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Esteban

Thinking outside the box for pressured lakes

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I just had a talk recently with an angler who resorted to thinking outside of the box to catch fish. He posted a pic of himself holding a decently sized bass at the lake where I had fished at the same day, but sadly enough I took home the skunk, unfortunately. Now, how come he caught 3 but I couldn't catch a single one? First things first, this lake is heavily pressured. The fish have seen just about everything. They know what to bite and what not to bite. Water clarity is pretty clear, so you can sight fish but it won't do you any good besides watching the fish pay no attention to your bait as it is right in front of their faces. I went fish less for 5 hours until I called it a day. When I saw that picture, I was mind blown, so I obviously had to send him a message. To keep things short, he pretty much said that these fish have seen everything and that you need to throw something that they've never seen before. I then proceeded to ask him what he had used to catch the fish. He replied by saying that he had wacky rigged a BPS Speed Shad(BPS's version of a keitech swing impact fat) and casting it out and letting it fall to mimick an injured bluegill. GENIUS. I had never thought about doing that, EVER. Now, I want to know if any of you of an outside of the box method that you would like to share. I'm really looking into this, because quite frankly, by throwing anything that is thrown over and over again nowadays, you're not gonna catch a single fish. So if any of you have any ideas or anything, please let me know. Thank you all, Esteban

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I used to fish a heavily pressured, clear water lake often. Most everyone resorted to small, natural looking finesse presentations. I did the same but, as would be expected, experienced the same results as everyone else. Then I went the opposite direction and started fishing big swimbaits. I was shocked not only by the number of fish I'd catch and see, but also by how many big fish I would see. It wasn't uncommon to see as many big fish in a single day of fishing a swimbait as I'd see in a year of fishing the standard baits for the lake. It's safe to say, there's not many swimbaiters in NE KS, and I'm just fine with that. 

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Hello Esteban and Welcome to Bass Resource ~

To me "Thinking outside the Box" in bass fishing is the same thing as Adapting to the situation in order to get bit.

In most situations the key the often lies in not what others are doing but doing what works.  The more time & experience an angler has on the water, the more tools they'll usually have at their disposal.

A-Jay

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Thinking outside of the box can be the difference of being skunked, or limiting out. Usually works on lakes that are pressured, but this can work on any lake for that matter. All it really is?  Doing something different than the norm. If everyone is fishing say green pumpkin, and its well known that the lake in question that color slays them there. But you are fishing it and getting the same ole 2 to 3 pounders everyone else is landing. Merely switching color may produce more and bigger fish. OR, changing over from a plastic lure to a jig and pig,...or a  change from a swimbait to a dropshot etc.

 It doesnt have to go as far as the angler you messaged took it, but thats a good one anyways,. I have one that works in late summer when the dog days slow the "norm" on some of the clear lakes up here that get pounded regularly. One technique everyone uses is burning a 1/2 or 3/4 oz white double willow spinnerbait just under the surface seeking active smallies. Typical right? I got some spike-it green metallic dye and dyed the blades on a few 1/4 oz stanley vibrashaft wedge spinnerbaits, that had chartruese heads, and tied on a skirt I made with several different shades of green skirt material, and finished it off with a green pumpkin 3 inch grub that I plastic dyed the end of about 1/4 inch chartruese. I toss it with 7 foot light action spinning rod with a 2000 sized reel spooled up with 8 pound test green stren. Does it work? Hell yeah, when I come to a dog day thats sketchy, I don't even think twice, I go right to it, and you'd think it was an active fall day that they are feeding up for winter. Big or small, they nail that thing, and odd thing is some of them hit it so hard they actually end up jumping right out of the water. And being on a light rod, you could say its a blast. I obviously have to play them right or they are gone, making it extra fun. Its amazing how a slow day all of a sudden is transformed into heart pumpin, action filled, seemingly wild, thumb scuffed, that was awesome, day.

SSSSSSSHHHHHH!!!!   lol

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Instead of slowing down where bass can get a good look at the fake bait try speeding things up . That works sometimes .  Burn a small spinnerbait as fast as you can .

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When I'm on really pressured water I throw extremely small or extremely big. They've seen the middle all day everyday. 

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On pressured lakes, I go old school baits like tubes and grubs that do a pretty good job of looking like something real to eat, the fish seem to never be able to resist a natural looking meal.

Also agree with everyone else in saying giving larger baits a try, or baits like the old Xcalibur SB that just pushed a ton of water, the 200 size especially, that fished like a bigger bait than it was.

 

Also mindset is huge, I you believe you will get bit chances are will you fish harder and more focused. If you are beat before you get on the water your fishing will be sloppy and you will miss out on fish. I can't get with Rick Clunn though that fish can pick up on negative vibes, except when my wife is in the boat and she rarely gets a bite lol.

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