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"BRB"

Big fish slump

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I am on a big fish slump like no other! What I call a big fish is over 5 lbs. It was march of 2014 since the last time I caught one over 5! It's not like I don't fish a lot. I live less than 20 mins from bull shoals lake AR. This year I went to  lake Toho  FL in march then lake fork to in march then back to lake fork in late April and lake Sam Rayburn!!! All known for big bass and the best I could come up with is a 4'11" and a 4'7" out of Rayburn. As you can tell I tried really hard this spring because they say that's your best  opportunity. I have tried to just quit thinking about it and fish. I have tried the big lures =  big bass! I used a 9 inch swim bait. And caught 14 inch bass lol. I can catch good fish between 3 and 4 lbs. I don't know it's really getting to me! I keep thinking one day I'm going catch an  absolute giant and it will come easy after that lol. But getting  really discouraged. Seeing if anyone here ever went thew the same thing? The pic are from the Rayburn bass.  They was real skinny post spawn bass

IMG_0030.JPG

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Yeah me too.Ive fished more this year with less results.I MAY have caught more fish but less size.Due to family constraints,I have stayed mostly on the home lake,where 4-5 pounders are very common.The big fish bite has just been off.Its been bugging me.Cant figure it out.

I know that they're there.Tempted to resort to live bait, ( bream ) they will easily out fish artificial baits,esp. for bigger fish.I don't have an ethics problem fishing with live bait I just try to stretch myself by fishing artificials as much as poss.

Maybe I need a new bait the fish haven't seen.I also haven't fished with big worms as much this year,and they usually produce.

Did catch a 6.3 in the home lake,and one skinny 23 inch fish in a park pond.2 best fish in the last year.Heres the 23 incher.

 

20160808_134254.jpg

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   Jig and Pig, smothered in real craw,.... flipping, pitching, skipping, casting, swimming.

 If you are in a slump? fish it.,... 

 could you be off of the big girls areas? 

 They do command the best area, and the best spot within that area.

  The queen sized bass of any water also demands certain criteria that might offer a hit,...timing, stealth, approach, direction, speed, all need to be considered when you diesect the cover on structure that posseses the best presence of forage.

 The mere opportunity isnt as easy as it may seem, you may know all of this already, and be within all of these commands, and still receive less than even a look form her. She can be as fickle as a cat when you put down the best food at dinner time.

 Im no Doug Hannon by any means, or even a "pro" for that matter. But,.. I have been on a mission for over 30 years now, to find the biggest of the pond bass. And although the last 2 years I've been hindered by health issues. The 28 some odd years previous were spent at the least 3 times a week floating on some premium lakes and ponds, searching that same chance you are seeking. I have caught some beauties, even some double digits. Which has honed some of my techniques, tactics, and abilities. And, I have found that even with all the info I've collected, and used, to hone these criteria. The big girls still arent so agreeable,...cementing my thoughts that luck does play a large part of the equation.

  So many times I've tossed into the best spot on the lake, and watched her swim away under my boat into even deeper water. Producing some choice nouns, pronouns, and verbage that I cant voice here.,... while adding the situations information into my brains mainframe for future refference.  Asking myself "what went wrong?,. what did I do wrong?,... did she see me?, was it the wrong lure at that time? did I move it to quickly? Is she keying in on a certain forage?",... and so on, for the next few days. Its almost enough to drive one to a asylum.

You know you were at the right spot, you watched her swimming away into the abyss. You did everything right, but still watched her seemingly arrogant tail flick, propell her away. All the while realizing that a few hours later, little Jimmy with his spincast rod, bobber, and worm can hook and land her, maybe not with ease, but land her just the same.

 I understand that you may not be seeking the "biggest" of the lake fish, but what Im getting at is that even though thats  not your quarry,..bigger fish are actually on their way to be her, and as they grow they too have some "quirks" that you need to be attentive to, some attitudes, that will make the hunt for them just a bit more than just pounding the shoreline.

