelevent in the process.  I didn't say they are irrelevent altogether, but to finding productive structure.

If you're looking for additional reading material, check out Lunkers Love Nightcrawlers.  Although the chapters on fishing structure mirror Buck's the use of spoonplugs isn't mentioned and it may give you a clearer mental picture of how and what to look for.

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After doing considerable reading on this site on structure fishing I decided to order and read "SpoonPlugging". I am about done and have really enjoyed the book, a great read. I know I have wasted many years on haphazard fishing. I want to implement a lot of what I have read. I also ordered Bill Murphy's book. Hey, lots of time until ice off. 

Anyway, one big question I have is what do those of you, that utilize Buck's principles, do for really checking deeper water? I don't intend on buying any of those spoonplugs. I'm also not sure how to feel about trolling. I did plenty of it walleye fishing, but not so much with bass. I also believe that with our mapping technology we now have, maybe that takes care of alot of why he trolled.

I guess my bigger question is how have you used his principles? Thanks.

 

Congrats, you've answered your own question! 

 

Mr. Perry didn't have the technology we do today, so he had to rely on the practice of trolling spoonplugs to realize what the structure/cover that was below him.  He had an amazing talent of being able to recognize structure and cover using a simple technique while using fishing gear that none of us would even consider today.  Buck Perry wasn't fishing with today's graphite rods, or superlines, and he sure wasn't sitting in a $85k Ranger.   

 

What you really want to do, is go back through his writings and pick up on the real lessons he was trying to pass along.  That is how bass relate to the structure and cover available to them. 

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Buck Perry is an excellent foundation on which to build our own personal repertoire of confusion.

To understand where bass are we must understand the following.

What structure is, how to truly identify it, interpret it, and then fish it effectively.

What is the predominate prey species in your body of water and how that species relates to structure morning, noon, and night...with each passing season.

Available cover and how it's positioned on the structure.

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Without trying to totally derail this thread I'd like to just add a couple of things that I see as misinformation posted above.

 

There's a LOT of talk about water color in the Spoonplugging literature. Many stories about how Buck would drive all around some giant lake or impoundment looking for the area with the best water color to help narrow down where he would start. He cataloged and rated different water colors and visibility.

 

He also wrote at length about traveling around much of the country and fishing as many different types of lakes as possible, from the highland glacial lakes up north to the flatland reservoirs of the south. Giant impounded reservoirs, cleared trees, standing trees, deltas, he fished them all and he discussed them each specifically in his many writings. He said repeatedly that he was speaking to principles that applied to ALL fisheries, he just liked to use big reservoirs as examples because they had the largest variety of structure types for demonstration purposes.

 

With regards to trolling and the OPs question T9 pointed out the two key points to consider. You give up speed control at faster speeds and only something with a hook on it is actually going tell you if there are fish in the mood to strike down there.

 

What you have to keep in mind when it comes to the spoonplugging system is that Buck was very rarely out fishing for stragglers; a fish here and there. He was constantly on the hunt for an active school and his system was designed to methodically eliminate low percentage water and then strain the high percentage areas, checking all speeds and each depth until one arrived at the fish. Trolling as needed simply makes this process more thorough and gets it done more efficiently and quickly. Modern technology can obviously help in this area.

 

Trolling is part of my approach but I fish out of a kayak so I'm fully aware that I'm limiting my speed control. I can troll at a pretty good clip but I can't sustain it going over a deep hump over and over for an hour. 

 

I might just add, since I'm already all over the place here, and apparently feel like rambling - Trolling, when you're just out searching or 'mapping' an area can be boring I agree. HOWEVER, if I know there's a rock pile, or a stump or something there on a ledge in 15 FOW, and I determine that letting out X amount of line and paddling at X speed directly towards that tree with the water tower lined up behind it, will keep my lure running about 1' above the bottom until it hits that bit of cover; and I do it, and I feel my lure running free, and as expected I get to a certain point and I feel my lure hit that obstacle, and then I immediately get bit and pull a fish off it - that is IMMENSELY SATISFYING. The trolling experience is completely transformed at that point. I'm no longer just dragging a lure behind me. I'm simply using my boat to get my lure into a precise location in a precise manner that I wouldn't be able to accomplish by casting alone. Accomplish that one time and I promise you that you'll never look at trolling the same way again.

 

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Sorry DRD20 but while you where idling around trying to get your lure to contact fish, I've already located them on down imaging, caught them, & moved on to the next way point!

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Sorry DRD20 but while you where idling around trying to get your lure to contact fish, I've already located them on down imaging, caught them, & moved on to the next way point!

 

No apologies needed! Your success in no way diminishes my own personal sense of satisfaction :) On my second trip to the above-mentioned spot I'll hit it precisely without nearly as much overhead.  I also wasn't implying that I don't use technology as my primary resource to locate the spots on the spots, only that sometimes I find trolling the best method to fish that spot, and when done with that purpose in mind, trolling can be every bit as fun as casting. For me anyway.

 

~DR

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I really appreciate the feedback so far.

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