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Nitrofreak

Change

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Deep, shallow or in between, from my experience thus far, I think the hardest thing when I think about it is getting started, accepting the change and the wait of finally setting the hook on that first change in structure bite.

Where does one begin to look, what am I looking for, how will I know when I find it, what do I do when I find it, questions just seem to lead lead to more questions.

Simplifed, if one can do such a thing, you can break it down to one important aspect, that aspect to me is change, distinct or subtle, it's most always the change in structure that will render all the answers your looking for, put aside all the terminology for now and simplify everything, the rest can and will come at a later date while you are at the beginning of your underwater journey into the unknown.

All the looking, all the time spent casting at things that aren't visible to the naked eye with exception to the waters surface is a truly tuff task to overcome at first, especially when that tree laying up close to the shore just keeps calling your name and your not getting bit, you begin to wonder if that graph of yours is lying to ya, it's one of the hardest things in the world to do sometimes IMO, to break from our patterns of fishing visible cover to expand your fishing prowess, we are after all creatures of habit, it's not until you finally catch that very first one that you truly begin to understand the changes, shucks, while we are on the subject of change, even you yourself will undergo a change as well in some form or another, maybe your approach takes on a change, a transformation if you will, a totally different mindset in the way you approach and fish an area, depth becomes irrelevant to you and becomes relevant to only that of your target or the species you chose to hunt, no longer will you look at the vast open water and simply see the emptiness of the surface and feel the sensation of being overwhelmed, a change has taken place not only under the surface but above it as well, you can now begin to envision your bait slowly falling beneath the surface, you can almost feel the fish watching it as it falls toward them, to me it was that first one that was the hardest one but one worth the wait.

Once that first one has landed the change is inevitable, a new journey begins, the excitement of fishing is rekindled in a new and different light, again and again you find yourself looking at and for different variables, exploring new and uncharted water, re-exploring already visited waters, you begin to realize what it means when they say that only ten percent of a body of water will hold ninety percent of the fish, it's that exciting moment to find or see an area the size of a compact car in something like a 10,000 acre impoundment for the first time light up your sonar screen, to see a pattern on your sonar screen that looks like a big bowl of spaghetti on the bottom, to think that your fishing that pin drop of an area with a minuscule artificial bait, yes, it becomes that specific and at times, just as simplistic.

Change, that one word, at least for me, that sums up everything, fishing the changes has changed my fishing forever and I can't wait to see what it has in store for me and the rest of us !!

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Im right there with you bud. Wasn't long ago I found my first school of bass out in the middle of the lake and caught them that everything changes now. hoping I can stay on top of it but its all thanks to you and catt and all the other guys who posted in the "best of" sticky that got me there. My way of thinking and fishing has changed like you said and its for the better!

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I am not much help, not yet anyway, I made a promise to Catt that I would pass along the things that I learn to others, someday I hope to hold true to that promise with clear and concise information, I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed but if I can help, I'll defiantly try.

Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated riverbasser !!

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That "change" in you? is the open door, step in. Now,.. lakes you once fished "blindly" (while bank pounding) become much clearer to your insight. As you motor around, the suspending fish? tell you a story, the depth changes? paint a picture, even the thickness of the finders bottom line? tells you what the bottoms makeup is, mud, sand, rock, weeds.

After a short while, that clearer insight will actually become so clear, that at the ramp, even off the water, you begin to picture, understand, and eventually depict whats going on at that moment, without even so much as turning on the fishfinder. You have a better understanding, and can almost pinpoint where the active fish are, and what should work. You might turn it on, but its just to verify your assumptions as to location, activity, and positions.

The past several days of weather, its wind direction, cloud cover, air temps. Now decide just what those assumptions are. And now more often than not, your correct. The once seemingly impossible task of choosing locations and lures to toss, becomes clear to you. And when you go to those locations, and fish those lures to find nothing but exceptional success? Is like hitting the lottery.

 Places you once fished with no success? Become easier targets, and you know it, you go there and now start catching fish that once eluded you. Every fish caught, verifing your insight and further perpetuating the cycle. Painting that picture even clearer, pointing you in directions that you never even thought of, but are now obvious. 

Before you know it, your landing pigs that were once the fish you saw on the finders screen under you, and wondered why you werent catching them, telling yourself that someday you will figure them out. The time is nigh.

 Welcome to the wonderful world of Bass fishing,, it just keeps getting better

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Pretty good ole son ;)

The hardest thing some anglers to learn is how to take a one dimensional topographical map or a one dimensional depth finder view and turn it into a three dimensional image in their mind. While 3D depth finders and Down/Side Imaging Technology is a gigantic leap in the electronics field it would still behoove the angler to learn how view structure in 3D with out this technology. Once the angler learns this they take a huge step in becoming a more productive angler.

