Jump to content
A-Jay

BROWN BASS TOOLS ~ Questions & Answers

Recommended Posts

35 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

Thank You ~ 

btw - do you really think it's a saga ?

I was leaning a little more toward a yarn. 

:smiley:

A-Jay

Lol - novel? Mini-series? 😉

 

I'm copy/pasting everything into Word and editing/cleaning everything up, chapters, etc. It will be a "book" when I'm done with it - haha 😎 

 

Enjoying the read...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know, but I've been binge reading.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Team9nine said:

Lol - novel? Mini-series? 😉

 

I'm copy/pasting everything into Word and editing/cleaning everything up. It will be a "book" when I'm done with it - haha 😎 

 

Enjoying the read...

I hear ya - 

It's already been too long a winter. 

:smiley:

A-Jay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

holy #$6%.  

 

Well, there's a lot of stuff on this thread.  

 

A-Jay - I hate (am incredibly jealous of) you for being retired. 

 

Chris

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Turkey sandwich said:

holy #$6%.  

 

Well, there's a lot of stuff on this thread.  

 

A-Jay - I hate (am incredibly jealous of) you for being retired. 

 

Chris

There's some more on the way Chris . . .

Retirement is what we can manage to make out of it.

It's not all sunshine and rainbow but it definitely has it moments.

I never enjoy having to check the next to the last 'box' on any age questionnaire or form.

Means I only have one left.

Plan is to make the most of that.

:smiley:

A-Jay

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, A-Jay said:

There's some more on the way Chris . . .

Retirement is what we can manage to make out of it.

It's not all sunshine and rainbow but it definitely has it moments.

I never enjoy having to check the next to the last 'box' on any age questionnaire or form.

Means I only have one left.

Plan is to make the most of that.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

 

Cheers, and happy New Year, buddy!  I can't wait to read through this thread and compare strategies.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/11/2019 at 11:20 AM, Team9nine said:

Lol - novel? Mini-series? 😉

 

I'm copy/pasting everything into Word and editing/cleaning everything up, chapters, etc. It will be a "book" when I'm done with it - haha 😎 

 

Enjoying the read...

Do you and @A-Jay have a publisher lined up yet?

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 ~ Some Drop Shot info ~

 

12poundbass ~

I got some more "Brown Bass Tools" Tuesday (my TW order). The only thing I can think of at this point I still need is hooks, I'm going to order in bulk this year. What's your recommendation for drop shot hooks? I have a few small ones I received in my MTB last year, I know you had mentioned you were going a little bigger. 

 

A-Jay ~

OK ~ So Drop Shot Hooks

 I've been through quite a few makes, models and even more sizes past few season - I've settled on these.

Reasons are - they match my baits, they match the tackle I'm fishing them with, and 

most importantly, they HOOK & HOLD the Bass I'm Looking to Catch !

 Both the Brown & Green models.

  Supplemental info - over the past say, three or four years, much of my drop shot fishing, especially mid-late season, has migrated to using 'bigger baits'; relative term.

 Where in previous deals I was using, the standard skinny 4 & 6 inch Sculpins, Robo worms & Dream Shots - and they catch bass for sure, I started drop shotting a baby rage craw, and then a full size craw and then 4 & 5 inch Fluke and started getting bites from more bigger fish.  But along with that, I was losing a few fish, because the hooks & manner I was using them was apparently inefficient.  First off, in some instances, my hook selection was too small.  Secondly, while I like nose hooking, seems it's not the best way when I'm targeting bigger smallies - which is ALL The TIME pretty much.  Nose hooking also picks up eel grass when it's there and the little hooks have a tendency to skin hook a lot leading them to come unpinned too much for my liking.  

 I do Tex-pose my drop shot plastic when needed but all things being equal, I prefer not to if I can.

1447393515_dropshothooks2MB.thumb.jpg.05c61a86307f84f80c44c42daf7e4966.jpg

***Note *** regarding the Hooks Pictured - I use SEVERAL DIFFERENT sizes - I offered these to allow for name, brand, type and model number identification purposes.  

 So we've ventured into using a little bigger, longer shanked hook.  

 So if you look at the Picture provided, the bottom row - those are all GREAT DROP SHOT OPTIONS and one's I still use a ton; mostly for nose hooking.  

 That whole top row of hooks, are what I go to for bigger baits and when I want to 'top hook' a bait; meaning inserting the hook like you would put say a swimbait on a jighead.  Where the hook goes in the front / nose of the bait, is threaded into & down the body of the bait BUT comes out the top.   Still a drop shot, but when a fluke or a caffine shad is rigged like this, the hook up to land ratio goes way up.  Brownies are generally impaled in the top or the roof of the mouth and they generally Do NOT come off. 

