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Brew City Bass

When do you decide what to throw?

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I have been pretty wishy washy with what I plan to throw before going out. I'll check the weather the night before and tie on whatever I think would be best on my 5 rods. Then I usually get to the lake and find myself retying everything before I even take a cast. I may just be in my own head. 

Do you guys have everything ready to cast before you hit the lake, or do you play it by ear?

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I like to rig-up the night before mostly because it's a time saver. And if I have to re-rig a couple rods before I start, no big deal anyway. Most of the time though I don't have to change much, once you figure out those seasonal patterns, you'll have a pretty good idea of what to throw and where to fish.

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1 minute ago, 38 Super Fan said:

I like to rig-up the night before mostly because it's a time saver. And if I have to re-rig a couple rods before I start, no big deal anyway. Most of the time though I don't have to change much, once you figure out those seasonal patterns, you'll have a pretty good idea of what to throw and where to fish.

I wish I was that confident. 

In the spring and during the spawn I feel pretty confident on finding them and what to throw. When it comes to summer and hot weather like now, I know they're deeper in my lakes, I just have a hard time knowing what to throw. I can find them and usually catch a few, but getting a good bag is difficult. Some days I kill em on cranks, other days nothing on cranks. Then I start junk fishing. Some days it's C-rigs, next day they won't touch that. I am always re-rigging.

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Since I fish the same lake every week, I know it pretty well and what tends to work seasonally.  I have 8 rods on board, all rigged the night before.  A couple are year round confidence baits for this lake (a Ned rig & a dock skipping bait), 4 or 5 are ones rigged based on the time of year and weather report for the next day and 1 or 2 are something I want to try (either new or something I haven't used much or been successful with in the past).

 

Maybe 1 trip out of 5 I will need to re-rig one or two of the rods with something I didn't choose the night before.

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I usually rig up the night before. Sometimes I'll be caught off guard by dirty/clear water, high/low water, or different conditions than what was forecast that will cause me to make some adjustments, but being able to make adjustments is part of being an effective fisherman. 

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Brew, you hit on the $64,000 Question.

 

Wish I had the answer.

 

It boils down to confidence.

 

Confidence in your knowledge of the body of water, water conditions, weather, forage, the types of techniques you have faith, the rods and reels spooled with the line that you think will work best and the baits you think will be successful. 100% confidence along with gut feelings.

 

Your question is the reason we keep 500 pounds of plastics and 1,000 hard baits on our boats or we drag around 50 pounds of plastics and 200 hard baits as we bank fish. The less confidence we have in what we decide to set up and the baits/techniques to use means more unnecessary plastics and hard baits we will take with us.

 

So yes, usually have everything set up for the first cast the day before we venture out, with the understanding that if it does not produce strikes you have to be flexible enough to make a change.

 

I usually start out with a white buzzbait followed with a Monkey Butt Whopper Plopper and then it is open season for my RICO's and Sammy's. Depends totally on my confidence in these baits. Sometimes I make the right call; other times I don't.

 

I then go to my drop shots, Senkos/stick baits, shaky heads, baby brush hogs, lizards, spinnerbaits, jigs, swim jigs, crankbaits and creature baits. I am on the hunt for 1) where are the bass and 2) what are they feasting on at that moment to try to create a pattern.

 

So it is important for you to do your homework on the body of water you will be fishing, the weater conditions, water clarity and wind direction to set up your rods and reels and baits to match your confidence level.

 

And remember, be ready to make changes on the run.

 

Once you find the pattern it is guns a blazing and lots of fun.

 

Have fun and be safe.

 

P.S.  Keep a log on your adventures so you can refer back to it when you fish the same body of water I the future.

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6 hours ago, Brew City Bass said:

I wish I was that confident

 

The more you fish a body of water the more confident you'll become.

 

If I'm gonna tournament fish a body of water I'll try to fish every day before the tournament.

 

Fishing occasionally on any body of water is difficult 😉

 

 

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Usually the night before. I do it to save time on the water and also because I still get excited the evening before a fishing day!

 

It’s not uncommon to call an audible on a rig or two depending on unexpected conditions the following day. 

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4 hours ago, Sam said:

Brew, you hit on the $64,000 Question.

 

Wish I had the answer.

 

It boils down to confidence.

 

Confidence in your knowledge of the body of water, water conditions, weather, forage, the types of techniques you have faith, the rods and reels spooled with the line that you think will work best and the baits you think will be successful. 100% confidence along with gut feelings.

 

Your question is the reason we keep 500 pounds of plastics and 1,000 hard baits on our boats or we drag around 50 pounds of plastics and 200 hard baits as we bank fish. The less confidence we have in what we decide to set up and the baits/techniques to use means more unnecessary plastics and hard baits we will take with us.

