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Hey guys. I am back with a thread similar to one before, but it is different. This is more fishing in general rather than lakes. I'll start with my background on this one. Unlike some other fisherman, I really do not have a mentor to teach me the more advanced ropes of the sport. I am completely self-taught. Since I do not have this person, I have a little bit of a hard time getting water time to experiment different baits in different areas. I've tried to look for videos and forum posts to give me basics, but most of them are too specific. So here is my question. Imagine you are pulling up in a boat to a new spot or fishing a new spot from a dock. You've never fished this spot or knew anything about it. What baits would you try? What would make you want to try out these baits? (natural elements: vegetation, rocks, etc.) I know from experience that fisherman keep their very best setups a secret, so be as specific as you want. All replies are appreciated and have a great day.

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I am in the same boat as you. I am teaching myself. Youtube and members on here have been a huge help. I have PM's going with 2-3 members at a time asking them questions. Great people on this board. 

I fish out of my kayak and bring 3 rods with me when I go. I might up that when I get my bigger kayak. But right now I bring my wacky rigged senko rod (medium fast spinning), my texas rigged rod (MH fast casting) and usually have a big ewg worm hook on it ready to throw big worms and creatures and then the third rod is whatever I want to try out for the day. I am learning new techniques and that third rod is basically something I want to try. It has ranged from a rod to throw the whopper plopper, chatterbait rod, my squarebill rod, my heavy pitching setup or even my medium light rod for the ned rig and drop shot. 

Many of these could be thrown on the same rod, but I enjoy getting technique specific rods and learning new techniques. 

I am new too, but this post is just like the questions I have asked many members via PM. Good luck!!

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12 minutes ago, bholtzinger14 said:

I am in the same boat as you. I am teaching myself. Youtube and members on here have been a huge help. I have PM's going with 2-3 members at a time asking them questions. Great people on this board. 

I fish out of my kayak and bring 3 rods with me when I go. I might up that when I get my bigger kayak. But right now I bring my wacky rigged senko rod (medium fast spinning), my texas rigged rod (MH fast casting) and usually have a big ewg worm hook on it ready to throw big worms and creatures and then the third rod is whatever I want to try out for the day. I am learning new techniques and that third rod is basically something I want to try. It has ranged from a rod to throw the whopper plopper, chatterbait rod, my squarebill rod, my heavy pitching setup or even my medium light rod for the ned rig and drop shot. 

Many of these could be thrown on the same rod, but I enjoy getting technique specific rods and learning new techniques. 

I am new too, but this post is just like the questions I have asked many members via PM. Good luck!!

Hey thanks for the reply. Glad to see there are others out there just like me. Good luck to you too!

 

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The more information I have about a lake or a spot on the lake, the more specific I can be when it comes to what combo of equipment I want to start with. Even when fishing from shore, if I can obtain a topo map prior to getting to the spot, I have an idea as to the general depth and bottom content. Once I'm there, I'll observe the surrounding shoreline and the water itself for clarity and the presence of vegetation and forage.

If I'm driving along and come to a body of water I've never fished before, I'll reach for something that will cover the water column and is fairly weedless.  For me, that's a tube bait either T-rigged or with an internal weight. I use a baitcaster, but most use spinning gear.

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I share the same philosophy as papa joe. I have a Plano box filled with various colors of tubes and 3" to 5" grubs, my personal choice is kalins because I feel they have the best action on a slow retrieve. I do also carry a few BPS and zoom grubs too. 

For rigging I go with various weights of slider heads or a plain jighead with the grub if there aren't many weeds. With this box I feel I could hit any lake that has bass and I could catch them. 

For the tubes I generally fish the hopping them off the bottom, but get a lot of strikes on the initial drop. The beauty of a tube is that fished on bottom it imitates a craw. Fish it with a stop and go retrieve up in the column or a big lift and drop it can imitate a swimming or dying baitfish. The tube is probably the most versatile bait out there. 

For grubs I vary the retrieve a lot, even bouncing if off the bottom. The one thing I never seem to do is a straight in retrieve. All I can say is that grubs just catch fish. My PB Muskie and largemouth were caught on a grub. Grubs do pair well with swim jigs, but those can get pricey quick.

When fishing a new lake I look first for visual cover like reed beds, docks, weed lines especially those on a break, lay downs, etc. I would start working those areas first. If those don't produce, I would start working structure like points, ledges and sand flats. If I get to the point of fishing structure, I am in trouble because that is a weak spot in my game plan. I will say sand flats between reed beds can be money, don't just put the trolling motor on high and cast your way over to the next reed bed.