This is why when I back my boat down the ramp the first 2 thing I do is start the engine and turn my depth finder on. I don't care if I'm running at wide open throttle, idling, running the trolling motor or fishing my eyes is constantly scanning my depth finder. After I have caught a couple bass before I leave an area I'll idle over a scan the exact area with my depth finder. Even on structure I've fished numerous times I'm constantly scanning my depth finder looking for details.

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And you should never stop evolving . Theres a lot of anglers who think they have it  all figured out . I'm constantly reminded by the bass that I dont know all that much .

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 it's not until you finally catch that very first one that you truly begin to understand the changes...

This is where I am, or where I am not to be clear..  I've been reading Spoonplugging and the first 9 or so chapters are pretty straightforward.. Exciting to think about in terms of movements and finding a (or the) migration path.. where you will find them either in sanctuary or shallow or somewhere along this path between. 

Seems easy, until your out there.  bobbing on the lake, looking at that shoreline where you caught a couple decent bass "that one sunset".. (nevermind that it's 2pm).. And there is that dock I almost always get bit on..  But where is the path?  It's more like a needle in a haystack!!

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2 minutes ago, bchase44 said:

This is where I am, or where I am not to be clear..  I've been reading Spoonplugging and the first 9 or so chapters are pretty straightforward.. Exciting to think about in terms of movements and finding a (or the) migration path.. where you will find them either in sanctuary or shallow or somewhere along this path between. 

Seems easy, until your out there.  bobbing on the lake, looking at that shoreline where you caught a couple decent bass "that one sunset".. (nevermind that it's 2pm).. And there is that dock I almost always get bit on..  But where is the path?  It's more like a needle in a haystack!!

Theres many different paths . Could be cover or structure . A treeline or fence line would be forms of cover . Ditches , channels and points could be forms of structure . The two  together are even better yet . I fish a flat where I have caught some lunkers but it  is slow fishing because I have never found a route . I fish a point on the other side of the cove and catch bass by the dozens . 

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23 hours ago, Nitrofreak said:

Deep, shallow or in between, from my experience thus far, I think the hardest thing when I think about it is getting started, accepting the change and the wait of finally setting the hook on that first change in structure bite.

Where does one begin to look, what am I looking for, how will I know when I find it, what do I do when I find it, questions just seem to lead lead to more questions.

Simplifed, if one can do such a thing, you can break it down to one important aspect, that aspect to me is change, distinct or subtle, it's most always the change in structure that will render all the answers your looking for, put aside all the terminology for now and simplify everything, the rest can and will come at a later date while you are at the beginning of your underwater journey into the unknown.

 

I guess the one thing I'd push back against is that "putting aside terminology" ends up ultimately confusing the matter and making things worse. Call me "old school," originalist or a caveman, but as a teacher, Buck defined the terms to have specific meaning in this regard, thereby allowing for the successful transfer of knowledge from one angler to another. The lack of adherence to this over the years/decades has lead to such a dilution that it's hard to even attempt a discussion on the subject any more.

You do, however, make a great point with being able to look at water differently once you develop some type of understanding in this regard. My experience over the years is that some people simply are not capable of ever reaching or understanding this way of looking at the water differently - Catt's point of being able to take a 2D image and "see" a three dimensional world. I guess that's why shorelines were created :lol:

-T9

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1 hour ago, Team9nine said:

I guess the one thing I'd push back against is that "putting aside terminology" ends up ultimately confusing the matter and making things worse. Call me "old school," originalist or a caveman, but as a teacher, Buck defined the terms to have specific meaning in this regard, thereby allowing for the successful transfer of knowledge from one angler to another. The lack of adherence to this over the years/decades has lead to such a dilution that it's hard to even attempt a discussion on the subject any more.

-T9

Due to Political Correctness older translations of many words have come under revisionism, revisionism is an aspect of cultural dissemination of misinformation.

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I was very fortunate to live on a lake as a kid that is primarily trout fishing, bass fishing being secondary.

Trout anglers rarely fish the shoreline and tend to look for trout in deeper cooler water. Not knowing any better I fished for bass and trout at the same areas off shore and caught both species using Darner nymphs (dragonfly) , night crawlers and carp minnows as a kid. Bass were like trout, they were everywhere.

When I started learning to use a baitcasting outfit and plugs, then the shoreline became the area I bass fished first and then fished the deeper water when the bite stopped. 