  Im not saying at all that you have no abilities, or that I need to "teach" you. Im just a angler thats willing to offer the experiences, and tactics I've found that have helped me, to all. Some of you may be asking yourself, why would he do that, when so many anglers are quite the opposite, harboring their years of experiences to themselves., for a shot at the wallhanger of a lifetime before someone else comes along and beats him to it?,...Why? Seems crazy right?,... Actually it isnt at all,...because I know that, little Jimmy can walk down that ramp to daddy's dock with his bobber and can of worms at any time.

 You too have that same chance,...and thats key right there. Chance,...we all have a chance at our daily quest on the water, beit for a limit, or the wallhanger, or even just a few nice fish to round out a day. Every day on the water is actually just a chance, and its seems that whatever we are seeking at that moment? The good lord provides us with what we get,... by chance.

 It may be a few hours we need to wait for the success we're seeking, or a few days, weeks, even years. But,.. with persistence, determination, and available abilities, we can only shorten that timeframe,... again,,.. by chance.  Keep your chin up, it will eventually happen, be diligent, giving up wont do any good, actually that does more harm then good, as the bite you may have been on will dwindle. Then you need to find another bite at a later date, starting all over again.

 Your dilema may just be timing, or any one of the many things that makes this sport of ours so appealing. As time goes on you will find your "groove" again and will be back on the good fish your seeking. I only know this as so many times amungst the past 30 odd years of hunting the "queen" its happened to me too.

 Slumps do stink, but they also eventually end, and I hope yours does soon. Good luck

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47 minutes ago, "hamma" said:

   Jig and Pig, smothered in real craw,.... f 

Is Real Craw still available?

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Keep chunking & reeling ;)

I don't even consider this a "slump"!

My last 6# was months ago but I known I'm on prime structure, in prime cover, & now it's just a matter of timing.

Incentive: something that incites or tends to incite to action or greater effort, as a reward offered for increased productivity. 

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 Keep fishing your strengths and what you have the most confidence in. If you are catching 3s and 4s then a 5 can not be to far away. 

You can increase your odds at a bigger fish by fishing ideal conditions and ideal cover or structure. Fish locations that you have caught 5 pound plus fish in the past.

Personally I prefer to target lakes which give me the best chance at a true northern trophy. I sacrifice numbers for size.

 I can assure you that big swimbaits do catch big bass.

 I would recommend keeping a fishing journal. I have done so for almost 20 years. You wouldn't believe the amount of insight a fishing journal can give you. A fishing journal allows you to see patterns, and patterns within patterns that can and should allow you to dial in on big fish more often.

This past summer from the middle of July through August I struggled to locate trophy northern largemouth over 7 lbs. I did not catch a single fish in the 7 lb class during that time.  I usually struggle to find 7 plus pound fish at that time of year but it seemed harder then usual. I could only guess why and figured it had something to do with the drought we are having in the northeast. At times I questioned my lures, my techniques but ultimately remained confident. In September the fishing was amazing.

Remain confident, fish your strengths, fish areas you've caught big fish before, fish as much as you can and I assure you will break out of your "slump".

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Several years ago I got into participating in those month long, online tournaments where you post your biggest 3 bass for the month. Since I was competing with other anglers all over the country the 2 and 3 pound largemouth were doing me no good. The best approach for me was to fish a large jig and to learn to fish that jig at a snails pace. I traded "numbers" for "quality" as I would have many fishing trips where I would only get one bite. While my total number of bass caught plummeted my catches of largemouth over 5 pounds had never been higher.

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Several Golden Nuggets of Knowledge being dropped in this thread.  I love it.

To the OP - If you're confident that you are fishing big fish locations, at big fish times, with big fish baits, especially if there is history of previous big fish catches while doing this, then there's a chance that instead of a "slump" something has changed.  

Either the environment, the bait, something.  It could be temportary - it could be permenant.   In an effort to get back on those bass, as long as they are still there, there may me a need to switch something up to account for this.    When faced with this delema myself, I've found that the best and Only thing to change is LOCATION.  This may mean a totally different body of water.   

