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RichD913

A Summer Spent Skunked??

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Hi all, new user here even though I've patrolled these boards to educate myself for a while and watched countless bass resource videos, this is the first time I ever thought of creating a topic. As you may be able to tell by the title, fishing here has been rough!! Me and my brother fish together in central NJ which is pretty abundant with lakes that vary in size. We did pretty well during the post spawn here, we noticed that we would catch a handful of fish each every time we go out and many times others on the lake would catch nothing. Our confidence was at an all time high, this is our second year bass fishing, the first was spent throwing nothing more than Texas rigged worms. But we've educated ourselves since then and spent countless hours on the water. Anyway, once summer hit, BOOM, no fish. Not bank fishing, not out of the Jon boat, nothing. I can say that all summer I've probably caught 4 or 5 fish. That's in 3 months! And we go out almost every day. The only reason I'm not out right now is because I had morning errands to run. I don't know if it's because of the highly pressured waters, or not having sonar to find them deep, but we've done everything we've learned of what to fish and when, and have spent so much time out there to no avail all summer. We are either out on the water, or home reading books on bass fishing or watching bass fishing videos, otherwise we are at work. Anyone ever have been in this position? Did you figure it out? And how quick did you get tired of saying "well at least it's nice to be out with nature" after being skunked?? lol 

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9 minutes ago, RichD913 said:

Hi all, new user here even though I've patrolled these boards to educate myself for a while and watched countless bass resource videos, this is the first time I ever thought of creating a topic. As you may be able to tell by the title, fishing here has been rough!! Me and my brother fish together in central NJ which is pretty abundant with lakes that vary in size. We did pretty well during the post spawn here, we noticed that we would catch a handful of fish each every time we go out and many times others on the lake would catch nothing. Our confidence was at an all time high, this is our second year bass fishing, the first was spent throwing nothing more than Texas rigged worms. But we've educated ourselves since then and spent countless hours on the water. Anyway, once summer hit, BOOM, no fish. Not bank fishing, not out of the Jon boat, nothing. I can say that all summer I've probably caught 4 or 5 fish. That's in 3 months! And we go out almost every day. The only reason I'm not out right now is because I had morning errands to run. I don't know if it's because of the highly pressured waters, or not having sonar to find them deep, but we've done everything we've learned of what to fish and when, and have spent so much time out there to no avail all summer. We are either out on the water, or home reading books on bass fishing or watching bass fishing videos, otherwise we are at work. Anyone ever have been in this position? Did you figure it out? And how quick did you get tired of saying "well at least it's nice to be out with nature" after being skunked?? lol 

 Yes, Back in my earlier bass fishing days myself and bass buddy did have such a summer. We tried everything we knew, but to no avail. We didn't have computers back then, so all we had were magazines, books, and weekend tv shows to learn from. And we used what we learned to the T. Still not even a sniff.

 After all we did finally figure out that it wasn't us, per se. It was the trolling motor on the back of the coleman crawdad we fished from, it had a bunch of line behind the prop. Making a very high pitched sound that we couldn't hear while it was under the water. But one day as we were about to shove off he hit the handle accidentally and VOILA! there it was. A very distinctive sqweal we never heard before. We removed the line then and there, and had a stellar day of many fish and a hightened excitement.

 May not be you, just sayin, this is what was our folly. as for skunked off shore???, This has no relavence to a tm. so ,...As I cant say what is going on there, what kinked our season was a faulty equiptment issue.

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Noisy reel? Our fishing line is a guitar string. A phone line into the water.

 

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Keith- great story! Not in our case but it got me thinking maybe next time we will go barefoot in the Jon boat! 

Big Bill- that's true, my brother uses a lews LFS, while my rods have a lews laser speed spool and a BPS titanium  8. I don't think those are the issue :/

 

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1 hour ago, RichD913 said:

