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How's Your Pre-Season Plan Working Out?

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I recall a thread earlier this year about what presentation we planed on giving a try, or revisiting, this season. My response was something to the effect of swim baits and Flukes. Well, I'm halfway there as I've gotten hooked on soft plastic swim baits and totally ignored Flukes.  Heck, I haven't put the Fluke box in the boat let alone tied one on.

So, how has your 'plan' worked out for you, or like me did your ADD get the best of you?

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Been working on jerkbaits this spring its been going ok for someone new to it. 5 bass and a pike, bigger stuff like 127 slender pointer and 115 squad minnow has got it done for me. Only one jig bass last year going to have to work on that along with dropshot. I fish from shore so hard to guess if I'm doing something wrong or they're just not there.

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I made a substantial investment in swim baits like the Keitech Swing Inpact plastics over the winter and so far, the results have not been good. As I switch from lake fishing through the spring to river fishing from now till the fall, I’ll be giving them another shot. 

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Boating 11 fish a trip with a 3 lb average & an 8+ 😉

 

Hottest techniques 

 

Zoom's Ultravibe Speed Craw, South Africa Special 

1/8 oz tungsten bullet weight 

Trokar 4/0 EWG

 

Bonehead's 7" Ringworm black blue flake

1/4 oz tungsten bullet weight 

Mustad 3/0 Denny Brauer straight shank flipping hook 

 

Seibert Outdoors 3/4 oz Grass Jig Falcon Craw & Rage Tail's Lobster Falcon Lake Craw

 

War Eagle Gold Spinnerbait Colorado/Willlow 1/4 oz white/chartreuse 

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I believe I replied to that thread and wanted to work on football jigs, carolina rigs, and drop shotting. Haven't had a chance to do the first 2 because of other patterns I found while I was going to try those. Drop shotting has found a small place in my repertoire, but I'm still no master yet. 

7 minutes ago, Catt said:

Boating 11 fish a trip with a 3 lb average & an 8+ 😉

 

Hottest techniques 

 

Zoom's Ultravibe Speed Craw, South Africa Special 

1/8 oz tungsten bullet weight 

Trokar 4/0 EWG

 

Bonehead's 7" Ringworm black blue flake

1/4 oz tungsten bullet weight 

Mustad 3/0 Denny Brauer straight shank flipping hook 

 

Seibert Outdoors 3/4 oz Grass Jig Falcon Craw & Rage Tail's Lobster Falcon Lake Craw

 

War Eagle Gold Spinnerbait Colorado/Willlow 1/4 oz white/chartreuse 

I'm not seeing the grass jig in his sight. Does it have another name? Would like to look into some heavier jigs. 

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5 minutes ago, CroakHunter said:

I'm not seeing the grass jig in his sight. Does it have another name? Would like to look into some heavier jigs. 

 

IDK! He sent them to me for Christmas😉

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Good.

:smiley:

A-Jay

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I only go out for about 3-4 hours at a time, and my first outing wasn't until the very end of april, but my catch rates have been up compared to the last few years.  I have high hopes for the next three weeks as we'll get past post-spawn into the Summer Peak here.

 

I really wanted to spend more time with jerkbaits, but I haven't been able to put down the following:

 

--bluegill and sunfish pattern spinnerbaits and bladed jigs. A few different ones, but gotten the most mileage out of the Siebert Fogy and Compact Spinnerbait. 

--Biospawn plasmatail worm on an owner ball ultrahead has been the top finesse option.

--Zoom Lizard has been my primary texas-rig bait.

--4" keitech swing impact on 1/8oz owner brush head was my prespawn hero for smallies in late april/early may.

 

 

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I only been twice but caught a limit both times  . Been having medical issues and cant hack the heat . Maybe a night time trip in the next couple of weeks . 

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My plan this year was to use more soft plastics.

The last few years I've been on the hard noisy bait kick. Crank baits, traps, spinner baits, etc. I got into jigs two years ago and had good success, so this year I wanted to expand my range of soft plastic options. 

So far, so good. My catch  rates have been up, and my big bass catches have gone up considerably, at least compared to last year. Haven't been on a truly good jig bite yet, but that usually starts to come in better in the summer months anyway. 

 

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Really wanted to get into Texas rigged plastics this year.  Been having quite a good run with Mann's Jelly Worms and lizards.  I think I'm most pleased that I'm learning to feel the bottom with lighter weights and really slowing down my retrieve.

 

Wasn't a part of any plan, but I also have become a believer in swimming a jig.  Never knew how effective that could be.  

 

The size of my fish seems to be down a bit, but the number of catches is off to a great start, and for now, I'm happy with it.

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I'm doing alright just finish my 10th bass on Jig last Sunday as I planned to use jig more this year. I think I start to like jig more and more. I choose my lures according to season and weed on my lake. Winter to spring, big swimbait(caught 2 on hudds), then jerkbait and Fluke from post spawn until the weed get higher will be chatterbait time. 