After getting my first flasher depth finder unit I learned why bass likes those deeper water areas, clam beds, rock piles, sand and gravel bottoms that attracted trout also attracted bass because prey was availble. Today sonar is always my go to method of determining bass locations, it's on when I launch and off when the boat is trailered.

Tom

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7 hours ago, Catt said:

Pretty good ole son ;)

The hardest thing some anglers to learn is how to take a one dimensional topographical map or a one dimensional depth finder view and turn it into a three dimensional image in their mind. While 3D depth finders and Down/Side Imaging Technology is a gigantic leap in the electronics field it would still behoove the angler to learn how view structure in 3D with out this technology. Once the angler learns this they take a huge step in becoming a more productive angler.

This is why when I back my boat down the ramp the first 2 thing I do is start the engine and turn my depth finder on. I don't care if I'm running at wide open throttle, idling, running the trolling motor or fishing my eyes is constantly scanning my depth finder. After I have caught a couple bass before I leave an area I'll idle over a scan the exact area with my depth finder. Even on structure I've fished numerous times I'm constantly scanning my depth finder looking for details.

I'm still working on that but I am getting closer, I can't see the 3D picture in its entirety just yet but I am seeing the neuances that give me a good idea, there are some areas where I can see that 3D vision you speak of, just like I referenced from the lessons I am learning, I can even see the fish staging on a rock or some other form of cover as the bait slowly makes its way to the target, it's working, I have you and many others to be thankful of for that.

 

7 hours ago, bchase44 said:

This is where I am, or where I am not to be clear..  I've been reading Spoonplugging and the first 9 or so chapters are pretty straightforward.. Exciting to think about in terms of movements and finding a (or the) migration path.. where you will find them either in sanctuary or shallow or somewhere along this path between. 

Seems easy, until your out there.  bobbing on the lake, looking at that shoreline where you caught a couple decent bass "that one sunset".. (nevermind that it's 2pm).. And there is that dock I almost always get bit on..  But where is the path?  It's more like a needle in a haystack!!

It gets a little easier after a while, it takes a while for those of us who have not grown up around others who already have knowledge, this knowledge, to grasp the concept, of course I am referencing my own experience, sounds like you are going through it just as I am doing, that dock you caught "that fish" on, remember, it was only one, (in reference) it could be you catch one every time your there, if so then your close keep looking, there is a reason there is always one there, or over there, it could have been that fish was a resident fish as well, but it was a nice one, a memory, in general when a bass reaches its maturity it goes off in search of that sanctuary in which you speak.

As with boat docks and lay downs they both take a calculated approach, it may be that same way with the area you find fish on, factors of a different nature may play a role, as with docks you dissect them, we fish floating docks differently than we fish stasionary ones, each will have their own approach, how hard is the sweet spot we want to reach to get to, we my chose to fish the parameter before we hit that area for some of the more aggressive fish, same goes for areas that we find, it begs our attention to detail, the bait may be coming from one direction and you fishing the opposite could spook and or cause them to reject the presentation because it's not natural to them, you must take into account things of this nature while your out there and remain as open minded as you possibly can, it will happen if you keep after it.

Good luck and be safe !!!!

5 hours ago, Team9nine said:

I guess the one thing I'd push back against is that "putting aside terminology" ends up ultimately confusing the matter and making things worse. Call me "old school," originalist or a caveman, but as a teacher, Buck defined the terms to have specific meaning in this regard, thereby allowing for the successful transfer of knowledge from one angler to another. The lack of adherence to this over the years/decades has lead to such a dilution that it's hard to even attempt a discussion on the subject any more.

You do, however, make a great point with being able to look at water differently once you develop some type of understanding in this regard. My experience over the years is that some people simply are not capable of ever reaching or understanding this way of looking at the water differently - Catt's point of being able to take a 2D image and "see" a three dimensional world. I guess that's why shorelines were created :lol:

-T9

Not all of us get it right away, that's the reason I stated "for now" 

My point is merely to encourage those who are wanting to move out and explore to stick with it.

I still have a long way to go myself, I may never get it right, I know one thing however, if it wasn't for the well educated "old school" educators like yourself helping us along our way we would be at a loss, I am forever grateful for the guidance and I know I am a better angler because of your participation in this forum.

4 hours ago, WRB said:

I was very fortunate to live on a lake as a kid that is primarily trout fishing, bass fishing being secondary.

Trout anglers rarely fish the shoreline and tend to look for trout in deeper cooler water. Not knowing any better I fished for bass and trout at the same areas off shore and caught both species using Darner nymphs (dragonfly) , night crawlers and carp minnows as a kid. Bass were like trout, they were everywhere.