   I definitely use a little 'beefier gear', like M instead of ML and 8-10 lb fluorocarbon leader instead of 4-6 lb. The bigger Hook size demands a bit more pressure to sink it successfully, but after that, it's just a matter to playing that brown tank into the net.

 This works GREAT for Green bass too. Think Rage Craw !

 

12poundbass ~

Finesse fishing is going to be a struggle for me. The Senko is my crutch and I probably don't fish it as slow as I should and that's painfully slow to me. So to slow down even more is going to be really really difficult. 

I'm glad you recommended bigger hooks, because even though I've never used the small ones, they just seem too small, that's probably my inexperience but it would take a lot for me to gain any confidence in the little hooks. 

 

A-Jay~

The single best piece advice I can offer when it comes to drop shot fishing is . . .

 To present your plastic like it was LIVE BAIT - regardless of which drop shot plastic you're fishing.  Meaning, one does not generally do much with live bait other than throw it out the and  . . wait.

 So I'm rarely shaking, wiggling or 'working' my drop shot presentations much if at all.  

Clearly there are times where imparting a 'little action' to the bait is the deal and bass will gobble them up. And I'll do that if & when it works.  However,  I'm usually fishing a drop shot because I believe the fish are either in a neutral or negative mood - meaning they may not chase a moving bait.  So a subtle, do-nothing approach can put a few in the net.  Finally, if I have to turn the drop shot into a moving bait to get bit - I'm probably going to fish something else. 

   My versions  (especially for those 'tough bite days') . . . . . . . 

 Cast it out, let the weight get to & settle on the bottom on a slack line - then softly take up ALMOST ALL the slack so that your bait will be suspended over the bottom cover, if there is any. Places where there is little to no bottom weed, or I'm drop shotting a Rage craw - I let the bait sit on the bottom.

 And then just hold it there, on a semi-tight or slack (however you say it) line and commence 'bite detection mode'.  After sitting for some time with no bite, drag it a bit and start the process again.  How far I move it and how long I leave it, is almost always dictated by water clarity & temperature as well as the 'mood' of the fish; unfortunately it's tough to know 'the mood' until I put a few in the net.  Until I hook a few, I play with the drag length & wait time until the magic happens.   But in general - the clearer & warmer the water, the farther I move it.  Conversely the dirtier and or colder the water - I may not move it more than a foot or two at a time.  How long I let it sit is pretty much guided by the same parameters mentioned above.   I can cover some decent water doing this.

 

 So Mr. Senko fisherman - what I just described seems eerily similar to how most all of my very best STICK BAIT bite days end up - cast it out & let it sit - the magic happens the less you do with it - Including DEAD STICKING the thing.  Seems you've been "Training" to fish a Drop Shot for a while now . . . . 

I'll get some drop shot bait pics up tomorrow -

 

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The following article appeared in Bassmaster and was written by Peter B Mathiesen with help from John Tertuliani, a biologist for the U.S. Department of the Interior in Columbus, Ohio.

 

 I think this one may have been penned more with Green Bass in mind, but realizing how hard the Brown bass up this way hunt, consume & routinely depend on crawfish, as a major portion of their diet, I found this essay quite useful.

 

 Understanding Bass Forage: Crawfish

1024px-ecrevisse_pattes_rouges.jpg?itok=mAEjVHGb

 

"Knowing the mating and molting rituals of crawfish will give you the upper hand when using imitation baits.

Most bass anglers use crawfish imitations without a very clear understanding of why they should be throwing them, and more importantly when. All of us know that crawfish lures are often effective and sometimes the only go-to bait of the day. But to truly understand when you need to use a crawfish bait, you have to understand why bass eat them and when this forage is most appetizing to the quarry anglers seek.

  

   Crawfish are everywhere: ditches, frequently flooded agricultural fields, almost all ponds and, of course, your favorite impoundment or river. There's not a state in the contiguous 48 that doesn't have millions of them swimming around feeding the local bass populous, not to mention Cajuns and the occasional Cajun wannabe.

 

   Intimate knowledge of crawfish behavior will empower you to fully exploit baits that imitate this popular dinner item of bass — and going back to science class is your ticket to information. Bassmaster wants to take you back to school with some of the most knowledgeable freshwater lobstermen in the industry. Keep in mind that the parameters, times and conditions that will be discussed vary from water to water, subspecies to subspecies and latitude to latitude.

 

   Like all creatures, crawfish are determined to mate, eat and protect themselves from predators. Understanding the timing of these events is key to consistently taking bass on crawfish imitations.

 

Love on the rocks

  February through May is the first major period of crawfish activity, based on geographic location. When the water temperature reaches approximately 50 degrees, crawfish emerge from rock crevices into the great wide open and begin looking for receptive females. 

