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CrustyMono

How Do You Fish?

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Usually when I am in a boat, I am covering lots of water with a bow mount motor. This means I won't be still, and can't fish for other species while I focus on bass and pickerel. I sometimes fish small tournaments in my 100 acre lake at my lake house. The tournament allows live bait, unless it is voted against. "Unfortunately" my friend and I are much better with lures than the other guys. My friend, my mom and dad (who drive me to the meeting) and I are the only ones that vote against live bait, which is pretty funny. Because live bait give an advantage, and in PA each person can have 3 lines in at one time, we fish live bait on 4 rods and lures on two. The fish and game guy watches like a hawk for people to slip up and break a law. This enables us to cover the biggest area we can. I have found that with live bait we catch lots of other species too. Here is how i would fish to catch the most fish:

If you aren't constantly moving, like with a bow mount motor, Anchor down and fish for catfish while you throw lures for bass. Also you could fish in areas where there are bass and pike, walleye, and musky in the same area. Although you might not catch so many bass, you'll definitely catch more fish. You could also have small baits for crappie, perch, and small fish with light tackle. 

What do you do to catch the most fish and create a great day on the water?

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Fish the shoreline structure from shore, with a Midwest Finesse rig, for the most part. I'm shorebound right now, so I make sure I fish structure thoroughly.

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I focus specifically on bass, but that yields me plenty of bycatches including pike, pickerel and crappie. I fish only with artificial, and I never fish fast. If i'm drifting a bank, I may stop at a specific target for several minutes before continuing my drift. I will also motor back to start the drift over again if I had success or feel like there should be fish. 

On very rare occasions, like once a year I will anchor at a spot and fish for carp with bait. The carp seem to spook if I fish for bass while waiting for the carp. So I usually just hang out and wait. This is something I should do more, fighting a brute carp is a blast.

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This time of year I fish mostly from the bank.  I find structure or cover that I can reach by casting out to it, and I fish it very slowly.  I'll use a jig or t-rig, and fish the spot from every angle I can without getting hung up.

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There is no way I'm going to be tightlining live bait and trying to cast lures at the same time . Its either one or the other . My uncle use to  drag a bobber and bait behind the boat while we were bass fishing , it always ended up being a PITA .

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1 hour ago, scaleface said:

There is no way I'm going to be tightlining live bait and trying to cast lures at the same time . Its either one or the other . My uncle use to  drag a bobber and bait behind the boat while we were bass fishing , it always ended up being a PITA .

if im out on a boat, i totally agree. but if im on the bank a lot of times but not always i will throw out a couple lines with live bait, set them in rod holders, and then go toss around a lure for bass for a bit while keeping an eye on the live bait rods. a lot of times the live bait fish hook themselves, especially if im using a slip rig with slack line and the pressure of the line tightening when fish run with it will set the hook itself good enough until i can get over there and drive it home. this also depends on where im fishing too though...

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I start at home watching the conditions for a week or so before the day out (unless its a"hey lets go" thing) watching barometer, clouds, rain, etc. then i confer with a lake depth map, considering its proportion, north's direction, past and present wind direction, prevalent bait, etc. Then I decide where I'd "like" to target. 

 At the ramp,...... once im launched and on board, I check the waters surface temp, look at its clarity, and color. Then,.. usually take a cruise around the lake, watching for prolific bait on the lcr, the changes in surface temps, what direction the wind is now, and any natural clues, beit birds diving, bait jumping etc.

 Then I will stop at the best bait holding area, and float around for a bit checking everything once again, before I even stand to head towards the trolling motor, I already know what im going to be throwing first, and where Id like to start.

 Then I start casting, methodically and hopefully meticulously.  Picking up any clues, and considering any fish caught as to whats going on, looking for the days "pattern" or lack there of. Continuously, considering all the variables, until the day has presented me with the answers Im seeking.

 How do I fish? ,... read my screen name, I do my best to nail'em

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20 hours ago, "hamma" said:

I start at home watching the conditions for a week or so before the day out (unless its a"hey lets go" thing) watching barometer, clouds, rain, etc. then i confer with a lake depth map, considering its proportion, north's direction, past and present wind direction, prevalent bait, etc. Then I decide where I'd "like" to target. 

 At the ramp,...... once im launched and on board, I check the waters surface temp, look at its clarity, and color. Then,.. usually take a cruise around the lake, watching for prolific bait on the lcr, the changes in surface temps, what direction the wind is now, and any natural clues, beit birds diving, bait jumping etc.

 Then I will stop at the best bait holding area, and float around for a bit checking everything once again, before I even stand to head towards the trolling motor, I already know what im going to be throwing first, and where Id like to start.

 Then I start casting, methodically and hopefully meticulously.  Picking up any clues, and considering any fish caught as to whats going on, looking for the days "pattern" or lack there of. Continuously, considering all the variables, until the day has presented me with the answers Im seeking.

 How do I fish? ,... read my screen name, I do my best to nail'em

This is pretty much my routine .

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In Michigan, from the boat, it is pre-planning, read the latest fishing reports online, obtain lake details onsite such as temperature, color, wind, structure, cover, etc.  Then, I will work an area meticulously, or I may drift with or without a windsock, I may use trolling motor, or just anchor.  Now that boat is winterized, I fish from shore when not freezing cold or wait for hard water.  I do like live bait>>emerald shiners, night crawlers and usually have in boat, though, I love throwing hard baits, plastics, etc.  Good luck out there.

