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Mbirdsley

Basic techniques

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Hi, my name is Michael.  I am originally born and have resided in Michigan my entire life.  I have fished for various things my entire life mostly salmon and trout on Lake Michigan ( brother and I have a boat out of frankfort).  As far as bass fishing I have mainly only fished rivers that are located around me.  I was given a 14 Tin boat as a wedding gift and I want to get more into lake and larger river bass fishing.  What are the basic techniques most guys learn how to catch bass like maybe your top 3 or 4.  I’d like to get the basics down and than expand from there.  I just bought my first bait caster last week a abu black max combo that I put 10lbs Berkley big game line on. I’m thinking of getting one more bait caster for jigs this summer.  Thanks 

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Welcome Michael! 

 

I highly suggest you pull up a chair and do some reading through the many articles that are posted here;

https://www.bassresource.com/how-to-fish/

 

 

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Learn how to fish a Texas rig in heavy cover , then everything else will be simple . Take that 10 lb   test off   though . I use 17 lb Trilene XL for T-rigs .

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Gain confidence in texas rigged plastics. Like stated above it will make the learning curve of other techniques smaller. I would also suggest tying on a 1.5 squarebill crankbait. There is not wrong way to fish it. Vary your retrieve (speed, continuous vs start stop, speed up/slow down retrieve, etc) I would also say jerkbaits. Once you find your cadence it will help you learn to walk topwater baits. And for a fourth I would suggest a spinnerbait. A spinnerbait will virtually be worked like a crankbait but can cover the entire water column. All four of these techniques are great at catching fish but will also help you in learning various other techniques.

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A worm is the cynosure of freshwater angling presentations. It essentially started with a cane pole, a hook . . . and a worm.

 

I'd want to learn all aspects of fishing a plastic worm first and I agree with scaleface that a T-Rigged worm is a great place to start. Then, move to weightless presentations, drop shots, Ned Rigs, Wacky worm riggings, split shot rigs and Carolina Rigs, just cover them all. It'll teach you hook setting, pitching, casting moves and techniques. From the common worm came all of the creature baits, throwing huskier baits with appendages. You will expand from worms to those, covering even more circumstances.

 

I'd start very early on soft plastic shad/fluke style baits, let it be an entry point to learn moving baits. From there, you'll spin off into spinnerbaits, buzz baits, jerk baits, etc. But, nothing is easier (and more generally productive) than throwing a 4 or 5" shad or fluke, rigged weedless.

 

Topwater, too, just because it is so danged fun!

 

Brad

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Attack the water column 😉

 

Top water, mid-depth, & bottom 

 

You wanna get into jigs, a Texas Rigs go along together 

 

Bladed jigs or swim jigs 

 

Whopper Ploppers are hot 

 

 

 

 

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1. wacky rig senko/stickworm -- just to get familiar with and gain quick confidence catching bass. Cast next to weeds or logs, let it fall through the water column, twich it up, fall, etc. You'll learn quickly where bass are and where they aren't.

 

2. texas rigged worm -- spend a lot of time on this - it teaches you how to feel the bottom, detect strikes, set the hook properly, and gives you the ability to throw INTO cover without getting snagged. In many people's opinion, the texas rigged worm is the foundation of all bass fishing, and once you become successful at it you will never stop fishing a worm the rest of your life.

 

3. spinnerbait -- work the mid-depth, experiment with speeds and types of retrieves. Learn how to cover water with a moving bait to find active fish.

 

4. topwater popper -- nothing is more addictive than topwater, and a popper is a good place to start. cast to a good spot, let it sit, pop it with a couple of bloops, reel a bit over to the next spot, repeat.

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The difference with bass vs trout or salmon is we use larger hooks that require harder hooks sets. Trout and salmon usually hook themselves because the hooks are smaller dia wire and they both have soft months compared to Smallmouth and Largemouth bass. 

I suggest strarting with finesse rigs like drop shot and use a spinning outfit along with your bait casting outfit for larger hook lures.

If you know how to read moving water seams, rifles, edies where game fish prefer to locate, then catching smallmouth bass should easier. Largemouth like slower moving water and areas with cover to ambush their prey.

My highest % largemouth lures for numbers are;

1. 5" to 6" hand poured soft plastic worms drop shot and slip shot rigged.

2. Bass jigs with 4" double tail soft plastic trailers.

3. 7" to 9" soft plastic worms Texas rigged with sliding bullet sinker.