Hi all, new user here even though I've patrolled these boards to educate myself for a while and watched countless bass resource videos, this is the first time I ever thought of creating a topic. As you may be able to tell by the title, fishing here has been rough!! Me and my brother fish together in central NJ which is pretty abundant with lakes that vary in size. We did pretty well during the post spawn here, we noticed that we would catch a handful of fish each every time we go out and many times others on the lake would catch nothing. Our confidence was at an all time high, this is our second year bass fishing, the first was spent throwing nothing more than Texas rigged worms. But we've educated ourselves since then and spent countless hours on the water. Anyway, once summer hit, BOOM, no fish. Not bank fishing, not out of the Jon boat, nothing. I can say that all summer I've probably caught 4 or 5 fish. That's in 3 months! And we go out almost every day. The only reason I'm not out right now is because I had morning errands to run. I don't know if it's because of the highly pressured waters, or not having sonar to find them deep, but we've done everything we've learned of what to fish and when, and have spent so much time out there to no avail all summer. We are either out on the water, or home reading books on bass fishing or watching bass fishing videos, otherwise we are at work. Anyone ever have been in this position? Did you figure it out? And how quick did you get tired of saying "well at least it's nice to be out with nature" after being skunked?? lol 

LOLOLOL.

 

If you fish in Central NJ, then you should be catching most of your fish in early summer. Even on the big lakes, such as Farrington or Carnegie, which get overfished way too much, in the summer, I can always catch at least 2-3 bass from the shore. If worst comes to worse, go to google maps and find a pond near you, and you should guaranteed be able to catch as much bass as you want.

Lastly, in early summer, you should be wanting to use moving lures such as flukes, chatterbaits, and frogs. For me, soft plastics like senkos and ribbontails are more of a bait for late summer, where the fish become sluggish and suspend.  

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I fish a lot of highly pressured bodies of water and have lots of success in these locations. It took years to get to this point and what helps me in these places is thinking outside the box(different fishing techniques most people don't use).

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1 hour ago, bigbill said:

Noisy reel? Our fishing line is a guitar string. A phone line into the water.

 

Ive never her this one before .Maybe a reel can developed to give off "Good Vibrations ."

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I'm not saying your doing it but I did it when I first started out.  If your not throwing baits into places where you can lose a bait your probably not catching fish.  

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6 minutes ago, NoahWatts said:

I'm not saying your doing it but I did it when I first started out.  If your not throwing baits into places where you can lose a bait your probably not catching fish.  

Definitely made this mistake earlier on haha my mentality is that if you're not nervous about losing it on the way back, it's not a great spot. Problem is I think these spots scream "I'm a bass and I'm in here!" all day long and they get pounded. 

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Fishing pressure can make   it tough fishing ,but  4 or 5 bass all summer ? Thats some tough fishing . My hats off to you for sticking with it . You have more patience than I .

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39 minutes ago, RichD913 said:

Definitely made this mistake earlier on haha my mentality is that if you're not nervous about losing it on the way back, it's not a great spot. Problem is I think these spots scream "I'm a bass and I'm in here!" all day long and they get pounded. 

You would think that and maybe in your area it is but around here everybody else is terrified of losing baits so they won't even try it.  I was fishing a few days ago and pitching into a laydown and a fellow asked me if I was afraid of losing the bait because of the branches, and I told him that it comes with the territory.  Fishing on the river around here to out already knowing I'll probably lose a few jigs, but last Tuesday I got 6 nice fish off the same laydown all within 4 or 5 feet of each other.

Edited by NoahWatts

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Could be totally off base here but it sounds as if your repeating the same non-productive behavior/pattern/technique. First I would invest in some kind technology that would provide insight into bottom structure, then change based on what you presently can't see under the surface of the water. That's my advice, but my not be relevant in your situation...

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5 minutes ago, wnspain said:

Could be totally off base here but it sounds as if your repeating the same non-productive behavior/pattern/technique. First I would invest in some kind technology that would provide insight into bottom structure, then change based on what you presently can't see under the surface of the water. That's my advice, but my not be relevant in your situation...

Not off base at all, it would've helped to have a sonar unit on those really hot days. I've come to the conclusion that I need even a "low grade" one to start and learn on, where I can spend $100 and have SOMETHING until I learn and upgrade my boat and equipment. 

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42 minutes ago, RichD913 said:

Not off base at all, it would've helped to have a sonar unit on those really hot days. I've come to the conclusion that I need even a "low grade" one to start and learn on, where I can spend $100 and have SOMETHING until I learn and upgrade my boat and equipment. 

I have a low grade Eagle B&W LCD unit that came in the package when I purchased my Bass Raider 10e. Would be willing to part with it for little of nothing if I can locate the base for it. Let me check and I'll get back to you.

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2 minutes ago, wnspain said:

I have a low grade Eagle B&W LCD unit that came in the package when I purchased my Bass Raider 10e. Would be willing to part with it for little of nothing if I can locate the base for it. Let me check and I'll get back to you.

