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Getting skunked and need advice.

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    I am newer to bass fishing and have been struggling to catch any fish, I have been skunked 4 times in a row now, without a nibble. I fish from the bank most of the time. I know this time of year is tough but I have tried Football and finesse jigs, yoyoing and slow creeping spinner baits, flukes,suspending jerkbaits, grubs, wacky rigs and I still can't seem to find the fish. I really would appreciate any advice or tips.

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Well it's winter and things are slower right now.  Jigs, hard jerkbaits and swimbaits are the go to baits right now.  I will toss a glide just for fun and new to big baits and want to use them.

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Here's some good reading:

 

 

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https://www.bassresource.com/seasonal-fishing-articles/

 

It really helps to study the season your in and before a transition read ahead for the next season because the fish transition in groups.  Two seasons tactics can work at the same time and you will know the next expected movement 

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Bank fishing can be hard on an angler, especially if that angler doesn't know the bottom contour, depth and cover that's within casting distance.  I don't know who coined the phrase, but you can't catch them if they ain't there.  In other words; location is the key to catching and sadly, I believe, you're just in the wrong location.

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When I was learning, my bass fishing success was very, very minimal at first. But it exploded once I started doing three things:

1) I studied up on bass seasonal behavior -- what are they doing, where, and why, depending on the time of year

2) I stopped worrying about WHAT bait I was using, and starting paying more attention to WHERE I was using it -- location, depth, cover types, structural features.

3) I learned how to fish a plastic worm on a texas rig -- how to be patient, select my casts carefully, feel the bottom, feel obstructions, detect strikes, proper hooksetting technique.  I use all kinds of lures, but becoming good with a plastic worm made me better with everything else.

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My advice is learn bass basic behavior. Search "Cosmic Clock and Bass Calendar" to get started. This should help you with understanding seasonal periods.

It always helps to fish with a mentor so teach good fishing techniques and how to use your tackle.

It's currently late winter in the cold water period, this means most of the bass population is in deeper water and transitioning to early pre spawn. I would focus my efforts long major points located in deep water areas.

Tom

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Also do not forget live bait. Hech they use live bait and balloons in Florida all year. They also catch some of the biggest bass that way too

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 Loved that area when I lived out there.  If your bank fishing and it's not to far I would fish the banks around the I-5 bridge that crosses Shasta.  Really can't remember a time when there wasn't fish there.  Small brown jig, Dry Creek Tube (2 3/4")(Baby bass) 3/16 insert style hook, or a drop shot with a pink/chart tail 4" worm.  Don't forget the crawfish smelly jelly with anise.  All fished slow just like your using or fishing live bait.  Would use no more than eight pound line either.  You will loose tackle...but you should get rid of that skunk. The  south side of the bridge was my favorite both bank and boat and around the marina by the launch and into that cove.  Move around this area till you find them....always here.  As a last note go into Phil's Prop shop...was a great store and good people.  But haven't been there for years.

Good Luck

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This time of year is a hard time to catch fish, especially from the bank. I fish a 50 acre lake close to my house and always catch some fish. The last two times I went, I haven't got a bite. Don't give up, it will get better.

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This is a very discouraging time of year dude.  This weekend I had the whole Saturday to myself.  Even though I had put my gear away and resolved to be done for the year, I thought 'myeh, why not?'

 

I walked the bank for 5 hours and fished about a half mile of bank.  Not a nibble.  Still had a lot of fun, but will likely be my last trip till weather warms up.

 

Even if you do get a bite, realize that you just got a bite, and do hook up, the fish just Don't put up much of a fight in the cold.  Kinda like pulling in a boot.  Really sucks some of the fun out of it imo.

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Try slower finesse tactics, like a drop shot, ned rig or spoons. It's a slower time of year, and the bass aren't as active as well.

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Keep changing until something works . That includes area ,depth , lure , speed...   Try to be smart about the changes ,  think about what you want the lure to do then make it happen . With a few  lures you can cover everything . 

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I dont know what it is like in the lake your fishing . In local lakes I would hit the rip rap dams and fish on the bottom in cold water .

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Sounds like me with fishing in general... all I really know to fish are public park ponds, cause I don't know where else to go. The information online is skint to non-existent for my area. It is really frustrating. I go to places where I know bass are... I caught one at a local park just a few weeks ago, my first (and I am guessing very last at this point) bass on a weightless senko while finessing in a cove through some bush and debris. Naturally, it wasn't even close to keepable, which tends to be my curse if I am fishing anywhere else other than the catfish/perch pond in my backyard.

 

What's more frustrating is when there are other people fishing in the same area as you, similar rigs and same baits as you, and they manage to catch things while you skunk out. It's quite infuriating actually lol. A few weeks ago, I caught my first bass (idk what kind it was, skinny smallie I think), and a catfish within 20 minutes of being at the spot, with a senko. Then I went over to the dock where my stuff was (I should've put it at the bench where I was actually fishing, lesson learned), and while I was putting on a different lure, a family came up and spot bombed me. Literally within 2 minutes, this 6 year old little kid pulled a monster catfish out of the water from literally 1 foot off the bank, right where I was fishing. Ha, figures. Seems like the people who don't really know what they're doing catch the good ones in public parks. :P

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It appears that you are not discriminatory towards catching any particular species of fish. So, here is what I recommend and this is coming from a guy who fishes highly pressured urban ponds frequently. This worked in Denver and certainly works in Phoenix. I'm teaching my 2 1/2 year old son how to fish and carry him on me with a backpack. Because I want him to see action, this is my confidence rig that seems to work everywhere! 

 

Rig a 2" pumpkin seed Berkley Powerbait Power Grub on a small roadrunner jig. Use a medium light rod with 6# test and slow roll the lure right off the bottom with random pauses. I showed a buddy new to fishing last week how to catch trout at an urban pond by slowing jigging a grub along weedlines. All the bait dunkers were watching us catch a limit.  I use ultralight set ups all winter because it's appealing to largemouths, bluegills, saugeye, walleye, yellow bass, crappie, stocked trout, channel catfish, and an occasional common carp. 

 

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From Spring thru Fall, when the shad start moving in, I'll transition to a 3" white Berkley Powerbait Power Grub using a slightly larger underspin and catch largemouth bass up to 4 lbs in the same highly pressure waters. Senkos, tubes, inline spinners, list goes on and on..........they all work. However, don't give up on the grub. 

 

I've been introducing a lot of people to fishing lately and a grub keeps people engaged. Whether it be from the bank or from my tandem kayak, it's beyond effective!

 

Once you've mastered the grub, then you can incorporate the Gulp! Alive! 2.5" Black Shad and learn to use that bait with a drop shot, slip bobber rig (missed a 28" walleye in Colorado using this technique from shore), and yo yo retrieve with an underspin. I swear up and down that if I only had a variety of grubs, an underspin, and jar of Gulp! Alive! Minnows..........I would be able to catch fish for the rest of my life.  

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Change baits, change colors, change presentations till you get action.

 

change the speed of your presentations. Add a pause.

 

my favorite presentation topwater is the one, two, three rip n pause. Do even rips, exactly even. Vary your pause on different casts.

 

i have seven cats, predators like bass. Take a string and play with them. One won’t play right away but if I pause it he will attack. Another one will jump on it right away. Others take two or three casts of the string to get action. Bass are no different. A slower presentation speed wise is better than going fast. We tend to try to cover more water by going faster.

now don’t fan cast next to your last cast. SKip fan cast. So your not spooking the fish.

 

read every article here, watch every video here. Time spent on the water will improve your skills. Go out and practice with different baits and presentations.

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lol, I play with my cats all the time, thanks for the advice!

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