 

So yes, usually have everything set up for the first cast the day before we venture out, with the understanding that if it does not produce strikes you have to be flexible enough to make a change.

 

I usually start out with a white buzzbait followed with a Monkey Butt Whopper Plopper and then it is open season for my RICO's and Sammy's. Depends totally on my confidence in these baits. Sometimes I make the right call; other times I don't.

 

I then go to my drop shots, Senkos/stick baits, shaky heads, baby brush hogs, lizards, spinnerbaits, jigs, swim jigs, crankbaits and creature baits. I am on the hunt for 1) where are the bass and 2) what are they feasting on at that moment to try to create a pattern.

 

So it is important for you to do your homework on the body of water you will be fishing, the weater conditions, water clarity and wind direction to set up your rods and reels and baits to match your confidence level.

 

And remember, be ready to make changes on the run.

 

Once you find the pattern it is guns a blazing and lots of fun.

 

Have fun and be safe.

 

P.S.  Keep a log on your adventures so you can refer back to it when you fish the same body of water I the future.

Thank you for that great advice. The log book sounds like an amazing idea. Can't believe I never thought of that before!

1 hour ago, Catt said:

 

The more you fish a body of water the more confident you'll become.

 

If I'm gonna tournament fish a body of water I'll try to fish every day before the tournament.

 

Fishing occasionally on any body of water is difficult 😉

 

 

I mainly fish the same 3 lakes, with the odd balls here and there. I've been on these lakes for the past 4 years. Each year it seems like every lake is different. 

For example, last year Pine Lake was fairly weedy. They didn't chop the weeds at all for the most part and there seemed to be a lot more bass hanging around the 10-5fow mark. By the end of the year I had em pinned on where to get em. But this year they must have treated the lake or chopped a lot more weeds. They've moved a lot deeper to 10-20fow. I can find them on my graphs, I just can't establish a pattern. This lake has both smallies and LMB. I find I have better luck with the smallies even though they seem to move around a lot more. 

Another lake I frequent, Moose Lake, is a very deep, clear and weedy lake. I see fish at all depths, under docks, busting topwater or sitting on ledges leading to grass flats. Last week I was murdering them on cranks on the ledges. This week they want nothing to do with moving baits and I've only managed 2 off a dropshot. Couldn't get bit on anything else. This is a very small 80 acre lake so I can fish the whole lake in a matter of 4-5 hours, but I'm usually there 8-9 hours every time I go. I feel like I should absolutely have this lake pinned, but I just can't do it yet. 

Thanks everyone for the responses / advice. Tight lines, happy 4th of July.

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What kind of details does everyone keep in a log? I recently started logging all my trips and am curious if I am missing any details. 

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Our log has date, time, weather, water temp, air temp, body of water, were and what we caught, and on what. After a period of time it's nice to use this to pin down seasonal patterns.

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I pretty much know what to encounter before I ever hit the water , so I have everything rigged before I leave home .  

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1 hour ago, Brew City Bass said:

I mainly fish the same 3 lakes, with the odd balls here and there. I've been on these lakes for the past 4 years. Each year it seems like every lake is different. 

 

Four years on one body might be about right!

 

The grass in most lakes not only change yearly but monthly.

 

Where the bass setup in grass moves with these changes.

 

You will need to understand the pray source & how it relates to the grass.

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10 hours ago, Brew City Bass said:

I wish I was that confident. 

In the spring and during the spawn I feel pretty confident on finding them and what to throw. When it comes to summer and hot weather like now, I know they're deeper in my lakes, I just have a hard time knowing what to throw. I can find them and usually catch a few, but getting a good bag is difficult. Some days I kill em on cranks, other days nothing on cranks. Then I start junk fishing. Some days it's C-rigs, next day they won't touch that. I am always re-rigging.

You'll get that confidence once you've fished enough. Sounds like you're already getting a handle on things. Certain days and times of the year are just tricky no matter what your experience level.

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All my stuff is rigged up before I go. Most of the time I use what I fished with the last time I went out unless it's a major change in the conditions. I like to keep it simple and don't get overwhelmed with too many choices of lures. 

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I rig mine up when I get on the water and see what the conditions are. I leave my soft plastics set up but I don't like leaving crankbaits and spinnerbaits tied on all the time. Since I only have a  crankbait rod to set up and one for either a spinnerbait, topwater, or swimbait it doesn't take me long to do this.

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I usually just get halfway prepared...may tie on a fluoro leader the night before, but wait on tying on the actual lure until I know exactly what I want to do when I arrive to the water.   It only takes 1 minute to tie a knot.

