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fishblitzer

fish not taking jig

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Hey everyone,

I was able to spend some time on the water this weekend. I had a great day out on Saturday and caught around 25 bass on a 3/4 oz. jig. They were hammering it and even had one or two swallow it. The next day was a different story. The jig bite was still full on, but the bass were grabbing the trailer claws and not taking the entire jig. I missed close to 15 and boated maybe 4. I know they were biting the trailer claws because I would get a hit, set the hook, and reel up to a clawless trailer. I even had one hang on until it was half way to the boat and then it let go.

From my understanding this means they were less aggressive that day, but is there anything I can do to get them to take it when they are less aggressive? Should I downsize? Just looking for some pointers so next time I am not stumped in this situation.

Not sure if it matters but the jig was a Strike King DB structure jig with a rage tail lobster on as a trailer. I was already cutting the trailers in half to downsize my presentation but it didn't help.

Water was muddy and water temp was 56-58 degrees. Sunny skies and lots of wind.

 

Thanks,

Fishblitzer

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I probably would have gone to a T-rigged craw. But then, I would have already been using one since that's my go-to. It just seems they didn't want the whole BIG JIG presentation, just the trailer.

BTW, isn't that Lobster a big ol' bait? I usually don't go bigger than 4" T-rigged. In winter, bass will crush craws with their lips before eating them, thus the red lips in cold water. For that, a T-rig might work better. May I suggest Berkley Chigger Craw? They'll hold that thing all day long and fight you for it.

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If you are running a good sized trailer then try running a trailer hook if you aren't fishing areas with lots of stuff to get snagged on. May not help with how aggressive the fish are but should help your hookup rate.

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I would start with downsizing that trailer. 

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I would shorten the trailer up a lot maybe forego it all together .

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You didn`t mention the wx from one day to next. Did something change.

Also if you fished the same area, fish that got stung may be just checking it out, without total commitment.

As mentioned smaller baits may help.

 

C22

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4 minutes ago, Catch 22 said:

You didn`t mention the wx from one day to next. Did something change.

Also if you fished the same area, fish that got stung may be just checking it out, without total commitment.

As mentioned smaller baits may help.

 

C22

Apologize for leaving that detail out.

The first day was cloudy with light winds, and the second(when they weren't taking it) was sunny with strong winds.

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You still have neglected to say if on the second day you were fishing the same spot ? ? ?

If that's the case, unless it's a big area or one that is a bit of a bass highway (where it reloads often, not usually the case this time of year) you may have sore lipped a good portion of the resident bass population the day before which may explain the fishes apprehension or lack of commitment to your bait.

 On a day to day basis, every day is different.  Often every 1/2 day or even every hour can be different where changing it up keeps a bite going.  Occasionally a bait change in the same spot will do it. (switching from a crank to a jig for example)  Other times, the same bait presented in the opposite or at least a different direction - from shallow to deep or deep to shallow) can keep the fish interested enough to get a few more bites.

Also If the bait moved,  there's at least a decent chance that most of the bass did as well.  A Change in wind & air temp can have the same effect.

Getting bit in the same place, with the same bait, technique or presentation in the same spot  a couple of days in a row does happen. Past that it starts getting a little tricky - just ask KVD.

A-Jay

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Im not as good as some of the other guys on here, but I would ditch the jig and fish the same trailer (cut down like you mentioned) on the smallest swing jig. No weed guard, no skirt, overall smaller profile.

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Fish a more compact jig and trailer.  I fish the trailers on my jigs just long enough to where the claws are coming out behind the skirt of the jig.  That way if they pick it up they get the whole jig.  So I'd have one rigged like you have it, have another of the same jig with a smaller trailer(using the Lobster, go down a size.)  If that doesn't work downsize the jig and find a compact bait (I fish  a lot of Bass Patrol jigs) and put a 3" trailer on them.  I've had to drop all the way down to a 1/4oz jig and a Tiny Paca Chunk at times to get bit.  If you have too much claw, just need to feed them more jig.

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Downsize. Did you have to use a 3/4oz jig? How deep were they?

"Occasionally a bait change in the same spot will do it." Agree with A-Jay on this. If the jig isn't making it happen, switch. You've got fish, now you have to make them commit -if you can.

