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Topwater98

I Want A New Pb!

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I have only been bass fishing for the past 3 years. I have gone from using 1 rod and just simply casting spinnerbaits anywhere and hoping for a fish, to owning 5 rods and using a wide variety of baits. Last year I started catching bass more consistently. I rarely get to go fishing for more than 2-3 hours at a time so I think It is pretty good to get 2-15 bass a day depending partly on how long I am out. Most of my fish last year were 15-16 inches long. This year I have started catching lots of fish in the 17-18 inch range. My personal best is a little over 19 inches. I caught it during a trip to Minnesota on live bluegill(about the only time I have used bluegills as bait). I am catching lots of good fish lately but I just can't get a giant! In Northern Wisconsin I think a 4# fish would be great. Right now I have by far the most confidence in frogs. Here is the picture of my personal best. I had a scale at the time but it was an old spring scale that was rusty. It only weighed it to 3.15 lbs. I have tested the scale since and realized that it always weighs things too light. Any guesses? Since then my biggest bass is 3.25 lbs. If you are wondering why my personal best says 4-5 lbs it is because I got a 4.8 lb smallmouth in Chequamegon Bay.

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Topwater98, keep fishing!! Keep learning and fine tuning techniques and you will  break your PB sooner than you think. 

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The lake I usually fish is a 280 acre lake. It hardly has a single log or rock in the whole lake. There are a couple of medium sized beds of lily pads that I like to fish with frogs. There are also a couple areas of matted pondweed. There are quite a few boat docks in the lake. It has a max depth of 24 feet. Most of the lake is deep weed beds. Some spots have weeds growing up to the surface from 10-15 feet of water. I have tried to fish out there a few times but it is hard to get lures down. My favorite baits are mostly topwater lures. I have used wacky rigged stick-Os quite a bit as well. The lake is full of pike so there are some lures I don't like to use much because the get bit off.

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Start using bigger sized baits. This does not mean necessarily mean go buy big giant swimbaits. Baits you can use are jigs, bigger worms, and 5+" paddle tail swimbaits such as Keitechs and Basstrix Hollowbodies

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something simple some guys forget... time on the water. If I spend 30 hours a month fishing and you spend 15, I am twice as "lucky" as you. Fish early and fish late. Fish the spawn. Throw big baits.

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I usually fish out of a canoe so positioning near the fish is often a problem. Last time I went to the lake I saw a fish in the water that I am pretty much sure would have been a new PB but the wind blew me right over it and scared it away.

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I have only been bass fishing for the past 3 years. I have gone from using 1 rod and just simply casting spinnerbaits anywhere and hoping for a fish, to owning 5 rods and using a wide variety of baits. Last year I started catching bass more consistently. I rarely get to go fishing for more than 2-3 hours at a time so I think It is pretty good to get 2-15 bass a day depending partly on how long I am out. Most of my fish last year were 15-16 inches long. This year I have started catching lots of fish in the 17-18 inch range. My personal best is a little over 19 inches. I caught it during a trip to Minnesota on live bluegill(about the only time I have used bluegills as bait). I am catching lots of good fish lately but I just can't get a giant! In Northern Wisconsin I think a 4# fish would be great. Right now I have by far the most confidence in frogs. Here is the picture of my personal best. I had a scale at the time but it was an old spring scale that was rusty. It only weighed it to 3.15 lbs. I have tested the scale since and realized that it always weighs things too light. Any guesses? Since then my biggest bass is 3.25 lbs. If you are wondering why my personal best says 4-5 lbs it is because I got a 4.8 lb smallmouth in Chequamegon Bay.

attachicon.gifP1000273.JPG

I would keep at it with the frogs and other topwater lures. I have caught two 6s and three 5s (in MN/IA) and all but one of them were on topwater...both of the 6s on a black poppin' frog.

And as far as your MN fishing using sunfish as bait goes, I would suggest checking out the MN fishing regs. See the next-to-last bullet in this section.

Bait

Can I use bait in Minnesota waters?

• You can fish with a variety of live or dead bait including worms, night crawlers, in­ sects and larva. If you are fishing with minnows or leeches, a number of restrictions apply.

• If you chose to keep your bait when done fishing, you must exchange water in bait buckets with tap or bottled water prior to leaving any water body, except when you are fishing through the ice. The exception for ice fishing does not apply when fishing on VHS-infested waters.

• You cannot dispose of unwanted minnows and leeches in Minnesota waters. Un­ used bait, including night crawlers, should be put in the garbage. See pages 24-26.

• You cannot use whole or parts of game fish, goldfish or carp for bait.

• You may not take bait from infested waters, except bullhead, sucker, mooneye, goldeye and sheepshead may be taken by hook and line from infested rivers for personal use as bait for fishing on the same infested river where the bait was taken. This bait may not be transported live from or off the river.

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Are bluegill considered gamefish? I think they would be in a different category. I guess I should have looked at the regulations a little. I do basically all of my fishing in Wisconsin.

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Are bluegill considered gamefish? I think they would be in a different category. I guess I should have looked at the regulations a little. I do basically all of my fishing in Wisconsin.

