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Sifuedition

Odd hook-up. Teachable moment?

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Tough day on the pond. About five hours of nothing. At the end, I was throwing a Strike King Bitsey Flip (1/4 oz jig) with a 3" rage tail. Slow drag and bouncing it was getting nothing. Wind started gusting pretty heavy, so that it was pushing the rod tip around a lot. No chance I'm going to feel the traditional bump you feel on a jig, so I start to just retrieve and I'm going to tie on something else. Not two turns in, it gets hit. Not big, and I don't really feel like I "earned" that one. I figure that's a little odd and throw it around as a swim jig for a while and nothing. Tied on a 3" flip tail grub on a shakey head, trying to move a little faster than I had the jig. Nothing. Tie on a chatterbait of similar color but nothing.

 

So, was it just an odd one-off where he was watching it and happened to react when it took off all of a sudden, and just luck or is this a teachable moment for me? What bait/technique should I have tried to test a pattern? Was my reaction the right the one to try find a pattern from this?

 

I just got back into fishing last August after significant time off. I'm not sure if I suck at fishing now, or if I just don't know these ponds well enough, maybe the pond just sucks, or if it's just winter, or if it's my tackle, but I get skunked so often, I'm getting really dejected. 

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That's why it's called fishing & not catching!

 

We do a whole lot more fishing than we do catching!

 

But hey I'm pretty dang good at casting  😉

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My circle calls it washing lures and when you catch your down and dirty.  Wind picks up grab a spinner bait or upsize a little.  Fish a lot of keitechs and I bump up one size and add underspin.  

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Sometimes you win and sometimes the fish win. It goes with the territority. Sort of like baseball.

 

With "chop" on the water go with a spinnerbait or Chatterbait.

 

And the weather conditions you described seem to be a cold front moving through your area. Cold fronts can shut down the bass or, either right before they hit or as they pass through, turn on those green monsters to feed and become aggressive.

 

In Oklahoma I bet the water temperature is under 60*. If so, the bass are deep and are just holding waiting for an easy meal along with the water temperature to hit 60* so they can start moving up for the spawn.

 

So don't take it personally. Just re-rig and hit that pond again and again and again and you will figure out where they hide and in what conditions.

 

One more suggestion: above this thread at the top of the page is a listing of various topics starting with Home and moving to your right to Links. Open the one that reads Tools and you will see, listed second, a Fishing Log. Download and print that fishing log and start keeping it for every trip you make to the pond.

 

Keep it in a three-ring binder and sooner or later you will see the various patterns based on the water temperature, water clarity, time of year, weather conditions and other variables including the baits you were throwing and your presentations.

 

Good luck and get ready for OU to face LSU in the BCS National Championship game this coming season.

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After the bait got bit did you deadstick it?  Sometimes the bass will hit a jig to try and injure, or kill it.  After the bite, while the jig is just sitting on the bottom the bass will come back and pick it up.

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11 hours ago, Sifuedition said:

Tough day on the pond. About five hours of nothing. At the end, I was throwing a Strike King Bitsey Flip (1/4 oz jig) with a 3" rage tail. Slow drag and bouncing it was getting nothing. 

 

So, was it just an odd one-off where he was watching it and happened to react when it took off all of a sudden, and just luck or is this a teachable moment for me? 

 

"Odd one-off"...."luck".... dude, are you kidding me? You fished 5 hours in what sounds like pretty tough conditions, throwing different bait with different retrieves, you finally get it dialed in and get a bite very quickly.

 

That's not luck my friend, with fish shut down and you persevering as long as you did trying different things and finally getting a bite I would chalk up to experience and grit. I would have bailed after 2nd hour for sure.

 

Don't sell yourself short, you earned that fish in big way:)

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6 hours ago, Sam said:

With "chop" on the water go with a spinnerbait or Chatterbait.

Didn't try the spinnerbait, but I've heard that twice this weekend, so I'll have to keep that in mind.

 

6 hours ago, Sam said:

And the weather conditions you described seem to be a cold front moving through your area. Cold fronts can shut down the bass or, either right before they hit or as they pass through, turn on those green monsters to feed and become aggressive.

 

In Oklahoma I bet the water temperature is under 60*. If so, the bass are deep and are just holding waiting for an easy meal along with the water temperature to hit 60* so they can start moving up for the spawn.

 

 

Actually, the weekend has been warmer than usual. Not dramatically so, but, 60-65 instead of 45-55. Hasn't been that warm long enough for water temp to get that high, yet, though. Don't have a water temp gauge, yet, but I'd estimate 50s. The two I got were both within 10 feet of the bank. The one I describe in the post, I threw at a concrete inlet culvert. My thinking was the concrete may be warming the water a little by soaking up the sun and radiating the heat, plus, it's a good ambush point. Very little cover or structure to the ponds as far as I have found.