Wow great, shoot me a PM if you do!

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You are fishing where they ain't and need to fish where they are.

Don't over think bass fishing and start at the beginning where you were using 1 presentation that caught bass. Pre spawn and fall are not that different regarding location where bass should be located. Summer bass tend to scatter and locate where ever prey is abundant, night is your friend  during hot summer days.

Tom

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20 minutes ago, WRB said:

You are fishing where they ain't and need to fish where they are.

Don't over think bass fishing and start at the beginning where you were using 1 presentation that caught bass. Pre spawn and fall are not that different regarding location where bass should be located. Summer bass tend to scatter and locate where ever prey is abundant, night is your friend  during hot summer days.

Tom

Thanks Tom. We were hammering them on lipless cranks during post spawn. They don't seem to be biting on them now so we've been experimenting. Also, with as good as the rattle traps are coming through grass there is so much more milfoil now it seems than when it was colder. Getting anything through it is tough, even if you shake it off you end up right in more. But that's where the bass should be sooooo

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Rich , you have the Right Stuff . Most people would have given up long ago but you are hanging in there . Keep at it , try some new ponds , lakes ...  I know a lot of people who gave fishing a try and quit . nothing wrong with that , it just wasnt their sport .

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57 minutes ago, scaleface said:

Rich , you have the Right Stuff . Most people would have given up long ago but you are hanging in there . Keep at it , try some new ponds , lakes ...  I know a lot of people who gave fishing a try and quit . nothing wrong with that , it just wasnt their sport .

Appreciate the motivation! I don't quit, especially because I'm not succeeding right now. The answer is out there, I'll figure it out. If I didn't do so well before summer than I might be more discouraged, but I've studied and tried and tested so much that I'm confident every time I hit the water that I can be successful, if I'm not, I know that I've applied everything I've learned and gave my best effort. 

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Welcome to the forums. You have a lot of great advice here. The only thing I might add is as the summer gets hotter, try fishing either 1) deeper or 2) smaller bodies of water. During really hot days, I would fish very small ponds to up your chances of getting bit. Bass are predictable creatures most of the time so if you find a few lilies or a laydown near the bank in a pond, you know there is at least one fish there (providing there are actually bass in the pond).

Tight lines. 

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My brother and I have had similar results, though we don't have a boat at our disposal.  Nothing but bank fishing for us.  We've also only been fishing since late July, but if you check my threads in the Fishing Reports forum you'll see we've had little to no luck as well. 

We've been fishing about once/week but I haven't bothered to post any threads because neither of us have managed to catch anything.  This summer, between the two of us, we've caught 3 fish - and I caught all 3.  1 catfish and 2 1-2lb LMB.

It's been very disappointing for us - we're really hoping that once the weather starts to cool off we'll have better luck.

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I had the same problem for years until I stopped beating the banks in the summer. Low and slow is the ticket for me in the summer and when you find them they seem to be in numbers. Way to stick with it. In my area it seems like the summer pattern is already over and the bass are starting to chase again. Good luck and you will soon be rewarded for all your efforts. 

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In the summer I get on the water at daybreak,and fish to mid- morning.Or I fish the last 2 hours of the day,or at night.From 10-6 it's hard( on me and the fish.)The fish get very lethargic here in the summer,so the key is to fish SLOW.I catch a fair amount of fish early in the day,using my favorite plastics.I have several that I rotate so the fish don't get too used to them.Sometimes I will try something new that they haven't seen before,or an unusual color.

If I'm still out when it gets hot,I fish shade,esp.skipping under docks.4 inch senkos are great for this.I also usually pick up a fish or two on small,isolated weed patches out away from the bank.

If you think about it,fish have to eat to survive.So they still will bite when conditions are extreme.But you must put the bait where they are,which is often the hardest place to get it to in summer.Because they won't chase it very much in the summer.It expends too much energy for the return they get.

Another summer strategy is to find a deep hole and fish it very slowly with a 10-12 inch worm.I mean cast it out and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.I once caught a 6 pounder after letting a big Mann's jelly worm sit there for 15 minutes!.and I caught 4 fish 5-6 pounds  in the same hole that summer .

Big bodies of water can be overwhelming so I would start small.Fish small water ponds/ lakes.The fish are more concentrated.If fishing a big water body,I would focus on a few areas that have structure with deep water nearby.Learn to fish them well,then expand your area.

Keep at it and you'll succeed!

Mike

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