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riverbasser

Weary fall bass?

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Been doing a lot of fishing the past few weeks and the waters around me are clearer than I've ever seen. So I'm getting to see things like I never have. 

The main thing I'm seeing especially yesterday is bass following my lures and not biting. I tried a lot of different baits and the bass showed interest but wouldn't strike. Jigs, worms, flukes, cranks they turned em all down. At one point I dug out a jerkbait and that really made em come out of cover but they would get right up at it and just stop and watch it for a min. Nothing I did seem to make a strike. I did catch a few but missed many more. 

I'm trying to figure out why. There was bait everywhere and I wonder with so much real food around were my lures just not good real enough in the clear water? This also makes me question how often this has happened before and I never knew since I can't normally see. Anyone else experience this?

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Yeah,..I fish alot of clear waters

 Trick is to continue any cadence that got their attention to begin with. If you get anxious and "react" to the strike that has yet to come because you see the fish coming. The fish will most likely swim up to it, check it out, and swim away. If you just continue working the lure, as if there's no fish getting ready to attack it ,...it just might.

 My old fishing buddy used to drive himself nuts with this (what I call) "clear water anxiety" he'd get so amped up, that every fish that showed any interest, he'd freeze waiting for the hit, that never came. It took me so long to break him of this, even though he'd be watching me catching fish, and he wasn't. He would try speeding up the lure, or letting it sit, slight twitches,.. etc. All he really needed to do was to close his eyes for a few seconds (once he saw a fish coming) and just fish the lure the way that drew the fish's attention. And that finally worked.

 It took me a while to just ignore that a fish is about to hit when I first started fishing all these clear waters as well. And I understand all too well the difficulty of seeing a huge bass about to hit and not hinder my retrieve. Its not easy, its actually a very tense moment, exciting as well. But if you just imagine there is nothing going on, and just continue your retrieve, thinking she's not gunna hit, she might.

At the least thats how I've dealt with the clear water anxiety

 As far as the bait available you mentioned,.. that very well may be  the true reason why the bass were just checking your lures out without a hit, they could be keying in on the present baitfish's size, scent, color, and movement.  

 With that being said,...Your retrieves very well may have been right on, doing what is needed in clear water.  And you did nothing "wrong" at all,..

   But what I call "clear water anxiety" ,....is a real issue with many anglers that aren't used to water you can see thru down to 20 or 30 feet. Watching a 8 or 9 pounder heading for your lure isnt an easy thing to watch, and continue a "consistent" retrieve. It takes some,..ok,.. alot of nerve, and a ton of patience. Even watching a nice 4 lber about to strike can hype up most anglers that aren't used to clear water.

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21 hours ago, riverbasser said:

Been doing a lot of fishing the past few weeks and the waters around me are clearer than I've ever seen. So I'm getting to see things like I never have. 

The main thing I'm seeing especially yesterday is bass following my lures and not biting. I tried a lot of different baits and the bass showed interest but wouldn't strike. Jigs, worms, flukes, cranks they turned em all down. At one point I dug out a jerkbait and that really made em come out of cover but they would get right up at it and just stop and watch it for a min. Nothing I did seem to make a strike. I did catch a few but missed many more. 

I'm trying to figure out why. There was bait everywhere and I wonder with so much real food around were my lures just not good real enough in the clear water? This also makes me question how often this has happened before and I never knew since I can't normally see. Anyone else experience this?

IME, what you're seeing is normal. Lures aren't food.

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@"hamma"

Makes alot of sense. Its like getting the shakes when a buck walks out in the woods. I don't remember how I reacted that day but I will pay more attention next time. Its seems its easier to catch fish you can't see. 

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3 hours ago, riverbasser said:

... Its seems its easier to catch fish you can't see.

Not really -unless of course you're alarming the ones you can see, which can be easy to do. Instead, the ones you can see are simply revealing how the others are reacting to your presentations too. You just can't see it. Much of the time, it's actually the rare fish, or maybe better -the set of conditions and circumstances- that cause fish to commit to a lure.

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Weightless worms sinking very slowly are your friend in clear water. As well as light line 

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I am no expert in this area but I was always told that if you can see them, they can see you. And if they can see you, well...? Just thought I would throw that out!

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8 hours ago, Paul Roberts said:

IME, what you're seeing is normal. Lures aren't food.

@riverbasser your lures are giving off negative clures!

Add that to the fact fall bass are generally well feed & simply may not be hungry, curious but the negative clues override the urge to strike.

