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EGbassing

Anybody else not catching anything?

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I've been fishing a lot of ponds recently and literally haven't had one bite in a couple months. I never got one bite last fall either. I thought fall was supposed to be the best time of year for fishing...?

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Went up north earlier this month and did great with northern species such as muskie,walleye,smallmouth bass,etc. Have done well with bass in South Florida this month and expect the fishing to get better since its the prespawn period in South Florida now. What helps me is that I do research in advance of where I am fishing and experiment with different techniques until I find what works.

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With the temperatures dropping the bass will start to fatten up for the winter.

 

So note the temperatures in your area to see if they are going down.

 

If so, the bass will become very active as the water temperatures drop.

 

May I suggest trying a Senko rigged wacky on an 8-pound fluorocarbon spinning set up? Depending on the water color you can go with watermelon, green pumpkin, Junebug or blue/black.  Add red or black flake to the watermelon or green pumpkin and see if those work.

 

Then, go to the other end of the spectrum and throw a small 4-inch worm in the same colors as the Senko, with a 1/16 ounce sinker. 

 

Throw all plastics to any wood or rocks you can find in your pond.

 

Good luck and let us know how you do.

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38 minutes ago, Kyhokie said:

@EGbassing what part of the country are you in?

North Alabama

31 minutes ago, Sam said:

With the temperatures dropping the bass will start to fatten up for the winter.

 

So note the temperatures in your area to see if they are going down.

 

If so, the bass will become very active as the water temperatures drop.

 

May I suggest trying a Senko rigged wacky on an 8-pound fluorocarbon spinning set up? Depending on the water color you can go with watermelon, green pumpkin, Junebug or blue/black.  Add red or black flake to the watermelon or green pumpkin and see if those work.

 

Then, go to the other end of the spectrum and throw a small 4-inch worm in the same colors as the Senko, with a 1/16 ounce sinker. 

 

Throw all plastics to any wood or rocks you can find in your pond.

 

Good luck and let us know how you do.

They're going down pretty fast (about 60 - 70 for the high most days) I can try some ultra finesse stuff but it just seems odd to me that it would be necessary.

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34 minutes ago, EGbassing said:

I can try some ultra finesse stuff but it just seems odd to me that it would be necessary.

Do not underestimate finesse techniques when it comes to catching picky bass. I probably should of written a smallmouth bass fishing report earlier but later is better than never. Here is my smallmouth bass fishing report for early October 2018;

 

For the past couple years I have seen many BassResource members talking about how good the ned rig was so I finally gave in and bought a bunch of ned rig jigs and ned rig soft plastics. I tried them in my local Florida waters and caught some fish but was not impressed until I went up north for smallmouth bass. I was fishing in a flooded river and the smallmouth bass where being picky.Caught 1 smallmouth on a spinnerbait and that was it until I decided to try the ned rig for the first time for smallmouth bass. I ended catching 12 smallmouth bass in less than 2 hours of fishing in a flooded river, which is much harder to fish than fishing in low water conditions.The ned rig has become a confidence bait for me and I plan on using it whenever I fish northern rivers.

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Not getting a single bite in a few months is pretty extreme. That being said, the bite has been off in my area of the south for the past few months.

 

This year the water stayed really warm for a lot longer than usual. This fall our daytime temperatures were about the same is in the past ranging from low to upper 80's but the nighttime temperatures never dropped like in the past.  Up until a few days ago our nighttime temperatures were still in the mid to upper 70's.

 

For the past few days the nighttime temps hit the 60's and for the next week we'll see 50's and a few 40's before going back to the 70's at night again.

 

My guess is that with the water slow to cool the bass are still sticking to their summer feeding routes and patterns. So they stay rooted in the deeper water or hollows in the bottoms of the lagoons for the day (we have very little structure and vegetation in our residential lagoons). In my case those areas are beyond casting distance (boats and kayaks are not allowed).

 

I'll know if my suspicions are correct this weekend after a few evenings of cooler weather. As an added bonus, daytime temps will only be in the low 70's here and Saturday is calling for cloudy skies but no rain. If the bigguns don't bite this weekend I'm just going to assume the alligators ate all the bass and I never have to fish again 😀

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It’s been slow lately but not as bad as your having it. 

