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FishDewd

In a major slump lately

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I don't catch a lot of bass but usually I don't go 10+ sessions without catching something. I haven't gotten anything for at least that long lately. I've been focusing mostly on techniques I'm not too confident in lately. Texas rigs primarily. I get bites from something but the more I fish it the less I think what I get bit by is bass. For me it's really becoming a matter of unless I am using a dropshot, a crankbait, or a topwater, I can basically expect to not catch bass. It's been like a curse for me lately. No matter what I throw I just cannot catch one. It'll be places I know there are bass cause I see others catch bass in. I had the same bait as someone else a few weeks ago: a simple roostertail that's actually made it into In Fisherman magazine as being good for bass and catfish alike. They caught 5 bass with it, I didn't even get a bite using it. I see others catch them with plastics and jigs... I don't get anything with them. I don't get what I'm doing wrong. I probably miss a lot of bites cause I don't get line watching very well and rely on feel (I don't have polarized glasses half the time I can't see my line) but it seems like at some point I should get something by luck. Senkos just simply do not work for me at all... about to write them out of my arsenal completely cause I have no faith in them. First bass I ever caught was on a senko but I believe it was just dumb luck at this point cause I get little to no interest in them whatsoever when I fish them now. Watched a ton of videos on flukes and whatnot so I am hoping some kind of swimbait like that will  produce for me on the next outing. The weather here is tough and I know the bite is slow in this temp but dang... I just wanna catch one! Lol. I love being outside and all but it's really starting to bother me that I cannot get a hook up to save my life.

 

Just wanted to vent a bit... sure others have had this issue too.

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Same problem here man. I did go out today a covered some new water. I caught a few on an ol monster Texas rig and a tube with tube hook. All my fish cane deep deep and really slow in or around brushpiles or steep banks. I’ve has a lot of frustration lately so I’ve decided to just slow down and cover the same water where I know the fish are supposed to be over and over until I get bit. It has started to work for me. Not in a big way, but hey, a couple is enough to get some confidence back!

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I'm sort of going through it also. My expectations were set way too high for this year I guess. I go at it much like the Ike motto of "never give up". It tends to work and puts a couple in the boat. I'm still waiting on my first real nice smallie of the season. It will come. We've been getting a lot of rain. Water clarity and consistency has been off. It will come around. Try to keep positive. Try to stay focused. 

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If you're fishing the same body lake or pond over and over with no luck my first suggestion is to fish somewhere else. But don't go to a big lake or popular fishing spot. Open Google Earth (not Google Maps) and look for accessible ponds in your area.

 

You'll probably find dozens, including ponds out in the woods in the middle of nowhere. Then use the Time function on Google Earth to look at those same ponds over the last 10 years or so. Why? A new pond is less likely to hold decent fish. Learn as much as you can about each pond from the satellite imagery and form a preliminary game plan to fish it.

 

DO NOT ignore the small ponds. I've caught 6+ pound bass in ponds that would take two casts to cover the length of the water. You may also want to bring some light spinning gear and tackle to see if there are panfish in those ponds.

 

I'm lucky that I'm in an area with THOUSANDS of small ponds that hold fish. I love going to new ponds, picking primary target spots, and trying to locate fish on these new waters. Sure, I get shut out on some of these now and then.

 

The other night I fished 3 new lagoons, and was shut out on the first two (although I know there are big bass there). Considering it was blazing hot out, I knew that it was probably that I could not get to the spots where the fish were at that time (I bank fish). So I moved to another new lagoon I found on Google Earth, one that I could move around and cover the entire basin. Sure enough, I landed a few 3 pounders. No monsters, but I at least found the bite.

 

In conclusion, if you're frustrated not catching anything where you are fishing, find a new place to fish. Lots of new places. You'll be surprised what you find out there.

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If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got... unless something else changes.

 

P.S. Come fish with me. I'll set the hook and let you reel them in.

 

 

 

 

(that was a joke btw.)

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3 hours ago, Burros said:

Ned rig time!😉

I've tried it a few times but too many snags to actually fish it. Plus it's a "no feel" presentation a lot of times which I struggle with.

2 hours ago, Koz said:

If you're fishing the same body lake or pond over and over with no luck my first suggestion is to fish somewhere else. But don't go to a big lake or popular fishing spot. Open Google Earth (not Google Maps) and look for accessible ponds in your area.