One adjustment we can make is what @"hamma" said but I'll add, make sure your "cadence/rhythm" does change AND make sure your lures run true!

Now is not the time to have crankbaits slightly un-tuned, spinnerbaits laying slightly over, even worms not rigged straight.

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We'll the good thing is that there's no rain in sight so conditions will stay the same and I've got another week vacation coming up. Should be able to make the adjustments. Thanks everyone

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Have you tried speeding up the retrieve when you get a follow?  There is a tendency (if just unconsciously) to slow down at least a hair and that will usually turn fish off but speeding up can (sometimes) kick in a basses instinct to grab before it is too late.

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28 minutes ago, Ratherbfishing said:

Have you tried speeding up the retrieve when you get a follow?  There is a tendency (if just unconsciously) to slow down at least a hair and that will usually turn fish off but speeding up can (sometimes) kick in a basses instinct to grab before it is too late.

I tried a few different things but will be going again Thursday to see if I can figure it out. Will be paying more attention this time to how I reacted 

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Catt is spot on about negative clues, anything. And I'll repeat ANYTHING thats negative will deter a hit, and that goes whether its clear water or not. I smother my lures with the proper scents, to mask the human scent, I use light green mono line, (although flourocarbon should be used) Im used to the mono's and very rarely do I exceed 12 pound test.

 The point about cadence is important because that is often what attracts a fish to a lure. If your cadence of twitch, twitch, RIP,.is what attracted the follow, continue it.  When the fish gets close, pay close attention to how it reacts to your lure. If you feel a faster movement will entice a strike, as if you think the bass will think the prey is scared, try it. If that works,.. great. If it doesnt work, stick to the original cadence and see what happens then. Its a game of  "what do I need to do"

 The fish's reaction could be of territory, impulse, hunger, or even competition.,.. within all of these, scent, sight, vibration, and sound will be what triggers the initial reaction, if that sense is negatively altered, the fish will swim away,..But If you can produce a positive que to the correct sense, the fish will be more likely to strike.

 Using the clear water can actually be your friend in this way. So be very attentive to the fish's reaction, in whatever you do, or even use for that matter. A jerkbait offers many different looks and sounds. This may be why it was more effective than other lures that day. If you are returning to the same lake? Id use the same lure that produced before, covered in a scent that matches what the lure looks like. and watch what happens, then mimic what works everytime you see one coming for a follow. 

Good Luck, I hope this helps some

Keep ya line wet

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Most of the lakes in SoCal have very good water clarity and it's common to see fish in the water, bass, bluegill, crappie, carp, shad, etc. I am always surprised how few anglers look for them year around. 

Being a trophy or big bass angler finding those fish is essential to catching them. I see them either visually or on sonar usually before catching them. Musky anglers call this raising fish, musky that follow the lure and turn away to disappear. The musky angler makes a note of where they raised the fish and returns later to try and catch it, I do the same with big bass. Sometimes it may take a few minutes, a few hours, days, weeks and even years, I never forget where big bass live.

If the bass wants your lure it will strike it, if it doesn't it will not strike. If you think the bass doesn't know you are there or doesn't see you, you are probably wrong, bass are very aware of their environment. It's usually best to give the bass several minutes to return to it's original location and try something different from a new angle or from a longer distance.

Whenever you are casting and retrieving lures get the mind set that bass are following or looking at it, they probably are and fish the lure accordingly.

Tom

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On ‎10‎/‎29‎/‎2016 at 1:43 PM, riverbasser said:

Been doing a lot of fishing the past few weeks and the waters around me are clearer than I've ever seen. So I'm getting to see things like I never have. 

The main thing I'm seeing especially yesterday is bass following my lures and not biting. I tried a lot of different baits and the bass showed interest but wouldn't strike. Jigs, worms, flukes, cranks they turned em all down. At one point I dug out a jerkbait and that really made em come out of cover but they would get right up at it and just stop and watch it for a min. Nothing I did seem to make a strike. I did catch a few but missed many more. 

I'm trying to figure out why. There was bait everywhere and I wonder with so much real food around were my lures just not good real enough in the clear water? This also makes me question how often this has happened before and I never knew since I can't normally see. Anyone else experience this?

As always several interesting & thought provoking response to this one.

 I'll add this -  I file repeated "Follows" under the heading of Curiosity; and for me this situation rarely result in a strike - at least not right then.   Having been in this situation more than a few times, I've decided that the bass will strike when it's ready.  Occasionally, and I mean occasionally, something can be done to illicit a strike response but it's not the norm. 