 

The second one was as I was walking away from the pond. There is a second, smaller pond right next to this one. At that pond, as I was passing, I spotted one rolling near the surface right on the bank. Dropped a lipless crankbait on his head and he chased it down and I got him. He was really small, though. I really suspect both ponds are not very deep. I fish the deeper end a lot harder, but I don't think the change is all that significant. The deeper end of the larger pond, I catch bottom slime and leaves about half way back on the retrieve with a 3-5' jerkbait or squarebill, so I suspect no more than 6-10' deep.

 

3 hours ago, Bankbeater said:

After the bait got bit did you deadstick it?  Sometimes the bass will hit a jig to try and injure, or kill it.  After the bite, while the jig is just sitting on the bottom the bass will come back and pick it up.

Oh, I landed the fish. He nailed it pretty good for a 1.5 lber, and I got a good hook-set.

 

3 hours ago, 68camaro said:

"Odd one-off"...."luck".... dude, are you kidding me? You fished 5 hours in what sounds like pretty tough conditions, throwing different bait with different retrieves, you finally get it dialed in and get a bite very quickly.

 

That's not luck my friend, with fish shut down and you persevering as long as you did trying different things and finally getting a bite I would chalk up to experience and grit. I would have bailed after 2nd hour for sure.

 

Don't sell yourself short, you earned that fish in big way:)

Thanks. I hope my post did not come across as...whiney. What I mean by that is it wasn't me deciding to use technique A, B or C and it working. I threw tons of baits with no success. Finally, I threw the jig and did the slow drag for a while, which didn't work. I threw the jig and bounced it for a while, which didn't work. It was an odd cast where I dead-sticked it a little longer than normal waiting for the gusts to die down, not as a technique. When they didn't, I abandoned the presentation and started to simply real it in full speed and it got hit. Since that was not an intended presentation, I called it luck and didn't "earn" it. I prefer to feel that I caught a fish on skill and knowledge. I'll take luck any time I can get it, but, hopefully, I can add to my skill and knowledge from each of those so I rely on less luck over time.

 

It could be that my take-away should have been slowing down with the dead stick portion of that presentation. Maybe I should have stayed with the jig or gone to a ned rig and a really slow retrieve with long periods of dead-stick. Would have been tough to detect bites in those gusts, however.

 

It got bit just moments into the fast retrieve, however, so maybe my take-away should have been speeding up. Putting together the similarities in the profile of a jig and a spinnerbait, plus the comments above, I'm thinking that probably should have been my take-away. I could have tried a traditional cast and crank, and if that didn't work, a lift and drop presentation on the spinner. Lift and drop in this pond would be iffy due to a large amount of slime-moss on the bottom, especially near the shallows, but...

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Hey, man... a fish is a fish! Be happy cause I've been skunked the last 3 times out lol. Except for catfish. I can't keep those away if I tried! Bass is a different story entirely! :P My location is also very windy, especially this time of year. I'd love a calm pond since I still consider myself to be learning how to catch bass, but I don't get that luxury. I do the same you do: try different things until I can't stand it anymore and leave. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes not! But I watch people all the time that show up to a pond, throw the same lures for maybe 30 minutes before packing up and leaving, and think "they'll never catch anything that way". So whether it was luck or technique... hey, you caught one! Perseverance usually is the trait that pays. I'll take a 1.5 lber any day of the week.

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Reminds me of when I first started fishing and the very first time I threw a hollow body frog. The fishing was quite exceptional that day for many different presentations. We pull up to an area of the lake filled with grass mats. I thought to my self "what a perfect place to throw a hollow body frog from every thing I had learned about the bait up to this point". Well, as you can guess I fished that thing in every possible "conventional" way and nothing. Then out of frustration, I start burning my bait back to pick up a different set up and low and behold "wham" a blow up and hook up. I repeated the process for several more fish.

 

This taught me a couple of things; first of all, sometimes a certain pattern will defy all convention and to a certain extent almost nothing is a given. Secondly, in this situation a bait like a buzz toad might have been to optimal offering as opposed to a hollow body. However one thing is certain though, at any given moment, expect the unexpected.

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It was probably a fluke which look an awful lot like a bass . My uncle catches a lot of those .:)

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It was a bass, so who knows what it was thinking.  Last fall, I was working a jig slowly through some heavy timber and after I'd given up on cast and was burning it back up for another, that jig got slammed by a three pounder right at the boat.....scared the crap out of me.  I'll never know why that bass didn't take it on the bottom.

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