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FourRinger92

Night Tournament Help!

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Whether I’m fishing a local night tournament or just stay out late on a summer evening, I have spent a lot of time on the water at night. I have caught a few fish on all of the traditional night time baits: Black spinner bait w/ Colorado blade, chatterbaits, big worms, buzz baits etc.  Nonetheless, I’m having trouble finding 5 bits before midnight. Any help as to how I can fish these baits more effectively or any other methods is much appreciated. I fish a deep semi-clear lake with no vegetation and fishing has been tough for me lately. Thanks in advance. 

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Just because it's night doesn't mean the bait or baitfish change into loud thumping black objects. Try fishing what techniques and colors you have been catching them on during the day. A jig, dropshot, Texas rig, and spinnerbait are some of my favorite night time baits. I avoid things with treble hooks like poppers and walking baits. 

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I’ve been catching them on a ned rig, giant work, tube and wacky rig during the day. At night, I haven’t had much luck with what I do in the day time but I have heard this from several people, and definitely think there has to be something to it. Topwaters on my lake have been about useless for me. Everything I catch in the day time is either sitting in about 26-30 ft of water on a ledge or in an even deeper brushpile. They have been tough and wanting it really slow. At night it’s like they just shut off until about 11:30 lol right before weighin and at that point I’m ready to call it quits and throw my two back and head home. 

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A lot of times there is a slow period after sunset and before sunrise. It varies spot to spot. Ymmv

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we fish a lot at night because of the heat here in FL. and we use what we catch em on in the day with one exception. I throw a trap style bait a lot more at night than during the day.granted we don't have the deeper water you have but for some reason traps seem to turn em on after the sun goes down.go figure.

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Bass do not morph into a new creature because the sun went down!

 

Fish the same structure with the same techniques you would during the daylight.

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I’ll give it a shot tonight. Caught them on deep brushpiles on steep ledges this morning with a 12-15 in worm and a 3/4 oz. football jig sitting in 75 ft of water throwing up to 15 and dragging back through 35. Most bites were at about that 28-30 ft mark. I’ll try it tonight a see how it goes. 

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AS stated, there is often a down period after it gets dark and that normally starts around an hour after sundown. It's my belief that the majority of fish have just finished feeding and naturally become less active. These same periods occur during daylight, but anglers adjust to it by finesse fishing until their activity level increases.  I use that period at night to organize my boat's deck and rig whatever different baits I'll be using throughout the dark hours.

In a tournament situation, I'd recommend downsizing and slowing your presentations down.  I'll switch to a more compact jig/trailer, smaller topwater worked painstakingly slow and small bodied cranks, again worked much slower. 

You'll know when to switch back as you'll be hooking the fish deeper and the pick-ups or strikes will be easier to detect.

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Well I went full on finesse tonight from the start. I caught 13 total, but only 5 keepers. I had a mixed bag of stuff. I ran the same 200 yards of water all night. I fished every inch of the water I had where I knew there were fish. I was catching them on a small spinning rod, 6lb. Test hopping a tube and drop shot on the bottom from 5ft out to 35 ft. Deep. I was catching them on it before the sun went down so I just kept fishing it and I kept getting bit. Didn’t have near the weight I needed, but it’s a start in the right direction. Hopefully I can get it dialed in on some bigger fish. I tried a big jig and a big worm to try to get something bigger to bite, but they weren’t having it. There is no doubt that they will definitely eat the day time baits. Also, color didn’t seem to matter at all. It was just a matter of putting it in front of them and they would react and hammer it. 

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47 minutes ago, FourRinger92 said:

Well I went full on finesse tonight from the start. I caught 13 total, but only 5 keepers. I had a mixed bag of stuff. I ran the same 200 yards of water all night. I fished every inch of the water I had where I knew there were fish. I was catching them on a small spinning rod, 6lb. Test hopping a tube and drop shot on the bottom from 5ft out to 35 ft. Deep. I was catching them on it before the sun went down so I just kept fishing it and I kept getting bit. Didn’t have near the weight I needed, but it’s a start in the right direction. Hopefully I can get it dialed in on some bigger fish. I tried a big jig and a big worm to try to get something bigger to bite, but they weren’t having it. There is no doubt that they will definitely eat the day time baits. Also, color didn’t seem to matter at all. It was just a matter of putting it in front of them and they would react and hammer it. 

Glad to hear you filled your limit. Not sure what you were drop shotting, but I have found that a lizzard On a drop shot is killer at night and day

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I was just dropshotting a little green finesse worm. They have been in my boat for 2 years and I never used them until today lol. I have some lizards. Caught walleye on them when I was a kid. Can’t say I’ve fished them in the last 10 years. I’ll have to give it a shot. Honestly, I think the biggest factor was the super light line and just being really mythodical. No doubt I am going to try those lizards next time! It felt like spring time was back again.... minus the size. Any pointers on where to find some bigger fish? Guys are weighing in 5-8 ponders consistently.  

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1 hour ago, FourRinger92 said:

Any pointers on where to find some bigger fish? 

 

Guys are weighing in 5-8 ponders consistently.  

 

What they catching em on & where?

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I'd probably start at that brushpile on the ledge you were talking about to try and catch a big one with a big worm or jig. Offshore brushpiles are one of my favorite things to fish at night.

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On 6/27/2018 at 3:00 AM, Catt said:

 

What they catching em on & where?

They said they have been catching them on big worms in brushpiles.  I have fished big worms and Jigs on the ledges and brushpiles I know about, but these guys that finish top 3 consistently always manage better quality fish. Fishing Greer’s Ferry Lake in Greer’s Ferry, Arkansas. Lake has a mix of smallmouth, spots, and largemouth. Game and Fish have been doing a restocking program last couple years and it’s picking back up from a low point. There have been a few 4-5 lb small mouth caught and several 5-8 pound largemouth and even a couple tens this year. There are a lot of fish, but this lake can be notoriously tough to fish. I’m finding a lot of suspended fish over deep water and a some holding on the bottom as deep as 45 ft. I limit my fishing to those that “look catchable” when I find them. I sit and caught 17 spots off of one ledge today in about 3 hours but all were 1-2 lbs.  I’ve figured out how to catch em,in the day atleast, but I’m still hunting for the most productive water in terms of size. The best 5 I’ve had was just shy of 14lbs. Most of the time I’m lucky to have 7-8. 

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On 6/26/2018 at 11:04 AM, Catt said:

Bass do not morph into a new creature because the sun went down!

 

Fish the same structure with the same techniques you would during the daylight.

There's gotta be a bass club in Transylvania, no?.... :)

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