 

You'll probably find dozens, including ponds out in the woods in the middle of nowhere. Then use the Time function on Google Earth to look at those same ponds over the last 10 years or so. Why? A new pond is less likely to hold decent fish. Learn as much as you can about each pond from the satellite imagery and form a preliminary game plan to fish it.

 

DO NOT ignore the small ponds. I've caught 6+ pound bass in ponds that would take two casts to cover the length of the water. You may also want to bring some light spinning gear and tackle to see if there are panfish in those ponds.

 

I'm lucky that I'm in an area with THOUSANDS of small ponds that hold fish. I love going to new ponds, picking primary target spots, and trying to locate fish on these new waters. Sure, I get shut out on some of these now and then.

 

The other night I fished 3 new lagoons, and was shut out on the first two (although I know there are big bass there). Considering it was blazing hot out, I knew that it was probably that I could not get to the spots where the fish were at that time (I bank fish). So I moved to another new lagoon I found on Google Earth, one that I could move around and cover the entire basin. Sure enough, I landed a few 3 pounders. No monsters, but I at least found the bite.

 

In conclusion, if you're frustrated not catching anything where you are fishing, find a new place to fish. Lots of new places. You'll be surprised what you find out there.

I have fished a variety of places and have been trying new spots that others have told me about, including some that are in the middle of nowhere in subdivisions and whatnot. Some really small and shallow ponds too. But I am yet to find somewhere that is not pressured and I think that's what I need to really get the hang of techniques that are new to me so that I can figure out what I'm not doing right.

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I have experienced that, but earlier this year. Lately, I've been fishing weightless stick worms, Whopper Plopper, Noisy Flapper, hollow frogs, swim jigs, soft swimbaits, etc. If you fish where the fish are, you'll find fish willing to play.

 

They are going to be on the first major drop off from shore (I, too, shore fish) and when the sun isn't direct, they'll come on top of that drop off to chase bluegill or other prey. 

 

What I've been starting with is a topwater. If they hit, make notes about where they're hitting at and fish those areas slower if you missed. Some days I don't take anything but Trick Sticks and fish them weightless T-Rigged. They're hitting hard enough right now that an amateur can see or feel strikes. 

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@Drew03cmc I often go at sun up to a lake I like a lot and that's usually the first thing I do is try topwater. But they don't have any interest in the whopper plopper lately. Then again mine is just the 90 and the lake is 80'+ deep only 30 feet off the shore so I think it's just too small to bring them up from the depths. Also been trying a popper along the shore since it holds a lot of structure and debris, but not sure I am working it properly cause it doesn't displace much water. Might be the wrong type too, idk. It's a bass pro XPS that has great color contrast but a smaller mouth. I might something more like a hula popper to be real effective there.

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@FishDewd, In a pit lake, I've found you need to be able to locate suspending fish or find the shallow areas, like a flat on one end and fish those. That kind of depth will not hold fish. They will be shallower than  25 feet 90% of the time and less than 5 50% of that time, in my experience. The shallower, the easier to catch. 

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@Drew03cmc This water is usually pretty clear. Even when it rains it's still fairly clear, very rare for my area to see water like this. I'll take a pic of it next time I'm out, but I am nursing a bad finger injury right now that is keeping me from a rod and reel for a few more days at least (spider bite on my index finger). Anyway, around the edges all the way around is fairly shallow where I can see the bottom. Lots and lots of cover ranging from grass mats, reeds, sticks, etc, to actual section of large tree roots that branch out. I have found a shallow end but unfortunately it turns into thick woods really quickly and is basically impossible to navigate down by foot. The banks in general have tons of trees and shrubs so it's not the easiest place to cast out over either. But if I could, I feel like that bank would be a little honey hole with all the cover it has down there. Maybe from 3-8' deep on this bank until it diverges out to the deeper water 30' out or so.

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@FishDewd, fish those weed edges and cast parallel to the bank, not out into the abyss. I'd use something weightless personally, then a frog or plopper if water allowed.

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2 hours ago, FishDewd said:

Lots and lots of cover ranging from grass mats, reeds, sticks, etc, to actual section of large tree roots that branch out. I have found a shallow end but unfortunately it turns into thick woods really quickly and is basically impossible to navigate down by foot. The banks in general have tons of trees and shrubs so it's not the easiest place to cast out over either.

 

Go out and buy yourself a machete. Seriously. I've opened up more than a few spots in trees and heavy vegetation with one of those. It may take you a few hours of hard work, but you'll be thankful later.