When I started learning to use a baitcasting outfit and plugs, then the shoreline became the area I bass fished first and then fished the deeper water when the bite stopped. 

After getting my first flasher depth finder unit I learned why bass likes those deeper water areas, clam beds, rock piles, sand and gravel bottoms that attracted trout also attracted bass because prey was availble. Today sonar is always my go to method of determining bass locations, it's on when I launch and off when the boat is trailered.

Tom

My first boat had a flasher, seems like eons ago now, what a long way we have come, I have learned a lot from reading your posts, everything has its place, from the smallest of life forms to the targets we seek, plankton to bait fish, bait fish to target fish, it all has a role to play and deserve someplace reserved in our memory banks.

Thanks Tom !!

9 hours ago, scaleface said:

And you should never stop evolving . Theres a lot of anglers who think they have it  all figured out . I'm constantly reminded by the bass that I dont know all that much .

I won't stop, I promise.

very well said and I thank you !!!

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@Nitrofreak refresher time! ;)

 

 

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Bass fishing changes from minute to minute; hour to hour; day to day; season to season.

You have to be fluid enough to "change" your technique and/or bait to meet the "change challenge."

From cover to structure to water depth to water temperature to above surface level weather to barometric pressure to fishing pressure to grass and pads, to blowdowns, to docks and piers to a stick up  you have to be able to see the change and adapt to it or go in search of the answer to the newest change.

The pros seem to have a 6th sense about change that we are all striving to attain. Electronics are our eyes underwater and add a paper map to the formula you can note the underwater structure changes that "should" hold bass.

We can call this change "a pattern" or call it a deep drop off or hole or hump. But it is a change and unless you are able to modify your approach and thinking you will miss the "hints" leading to catching more fish.

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1 hour ago, Sam said:

Bass fishing changes from minute to minute; hour to hour; day to day; season to season.

You have to be fluid enough to "change" your technique and/or bait to meet the "change challenge."

From cover to structure to water depth to water temperature to above surface level weather to barometric pressure to fishing pressure to grass and pads, to blowdowns, to docks and piers to a stick up  you have to be able to see the change and adapt to it or go in search of the answer to the newest change.

The pros seem to have a 6th sense about change that we are all striving to attain. Electronics are our eyes underwater and add a paper map to the formula you can note the underwater structure changes that "should" hold bass.

We can call this change "a pattern" or call it a deep drop off or hole or hump. But it is a change and unless you are able to modify your approach and thinking you will miss the "hints" leading to catching more fish.

While I will not argue the advancements of technology and the usefulness that they provide, we are also gifted with a second set of eyes that I feel we often overlook, we are built with sensory inputs just as our electronics are built, our paths have been intertwined and in this modern day push button world we have lost some of the intimacy of using our own tools, our hands is the reference in which I am speaking, they can translate a clear picture of what is going on beneath the surface with the use of proper tools.

I posted this to hopefully inspire others that there is so much more to the underwater world than what lay on the shores, sure there are docks that hold bass, sure there are lay downs that hold bass too, what does one do when those bass have been molested and bombarded with baits often enough that they are regularly conditioned to unnatural presentations and the angler can not buy a bite, all of us have been there, we look toward the open water and ask ourselves if they might be out there somewhere? 

Fishing the changes in structure is a key that can unlock some of those questions we ask ourselves, I'm merely offering encouragement to turn around, look under your boat and not at the dock by itself, the lay down by itself, we are often distracted by the visual attraction of the shallows, often overlooking the brush pile we just ran over or that sudden change in the form of a rock line, a drop off, what ever the change is, there is more of it out there that is unmolested with fish that have never seen an artificial bait.

I am reminded of a line in the movie Star Wars "The Empire Strikes Back" the scene where Luke is using the force to lift the X-Wing from the muck, Yoda was talking about the force, it's energy from which that makes up the force, what's beneath you, above you, around you, I think what the pros do is much like this, they are aware of not what the sonar is sending back but also of the surroundings outside of what the sonar can translate.

These are the things we must introduce ourselves to, familiarize ourselves with, become comfortable with.

There is no try, only do ~ Yoda.

 

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Change?

Colors change.

Water conditions change.

PH changes.

Temps change.

Patterns change.

Baits change.

We can have a multiple water condition in the vetricle water column too.

Don't leave a beaten fisherman. Skunk isn't in my vocabulary. Not even in my dictionary or word processor.

It's skill that catches bass not luck.

Don't let your ego let you think your on top of your game. We never stop learning.

 

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