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Josh Smith

Possible For Fishing Pressure To Be So High Nothing Works?

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Hi Folks,

 

That lake I was studying last year has gained a HUGE number of people this spring.  It's mostly folks going for panfish (which is a problem in and of itself.  There's a limit, but all I see taken are small.)

 

Now, I've not had much luck at all this year.  I'm wondering if it's possible for fishing pressure to be so high that bass just stop biting... period?

 

I've been trying different techniques.  One technique I believe I'll have luck with is thus:

 

1.  3/8oz to 1/2oz football head jig

2.  1/8oz to 1/4oz trailer

 

I didn't have much time to play with this so far.  The jig is fished by tossing the jig out, letting it set for a few seconds to a minute, and giving a bit of slack to the line.

 

I then snap the line hard, short and fast... and I mean hard and fast enough to snap mono, so this is a super braid only proposition.

 

What I think this is doing is playing the line like a banjo string and the low frequency should attract bass.

 

The day I came up with this idea I ended up with something in that lake biting and fighting for a moment before it let go.  It didn't commit to the hook. 

 

Either it was a large bass that had learned to avoid traditional presentations, or it was a catfish.  No carp in here.

 

But I dunno.  Is there such thing as so much fishing pressure that the bass just quit?

 

Regards,

 

Josh

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Hmmmmm.. lotsa questions in there.

 

No. Fishing pressure will not completely kill the bite. It will influence it though. If you know how to fish, you can work around it. Best advice, beyond your re-visiting this question in a few years, is to take advantage of low visibility sky and water conditions -clouds, chop, turbidity, cover. Also, learn about speed control as this can matter a lot and will vary with conditions and fish mood (and season). Then add versatility. Hey, it takes time. Enjoy the journey.

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Thank you, Paul.

 

I've been fishing since 1979 or so (I was like, 2).  I'm the son of a '70s bass fisherman.

 

This is the most challenging lake I've ever fished, which is why I fish it!  I usually pull fish out when others aren't.

 

Never had considered whether fishing pressure could totally kill the bite, though, and this seemed to be the time to ask.

 

Most of my reels are slow to moderate. 23ipt to 26ipt or so.  One is around 31ipt, but I hardly ever use that.

 

Thank you!

 

Regards,

 

Josh

 

P.S.  I plan to have the boat back out this year, and it will help my frustration.  I know where the bass are but can't get to 'em without the boat.  Good news is others can't, either!  J.S.

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Fish mid-week at night -

 

I bet the only fishing pressure then - will be Yours.

 

A-Jay

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No, the fish will not stop eating and commit suicide by starvation if the fishing pressure gets high. ;)

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No, the fish will not stop eating and commit suicide by starvation if the fishing pressure gets high. ;)

 

Oh, c'mon.  There's forage that we don't generally duplicate with artificials!  <grumble>  Freshwater shrimp, for instance.  Or those miniature leech looking things I found in this year's first bass's mouth.

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Fish mid-week at night -

 

I bet the only fishing pressure then - will be Yours.

 

A-Jay

 

Yes, Sir, that's what I was doing last year with quite a bit of success.

 

This year, other folks have the same idea.

 

I've not talked about it except for on this board... so I must assume Hoosier spies. ;)

 

Josh

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Fishing pressure can make the bite extremely difficult, obviously the fish do not stop eating but fooling them into biting artificial is more difficult. Time to throw stuff different than others are throwing, I bet most will be throwing very similar baits which is the local "hot" bait. Whether its bigger or smaller, moving or very slow finesse put something in front of them that is outside the normal artificial.

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Yes, Sir, that's what I was doing last year with quite a bit of success.

 

This year, other folks have the same idea.

 

I've not talked about it except for on this board... so I must assume Hoosier spies. ;)

 

Josh

 

Understand.

 

When an angler continues to do the right things at the right times & places, eventually good things happen.

 

Keep at it & Good Luck

 

A-Jay

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 Fishing pressure can really make bass reluctant to commit . Slowing down is not always the answer .  The bass get a good look at the bait. When using slow baits I do camouflage the line with  a sharpie . Most people laugh at that idea but it cant hurt  . I try to match the bait with the water color  , another tactic that people scoff at .  I use crankbaits and spinnerbaits that dont move a lot of water or   make a lot of noise . Thats often a good way too turn a slow day into a good day . I'm quiet as possible   make long cast,  trying to make myself invisible. A chop on the water  does a good job of disguising top waters . Thats how I combat a slow bite due to fishing pressure and it's far from foolproof . 

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I have found that on my lake, the fishing pressure only lasts a few weeks. After people get used to the idea that winter is finally over and the crappie fishing slows down, I pretty much have the lake to myself.

Hootie

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I have seen a group of live bait fisherman descend on an area and ruin the bite in an isolated section of lake from too much pressure.  You need to move to a new location, and let the pressured area recover.  It will come back, new fish will move in to fill the void..

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Big topwater bait can sometimes get a bite in hard fished water - small finesse baits (ned rig - etc.) fished subtly - these are the two techniques that I try when the place has been pounded hard.

