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LuckyGia

Get The School Bass To Bite !

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I have fished most of my life, and that is a pretty long time :) It has only been my third year of focusing mainly on bass. I usually fished for whatever season was opening. But now that NY has the catch and release program, we can fish for bass year round.

Anyway, I had read that there are two types of bass. 1 ) Loners 2) Schooling

I had thought about that and determined that I have been fishing for the loners 100% of my fishing experience.

I have still never focused on fishing for the schooling fish.

This week as the spawn is getting started here, I am seeing schools of real nice sized fish in 1 foot of water. I am talking 20 to 30 three and four pound fish. Seems that anything I throw their way is ignored like the plague. I haven't had a single bite from any of these schools. Is this normal ?

And I am wondering that the old saying comes into play here, ( if you can see them, they can see you )

. I did have a couple of times when I would hook a fish and 10 to 15 fish followed it in. So had to be a school and they didn't see me ?

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Throw a crankbait in their and get em fired up. Then pick through the lethargic ones with a jig.. I'm surprised you are seeing schooling fish so shallow

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Smallmouth or largemouth bass?

Tom

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You may be confusing "school" bass -those that hunt together in a large group for schooling pelagic preyfish- with an aggregation of individual and small-group bass collected up on spawning habitat. Timing is right where you are for the latter.

 

Peri-spawners can be tough; their minds being on other matters.

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You may be confusing "school" bass -those that hunt together in a large group for schooling pelagic preyfish- with an aggregation of individual and small-group bass collected up on spawning habitat. Timing is right where you are for the latter.

 

Peri-spawners can be tough; their minds being on other matters.

This was also a thought just for the fact I couldn't verify they were schools.

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If you are talking about largemouth bass, there are video's by Glen Lau called Bigmouth and Bigmouth forever. The Bigmouth Forever video has a segment of school bass, bass that tend to stay in groups most of their lifetime and roam seeking prey. Thie roaming hunting technique is common with smallmouth and spotted bass, less common with largemouth unless palegic prey fish are being targeted.

You hear or read bass anglers talk about bass moving up into an area or turning on, these are most likely a school of bass moving into a hunting site. Bass that stay at a home location are rarely loners, usually 3 or more bass stay together as a small group. You may only see one bass hiding under cover, others are nearby.

School bass feeding on palegic baitfish like Shad maybe off shore or near shore depending on where the baitfish are located. When school bass feed it's fast action and lures that are similar size, shape and color as the baitfish work good. Structure spoons and lipless crankbaits are excellent lures for school bass feeding on Shad.

Tom

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Large aggregations of bass will collect on or near particular spawning banks. There can be impressive numbers of mature bass and it’s pretty exciting to see. For a long time I held onto the idea that this was moon related, as one of the first times I saw it was during a full moon window, and you read so often about the moon and spawn. But I don’t think that’s the case anymore, the moon phase was more coincidence. Not discounting some effect entirely, but there are other things that are more important.

 

Regardless, the numbers can be impressive –at times I’ve seen what looks like the entire population of mature bass piled up along one shoreline, alternately holding or slowly cruising back and forth. They don't always spawn right then either; I've seen big aggregations form and then drop back away. 

 

As exciting as it is to see, they aren’t as gung-ho to crack lures as pre-spawn feeders are. They are focused on each other and show little interest in chasing lures. 

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For a long time I held onto the idea that this was moon related, as one of the first times I saw it was during a full moon window, and you read so often about the moon and spawn. But I don’t think that’s the case anymore, the moon phase was more coincidence.

 

As exciting as it is to see, they aren’t as gung-ho to crack lures as pre-spawn feeders are.

They are focused on each other and show little interest in chasing lures. 

 

Yup

 

Roger

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Pre spawn is in a few stages, early movement from deeper winter location to "pre spawn" feeding locations, these are the active big bass. The time when these bass transition from pre spawn to spawn is when you see bigger females cruising the spawning areas. Cruising pew spawner's are very difficult to catch, as noted above , they are not interested in eating, spawning is on the agenda. You typically see waves or groups of bass moving along the bank and these bass are usually skittish.

Tom

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My favorite way is a #9, or a #11 rapala jerkbait thrown through the school, either gold or silver. If that doesn't work, a silver, blue back rattle trap.

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