4. Medium depth diving lures or crankbaits.

Smallmouth;

1. Jerk baits.

2. Finesse size 1/4 oz living rubber jigs with 2 1/2" trailers.

3. Same as #1 LMB.

4. Smaller size 1/4 - 3/8 oz spinnerbait.

As Catt mentioned learn to fish the entire water column.

Good luck,

Tom

 

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Be careful with dropshotting in Michigan -- it's still illegal without at least a 3" leader from main line to hook in rivers, streams and drowned river mouths (inland lakes and great lakes are OK):

 

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/2018-MI-Fishing-Guide-WEB_615716_7.pdf

 

P. 10:

Drop-shotting:
The practice of having a weight suspended below a single-pointed hook that is tied directly to the main fishing line is lawful on inland lakes, Great Lakes and Great Lakes Connecting Waters only. This gear may not be used on rivers, streams or drowned river mouth lakes.

 

P. 11:

It is unlawful to:

  • Fish on a river, stream or drowned river mouth (note 3, p. 18) using a weight suspended below any hook unless the hook is on a dropper line (a leader) that is at least 3" long.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, MIbassyaker said:

Be careful with dropshotting in Michigan -- it's still illegal without at least a 3" leader from main line to hook in rivers, streams and drowned river mouths (inland lakes and great lakes are OK):

 

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/2018-MI-Fishing-Guide-WEB_615716_7.pdf

 

P. 10:

Drop-shotting:
The practice of having a weight suspended below a single-pointed hook that is tied directly to the main fishing line is lawful on inland lakes, Great Lakes and Great Lakes Connecting Waters only. This gear may not be used on rivers, streams or drowned river mouth lakes.

 

P. 11:

It is unlawful to:

  • Fish on a river, stream or drowned river mouth (note 3, p. 18) using a weight suspended below any hook unless the hook is on a dropper line (a leader) that is at least 3" long.

 

 

What is the rationale for that?  There must be a reason for such a specific prohibition.

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Just now, RPreeb said:

What is the rationale for that?  There must be a reason for such a specific prohibition.

It's intended to help prevent snagging salmon, as I understand.

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2 hours ago, Mbirdsley said:

Hi, my name is Michael.  I am originally born and have resided in Michigan my entire life.  I have fished for various things my entire life mostly salmon and trout on Lake Michigan ( brother and I have a boat out of frankfort).  As far as bass fishing I have mainly only fished rivers that are located around me.  I was given a 14 Tin boat as a wedding gift and I want to get more into lake and larger river bass fishing.  What are the basic techniques most guys learn how to catch bass like maybe your top 3 or 4.  I’d like to get the basics down and than expand from there.  I just bought my first bait caster last week a abu black max combo that I put 10lbs Berkley big game line on. I’m thinking of getting one more bait caster for jigs this summer.  Thanks 

 

Tubes, Spinnerbaits and Prop Baits are a simple foundation....and will catch Bass in the Grand River, Saginaw River, Huron River, Raisin River, Detroit River and St Clair River. 

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3 hours ago, MIbassyaker said:

Be careful with dropshotting in Michigan -- it's still illegal without at least a 3" leader from main line to hook in rivers, streams and drowned river mouths (inland lakes and great lakes are OK):

 

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/2018-MI-Fishing-Guide-WEB_615716_7.pdf

 

P. 10:

Drop-shotting:
The practice of having a weight suspended below a single-pointed hook that is tied directly to the main fishing line is lawful on inland lakes, Great Lakes and Great Lakes Connecting Waters only. This gear may not be used on rivers, streams or drowned river mouth lakes.

 

P. 11:

It is unlawful to:

  • Fish on a river, stream or drowned river mouth (note 3, p. 18) using a weight suspended below any hook unless the hook is on a dropper line (a leader) that is at least 3" long.

 

 

YEs I did knew/forgot that it was illegal to fish drop shot in rivers. Thanks for the reminder.  Yeah it is so that game fish like walleye, salmon, trout, and pike arnt snagged 

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I have a couple of different  spinning out fits.  The one I think I want to rig for wacky rig. it is a 6’6 Berkley tactix with a quantum accurist reel; was thinking for this I would rig some high-vis braid and a floro leader.

 

I guess my main thing is I am pretty good at small river fishing where I make my own in-line spinners, jigs, and sinkers.

 

 I just really havnt had much success lake fishing. I just feel like I get lucky and catch fish not knowing what I’m doing and catching fish.  

 

Im not sure on a couple things.  When you are fishing Texas rigged jigs are you dragging them on the bottom or hopping them? What about drop shotting is it a verticals presentation or are you casting it out and reeling it in while maintains contact with bottom? 