 

I also usually have a rod with a T rig ready but no plastic on the hook yet.

 

Also a rod with a fast snap for quick changes of topwaters, cranks, etc.

 

Add: My favorite thing to do the night before is load a plano box up with a dozen for so selections that I am confident will work for the situation/water body.  This forces me to think more about how I'm presenting the lure over what lure I'm using.

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I tie nite before. I usually have a good idea of what i plan to do then, based on personal experience and chatter from trusted buddies.

I try that gameplan first and adjust/retie from there. 

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Since I fish the same lake 3-4 times a week, I throw what I had tied on for the last trip, unless I feel it's not right for the current conditions.

 

I usually have a pretty good idea on whats going on out there....If I don't, the scissors are an arms length away.

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3 hours ago, ww2farmer said:

Since I fish the same lake 3-4 times a week, I throw what I had tied on for the last trip, unless I feel it's not right for the current conditions.

 

I usually have a pretty good idea on whats going on out there....If I don't, the scissors are an arms length away.

Here's another question I'm sure is a hard one. Or easy lol. 

Do you expect a certain number of fish to catch while you're out? A good day for me is around 5-10 bass. I feel like that's decent some days, and other days I feel I should have caught way more and that I GRINDED for those 5 bass. 

I'm really trying to push myself this year to become way better than the last, and I feel I can only accomplish this if I don't dick around and just focus hard on fishing the 7-9 hours I'm out. It honestly is starting to burn me out, but I do see improvement from last year. Just not as much as I'd hoped. 

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1 minute ago, Brew City Bass said:

Here's another question I'm sure is a hard one. Or easy lol. 

Do you expect a certain number of fish to catch while you're out? A good day for me is around 5-10 bass. I feel like that's decent some days, and other days I feel I should have caught way more and that I GRINDED for those 5 bass. 

I'm really trying to push myself this year to become way better than the last, and I feel I can only accomplish this if I don't dick around and just focus hard on fishing the 7-9 hours I'm out. It honestly is starting to burn me out, but I do see improvement from last year. Just not as much as I'd hoped. 

No,  I aways expect to enjoy being outside first.  It eases any frustration I may get if the fish are not biting. 

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17 minutes ago, Brew City Bass said:

Here's another question I'm sure is a hard one. Or easy lol. 

Do you expect a certain number of fish to catch while you're out? A good day for me is around 5-10 bass. I feel like that's decent some days, and other days I feel I should have caught way more and that I GRINDED for those 5 bass. 

 

It depends on the body of water.

 

My home lake is pretty fickle, and known locally as a "feast or famine" fishery. It's not known as a lake for catching great numbers of bass, but the bass you do catch are above average in quality ....most of the time. A lot of the area's best fisherman struggle badly here, and it humbles me a few times a year. I "expect" to catch at least two bass per hour spent fishing. That seems to be about the average here. Like today, I spent 5 hours on the water, and caught 8 bass with nothing weighing more than 3lbs, I would consider that a below average day here, not the worst day....not by a mile, but far from the best.

 

.

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1 minute ago, ww2farmer said:

It depends on the body of water.

 

My home lake is pretty fickle, and known locally as a "feast or famine" fishery. It's not known as a lake for catching great numbers of bass, but the bass you do catch are above average in quality ....most of the time. A lot of the area's best fisherman struggle badly here, and it humbles me a few times a year. I "expect" to catch at least two bass per hour spent fishing. That seems to be about the average here. Like today, I spent 5 hours on the water, and caught 8 bass with nothing weighing more than 3lbs, I would consider that a below average day here, not the worst day....not by a mile, but far from the best.

 

.

2 bass an hour seems like a good target. My averages are all over the place hour wise. Sometimes I get 5 bass in the first hour and nothing the other 7 hours, or sometimes it's 1 bass every two hours. 

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1 hour ago, Brew City Bass said:

...Do you expect a certain number of fish to catch while you're out?

Yes, but expectations can be tricky.  If you expect more than you should, you will feel like you are missing out when in reality, you may be getting what is available.  If you expect less, you may settle for what you are getting and miss out on a different, better bite.

 

When I used to bowl competitively, I learned that at a certain skill level, the lane conditions were 90% responsible for your scoring, your decisions and execution were responsible for the rest.

 

It is the same way with fishing.  The conditions, both seasonally and current as well as the body of water, will create whatever scenario is available for that day.  Be realistic and optimistic at the same time, but learn what should increase catch rates and what will decrease them to manage your expectations properly.

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Daily creel limit: 8

Size limit: 14"

 

That's my daily goal, anything more is lagniappe!

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