Jump to content
ShenandoahAngler

No fish in over a month...

Recommended Posts

This is really my first attempt at fall fishing. When I was younger we were always just the warm weather anglers, my father and I, never as serious about it as I have become. Now I'm an "it doesn't matter what the weather is like, I will find a body and fish it this weekend" type of angler and I have just got the stench of skunk all over me. The last fish I caught was on my birthday, October 2. This is especially sad because I've acquired some new rods and reels and picked up some new baits to try out new techniques with, but I just can't get the bites.

 

So that is my unfortunate fishing report.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I have read on this site, Pennsylvania and Virginia have been tough fishing this year . Keep at it and you will find them, they get more predictable the colder it gets 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Havent been doing so hot myself.   We didn't really have a fall this year.   My home lake of 30,000 acres water temp has dropped nearly 20 degrees in just over 2 weeks.  In the lower 50's now.

 

You mentioned that you just got some new gear.   Something im often guilty of when I get new gear is trying to force a bite on a particular lure because that's what I bought the new rod for,  and I want to use it more than I should.   This has caused me to have many less than successful days on the water. 

 

Not saying that's what you are doing,  but when the bite is tough I try to spend equal amount of time throwing a wide variety of lures until I find out what will work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, LionHeart said:

Havent been doing so hot myself.   We didn't really have a fall this year.   My home lake of 30,000 acres water temp has dropped nearly 20 degrees in just over 2 weeks.  In the lower 50's now.

 

You mentioned that you just got some new gear.   Something im often guilty of when I get new gear is trying to force a bite on a particular lure because that's what I bought the new rod for,  and I want to use it more than I should.   This has caused me to have many less than successful days on the water. 

 

Not saying that's what you are doing,  but when the bite is tough I try to spend equal amount of time throwing a wide variety of lures until I find out what will work. 

Yeah, we kind of passed right by fall, as well. I work at a university and we were closed, yesterday, because of ice and opened at 10 a.m. this morning instead of 8. It's 37 right now, high of 45 for the day. It's been like December/January around these parts.

 

As for the gear, I could definitely see that happening to me if I had picked up something more specialized. But I picked up a couple of general purpose rods (one 7', one 7'2", both MH/Fast) that are one-piece (been relying on two-piece until now), so I've been tying on all sorts of different things to see the difference in how it feels. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you fishing lakes? ponds? rivers? 

 

Most of our rivers are or have been mud for like 2 months, and they're almost impossible to fish because of the low visibility and dangerously high current. 

 

If you're fishing ponds try finding shallower areas near feeder streams or drain inlets where there is light current bringing in fresh water. Fish tend to sit on the edges of the current and feed on things being washed into the pond. 

Dark colors creature baits with action/flappers or shakey head worms. Start casting up shallow and working your way out deeper. Working slow baits on the bottom is the only way I've gotten bit for the last month or so, except one dink on a squarebill that I was running painfully slow, and one random 2lber suspended 2ft under the surface in 20FOW. Pretty sure I landed the spinner bait on that ones face. That was also 59 degree water, most of our smaller bodies of water have dropped into the mid-upper 40's now. 

If your water is colder, focus on bottom structure. Wood, rock, or any deeper transition areas that may still have green vegetation. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Fairtax4me said:

Are you fishing lakes? ponds? rivers? 

 

Most of our rivers are or have been mud for like 2 months, and they're almost impossible to fish because of the low visibility and dangerously high current. 

 

If you're fishing ponds try finding shallower areas near feeder streams or drain inlets where there is light current bringing in fresh water. Fish tend to sit on the edges of the current and feed on things being washed into the pond. 

Dark colors creature baits with action/flappers or shakey head worms. Start casting up shallow and working your way out deeper. Working slow baits on the bottom is the only way I've gotten bit for the last month or so, except one dink on a squarebill that I was running painfully slow, and one random 2lber suspended 2ft under the surface in 20FOW. Pretty sure I landed the spinner bait on that ones face. That was also 59 degree water, most of our smaller bodies of water have dropped into the mid-upper 40's now. 

If your water is colder, focus on bottom structure. Wood, rock, or any deeper transition areas that may still have green vegetation. 

All three, really. The rivers here aren't so bad right now. Problem with all that you lay out here is that I bank fish only because I lack the funds and space for a boat of any sort, so where I can throw is very limited. I've been throwing dark jigs with flapping action on it. I need to try out some shakey head action, it's never something I've thrown but I am looking to try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been fishing my whole life. I've considered myself reasonably proficient a fair percentage of that  time. My family and friends have always associated me with fishing. Joined these forums two years ago and started to really learn this sport. I see you're new. Get involved and you'll gradually learn to discern good advice. We have a lot of very skilled (much more than me) members. Keep the faith and welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't caught anything since October either.  I'm hoping to break that cycle over the long Thanksgiving weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your favorite lake/river is one of my favorites too! I have no idea what water levels are like, but I can almost guarantee you can catch smallmouth dragging a ned rig on the bottom if water is low enough to fish and somewhat clean.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been slow bank fishing here where I live in SC as well. What's different this fall is that I haven't seen any bait fish in a while. There are no minnows cruising along the shoreline and I haven't seen the schools of shad out in the open water.

