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flg2010

Sad when you need to use Live bait

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This happens every summer (well for the last two I have fished in the Wallkill up in NY):

 

I am able to catch smallmouth and Bluegill on Jigs, some plastic creature or worm baits, and spoons.  This lasts from late march until around mid June.  At that point its baby night crawlers only and deeper pools which I hike to.  Literally nothing else works.

 

Then in September I am able to use plastic baits again and some jigs.

 

I don't have a ton of time so I don't fish anywhere else but ponds that connect to the Wallkill or the Wallkill these days since its close to home.  I have asked other folks and most people, as in everyone I have met on the river banks, tell me that's normal.  When I fished lake carmel I never used live bait.

 

I'm catching 2, 3 and even a few 4 lb Smallmouth on live bait.. nothing is even hitting any lures.  

 

Is this normal for bass fishing on some shallow rivers?

 

 

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•You will catch bass on live bait in summer ,fall , winter ,and spring

•You will catch bass on live bait whether its north , south , east , or west .

• You will catch bass on live bait in big rivers ,little rivers,creeks , big lakes ,small lakes , and ponds

 

I cant explain why you dont catch them on artificials only in the summer.

Sometimes when the bite gets tougher in summer I pull out the live bait , and it generally produces.

But I dont think its sad ....?

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What difference does it make.? Guys use live bait all the time. 

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Anglers think they can always catch bass with lures because they believe bass are like cats and can be teased into striking lures. Bass can be territorial during the spawn, otherwise the goal is to servive by eating the most available prey source. 2" to 2 1/2" live crawdads nose hooke could be more productive than night crawlers.

Live bait fishing can be a learning experience if you harvest the live bait by catching it yourself. Understanding the basses food source is a big step in becoming a more skilled angler.

The closest artificial nightcrawler I found that bass tend to eat is Roboworms oxblood w/light red flake 5 1/2" curl tail worm. Split shot rig this using a light wire size 1 Owner #5133 down shot hook weedless using 6 lb mono line.

Tom

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There are lots that use it in my neck of the woods and family members often ask why I don't.

When fishing I have 2 mind sets.  One is trying to catch numbers or biggies. The second is trying to catch them on specific gear.  Taking the easiest route is not that fun, and that is why I doubt I will ever be tournament guy.

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likely b/c ur fishing from shore and can't cast to them anymore b/c they moved deep.  bass will travel for a juicy bluegill but don't want to expend the energy for a tube/senko etc.  eliminate everything else and only fish where the deep water meets shallow so it's within casting distance.  

 

SM are notorious for  coming long distances for the right lure.  Speed up instead of slowing down.  Try fast moving spooks, burning spinnerbaits as fast as you can just subsurface, slashing hard/soft jerkbaits etc.

 

and buy a kayak.

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Try fishing at sunset/night and early AM

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why sad? It just another way of fishing. If they only want live bait and if you don't mind then give it to them. I met a guy on tube, he always look for crawdad first to take with him why fishing other lure/plastic. He claimed the biggest catch for him alway from live crawdad.

i might try that sometime when out doing some catfish fishing with my wife.

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Sad? Nah... Use what ever they're chewing on and enjoy the moment.

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Well things are back to normal, caught this Smallmouth today on a keitech plastic worm California rigged.  Drift the plastic and then twitched and retrieved.  A little bigger then the ones I was getting on bait.  Caught a bunch of smaller ones to.

 

Not a bad trip.

 

 

smallmouth_7917.jpg

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Used bait many many years ago....just not for me.  To much mess.  Anyone ever leave a container of worms in the trunk of a car for a few days and "smell" the reward!!!  Anyway...good luck.

Have had some great days on a three inch weightless senko style bait weightless on light line....BUT....not my favorite presentation.

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fishing ,never sad for me. do I prefer artificial ,yes. but any type of fishing beats sitting at home on the couch. I happy to see that you are getting out there trying. keep swinging you will eventually hit a home run! 