 

   Many of the emerging crawfish males and females are still sexually active from the previous fall. What's significant about this two to three week period in spring (depending on rising water temperature), is that it's one of the few times males walk on top of rocks, exposing themselves to bass.

 

   Trapping studies have revealed that below 45 degrees, crawfish have little to no activity while buried in mud burrows or rock crevices. But when the water rises to 50 degrees, it's a whole new ballgame.

 

   Where will bass be picking off these vulnerable mudbugs? Rocks will point the way. It may sound oversimplified, but rocky substrate has the highest concentration of exposed crawfish, which in turn translates to the greatest numbers of feeding bass.

 

   Prime conditions in most bass watersheds combine 50 degree average water temperature with rocks clean of silt or mud. Unlike bass that clean their spawning ground with their tails, crawfish rely on current or wave action to do their housework. The rocks must be clean to open up caves that can create endless lattices of spawning habitat. That may be at 3 feet of water on a wind-swept point, or at 30 feet on a small hump in the middle of the lake. Whether you're fishing in Alabama in February or Michigan in May, the formulation of season, clean rock and ideal temperature is guaranteed to attract most of the mating crawfish — and feeding bass — in the area.

 

   Depending on the species, crawfish can and will spawn in mud. However, they rarely do so if clean, rocky habitat is available.  One of the ways bass locate crawfish is by sound. "A crawfish moving on a rock makes a tapping/clicking noise. Bass use this sound to locate crawfish," said Tertuliani.

 

   Crawfish also are light sensitive. Water clarity and penetrating sunlight are key ingredients to active, quality habitat. If the prime habitat happens to be in shallow water or is more exposed to direct sunlight, low light or cloudy days often provide better fishing than bright afternoons.

 

The naked truth

 After mating, the females burrow into a cave and fertilize their eggs with the sperm that has been deposited on them by the males. The males then molt, losing their calcified sexual organs, and quickly hide. "The molt" as it is often referred to, is supposed to be the time bass gorge on crawfish. This may not be the case. "Many anglers associate molting with intense bass activity on crawfish baits in the spring. And actually, this spike in activity is most likely due to the vulnerability of crawfish during the mating cycle," said Tertuliani.

 

   After the molt, males return to a reclusive pattern and are not as available to bass as they were when they were mating. They will feed in their cave burrows if possible, and only expose themselves in the evening or in low light conditions.

 

   The molt will dramatically change the color of crawfish from a camouflage olive/brown, to a bright orange or red cast, making them an easy visual target for bass. But understand that a bass must work more diligently, and expend much more energy to catch a crawfish during the molt than during the mating cycle.

 

   Meanwhile, the females will hatch their eggs in 30 days or so (depending on water temperatures). The hatchlings stay attached to the female and molt every two to seven days, depending on species. After the third molt, when they reach approximately one-half inch in length, they fall off their mother. The females quickly molt and go into a quiet summer low light feeding pattern, staying in the rock crevices as much as possible.

 

   The little crawfish fall into the rocks, where they molt multiple times and eat, until the fall — when most become adults, depending on the length of the growing season. During their early summer growth period, the greatest threat to the juvenile crawfish comes from chubs and bottom feeders, not bass.

 

Fall is the best

When fall arrives and you're throwing a shad imitation, revisit the rocks you fished in the spring with a crawfish bait. The fall mating cycle is actually the most intense, and often is completely ignored by bass anglers. The process can be especially intense in southern latitudes. The fall mating period is made up of all the adult crawfish that are sexually mature. There are species exceptions, and temperatures falling too rapidly below 45 degrees can shut it down early, sending the crawfish into a dormant state.

 

 Fish the fall the same way you fish the spring, and you'll find the fall mating cycle is a bonanza.

 

No legs, no claws, no glory

The research group at Pure Fishing in Spirit Lake, Iowa, is actively seeking information on crawfish behavior. Pure Fishing manages one of the largest live fish behavioral test facilities in the world, and statistically measures fish reaction to baits and key foods.

 

   "We are amazed at many of the findings that have been discovered in our facility in the last few years," said John Prochnow, Product Development Manager. Led by Dr. Keith Jones, multiple tests were made with live bass over several months in a controlled environment to measure what kind of shape the bass preferred when keying on soft plastic crawfish imitations.

 

   For 60 days, 450 largemouth bass, plucked from the same environment, were tested using a robotic arm and a strike counter. Each group of bass was presented a crawfish bait at the same speed and angle of attack. The bass tested had never seen the bait that was presented (it was a prototype). The test then continued, with one pincer removed, then a second pincer removed, and finally, the legs. The soft bait that had no appendages (no legs or pincers, just a body and tail) had the greatest number of strikes.