 

I've fished half a dozen of my favorite lagoons and located zero bait fish. These featureless lagoons are in a residential community and there are very few weeds and little visible structure. Whats more is that there will be 3-10 lagoons all connected by the stormwater system so the fish can migrate from lagoon to lagoon.

 

My next step might be just to walk these connected lagoons and see if the bait fish have migrated to a specific lagoon. Perhaps the fish and bait fish have concentrated in the lagoons that have trees and shrubs overhanging the banks along the wood lines or in lagoons where there are more weeds. We don't have any freshwater streams that flow into the lagoons.

 

Anyway, my plan is to do some scouting and learn more about bait fish movement instead of just casting and hoping.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fall and winter fishing can be feast or famine. 

Bass can be harder to find this time of year, but if you do find them they are usually concentrated.

When the cold water bite gets tough,Two baits I use  is a suspending jerkbait and a ned rig. and fish them painfully slow.

If there are fish in the area, one of these baits will usually entice a few.

 

yesterday was a good example. Water temp was 42 degrees. I searched 1.5 hours trying to find fish.

finally found fish hovering in 8 foot of water on a steep rocky shoreline. Tried several different baits with no bites.

slowly swam a ned rig through them and caught a dozen bass in 15 minutes. I found other similar areas on the lake and caught several more doing the same thing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/16/2018 at 4:46 PM, ShenandoahAngler said:

All three, really. The rivers here aren't so bad right now. Problem with all that you lay out here is that I bank fish only because I lack the funds and space for a boat of any sort, so where I can throw is very limited. I've been throwing dark jigs with flapping action on it. I need to try out some shakey head action, it's never something I've thrown but I am looking to try.

I do a fair amount of bank fishing as well. I fish a couple smaller lakes that have relatively poor bank access, lots of overgrown brush and woody areas that make it hard to get around on foot, and still have some luck with the techniques I described above. I went out to one on Sunday for a few hours and knew the bass should be in the 5-10ft range. Only caught one, but got several other bites in that depth. All on some sort of structure or drop-off bank. No activity anywhere deeper or sallower than that, except some bluegill that were cruising around mid lake pecking stuff on the surface in late afternoon. 

 

Rivers have gone cold and those fish will be on the move to their deep (10+ feet) wintering holes. You can probably still find a few that are on the move, because they'll still eat if you can get a bait in front of them. If you can find or know where any of those big deep holes are, some type of soft plastic worked slow on bottom will get you a bite. 

 

Also remember, colder fish = slower fish, and they're probably not going to use the energy to chase down a bait that's moving fast. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was doing great up until November. I haven't caught in a few weeks now. I seem to have no trouble at all finding fish throughout the winter, but getting them to bite is another story. I feel like my bait selection in the winter is much simpler than usual. For what it's worth, two baits that I ALWAYS have tied on throughout winter is a lipless crank and a senko.

 

Don't give up. The fish are slow and lethargic, and on most days they simply aren't active. I am a busy dad, and I fish when I can, not when I should. BUT, if you can select your days, keep an eye out for a streak of steady weather. Steady weather to me is three or more consecutive days with the same weather pattern. Doesn't necessarily have to be warm and sunny. It just has to be consistent. That third day is usually money. Fish slowwwwwwwwww. And if fishing soft plastics, I tend to use baits with a more subtle action. Perhaps a fluke rather than a paddletail. Or a beaver style bait rather than a Rage craw.

 

For me, I just can't stay off the water. I rarely go fishing in the winter with any expectations. It's more like therapy. If I catch a fish, it's a bonus. Regardless of everything in this thread, try to learn something every time you go out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got you all beat, I haven't caught anything since August. The last fish I caught I snagged it on its side somehow using a popper. Because of not having a boat my daughter and I are bank anglers. We go fishing as much as possible. One day she asked me if we are anglers or fishermen, I told her we're anglers, fishermen catch fish, we can't catch anything. She has been doing pretty good, catching blue gills, crappie, and several bass. It's been tough but still fun. It seems I'm the entertainment, getting into predicaments that have us cracking up, like falling in mud, sliding down hills and so on.The weather looks good this weekend so guess were we'll be.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing forum

    fishing

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing forum

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×