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You think its slow in northern Alabama, you should try coming up to northeastern Pennsylvania. We went from highs in the 70's and 80's to highs in the 40's and 50's overnight. No gradual cooling, just a sudden drop in temps. Might as well have drilled several holes in my canoe for all the use I'm getting out of it this fall. Time to call it a season and start dreaming about next spring. 

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North Alabama you're probably just getting to the late summer/early fall transition when they really scatter out, that makes for difficult fishing. 

 

This past weekend was all about moving baits and covering water for here. Fish weren't jumping in the boat (at least the right kind weren't), but we still caught plenty.

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On 10/23/2018 at 10:33 PM, Bluebasser86 said:

North Alabama you're probably just getting to the late summer/early fall transition when they really scatter out, that makes for difficult fishing. 

 

This past weekend was all about moving baits and covering water for here. Fish weren't jumping in the boat (at least the right kind weren't), but we still caught plenty.

Yeah, I think you're right. The high is going to be consistently around 55 - 60 for the rest of the week here so I'm just going to burn a red eye shad and try to locate them.

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12 hours ago, soflabasser said:

Do not underestimate finesse techniques when it comes to catching picky bass. I probably should of written a smallmouth bass fishing report earlier but later is better than never. Here is my smallmouth bass fishing report for early October 2018;

 

For the past couple years I have seen many BassResource members talking about how good the ned rig was so I finally gave in and bought a bunch of ned rig jigs and ned rig soft plastics. I tried them in my local Florida waters and caught some fish but was not impressed until I went up north for smallmouth bass. I was fishing in a flooded river and the smallmouth bass where being picky.Caught 1 smallmouth on a spinnerbait and that was it until I decided to try the ned rig for the first time for smallmouth bass. I ended catching 12 smallmouth bass in less than 2 hours of fishing in a flooded river, which is much harder to fish than fishing in low water conditions.The ned rig has become a confidence bait for me and I plan on using it whenever I fish northern rivers.

My absolute favorite bait for river Smallmouth Bass. Sounds like you had a good trip, Grats!

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I went yesterday with a mild but chilly north wind , high blue bird skies and water temp 54 degrees . Shallow bass were taking spinnerbaits  hard but  none of these fish were fat with shad . I'm kind of confused about that .

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Went down to southern Illinois to fish several lakes in that region.  The rather brutal cold snap and, on the last day, a northwest wind, seemed to put the fish into a doldrum but since I wasn't down there prior to the cold weather, I can't really say.  I fished HARD for 2.5 days and caught 11 bass total-about half were less than 10 inches.  Beats getting skunked, though.

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23 minutes ago, Koz said:

Interesting. Thanks. Do you have any methods of locating baitfish without a fishfinder? I could probably locate some bluegill with a spinner or something but shad would be harder because they just don't bite stuff like that.

 

Edit: There actually are a lot of huge gizzard shad in that pond; not just bluegill.

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this can be a tough time of year to me.  Fall bite has not really taken off yet. fish are scattered.

like @Bluebasser86 said,  I had to cover a lot of water to catch bass with moving baits.

generally I am not a run and gun fisherman. This time of year, there is not really any other option.

On the other hand white bass, catfish and drum are all in a feeding frenzy, so they keep me busy between lulls.

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1 hour ago, EGbassing said:

Do you have any methods of locating baitfish without a fishfinder?

 

In my area the shad frequently school and bust the surface so they are easy to locate.

 

But when they are not visible I usually just try and cover a LOT (I do mean a lot) of water with a spinnerbait or lipless crank.

 

I suppose another option would be to downsize and throw a beetlespin or use live worms and see where the bluegill are located. The problem with that is that the feeding window for bass is usually pretty small this time of year. In other words, they are usually in the deeper water and not moving that much unless it's feeding time.

 

So while they still feed throughout the day, instead of gorging for 20 or 30 minutes in the shallower water each feeding period might be only 5-15 minutes now. So fishing for bluegill to see where the bluegill are in my mind is a waste of time.