As mentioned by the very seasoned and accomlished anglers above - keep throwing what you have confidence in, in the places you feel are the right ones, in a manner that has worked in the past;  just do it in new water.  

Finally, I believe that for whatever reason something is off in many places around the country as it relates to bass fishing.  Perhaps it's weather related.  This "Fall" season has be unusually warm.   Even the local Deer population is being skit-so which is giving the hunters here fits.    

We may not need to change a thing - perhaps simply wait them out.

Good Luck

A-Jay  

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Fish deeper or shallower than you have been. If you're fishing a lot where big fish are they're going to bite eventually.

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Sounds like you tried to fish where the big girls live at the right times. Nearly everyone I know goes through down periods where the stars just don't line up.

My advice is to revert to lures and presentation techniques that you have caught big bass with and have confidence in to stay with them. Slow down and enjoy your time on the without stressing about bass size. I do a lot more metering around areas that should hold big bass than actually fishing for them to determine if the big girls are there before fishing for them.If I don't meter some good marks, then I go fish for whatever bass I can catch.

Good luck!

Tom 

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6 minutes ago, WRB said:

Sounds like you tried to fish where the big girls live at the right times. Nearly everyone I know goes through down periods where the stars just don't line up.

My advice is to revert to lures and presentation techniques that you have caught big bass with and have confidence in to stay with them. Slow down and enjoy your time on the without stressing about bass size. I do a lot more metering around areas that should hold big bass than actually fishing for them to determine if the big girls are there before fishing for them.If I don't meter some good marks, then I go fish for whatever bass I can catch.

Good luck!

Tom 

Nice ~

Tom you're an Old School Metering Fool . . .

Who catches Big Bass . . . .

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

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2 hours ago, WRB said:

Sounds like you tried to fish where the big girls live at the right times. Nearly everyone I know goes through down periods where the stars just don't line up.

My advice is to revert to lures and presentation techniques that you have caught big bass with and have confidence in to stay with them. Slow down and enjoy your time on the without stressing about bass size. I do a lot more metering around areas that should hold big bass than actually fishing for them to determine if the big girls are there before fishing for them.If I don't meter some good marks, then I go fish for whatever bass I can catch.

Good luck!

Tom 

Ok, I have never heard of "metering".  Just what is it?

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4 minutes ago, Jeff H said:

Ok, I have never heard of "metering".  Just what is it?

Using your on board "Flasher" to locate fish.

:smiley:

A-Jay

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I feel like a lot of conditions have to align well for the big swimbait to produce. As for the jig, i feel it is the best year round guarentee of catching 5+ bass. Go fishing with nothing tied on but a jig. 

 

Also, while you are fishing great lakes, i am guessing you probably dont know them very well. Fishing great lakes is the best, but if you dont know the lake, it might also be harder to get a 5+ fish than some of your local lakes. Fishing a nearby lake that is known for big bass, learning it really well, and sticking to it will probably increase your chances.

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Watch and episode of bass master elite series events, and you won't see the pros catching many fish over 5lbs (in most events, there are expeditions where a location is stacked with big ones) The +5ers, and hard to find. Seems like once they find a big one tho, the school will be all the same size and they can pull in a few big ones..

Also Seems like power fishing works well with the big boys. (Spinnerbait, Chatterbait etc) And the all mighty jig as well..! I've caught my biggest on a jig... 

good luck man hopefully u get that plus 5 soon!

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I fotgot  to mention on lake toho I was on a guided trip! And one of the times on fork I was a with bass elite Terry scroggins!! Both of those times it was really bad  conditions! But dang what do I need!?! I have made the jig my  confidence  bait over this year. I  hardly ever pull out the spinning rod! I have read all kinds of  articles on here  and other sites. I feel like I'm doing the right things just not time yet I guess! Thinks for the  encouraging words. I'm not giving up just venting a little.

here a pic of a 3+lber I caught on the jig on bull shoals the other day 

IMG_0426.JPG

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4 hours ago, A-Jay said:

Using your on board "Flasher" to locate fish.

