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Fishing Schooling Minnows

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Starting this time of year and through the fall the lake I fish on has huge schools of minnows, probably this years hatch of shad.  The bass really bust into them, but they can be hard to catch.  I think there are so many minnows that they have little reason to pay much attention to my offerings.  Do you guys have any lures/techniques that you find to be particularly useful in this type situation?

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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Starting this time of year and through the fall the lake I fish on has huge schools of minnows, probably this years hatch of shad.  The bass really bust into them, but they can be hard to catch.  I think there are so many minnows that they have little reason to pay much attention to my offerings.  Do you guys have any lures/techniques that you find to be particularly useful in this type situation?

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

 

Lipless cranks work well for me.

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Match the minnows exactly with a rapala. Scent it and bring it into the school. Don't cast into the school. Sneak in quietly. Mimic the minnows by twitching it.

I'm sorry I played God one time. The pickerel were attacking this year's bass fry. I put on a rapala bass minnow and caught four pickerel. The attack stopped. I'm sorry I was compelled to do it.

Rapala original floating minnows rock.

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You might get lucky but the last time I tried it they could careless about my fake lures when minnows are schooling and they were feeding on them.

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I've had really good luck with a silver blade in that situation. You can let it drop like an injured one and that's the one they pick off.

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I've had really good luck with a silver blade in that situation. You can let it drop like an injured one and that's the one they pick off.

Is a silver blade a specific brand name lure, or are you talking about a generic spoon type lure?

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Tail spinner ;)

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Small fluke, inline spinner. If they're really shallow, put a small swimbait or minnow imitation on a dropshot. That's been a killer technique for me recently. 

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Small bass like to chase down the ones in the school. Big bass like to sit on the bottom below the school and will eat the dying ones that fall to the bottom. I'd try putting on a big cast master or some other spoon that matches the hatch. Get it down below the school and jig it, using big 3 foot rips up and letting it fall again.

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Lots of choices depending on what those "minnows" are; could be Threadfin Shad or silversides, both school up. The Threadfin Shad are about 3" to 5" and silversides are 2" to 4" and thinner bodies.

A variety of spoons work, under spins (Swarming Hornet) with tiny flukes, small crankbaits, Pop-r type poppers (Splash-It) and other smaller size surface lures and Little George type (Wing Ding) tail spins.

Tom

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Look up double fluke rig. You can use two different colors if you want but I wouldn't get too different. Just pearl and chartreuse. You can use it on a jighead and bounce on the bottom too. You can use a baby bass Spook or Pop R if the schooling gets really wild. If it's kinda spotty the Pop R gets their attention, but you have to cast it out there quickly when you see one busting. A Mann's L'il George is a great schooling bait too. You can throw a Hopkins spoon and let it flutter down if it's not too deep. Then rip it up and let it fall. You can also hook up with stripers this way if there are any.

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Jerkbaits, Shad Raps and rattletraps. If you are in a big lake with many schools of threadfin shad look for the birds. Works for black bass , white bass and striped bass.

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Is a silver blade a specific brand name lure, or are you talking about a generic spoon type lure?

I'm sorry, a blade bait like a Silver Buddy, Heddon Sonar, BPS Lazer Blade etc... They are thin, flat baits known as "blade baits" and are typically thrown in a silver (nickel) color or gold. They are known as cold water baits and are very productive in cold water but I've hammered bass in the summer in 75 degree water on them when I see tiny baitfish popping on the surface. I like a yo-yo retrieve in those conditions and a bottom hop in super cold water.

Good vid on them:

If that doesn't get you ordering blades, nothing will.....

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Look up double fluke rig. You can use two different colors if you want but I wouldn't get too different. Just pearl and chartreuse. You can use it on a jighead and bounce on the bottom too. You can use a baby bass Spook or Pop R if the schooling gets really wild. If it's kinda spotty the Pop R gets their attention, but you have to cast it out there quickly when you see one busting. A Mann's L'il George is a great schooling bait too. You can throw a Hopkins spoon and let it flutter down if it's not too deep. Then rip it up and let it fall. You can also hook up with stripers this way if there are any.

u mention a Manns lil George haven't seen one in years,

are these still used by many?

I can think of many situations I think they would be great just never thought about b4m

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u mention a Manns lil George haven't seen one in years,

are these still used by many?

I can think of many situations I think they would be great just never thought about b4m

Yeah, check this out

https://store.mannsbait.com/Lead-Baits

I still have a 3/4 oz one. I caught many o' fish of several species on this one as a kid.

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Take a look at Wahoo Wing Ding 1/2 or 3/4 oz in Shad colors. The Little Goerge is the original tail spin, but it tends to tear out easily, the wing ding doesn't.

Tom

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Bill Norman's Knock Off of the Rinky Dink!

NormanKnockOff.jpg

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I like lures  that  are small , heavy will cast a like bullets . One that hasnt been mentioned is the Strike King Rocket Shad .

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When the baitfish school up, I find that it's very similar to fishing for redfish and speckled trout. Steal a saltwater technique and try a popping cork rig.  You can cast the rig a long way(sidearm lob like a carolina rig) and a weightless fluke works well for me.

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If the bass are busting a school of shad and breaking the surface throw a walking stick bait. I use a Sexy Dawg in sexy shad color and have had great luck.

Starting this time of year and through the fall the lake I fish on has huge schools of minnows, probably this years hatch of shad.  The bass really bust into them, but they can be hard to catch.  I think there are so many minnows that they have little reason to pay much attention to my offerings.  Do you guys have any lures/techniques that you find to be particularly useful in this type situation?

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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Bill Norman's Knock Off of the Rinky Dink!NormanKnockOff.jpg

They look exactly the same, was Rinky Dink was the original? I made a line through that was similar to the Pedigo Spin Rite design back in the early 70's, didn't know about these back then.

Tom

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They look exactly the same, was Rinky Dink was the original? I made a line through that was similar to the Pedigo Spin Rite design back in the early 70's, didn't know about these back then.

Tom

1 st: Wing Ding, original not sure who made it; discontinued

2 nd: Rinky Dink, copy of Wing Ding; discontinued

3 rd: Norman Knockoff, copy of Rinky Dink

4 th: Wahoo Wing Ding copy of original

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