For cranks, I could get by with a few. I would carry a lipless bait or two, my current favorite is the red eye shad, but have done well with others like the rippin rap. For square bills I like the Bill Lewis echo and the Bandit 100. For deep divers I like the Norman deep little n and dd22, Rapala DT series and out of production cranking rap. The square bills and lipless work on shallow flats and I cast them in and around reeds. I have been known to go through the middle of a less dense reed bed and slowly work a squarebill through it, giving the fish they haven't seen in that cover. The deep divers cover the weedline and ledges. Lipless baits have worked at times for me on deep weed lines too  

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Depends on where I am going to fish. If I'm fishing shallow I'll throw a wacky rig with a trick worm. If I'm deeper water I'll throw jig, Texas rig, or a wacky jig. Those are my pretty much go toos. Pretty much I'll have 5-6 rods rigged differently and see what they like including spinner bait, whopper plopper, wacky,Texas and jig 

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If in the kayak, I will start with a spinnerbait to locate aggressive fish. If that isn't working, I go straight to a Slider head and will use various different soft plastic baits...3" Stik-O's(senko type), 3" boot tail grub, 4" worm, 4" lizard, 3-4" fluke...and find where in the water column they are. If all fails, out comes my Frog rod, and work the topwater bite. I am in South Florida, so topwater works pretty much 24/7/365.

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Mor than one of you listed the whopper plopper, is it that good that its already been made a go to? 

Idk if I could go anywhere to fish that I didn't know anything about. It would kill me not to talk to someone or at least look it up. I will always have a jig tied on no matter the conditions or place. Then I would have a t-rig worm, crankbait and some form of top water. This way I can work all the different depths of the water column

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I also don't fish a new spot or lake without looking at a depth map on my fish finder or google earth to at least look for some types of structure. I am amazed at how you can spot some drop offs just looking at Google earth

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19 minutes ago, riverbasser said:

Mor than one of you listed the whopper plopper, is it that good that its already been made a go to? 

Idk if I could go anywhere to fish that I didn't know anything about. It would kill me not to talk to someone or at least look it up. I will always have a jig tied on no matter the conditions or place. Then I would have a t-rig worm, crankbait and some form of top water. This way I can work all the different depths of the water column

Honestly I think it is easier, because you don't get either misinformation or well intended bad advice, and spend all day deep cranking when they are on the docks. The only info I ask for anymore is water temp trends and weed growth and look at a lake map before I go out to figure out the spots I want to hit.

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If I'm bank fishing in an entireIy new place I always start out with faster moving stuff to cover more water.  If fishing from shore I fan cast all around and then move a little and repeat. Lures I usually start out with are cranks ,  spinnerbaits, chatterbaits,  swimbaits,  and topwater.  If I don't catch much on that I use texas rigged worms and jigs.  Finesse stuff like wacky rigging is usually my last resort. I use a had and craw colors on the cranks,  shad and bluegill colors on the other reaction baits, and green pumpkin,  pumpkin, purple,  watermelon and black/blue on worms and jigs. If I don't catch fish on that stuff I just start trying anything and everything

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Most lakes have docks. Two great baits are wacky rigged Senkos and Zoom Super Flukes. You can cast these either under and around the docks and both will  work in the water between docks. The Senko will also work being cast into deep water. 

 

Those two baits would work on almost any lake. 

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Fishing from a kayak, especially in pressured water, I recommend getting back in the thick stuff. Some of my best fishing this year has come when sitting on top of the pads, dropping a senko into a hole that a bass boat couldn't hit from the edge. Or finding a cut through the junk and bringing a topwater mouse/frog across it parallel, again a presentation your standard bass fisherman isn't going to pull off. Landing the fish gets tricky, you better have gear up to the task of yarding them out instantly and dragging them across the pads, but it can pay off!

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I'm nowhere near the best angler, and I still have a lot to learn and I'm hoping people here can help me get better at locating fish. But here's what I've been doing when I get to new places, or places I still have no idea where the fish are. 

I normally start with a spinner bait, black&white if the water is muddy, or chartreuse or white if the water is stained/clear. 

If that doesn't yield anything I switch to a crank bait, normally something in a bluegill, or shad color to imitate bait fish. 

Once again if that does work and I believe they are in shallower waters I drop to something a little slower and work a jerkbait in shiner or gold shiner colors, or a fluke.

After that, I start trying the tried and true flipping jig with beaver tail trailer in clear water, or creature trailer if it's murky to muddy and I'm fishing docks or hydrilla beds; or a football jig with the same trailer choices when fishing hard bottom points. 

If all that fails and I just want to catch a fish, I switch to a Carolina, or Texas rig, with either a 7" or 10" worm depending on season. 

Hope this helps.

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