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I think so, at Smith Mountain I'm pretty sure the bass now only eat plankton...they don't bite anything I throw :) LOL...It is a pressured lake but somehow good weights are brought to the scales week in, week out. So pressure can make it tough but if you have it figured out you can catch a bunch. I wish I had it figured out for sure ;) Smith can be ridiculously tough for me at least but I doubt pressure is entirely to blame.

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Try to find a bait that is not being used a whole lot.  I think big bass get leery of hitting certain baits when there are a lot of people out on the water.  I also don't use braid on heavily fished lakes, I stick to copoly, or fluoro.  It seems to work better.

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My friend uses crappie size crankbaits in bubble gum color when he thinks fish are too pressured or turned off. He reels them down and lets them float back up. It gets a bite every now and then. But not at a much greater percentage than I get with the usual offerings. And often they won't hit his at all.

 

I'd say go back to basics. Dig up some old standbys like Rooster Tails and Beetle Spins. Down size and use what others aren't or won't. Or...use live bait. Night crawlers have caught a many o' good bass.

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I know a few spots that people only ever use live bait and you almost never see someone throwing a lure. But still it is a hard place to fish even if they don't really see lures often. Then I know places that get bombed with lures all the time and are much easier to catch fish. I also have been to places that haven't been fished in decades and you can hardly buy a bite with any thing.I have come to the conclusion some places suck and some don't regardless of the pressure.

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Figured It Out!

 

Hi Folks,

 

I'd posted a couple weeks ago looking for info on bluegill behavior because they're the main bait fish.

 

Got to looking around very closely, and found this:

post-48680-0-91100600-1431130462_thumb.j

 

I took that picture through my polarized glasses.  (Sorry for the poor pic; used my cell phone and it's old.)

 

Those are bluegill nests.  You can't see 'em in the pic, but bluegill were sitting atop 'em.

 

The bass were on the edges hunting the bluegill. 

 

This is very odd; the bass have not yet spawned but the bluegill have.  Isn't that working in reverse???

 

At any rate, I took three bass.  The first one, which was 13.5" or 14", ate a jig.  The second one took a Spittin' Image.  The last one hit a jig as soon as it hit the water!  All three were between 12" and 14".  Not huge at all, but good for that lake.  Too, I'm sure there are bigger ones hidden in some inaccessible-from-shore coves.

 

First jig was blue and black; second one was red and dark blue.

 

I left while the bite was still on.  There was a feller I'd seen catching nothing, so I showed him where to move and what to try first.  I wanted to go to the river and try for some smallies as this was a very good day for fishing.

 

Now, I need to figure out why the bluegill are spawning so soon, and also where they hang out for the rest of the year.  They are definitely not the only forage in the lake (crawdads are plentiful, for example), but they are the only baitfish.

 

Josh

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On The Tough Bite Days , I Pull Out My (Storm WildEye) 2 in Blue Gills , 

 

Mike

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The place I fish at from shore has so much fishing pressure in the evenings I had to start fishing in the early am in the dark. I had to avoid the people casting 2oz weights. There saltwater fishing in freshwater. It's almost elbow to elbow fishing in the evenings. I caught bass but nothing over 5lbs. Mainly 2lb to 3lb bass averaging 6 to 9 bass per outing. Early morning fishing is when there's no noise.

Your alone but you must be very very quiet.

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Those definitely look like bluegill beds which means the bass are pretty much done. You might find a few on beds but they are done for the most part. Out west here we fish some of the clearest high pressured water in the country. Pressure definitely plays a roll but you can still catch fish if you make the right adjustments. The only thing you said you have been using is a jig and based on how you said you are fishing it you are not covering all of the water column. There is a top middle and bottom. In clear water with high pressure I am generally going with fast moving baits, swimbaits and finesse baits.

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No, the fish will not stop eating and commit suicide by starvation if the fishing pressure gets high. ;)

Actually from a purely scientific prospective, in a controlled environment it may be possible for any animal to starve to death if it is conditioned to associate pain or danger with the act of feeding. This has nothing to do with the "smartness" of the bass, just the opposite actually. Bass can't think, make decisions or reason. Purely instinctual.

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I have seen a group of live bait fisherman descend on an area...

I am imagining a huge swarm of human sized locusts carrying spincast rods & minnow buckets buzzing through the air...

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I am imagining a huge swarm of human sized locusts carrying spincast rods & minnow buckets buzzing through the air...

There are places that use to be good but are basically fished out now from live bait. Some places have been hurt badly by the Amish fishing 20 people deep and keeping anything they catch. It doesn't take long to destroy a place like that.

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I've started going out with the idea that I'm going to catch at least one fish, and that I'm not leaving until I do. Instead of playing with one lure all day long I'll throw everything in my bag at the fish until I catch something. 

 

I've only had luck with finesse presentations and a red lipless crank, and I think the crank may have been a reaction strike. The topwater bite hasn't turned on for me, yet.. And I've never caught anything with a jig, jerkbait, spinnerbait, squarebill or deep diving crank... Starting to think they don't work for me!

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