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I am still so new to fishing. Maybe a year and a half at best. It's so frustrating to go and be fishless for about a month. I am using a swim jig with a 2 inch kietech paddle tail around an hour before sunset. Why can't I catch anything? Fish will follow it and large bass will follow and look like they will attack but bail at the last second. Should I try a swimbait or something? What am I doing wrong?I am fishing onondaga lake in New York. 

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Is that the only bait your using? Get some 5” stickbaits(worms) and another kind with a tail. Green pumpkin and watermelon should probably have you catching fish tomorrow. Not guaranteed but most days you atleast get a couple small ones with those. 

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Try fishing with a spinnerbait.

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Well you’re catching their attention with the swim jig. Certainly there are tons of other baits too. But for starters, if I’m getting follows but the fish won’t bite, change something about your retrieve when you notice a fish is following. 

 

If you see a fish following, try moving your rod tip to the other side of your body to make a slight change in direction of your retirieve. You can also try to stop your retrieve for a second or two, or begin to retrieve really fast. And perhaps a few twitchs on your rod tip may also do the trick. These tips don’t always work, but sometimes they do. Good luck!

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I like to equate it to this example... 

 

Your driving down a busy street full of fast food places, what makes you pick one over the other? 

 

Same concept with fishing. Sometimes there spooky and want a very subtle 4" worm on a drop shot. Sometimes a Texas rigged Zoom trick worm with a 1/8oz bullet weight. Maybe they want a wacky rigged 5" Senko. A creature bait like a zoom brush hog slowly dragged on the bottom might be appealing too. Maybe a more aggressive chatterbait with a curly tail grub. The list goes on forever. 

 

Try learning techniques that cover the bottom, middle, and top of the water column. Dirty water use dark colors, clear water use natural colors. I recommend learning drop shot, Texas rig, bottom contact jigs, and build confidence with a few different types of lures such as chatterbaits, mepps in line spinners, crankbaits, etc. Then learn where and when to use each different presentation. It's a fun learning journey, but it can get frustrating sometimes. Hang in there. 

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What LCJ said. Some days a tube dropped into and around submerged vegetation works and others its a ragetail lizard, while others its a Berkeley sinking minnow. If I'm on one of my local pressured lakes I like to talk with other anglers and hear/see what they're using. I usually go with something different to get that reaction.

 

Watch videos and learn different presentations, hook set ups eg Shaky heads, jigs etc... And yup, retrieve can make or break...

 

Good luck and try to enjoy the journey even when the frustration starts to set in...

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Sounds like you found the fish, and that's half the battle (the tougher part in my opinion). Like others have said, now you need change up something else.  Could be the color, could be the retrieve, could be the lure.  You're close.  Keep at it. 

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Your all the best, I love posting question and getting great help. Thank you thank you and keep the tips coming. I need them.

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Something is throwing them off at the last second. Sometimes a simple color change will fix it. Try matching the baitfish whether be shad or gills. If that doesn’t work switch to a slower presentation. What works one day may not work the next. Move up and down the water column. The fish will tell you pretty quickly when you are on them. Like others have said, finding the fish is the hard part. 

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If you’re getting followers, the key is to make them commit. Either speeding it up or killing it will often trigger a reaction strike. You’ve got to play around with your retrieves and cadence. 

 

You also can’t throw one bait nonstop and expect to catch a ton of fish. Sounds like your toolbox needs a few more tools 

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You must be fishing some pretty clear water to see these fish following your  bait . Are   you fishing from bank or shore ? What kind of cover is there ?  Describe your rod reel and fishing line .. Supply all the info you can you will get some good advice from the anglers here .

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On 8/19/2018 at 6:46 PM, scaleface said:

You must be fishing some pretty clear water to see these fish following your  bait . Are   you fishing from bank or shore ? What kind of cover is there ?  Describe your rod reel and fishing line .. Supply all the info you can you will get some good advice from the anglers here .

I bank fish with abu garcia and lews 6'6 - 7'0 medium heavy with 14 pound flouro. I use a shimano caius reel. I fish a 3/8 oz jig with a 2.8 kietech. 

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