:smiley:

A-Jay

Yep,  metering means looking at flasher (sonar) marks. Every sonar unit has a flasher, it's the far right side 1/4" edge that shows real time signal returns before they are displayed as history's rolled across the screen. Brighter the suspended flasher return the bigger the fish is!

I am soooo old that I call surveying with sonar metering.

Tom

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52 minutes ago, "BRB" said:

I fotgot  to mention on lake toho I was on a guided trip! And one of the times on fork I was a with bass elite Terry scroggins!! Both of those times it was really bad  conditions! But dang what do I need!?! I have made the jig my  confidence  bait over this year. I  hardly ever pull out the spinning rod! I have read all kinds of  articles on here  and other sites. I feel like I'm doing the right things just not time yet I guess! Thinks for the  encouraging words. I'm not giving up just venting a little.

here a pic of a 3+lber I caught on the jig on bull shoals the other day 

IMG_0426.JPG

Right place, right time, right lure, lots of rights to align.

If your not a highly skilled jig fisherman you will miss most of the big bass jig strikes because they go undetected. By highly skilled I mean being in tune with everything the jig is or isn't doing. I contend that jigs are the most difficult lures to learn to fish because they are small inside a big basses mouth and we miss lots of subtle pick ups called strikes that are rejected before we detect them. 

Put your time in and focus on every cast.

Tom

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22 hours ago, scaleface said:

Is Real Craw still available?

I found some at bass pro shops, here in store, 3 years ago. Ive been a sidelined landlubber the last 2 years and haven't needed to shop for more. Im sure any craw scent "should" do if you cant find any real craw, but I do strongly believe it is the best. I do have some Smelly Jelly liquid in a "smaller" bottle that I got for the small tackle bag I take on the basshunter. It was kind of a  ooops situation as I forgot to take the realcraw with me and stopped at a small tackleshop in route to the pond I was to fish, looking for real craw, and all they had for craw scent was the Smelly Jelly.

 And yes ,...It did work that day, quite well actually.  

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I think I speak for many of us when I say (tongue in cheek):   "cry me a river!"  

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22 hours ago, A-Jay said:

Using your on board "Flasher" to locate fish.

:smiley:

A-Jay

I kinda figured it was this but had to be sure.  I actually still have flashers in my boat and prefer them, use my HDS7's for plotter more than I do sonar.  But...I want to get sidescan capability now (LSS box) so I have another "view" down there!

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48 minutes ago, Jeff H said:

I kinda figured it was this but had to be sure.  I actually still have flashers in my boat and prefer them, use my HDS7's for plotter more than I do sonar.  But...I want to get sidescan capability now (LSS box) so I have another "view" down there!

Sounds good - but perhaps skip the SI and go right for the 360 imaging - you'll get SI as a bonus 

:smiley:

A-Jay

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Dry spells come and go for everyone.  Your fishing big fish waters, so just stop second guessing yourself, and things will turn around soon.  Your moo joe will be back soon!!!!!:shocked:

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Couple years ago I only caught a handful over 5 pounds, and I haven't broken 6 pounds this year. Now NE KS isn't exactly known for it's big bass, but I always feel like I get out enough on the right bodies of water that I should be able to catch more than a few big ones every year. I just keep doing what I know is what the fish want and eventually it comes together. 

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On ‎10‎/‎29‎/‎2016 at 0:40 AM, Bluebasser86 said:

Couple years ago I only caught a handful over 5 pounds, and I haven't broken 6 pounds this year. Now NE KS isn't exactly known for it's big bass, but I always feel like I get out enough on the right bodies of water that I should be able to catch more than a few big ones every year. I just keep doing what I know is what the fish want and eventually it comes together. 

This is the same for me too. I had my best year for largemouth last year and put over 25 fish of 5lbs or more in the boat along with my PB. This year I fished the same places during the same times and landed one 7, one 6, and only eight 5's. On the smallmouth front this year was by far my best year ever.

I didn't forget how to fish for largemouth. The winter conditions were much harsher this year, the water levels fluctuated much more, the temperatures during the year were way more sporadic, etc.

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