A reduction in line and / or bait size can do it.  A change in presentation speed, either very fast or even super slow sometimes can do it.  Additionally, the younger (insert smaller) the bass the better the odds that any one (or more) of these modifications can work.  None of this applies during the spawn or when guarding fry as the fish are often in a different mode.

On a positive note - this is not a totally bad thing, as I have at least a decent chance of returning to the scene of the crime, when the bass may be in a feeding mode and putting some of these previously frustrating bug-eyed donkeys in the net.  

Another tactic I've used to successfully get strikes from repeated followers is to change up the approach / presentation angle or direction.  By changing up boat position either right then and especially when returning to fish the bass later, casts come to the fish differently which has worked.  Shallow to deep, Deep to Shallow and even parallel to structure / cover try them all.

Followers can be frustrating but in my mind they are a whole lot better than going long periods of Nothing.

Edit ~ This response is covered rather succinctly by WRB's post above - Tom's routinely beating me to the punch

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

 

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.. @WRB I often see you say something about how you are a trophy bass angler. I actually read in a post somewhere in the lines and knots section that you claimed you "have caught more DD bass than anybody on this site".  Ive also seen you say that if "your hand cannot fit in the bass's mouth it is not worth a picture " I feel like you have alot to offer.. and when I first entered this site was intrigued by your picture of that replica you're holding. 

But I know that a big portion of you being able to catch those size bass is your location. I'm not taking anything away from your knowledge or skillsets but you cannot catch bass 15lbs+ in my region very easily. Obviously. Because it isn't on record of it ever being done that I know of. Not everyone is blessed with the opportunity to get close to huge bass on a regular basis where an 8lb bass becomes just mehhh. to some people an 8lb bass is a bass of a lifetime. 

 

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2 hours ago, Yeajray231 said:

.. @WRB I often see you say something about how you are a trophy bass angler. I actually read in a post somewhere in the lines and knots section that you claimed you "have caught more DD bass than anybody on this site".  Ive also seen you say that if "your hand cannot fit in the bass's mouth it is not worth a picture " I feel like you have alot to offer.. and when I first entered this site was intrigued by your picture of that replica you're holding. You also are one of my favorite reads.. 

But I know that a big portion of you being able to catch those size bass is your location. I'm not taking anything away from your knowledge or skillsets but you cannot catch bass 15lbs+ in my region very easily. Obviously. Because it isn't on record of it ever being done that I know of. Not everyone is blessed with the opportunity to get close to huge bass on a regular basis where an 8lb bass becomes just mehhh. to some people an 8lb bass is a bass of a lifetime. 

 

You need to look at regional areas when discussing giant bass. Northern strain LMB were the only LMB in my region before 1959 and the California state record was 14 lbs 7 oz.  My PB NLMB caught in So Cal before Florids strain LMB were introduced was 12 lbs 4 oz., a giant bass at that time period. Florida strain LMB changed bass size in SoCal, not everywhere else.

If the state record is 10 lbs, then a 8 lb bass is a giant bass in that region and a bass of a lifetime.

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A 8 pound largemouth bass is a big bass anywhere in the world.

On 10/29/2016 at 7:57 PM, "hamma" said:

Yeah,..I fish alot of clear waters

 Trick is to continue any cadence that got their attention to begin with. If you get anxious and "react" to the strike that has yet to come because you see the fish coming. The fish will most likely swim up to it, check it out, and swim away. If you just continue working the lure, as if there's no fish getting ready to attack it ,...it just might.

 My old fishing buddy used to drive himself nuts with this (what I call) "clear water anxiety" he'd get so amped up, that every fish that showed any interest, he'd freeze waiting for the hit, that never came. It took me so long to break him of this, even though he'd be watching me catching fish, and he wasn't. He would try speeding up the lure, or letting it sit, slight twitches,.. etc. All he really needed to do was to close his eyes for a few seconds (once he saw a fish coming) and just fish the lure the way that drew the fish's attention. And that finally worked.

 It took me a while to just ignore that a fish is about to hit when I first started fishing all these clear waters as well. And I understand all too well the difficulty of seeing a huge bass about to hit and not hinder my retrieve. Its not easy, its actually a very tense moment, exciting as well. But if you just imagine there is nothing going on, and just continue your retrieve, thinking she's not gunna hit, she might.