 

 

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On Monday, November 21, 2016 at 7:03 AM, scaleface said:

There is no way I'm going to be tightlining live bait and trying to cast lures at the same time . Its either one or the other . My uncle use to  drag a bobber and bait behind the boat while we were bass fishing , it always ended up being a PITA .

This fall I tried to drag a jig/minnow under a bobber behind the boat while I cast and it was more of  headache than anything.  Perhaps in truly OPEN water it might have been different but as it was, I gave up.

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I'm a river rat and always have some type of current to deal with.But that's smallie fishing. I couldn't tell you the last time I used live bait for bass, maybe 30-35 years ago. Maybe longer. My season is probably over for this year. Had a great year. Bettered my personal best smallie this fall. I would say that the lures I throw are pretty bass specific but they will catch other stuff. By accident or unexpectedly have caught white bass, white perch, bluegill, yellow perch, musky, channel cats, flatheads, and crappies while bass fishing with lures.  

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1 hour ago, Spankey said:

I'm a river rat and always have some type of current to deal with.But that's smallie fishing. I couldn't tell you the last time I used live bait for bass, maybe 30-35 years ago. Maybe longer. My season is probably over for this year. Had a great year. Bettered my personal best smallie this fall. I would say that the lures I throw are pretty bass specific but they will catch other stuff. By accident or unexpectedly have caught white bass, white perch, bluegill, yellow perch, musky, channel cats, flatheads, and crappies while bass fishing with lures.  

Where in SE PA do you live? Im in Malvern

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I'm done fishing for the year, put the boat away until next March.

Depending on the season and time of day  when I'm after numbersI'll either work shallow to deep, or deep to shallow. Where I begin is determined prior to launching. Once I contact fish, I'll stick to whatever structure I'm on  until the bite dies and then search  deeper/shallower.  On lakes  having pike and Muskie, I may start mid depth. I learned this lesson a long time ago; Never abandon active fish.  

I rarely run my T/M constantly the only exception is in the early pre-spawn and fall migration periods when the fish are on the move,

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I have a buddy who fishes several times a week, so I get the report on a regular basis. Sometimes he'll text me that I better go if I want to get in on it.

I plan what I think might work and tie those on about 6 combos. Then I use the kayak that I have a crate rigged with holders. I usually fish a local reservoir that's private. This decreases the competition and means the fish are rarely pressured. It's a smaller place so I know I'lll drag a bait by some fish while I'm there. There are some really big gals in the small lake.  It's small enough to paddle around once in 3 hours. But I usually cut it in half and go where I've had success during similar conditions. It's also big enough for more than one pattern to work.

If it's bitterly cold like in Jan-mid-March, I'll go with a buddy who uses his Tracker or I'll go to one of a few ponds that are small enough to walk the bank. I may use my fish/ski if my buddy's working or busy. As soon as it's not deadly cold in the water, I'm back in the kayak. I have a bigger boat but it's such a hassle compared to the kayak and I've caught more and bigger bass since I started fishing from it. And it replaces my cardio exercise for that day.

In warmer water I prefer topwaters early, late and whenever they'll produce. I like spinnerbaits and other reaction baits. When they won't work I'll slow down with bottom bumpers. In cold water, I'll throw a t-rigged craw, small worm, jig and black spinnerbait with Col blade.

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I am a junk fisherman at heart. In a full day on the water it's not uncommon for me to have fished dirt shallow, or offshore in 25-30 feet of water and all depths/type of cover in-between, with everything from a frog, to a jig, to drop shot, to a deep diving crank, and any number of other diff. things.

If something is working really well, and my gut tells me this is "the deal today" I stick with it for a while, or maybe all day. But i would say about 80% of the time I am fishing, it's junk fishing............. and I do alright with it.

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1 hour ago, ww2farmer said:

I am a junk fisherman at heart. In a full day on the water it's not uncommon for me to have fished dirt shallow, or offshore in 25-30 feet of water and all depths/type of cover in-between, with everything from a frog, to a jig, to drop shot, to a deep diving crank, and any number of other diff. things.

If something is working really well, and my gut tells me this is "the deal today" I stick with it for a while, or maybe all day. But i would say about 80% of the time I am fishing, it's junk fishing............. and I do alright with it.

I'll say that your described approach above is similar to mine in many ways.  Some of it may be driven by the habitats fished.  Another part might be because of the diversity between many of the waters fished.  Either way, I do what is necessary to first find the bait & the fish & then get bit.

But this common term of Junk fisherman is pretty deceiving and one I'm not a fan of.  Where Junk is often thought of as useless or worthless stuff, trash & rubbish; being adaptable is anything but.  

Ability of an angler to effectively alter presentations & approach in responses to the changed circumstances or environment is a far from worthless.  Adaptability shows the ability to learn from experience, and improves the overall angling ability especially as a competitor.

So in other words Brother - You're the Man.

A-Jay

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3 hours ago, A-Jay said:

 

So in other words Brother - You're the Man.

A-Jay

Who am I to argue?..............LOL

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Where I live wet wading creeks (sneakers, no waders) is my favorite technique May - Oct. depending on how much rain we've had. Nothing brings me more satisfaction than a quiet afternoon one on one with 14-18" smallmouth.  I'm definitely not a high tech electronics  angler.  Those that are,  more power to you. Spring and fall I seek out retention ponds, pits, and such.

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