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I don't have a pre-season, since my season never ends, in fact my largest bass of they year came on the second of January, my second bass of the year.

Image may contain: Clayton Westgate, smiling, sky, outdoor, water and natureImage may contain: Clayton Westgate, smiling, standing, sky, outdoor, water and natureImage may contain: Clayton Westgate, outdoor, water and natureImage may contain: Clayton Westgate, smiling, outdoor, water and natureImage may contain: one or more people, outdoor, water and natureImage may contain: Clayton Westgate, smiling, sunglasses, outdoor and waterImage may contain: sky, outdoor, nature and water

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Set out to fish more jigs, fished more jigs, caught more fish on jigs, crazy how that works :P.

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Our pre-season plan is turning into our season experience.

I developed some health issues ( non life threatening ) towards the end of last summer that spelled the end of my work career, and has led to an early retirement.

 

With These circumstances,my wife and I made the decision to up grade our boat to allow us more time on the water. Our old boat was just no longer comfortable for us and aggravated my health issues.

 

So with that in mind we took delivery of a multi species ( Lund Fury XL Sport ) boat this spring. I have to say, that for us, this boat has exceeded our expectations in every way. It is so much more comfortable that we can stay on the water all day with out feeling sore and wrung out. The casting deck is small, but as I sit most of the day it is plenty roomy for me. The back is large enough so my wife can fish or just sit and enjoy the day.

 

The best options we got for it are the sun top and the Ulterra trolling motor. We were amazed how having a full windshield and sun top increased our comfort level. We can zip across the lake with out windburn, and on a hot sunny day you can't beat having lunch or just stretching out in full shade. The Ulterra is just awesome. No more sore back and dropping an anchor every time we stop. For us, well worth the money.

 

So I guess you could say our season is meeting or exceeding our pre-season plan. We have already fished more this year than the last two years combined, and now we look forward to the next trip instead of wondering if the pain and discomfort is worth it. 

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If I had a pre-season plan I don't remember what it was.  The fishing has been good this year, but I've been having multiple hardware issues. 

My battery died out on the water and would not charge back up so I had to get a new one.

I damaged the lower housing on my motor last month and had to get that fixed.  Earlier this month two reels started acting up on the same fishing trip.  I have one apart now looking at it, and I have written the other one off.  I'm hoping the second half of the year goes smoother.

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I've started learning to punch mats.  Only done it on two trips so far, haven't caught anything yet, but I'm going to keep at it and see what happens.

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Absolutely horrible for me. I've only launched the boat twice this year. First trip dunk fest but caught fish, so I'll take it. Second trip out was last Friday, my goal this year was learn to fish jigs and put down my crutch (Senko). Well I fished the jig 90% of the time and SKUNKED! 

 

My other goal was to fish for smallmouth this year. I haven't done that yet because by now I was supposed to have upgraded boats but the winter was a rough one and setbacks have delayed that, hopefully in the next month there'll be an upgrade. 

 

My son and nephew have found some smallies off from the bridge.

 

All in all I'm not where I want to be, but I'm vertical and we're fishing so I'm not complaining. 

IMG_2409-1.jpg

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So far so good. I have logged close to half as many catches as I had last year and it is still spring. If this keeps up I will crush last years numbers.

 

7 different species of fish, over half of the total species I had last year.

 

I have tried a few new baits and caught fish on 3 of them.

 

I have revisited some classic lures and caught fish on all but 2 of them (Jitterbug and Buzz Plug)

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I was doing really well late winter-early spring with some nice catches, but as I am sure most of us experienced the same thing, a very brief spring straight into summer. I went one week with the water temps in the low 50's, skipped a week, went back and the temp was at 79! It's been a steady 83 ever since. 

 

I wanted to try fluke fishing, yeah, not doing well there (yes I studied fluke master's videos), caught some on Carolina rig and last week I went to shaky head and had an awesome day! 

 

I went back to old school buzzbait (I haven't really used those in years) and have had some success with that also.

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I wanted to throw more jerk baits in early spring (spring was quick to not happening here). Did it a little with some success. Now I wanted to throw more tubes which has been working very well, depending on the color. Still messing with them to see what setups work best along with colors.

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I've had better years. 😕  

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I have two goals this season. The first is to catch a bass over 7 pounds for a new PB. I've been close this year, but haven't one that big - yet.

 

The second kind of goes hand in hand with the first - throw a jig more often and learn to fish it well. The main drawbacks to that are that I bank fish only, there is no structure and very little cover in the lagoons I fish, and most of the lagoons have a soupy, algae covered bottom.

 

The good news is that I recently found a larger lagoon with some big bass and the algae is at a minimum. So the past few weeks I've thrown the jig a little more and have landed a handful + of 3-4 pounders. Typically I throw a Rage Tail craw as a trailer, but the other day I put on a Havoc Pit Boss and the bass blew up on it. Unfortunately the lightning came and I had to pack it in.

 

If we get a break in the evening thunderstorms this week I'll be at it again.

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