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1 hour ago, Koz said:

 

Go out and buy yourself a machete. Seriously. I've opened up more than a few spots in trees and heavy vegetation with one of those. It may take you a few hours of hard work, but you'll be thankful later.

Yeah I was seriously considering doing that... but it's a public park so idk if they'd allow me to do that. Guess I can ask the ranger guy who drives around in the golf cart if it's cool for me to do. If needs to be done pretty badly.

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5 minutes ago, FishDewd said:

Yeah I was seriously considering doing that... but it's a public park so idk if they'd allow me to do that. Guess I can ask the ranger guy who drives around in the golf cart if it's cool for me to do. If needs to be done pretty badly.

 

I doubt they let you do that in a public park. But you could probably slip a $50 the a groundskeeper and have him clear you a path.

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7 hours ago, FishDewd said:

I've tried it a few times but too many snags to actually fish it. Plus it's a "no feel" presentation a lot of times which I struggle with.

I have fished a variety of places and have been trying new spots that others have told me about, including some that are in the middle of nowhere in subdivisions and whatnot. Some really small and shallow ponds too. But I am yet to find somewhere that is not pressured and I think that's what I need to really get the hang of techniques that are new to me so that I can figure out what I'm not doing right.

You can fish a big TRD weedles with a 2/0 light wire EWG and a light  loosely pegged bullet weight, it works wonders.

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2 hours ago, Koz said:

 

I doubt they let you do that in a public park. But you could probably slip a $50 the a groundskeeper and have him clear you a path.

Lol if I had an extra $50 I'd slip it to myself. But I don't. Which means I'm out of luck, and so is the groundskeeper.

54 minutes ago, Burros said:

You can fish a big TRD weedles with a 2/0 light wire EWG and a light  loosely pegged bullet weight, it works wonders.

I basically did that a few times ago when I went there, but I used a 3/16 weight. I have some 1/16 tungsten weights though. Problem I had with it was that it kept sliding off the hook whenever I went to set it. I don't like to peg the bait to the hook eyelet either with toothpicks so that's not really an option. Too hard to change baits and I'm afraid it will damage the knot.

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13 minutes ago, FishDewd said:

Lol if I had an extra $50 I'd slip it to myself. But I don't. Which means I'm out of luck, and so is the groundskeeper.

I basically did that a few times ago when I went there, but I used a 3/16 weight. I have some 1/16 tungsten weights though. Problem I had with it was that it kept sliding off the hook whenever I went to set it. I don't like to peg the bait to the hook eyelet either with toothpicks so that's not really an option. Too hard to change baits and I'm afraid it will damage the knot.

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If I'm slumping, I try to arrange my next fishing outing for dawn or dusk, and use aggressive tactics.  Sometimes I just need to bag a few easy fish to regain confidence before attempting a bunch of finesse options. Trying to break a dry spell by bottom dragging a plastic during bluebird skies is the last thing I'll do.  I'd rather panfish during those times.

 

My advice is to pick high percentage times/areas and go back to baits you have confidence in.

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1 hour ago, Pickle_Power said:

If I'm slumping, I try to arrange my next fishing outing for dawn or dusk, and use aggressive tactics.  Sometimes I just need to bag a few easy fish to regain confidence before attempting a bunch of finesse options. Trying to break a dry spell by bottom dragging a plastic during bluebird skies is the last thing I'll do.  I'd rather panfish during those times.

 

My advice is to pick high percentage times/areas and go back to baits you have confidence in.

I do generally fish dawn or duck avoiding the hottest times of day. I use a combination of power and finesse tactics most of the time. I always have at least one pole rigged with something that moves, usually a crankbait, sometimes a spinner, occasionally a jig of some sort. Been trying swim jigs lately. I ended my slump streak on the last outing with a nice little bass on a spinnerbait. Not a giant, but pretty good for this particular location. I do use texas rigs a lot too though because it's a technique that I struggle with and I'm trying to get better with it. Once I can get better at it I'll probably move on to fishing flukes and jigs more often.

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Unless your literally fishing the same spot, the other people catching don’t matter. Maybe the fish moved for some reason. Switch it up. Try a different spot. And since it’s summer, never use any sunblock other than Aveeno or Neutrogena. Anything else will kill the bite if it gets on your gear. Aveeno is the best, because it never kills the bite.

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Schooling bass are like the last woman at the bar. Slump buster...other than that, fish a technique and location you never use. If your gonna zero, may as well add some reps with different techniques.

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