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What to do when bass are jumping and going after bugs

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So last evening at around 6:30pm I got home from work and decided to do a few hours of fishing from shore on the Wallkill.  I did my usual rotation which is:  

 

-  Roadrunner Jigs (multiple colors, white grub, yellow fur, black fur) swimmed slowly from 40 - 50 feet up stream, downstream, and across river cast.

-  Various silver and gold spoons

-  Various Crankbaits, stop and go retrieve casted to structure

-  Spinnerbaits.

-  Wacky rigged plastic worms

 

 

Nothing not even a bite.  However large smallmouth were jumping after bugs in the same areas.  RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME

 

This was another frustrating experience especially since all of the above either worked to land the fish I have posted (and more) before or used to get a strike.

 

Any suggestions, I expect it will get only worse (as it did last year until fall).

 

I am seriously considering grabing some nightcrawlers and fishing for catfish.

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Fly rod and small bluegill sized poppers.  It's about the most fun you can have catching bass.

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A Pop-R twitched a bit could make you happy happy.

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33 minutes ago, Oregon Native said:

A Pop-R twitched a bit could make you happy happy.

 

I agree with this.  Try any smaller topwater bait with a feathered back treble hook.  I've been in situations before, in late may, where the only bait I could get the smallmouth to bite was a spook.  

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5 hours ago, RAMBLER said:

Fly rod and small bluegill sized poppers.  It's about the most fun you can have catching bass.

 

 

Rambler, you hit the nail on the head.  Bass + Flyrod = great fishing joy.

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They were carp. 😂

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tiny torpedo and count to three

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When bass are looking up and surface feeding don't fish under them. A wide variety of surface or wake baits will work from poppers, chuggers, buzzers, surface swimmers and floater divers waked.

G770 1/4 oz Hula Popper or Pop-R, SK mini 1/8 oz buzz bait would be good to start with.

Tom

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We have a rather intense Mayfly hatch here. (next full moon actually)

While this is going on THE ONLY way I can get bit is to break out the fly rod.

But, I'm here to tell ya - for Big Smallies - It's Totally worth it.

:smiley:

A-Jay

post-13860-0-56121600-1419440884_thumb.jpg

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4 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

We have a rather intense Mayfly hatch here. (next full moon actually)

While this is going on THE ONLY way I can get bit is to break out the fly rod.

But, I'm here to tell ya - for Big Smallies - It's Totally worth it.

:smiley:

A-Jay

post-13860-0-56121600-1419440884_thumb.jpg

Ahhh the dreaded Mayfly hatch up north. That would always hit when we'd head north to walleye fish when I was a kid. Absolutly killed the fishing the entire trip.

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Just now, 12poundbass said:

Ahhh the dreaded Madly hatch up north. That would always hit when we'd head north to walleye fish when I was a kid. Absolutly killed the fishing the entire trip.

I used to be in the crowd to - but if you want to really put a hurting on then - break out the buggy whip.

And I'm a hack fly casting - all you have to do is get it 20 feet or so away from the boat and let it sit - Slurp !  

btw - I catch walleye during the hatch all the time.

Maybe this season I can get some of the action on video - usually happens at sunset so we'll see.

:smiley:

A-Jay

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No fly fishing for me. Tried it moons ago, wasn't my cup o' tea.

I'd rather do Tenkara, but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

 

That said, I caught a 3.6 pounder the other week as I was trolling

to a spot in my kayak. Just behind me to the left a big splash.

I cut the motor, turned to see the ripples and threw a Ned rig into

it. BANG, nice fight through tall grass and 3.6# later joy joy joy.

I did not see any shad runs, so I'm assuming it was either going 

after a fish feeding up there, or bugs.

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That sounds like a classic mayfly hatch to me.

Panfish poppers on a fly rod will take panfish and bass on successive casts, a Real Blast!

Alternatively, a clear 'bubble float' may be used with spinning gear, that is, if they're still available.

 

Roger

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Clear bubble floats that can be partially filled with water are still made for the trout crowd.

Tom

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Aint quite warm enough here for the bug hatch but its definitely coming.  First one is usually around Memorial Day and new hatches of midges, lake flies, may flies, etc emerge every few days it seems for a couple months.  Some of them are of biblical proportions.  There was one so massive last June that the National Weather Service actually picked it up on radar.

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I'm going to have to remember the fly rod next time there is a cicada hatch . When bass are hitting cicadas I have a devil of a time trying to catch them .

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13 hours ago, evilcatfish said:

 

I agree, those are both really good baits. I bought a couple and they're not a lure you pull out every day, but for those specific conditions - similar to the OP's - these really shine. 

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Megabass Siglett!

 

love that lure. I've got two with the fur finish and one that's darker colored. The beetle-x is great too but considerably larger. It will walk like a jitterbug but is more effective still. It's like fly fishing with a baitcaster. 

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Google nories bug by  kinami baits. We have an intense bite here when dragonflies are flying close to the surface and bass are jumping out of the water all over to catch em, quite a site to behold. 

 

A weightless nories bug in black is lights out in that situation. Theyre Yammamotos sons company and made out of the same dense, castable plastics with good  subtle action from the appendages. 

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If the OP is willing to spend $20 for lures fishing a river then cicada would be a good choice, but not that much better a small Hula Popper or small Jitterbug. Smallmouth bass are aggressive surface feeders unless the hatch is overwhelming like Mayflies can be.

Tom

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On 5/18/2017 at 6:05 PM, 12poundbass said:

Ahhh the dreaded Mayfly hatch up north. That would always hit when we'd head north to walleye fish when I was a kid. Absolutly killed the fishing the entire trip.

 

I suspect the bigger bass are just going for the flys.. I might need to learn how to fly fish

 

Caught this small-mouth bass today in the Wallkill on a grub-like plastic worm tried all sorts of colors and green grey was working today?  lol... sigh.  around 12 - 13 inches.

 

Surface lures did not work, could be my poor skill at them. 

 

 

13.25 inch smallmouth.jpg

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I caught this sunfish next.. its the biggest sunfish I have ever seen.  This one destroyed the bait all that is left is the hook.

Both fish were released unharmed and I managed to catch a ton smaller smallmouth on that plastic.  I need to learn to flyfish.. I could have caught the 3+ pound smallies jumping...if I only had a flyrod.. 

 

 

crazy sunfish.jpg

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