 

   "The final bait looked almost like a large shrimp," said Proctnov. The research was incorporated into the Berkley Flippin Tube. "We wanted to market a craw with no appendages, but our market research said no one would buy it," Proctnov added.

 

Living on the bottom

Crawfish live on the bottom. That's not to say you can't catch a bass in open water with a crawfish bait. But a live crawfish will not leave the rocks unless it is forced to.

 

   During the summer, bass feeding patterns shift to low light or darkness. Again, bouncing a plastic craw over prime habitat in daylight hours can result in catching bass that are keyed in to the pattern, waiting for a midday meal. But for consistent action during dog days, move to deeper, darker rock substrate.

 

   One of the best ways to fish crawfish baits, hard plastic or soft, is to work them parallel to rocky banks, changing depths until you find fish. One of the most important elements of making a believable presentation with a crawfish imitation is to keep contact with the rock or cover you are fishing. The ticking of a crankbait bill or lead sinker against a rock imitates the clicking of real crawfish — enticing bass to strike. Plus, contacting the cover ensures your bait is hugging the bottom, where crawfish live. Add internal rattles to plastic baits, and allow the bait to sit for an extended period of time. Small shakes of the rod tip will activate the rattles, drawing bass to your offering.

 

   Most importantly, follow closely the rituals of this favorite bass forage, and you'll be catching bass on crawfish baits because of knowledge, not just luck.

 

Cutting edge soft bait

Ken Huddleston, the creator of the famous Castaic Trout, is now in the custom soft bait business. "I want to make the most accurate imitation I'm capable of manufacturing. Right now, I make all the baits personally and am committed to keeping my manufacturing in the U.S.A., and refuse to move it offshore." Said Huddleston.

 

   If there has ever been a modern day renegade bait designer, Ken Huddleston is the guy. His attention to detail and assurance of perfect action has created an almost cultlike demand for the few anglers in the know. The Huddleston Deluxe Bait Co., makes a very lifelike crawfish bait called the Huddle-Bug. It can only be purchased at a select handful of shops in California. You can buy them on the Internet at Ken's site (www.huddleston deluxe.com) for about $6 for a pack of five.

 

Pro's tricks

 Curt Samo, a fishing pro from Rockford, Ill., takes the guesswork out of color and size. In every lake or river system he fishes, Samo launches a crawfish trap the day before the tournament he is fishing. He uses a simple South Bend Crawfish Trap, and stops at the local convenience store on the way to the lake and buys cat food for bait.

 

   "I walk several yards down the bank from the boat ramp, because it's almost always a rocky shore, set the trap and leave it overnight. In the morning, I pull the trap and see the color and size of the local population, match the baits and get to work. On a northern lake, Samo found an almost fluorescent orange crawfish occupying the trap. "I changed baits, matched the color and have cashed a check in 90 percent of the tournaments I've fished on that water since," said Samo."

 

While I do not utilize the crawfish trap deal to check on the status of the bugs in my area, that doesn't seem like a bad plan, if one has the opportunity.  However, once I can get a few and if & when the state regs permit fish retention, my live well is often littered with all the information I might need. 

 

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@A-Jay I just converted the majority of this thread into an iBook on my phone, I’ve been trying/wanting to read it all but since I typically am using my phone when browsing BassResource it’s been really tough for me to get through a dense wall of text in typical forum posting format.  I was able to easily separate the content into “pages” and further break it down into the chapters that you outlined.  Hope this is OK with you, don’t plan on distributing it just wanted to be able to digest it easier!

 

Looking forward to digging into it now..

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Janderson45 said:

@A-Jay I just converted the majority of this thread into an iBook on my phone, I’ve been trying/wanting to read it all but since I typically am using my phone when browsing BassResource it’s been really tough for me to get through a dense wall of text in typical forum posting format.  I was able to easily separate the content into “pages” and further break it down into the chapters that you outlined.  Hope this is OK with you, don’t plan on distributing it just wanted to be able to digest it easier!

 

Looking forward to digging into it now..

@Janderson45 - It's all good.  

 I knew going into this that it would present some 'reading challenges', but it's pretty much the nature of the beast when there's a lot of info like that.

 In this day & age where there's so much info out there floating around - I've read a ton of it myself.

So much of what I read is the same old regurgitated stuff that seems like it's copied & pasted from place to place.

And there's a ton about Tackle, Baits & Specific Techniques, which is valuable & needed - however some of what has benefitted my fishing just as much, has been "Everything Else". 

So while tackle, baits & specific techniques are offered here as well, the rest of what I'm offering up here revolves around 'the everything else'.

 Hope it helps you out and if it does - I'd love to hear about it.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

 

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

×