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Happens to me on the Susquehanna river. Mid summer is always the toughest time. Fish feed mostly at night and if you aren't a nighttime fisherman you just can't seem to get a bite. That's when I start flipping up rocks and catching hellgrammites and crawfish. I've done this since I was a kid. If it works, do it. 

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6 hours ago, Gundog said:

Happens to me on the Susquehanna river. Mid summer is always the toughest time. Fish feed mostly at night and if you aren't a nighttime fisherman you just can't seem to get a bite. That's when I start flipping up rocks and catching hellgrammites and crawfish. I've done this since I was a kid. If it works, do it. 

Crazy how hard they hit hellgramites isn't It?  Catching them is fun too.

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6 hours ago, Lendiesel22 said:

Crazy how hard they hit hellgramites isn't It?  Catching them is fun too.

Oh those smallies love clippers. They smack them big. Even the little guys get into the action. 

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Live bait works, man.  I would suggest learning to pick your own since it'll teach you a lot about what bass eat in each body of water and a bunch about how to present artificial.  

 

If you're fishing rivers that contain helgramites and madtoms, and picking them is legal, you owe it to yourself give fishing them a shot.  They can be incredible. 

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On 7/10/2017 at 11:33 PM, Gundog said:

Oh those smallies love clippers. They smack them big. Even the little guys get into the action. 

The 1st fish I ever caught on one was 12" hit it like a truck and went all full acrobatic. Awesome experience at 10 years old.

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I really dislike fishing live bait as well. I usually draw the line at the old inline spinner or Beetle Spin. I would however make an exception, like say, a live shiner, for a PB.

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 I fish with what ever it takes to catch bass, and sometimes it takes live worms or minnows

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Maybe the negativity is because many bass fisherman equate live bait with sitting around waiting for the fish to come and bite the live bait. It doesn't have to be that way. One can fish live bait, in most instances, the same way they would do any kind of finesse fishing be it in shallow or deep water. While I don't target bass with live bait, I catch them all the time while panfishing. Even caught my PB of just under 7lbs on a crappie minnow. I've caught plenty of bass up to 4lbs on a 1/2" piece of nightcrawler under a splitshot. Caught a 12lb pike the same way. The pike was apparently feeding on the perch I was targeting, just as the bass are apparently feeding on the bluegills I target. Thing is, I don't sit around waiting for the bite. I hunt for panfish the same as I do for bass. Stick and move...stick and move...I will toss the bait at every dock post, every piece of visible shoreline structure and cover,etc, just as I would if I were bass fishing. It's really no different 

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I enjoy fishing live crawdads for bass. You fish them very much like a slow moving plastic worm, if they don't get eaten immediately anyways. 

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I used a lot of live bait as a kid. It's all you can really do with limited water access and time to fish. I bet a fly popper would be better though.

Once you get more mobile with a boat and devote more to fishing you forget all about bait. Lures will always be more productive and fun once you have the right ones as options and more areas to use them. I would need dozens of buckets of shiners to cover an average day fishing.

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7 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

I enjoy fishing live crawdads for bass. You fish them very much like a slow moving plastic worm, if they don't get eaten immediately anyways. 

That's the way we used to fish for smallmouth when I was a kid. The state of Wisconsin banned the import of crayfish many many years ago, so bait shops stopped selling them.

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While I'm not a big fan of using live bait, I think it's kind of cheating just to get a fish to bite and I like the challenge of trying to mimic something that's alive with a lure, my buddy will pull out the minnow trap and get some minnows/shiners when the fishing gets slow.  And he usually starts catching them.

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Considering bass eat live forage, it's not unusual or sad.

 

What's unusual is that we use FAKE bait to catch them!! :) 

 

One need look no further than our own @Fish Chris (please

come back, Chris!!) to see just how big a bass you can catch

on live nightcrawlers. He was the master.

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