At the least thats how I've dealt with the clear water anxiety

 As far as the bait available you mentioned,.. that very well may be  the true reason why the bass were just checking your lures out without a hit, they could be keying in on the present baitfish's size, scent, color, and movement.  

 With that being said,...Your retrieves very well may have been right on, doing what is needed in clear water.  And you did nothing "wrong" at all,..

   But what I call "clear water anxiety" ,....is a real issue with many anglers that aren't used to water you can see thru down to 20 or 30 feet. Watching a 8 or 9 pounder heading for your lure isnt an easy thing to watch, and continue a "consistent" retrieve. It takes some,..ok,.. alot of nerve, and a ton of patience. Even watching a nice 4 lber about to strike can hype up most anglers that aren't used to clear water.

^

This is the best answer given 

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In one of the fishing reports out in Cali was a reopening of some lake and a few of the people mentioned they caught a few 7-8 lbers nothing special ..  and I thought to myself.. must be nice. 

And I agree !

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I have a nice clear water lake I have been fishing a lot since this July.  I have been sticking to it and two spots it holds in particular because I have a high rate of success there with LMG's and smallies. The problem is, 90% of them are 3 pounds and under.  I have found a bunch of very large pigs in a certain spot that will not bite on anything I throw at them, all kinds of lures in all kinds of colors and fished in all kinds of ways. Got them to chase a couple times, then once, one of them finally slammed a small black and blue jig with a Yamamoto craw against the sea wall and I thought I was in business.  But no, she would not bite it after nosing it to the sea wall twice and left it alone. One morning I went out to this spot and realized just how pressured it was with a bunch of boats in this small spot, all of them giving it all they got with no luck at all.  After I was able to get in a good position I noticed that there was at least 15 of these really big donkeys in there underneath docks and positioned against the sea wall.  So again, I spent almost all day trying everything with not one of them biting. I gave up and decided to watch them to see what they were feeding on.  Everyone kept saying craws and small minnows, but that made no sense because I had not seen one craw there ever, and the only fish feeding on the minnows were bluegill and perch.  After going out there to watch them after a while and over two months with no luck with these pigs that all looked 5 pounds and bigger, I was not lucky enough to see what they were eating until three days ago.  Finally, found them all the sudden position themselves and trap a nice size bluegill against the sea wall and work together to take it for an early lunch!  So I went straight to the nearest tackle shop and bought the biggest bluegill and perch soft swim baits I could find.  I went out yesterday morning and put on a bait fish scent to the bluegill swim bait and caught a 6 pounder and a 4 pounder in 5 minutes!  Then no bites for over an hour, so I tied on the perch swim bait and caught another 6 pounder and felt like king of the world!  Did not get another bite besides a few 1 and 2 pounders.  It took me over two months to learn this lesson, but well worth the wait and frustration.

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That's pretty cool, I've never been in a situation to watch bass on a regular basis. Especially not some big girls. Good story

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Well I fished Thursday and friday. The fished have moved so I spent most of the day searching. I did get to see something else pretty cool. I followed a few thousand shad schooled up just under the surface. Nothing was chasing them so no fishing but was cool to watch. They moved slowly for about 50 yards. It seemed as tho they made circles and made slow progression but were moving in a direction. They were not in a creek so that disproved some of the typical fall stories. Maybe its not time yet or maybe this group just stays out but we were in about 20 FOW moving along a ledge about 40 yards away from main river bank. Water surface temp was low 70's

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4 hours ago, riverbasser said:

That's pretty cool, I've never been in a situation to watch bass on a regular basis. Especially not some big girls. Good story

It's the only place that I have ever seen a bunch of really nice size bass consistently be in. Sometimes there would only be 3 there, other days there would be a nice size school along a small stretch of sea wall with 5 docks.  The sea wall in this particular section is at a 90 degree angle to the water(straight up and down), where the rest of it, for miles on this lake, is at an angle.  After realizing they are always there, I just had to keep going back as much as possible, getting pretty d**n frustrated on some days.  You have no idea how many two pounders I have caught out of there trying to get these much bigger ladies with no luck at all.  After I finally seen them eat that big 'gill, I knew I had a chance then, luckily it paid off.  I have not told one local about catching these huge ones on the big natural swim baits.  I want to see how long I can keep it up.  Going back tomorrow morning to try my luck again.  Watch them have my swim baits figured out already and I'll be back to getting no bites besides the smaller ones, wouldn't surprise me!

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