 

With a spinnerbait or lipless crank I can cover a lot of water from one fixed point on the bank before I move on. Keep in mind I'm just a recreational fisherman and not one of the experts on this forum. They probably have better advice. This is just my approach on the shallow, featureless, man made lagoons where I fish.

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Yeah it seems to be really tough all over. In South Central PA the temps have plummeted. It was 88 two weeks ago and two days later the highs are in the 50s. It’s in the upper 30s at night. So the water temps have dropped quickly too. And the fish are not biting. My last 4 days have been skunked, 1 real big one, skunked, and today after 4 hours I caught a dink right at the end. 

 

Ive tried a variety of colors and lures. Chatterbait (chartreuse and blue black), crankbait, trick worms( black, white, blue black), and a blue black mini spinner. 

 

Random question from from a beginner. How long generally should you stay with a particular lure or setup (i.e. chatterbait with a trailer) before you move on to a different one?  I know  there are no hard and fast rules but what is the generally accepted practice for changing it up in terms of time or casts ? 

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I've only fished in the fall for the last 3 years, and not more than a few times each year. I'm still trying to get the hang of it -- it seems really seems boom-or-bust. I'm fishing small natural lakes and river backwaters of a few dozen acres mostly...I have had some days where they will jump on anything I throw, and some where there is just no activity of any kind, anywhere.  Some of it is that our fall weather is always volatile, and the small waters I fish are probably more affected by weather and tempearture change than bigger waters. But even so I've found that following the usual recommendation of fishing after a few days of stable weather and/or a warming trend does not reliably mean I'll catch much...sometimes yes, sometimes no.   The last month has been pretty dead.

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9 minutes ago, teabag259 said:

 

Random question from from a beginner. How long generally should you stay with a particular lure or setup (i.e. chatterbait with a trailer) before you move on to a different one?  I know  there are no hard and fast rules but what is the generally accepted practice for changing it up in terms of time or casts ? 

That is a question you hear on this forum quite a bit in different forms. As you said, there really isn't a answer I can give you. I normally use my gut on lakes I've fished before. If I'm fishing a new (to me) lake I change lures more often and try lures I haven't used or in a way I haven't used them before. A friend who fished tournaments told me he had a rule called the "Frustration Scale". If he was fishing in a tourney or practice and started to get frustrated he'd measure the level and make a decision based on that. If he was slightly frustrated he might just change color, if he was moderately frustrated he would change areas, if he was highly frustrated he would jump up and down on the bow of his boat cursing up a storm. :D

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I went out two days in a row last week. Thurs was sunny and I fished a cooling plant lake. Half the lake was 61 degrees and the other was 73 degrees. Got skunked on both for four hours. Friday I went to a smaller lake. Cloudy and rainy. Water temp 58 degrees. I caught 3 bass on a lipless crankbait and missed 3 with a Toadrunner (see my other post for that rant) in 3hrs time.  I was shocked that the 58 degree bass were all over the moving stuff and I couldn’t get the 73 degree bass to touch any cranks, spinners, chatterbaits, or frogs.  

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In Florida I have been working hard for the bites I have been getting.  Find current and cloud cover and the bite has been better.  A few big old girls but lots of smaller bass.  Most on senko type baits, and zoom U-Vibes, fished slowly.  Good luck it will get better.

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6 hours ago, NYWayfarer said:

My absolute favorite bait for river Smallmouth Bass. Sounds like you had a good trip, Grats!

Thank you @NYWayfarer. Yes I had a great time catching smallmouth bass. I caught a total of 13 smallmouth bass and 11 northern strain largemouth bass, all from land from a flooded river. Also caught muskie, walleye,and other northern species of fish in my fishing vacation up north. Ned rigs are good for picky smallmouth bass where I was fishing but I noticed that the hookup to land ratio was not very good with ned rigs compared to other lures I use.The hooks are very small and break easily when you bend them back to shape as well. I will still fish with ned rigs when I fish northern rivers but prefer other lures since they have a better hook to landing ratio for me.

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Same location, same problems.  They just seem to be scattered all over.  Fished all day on Sunday and caught two.  One on a 3/8oz spinnerbait and one on a wacky rigged Senko.  Both were in the same general area, right along a grass line.   

 

 

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