Yes, they are considered game fish...at least in MN anyway. We have lots of "quirky" regs here.

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You should get an anchor!?

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Frogs are a great choice for big fish but the will also be a great time if that monster takes a while. I fish a lot of jigs and pitch plastics. Craws and hogs are great choices. If you are trophy hunting then swimbaits might be the ticket.

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i'd be stoked about a 4.8lb smallmouth man...... 

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I have only been bass fishing for the past 3 years. I have gone from using 1 rod and just simply casting spinnerbaits anywhere and hoping for a fish, to owning 5 rods and using a wide variety of baits. Last year I started catching bass more consistently. I rarely get to go fishing for more than 2-3 hours at a time so I think It is pretty good to get 2-15 bass a day depending partly on how long I am out. Most of my fish last year were 15-16 inches long. This year I have started catching lots of fish in the 17-18 inch range. My personal best is a little over 19 inches. I caught it during a trip to Minnesota on live bluegill(about the only time I have used bluegills as bait). I am catching lots of good fish lately but I just can't get a giant! In Northern Wisconsin I think a 4# fish would be great. Right now I have by far the most confidence in frogs. Here is the picture of my personal best. I had a scale at the time but it was an old spring scale that was rusty. It only weighed it to 3.15 lbs. I have tested the scale since and realized that it always weighs things too light. Any guesses? Since then my biggest bass is 3.25 lbs. If you are wondering why my personal best says 4-5 lbs it is because I got a 4.8 lb smallmouth in Chequamegon Bay.

attachicon.gifP1000273.JPG

Don't use game fish for bait in Minnesota.  It's against the law!

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Don't use game fish for bait in Minnesota.  It's against the law!

 

Yep, we already went through that in posts 8-10 of this thread.  :smiley:

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something simple some guys forget... time on the water. If I spend 30 hours a month fishing and you spend 15, I am twice as "lucky" as you. Fish early and fish late. Fish the spawn. Throw big baits.

This. Spend as much time as you can on the water

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Get yourself an anchor man!  Also use some bigger baits like other members have mentioned.  I've caught some of my best fish on big soft plastics like  8 inch plastic lizards, and full size brush hogs.  Put those big soft plastics in the pads!!!

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i'd be stoked about a 4.8lb smallmouth man...... 

I was definitely excited when I caught it! Up here though that is not really rare. I haven't come close to it since but for the people who have boats and know where to go there are many of those fish available. I have probably caught 3-5 smallmouth bigger than my PB largemouth. I held it in the water so it could breath while someone got the camera ready but it shook free. :(

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I think I will be able to get out on a different lake than my usual one this evening. I have fished this lake a few times at it seems like it has almost no weeds other than lily pads. This lake also has a few brush piles and laydowns so I could try fishing them. I will try to force myself to use big jigs or plastics some(it is hard for me to get away from frogs!). Just to let you know I do own 3 swimbaits. I have a bbz1 6 inch perch, a river2sea S waver and a bbz1 shad 4 inch in bluegill colors. I know it probably hurts my chances of big bass but I usually use these baits with a wire leader to protect from pike bite-offs. I just can't afford to be replacing these expensive baits very often.

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I was definitely excited when I caught it! Up here though that is not really rare. I haven't come close to it since but for the people who have boats and know where to go there are many of those fish available. I have probably caught 3-5 smallmouth bigger than my PB largemouth. I held it in the water so it could breath while someone got the camera ready but it shook free. :(

 

i can tell you that a 4.5lb smallie would get a lot of folks excited in Middle GA

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Well, if you want a new PB, you need to be fishing for a new PB.

 

Big baits isn't the answer in itself.

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No better time than summer to break that PB. Get acquainted with top water baits, depending on the area - buzzbaits, frogs, and spooks (my favorite). Almost impossible to not break your PB with one of those this summer! Jigs are also a great way to target numbers but also quality fish. I used to throw big swimbaits for new PBs, and ironically, once I stopped throwing big baits and went back to more average baits, I caught my two biggest fish ever.

 

 Good luck  

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No better time than summer to break that PB. Get acquainted with top water baits, depending on the area - buzzbaits, frogs, and spooks (my favorite). Almost impossible to not break your PB with one of those this summer! Jigs are also a great way to target numbers but also quality fish. I used to throw big swimbaits for new PBs, and ironically, once I stopped throwing big baits and went back to more average baits, I caught my two biggest fish ever.

 

 Good luck  

It would be easier if I knew what my PB was! Any guesses of the size of my PB. I posted a picture in the original post. I have a good working scale now so I will know how big they are. My biggest one on that scale was 3 lbs 4 oz but I think that one was bigger. I know for sure that it was longer.

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Some of my biggest bass have been caught on finesse type lures.

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This. Spend as much time as you can on the water

It's nothing but being there at the right time.  If we could control the size of fish we caught, each one be a monster, it doesn't work that way.  There may big one down there, doesn't mean it's first to the lure.  Gotta have a little luck too.

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