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Sorry for not clarifying, it was the same spot the second day. The fish were on a ledge between 20-30ft and we had a strong wind so I used a 3/4oz to get down deep and feel the bottom. I will try a smaller profile next time I run into this problem, thanks everyone for your help! It makes all the sense in the world now!
The ledge we were on was stacked, and I mean stacked, with fish. The side imaging picked up around 30 or more when we left it after the second day. I've never seem anything like it!

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I would downsize the jig and trailer first. Sometimes I have seen the bass hit the jig to kill it and then back off. When they hit like that I usually just let the bait sit for a few seconds. When the bass sees no movement they come back and take the bait. Thishappens a lot in cold water.

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Of course your hook set timing couldn't have been off!

They were hitting the jig which tells me they were aggressive!

when I miss its usually operator error!

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32 minutes ago, Catt said:

Of course your hook set timing couldn't have been off!

They were hitting the jig which tells me they were aggressive!

when I miss its usually operator error!

Of course not! ;)

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1 hour ago, fishblitzer said:

Sorry for not clarifying, it was the same spot the second day. The fish were on a ledge between 20-30ft and we had a strong wind so I used a 3/4oz to get down deep and feel the bottom. I will try a smaller profile next time I run into this problem, thanks everyone for your help! It makes all the sense in the world now!
The ledge we were on was stacked, and I mean stacked, with fish. The side imaging picked up around 30 or more when we left it after the second day. I've never seem anything like it!

Thanks for straightening that out. 

Well, sounds like you were on them.   I'm betting you know this but the bass don't eat 24/7 so unless you can get a reaction strike some how or manage to "turn on the school" (which for me is usually easier said than done) then fishing neutral or even negative bass is pretty frustration.

The Very Good News is you've located some good ones and unless something mandates a relocation, they may stay there a while.  Now it's just a matter of returning to the spot a few times a day and checking if their mood has changed to something closer to one that includes striking your bait. 

In the mean time I'd be looking for other spots that include much of the same parameters (including a school of bait & bass) and see what's what.

Good Luck 

A-Jay

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The changed possibly do to the cold front passing through. At 30' that may not have been the reason, with wind it can be difficult to detect strikes and you late in hook sitting. The bass were very active and changed to being less active, you need to make the adjustments or change lures to a structure of these bass were stacked up.

What type and size of trailer were you using?

What type of bass; LMB, Spotted or Smallmouth?

Tom

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7 minutes ago, WRB said:

The changed possibly do to the cold front passing through. At 30' that may not have been the reason, with wind it can be difficult to detect strikes and you late in hook sitting. The bass were very active and changed to being less active, you need to make the adjustments or change lures to a structure of these bass were stacked up.

What type and size of trailer were you using?

What type of bass; LMB, Spotted or Smallmouth?

Tom

It was a rage tail lobster cut in half and we were targeting spotted bass.

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Ok y'all let's examine the facts!

fishblitzer said he missed 15 fish

i know I'm a dumb Cajun but that tells me

The jig weight, color, trailer & overall profile was correct.

The presentation was correct 

Had they not been ya wouldn't have gotten bite!

He missed the fish due to not getting hook penetration!

When? On The Hook Set ;)

 

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17 minutes ago, Catt said:

Ok y'all let's examine the facts!

fishblitzer said he missed 15 fish

i know I'm a dumb Cajun but that tells me

The jig weight, color, trailer & overall profile was correct.

The presentation was correct 

Had they not been ya wouldn't have gotten bite!

He missed the fish due to not getting hook penetration!

When? On The Hook Set ;)

 

i agree, sounds like he was a bit jumpy on the hookset

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Your both forgetting that after the hooksets I would pull my jig up with no claws left on the trailer. I didn't miss a fish the first day, that is what leaves me to believe it wasn't user error but to each their own! I'm not ruling it out, but I think between me and my co-angler one of us would have connected if indeed they were taking the whole jig. We didn't have any problems the first day :D

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Yelp it was the tackle. ;)

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1 hour ago, fishblitzer said:

It was a rage tail lobster cut in half and we were targeting spotted bass.

Spotted bass often grab a crawdad by the claws to declaw them before engulfing then crunching the craw in the back of their mouth crunchers. It becomes a timing thing when to hook set. You might want to consider a 3" Chigger craw, smaller claws or just hesitate a few counts before hook setting with Spots.

Tom

 

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