 

1st is my personal best large mouth on a tube in like three feet of water on Memorial Day

 

2nd photo is my personal best small mouth out of the shiawassee 

 

 

7D5EC5ED-DB3E-44BA-A12F-78E634452839.jpeg

3C554A43-4CC1-4DA4-9037-B9DE476ECCBC.jpeg

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Texas rigged trick worm 

 

Texas rigged creature bait or jig with creature bait

 

Ned Rig 

 

Mepps in line spinners #4

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5 hours ago, MIbassyaker said:

Be careful with dropshotting in Michigan -- it's still illegal without at least a 3" leader from main line to hook in rivers, streams and drowned river mouths (inland lakes and great lakes are OK):

 

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/2018-MI-Fishing-Guide-WEB_615716_7.pdf

 

P. 10:

Drop-shotting:
The practice of having a weight suspended below a single-pointed hook that is tied directly to the main fishing line is lawful on inland lakes, Great Lakes and Great Lakes Connecting Waters only. This gear may not be used on rivers, streams or drowned river mouth lakes.

 

P. 11:

It is unlawful to:

  • Fish on a river, stream or drowned river mouth (note 3, p. 18) using a weight suspended below any hook unless the hook is on a dropper line (a leader) that is at least 3" long.

 

 

Does this mean, an angler can fish the Detroit River or St. Clair River without using a 3" leader on their drop shots? Are those rivers considered part of the Great Lakes since they connect Erie and Huron ? 

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28 minutes ago, Active_Outdoors said:

Does this mean, an angler can fish the Detroit River or St. Clair River without using a 3" leader on their drop shots? Are those rivers considered part of the Great Lakes since they connect Erie and Huron ? 

The st.claire and Detroit rivers are considered part of the Great Lakes.  Walleye season is still open right now on them. So I would take that as drop shotting being legal. 

 

 All rivers/tributaries connected to the Saginaw bay are basically closed to all fishing except sucker And perch fishing due to the walleye/pike spawning going on. The only way you can fish suckers and perch right now is with live bait with no beads or spinners on the rigs.  However, the Saginaw bay it is still legal to catch walleye and c&r bass right now

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Thank you for that info! 

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8 hours ago, scaleface said:

Learn how to fish a Texas rig in heavy cover , then everything else will be simple . Take that 10 lb   test off   though . I use 17 lb Trilene XL for T-rigs .

I’ll buy another rod and reel for Texas rigs and other heavy worm rigs.  I bought this rod and reel mainly for jerk baits/cranks/spinner baits. 

The how to videos on this site are definitely some of the best thanks m..

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My standard Texas rig soft plastic consist of a painted brass 3/16 to 3/8 oz bullet weight, a 8mm tempered glass faceted bead, size 3/0 Owner #5100 for 6-7 1/2" worms, #5103 size 4/0 for 9" to 10" worms, using 11 lb Sunline Diefer Armillo Nylon line. Typically hop the worm a few inches, then shake the rod tip a few seconds and repeat.

Slip shot finesse rig on spinning tackle; 1/8 oz tubular mojo weight, Carlolina Keeper for the weight stop, Owner #5133 down shot hook size 1/0 for 4 1/2" to 6" worms, with 5 lb Maxima Ultra Green Copoly line. The Carolina keeper allows adjusting the distance between the hook and weight, about 24"-30" is standard. Cast and slowly drag the weight along the bottom, shake it free from any snags. This rig will catch bass anywhere.

Tom

PS, Roboworms, Iovino products and Uptons Customs.

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K.I.S.S. 😉

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43 minutes ago, Active_Outdoors said:

Does this mean, an angler can fish the Detroit River or St. Clair River without using a 3" leader on their drop shots? Are those rivers considered part of the Great Lakes since they connect Erie and Huron ? 

 

26 minutes ago, Mbirdsley said:

The st.claire and Detroit rivers are considered part of the Great Lakes.  Walleye season is still open right now on them. So I would take that as drop shotting being legal. 

 

 All rivers/tributaries connected to the Saginaw bay are basically closed to all fishing except sucker And perch fishing due to the walleye/pike spawning going on. The only way you can fish suckers and perch right now is with live bait with no beads or spinners on the rigs.  However, the Saginaw bay it is still legal to catch walleye and c&r bass right now

 

Yes, those meet the definition of "connecting waters", so it's OK.

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So about five years ago I really got back into fishing. I read asked questions here and applied the knowledge I gained. But what helped me most was fishing with some one more experienced. The ability to bounce questions off them, observe what when how and why they did something. Also it got me off the bank and opened up more water too. So if just throw that out there find a fishing mentor that you can get on the water with.

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