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Rafael Rosen

Advice for rookie fisherman

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I'm a rookie freshwater angler looking for advice.  I've gotten reasonably successful at finding fish and I'm looking for ideas that can help me get more bites.

 

Yesterday evening I took my canoe out to the meadows around sunset.  Noticed some fish jumping in a calm shallow area next to the sandbar.  Water was about a foot deep and packed with vegetation (maybe watermilfoil?).  I tried casting a hula popper past the jumps and retrieving it back through.  No nibbles though.  Anything else I could try in that situation?

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Best advice I ever got was to read BassResource.

 

 

Maybe one out of every hundred fish I see jump, I can confidently identify it as a bass.   90+ I can identify as non-bass.  Of the non-bass, there are times when it is small fish fleeing from hungry bass. 

 

So, my point is...that chasing jumping fish gets to be a fool's errand most of the time.  It will suck your time on the water until you can confidently identify what's jumping and why.

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As a beginner here is my recommendation. Take it for what it's worth though. Pick two or three things and learn the ins and out of them till you have 100 percent confidence in each technique. Pick a top water a crankbait or spinner bait and a soft plastic. I would pick a zoom trick worm In black/red combo. a black buzzbait and a strike king 1.5 in shad or chartreuse with black back. Those 3 baits together should be able to put you a very good amount of bass in the boat 

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Noticed some fish jumping in a calm shallow area next to the sandbar.

 

This is where knowing your lake and what species are in the water are a big help. For example, I'm confident in that where I fish that most of the time I can discern between a bass, catfish, shad, bluegill, and grass carp surfacing. It's probably easier for me, though since we don't have pickerel, perch, musky, walleye, or pike in the lagoons I fish.

 

That being said, when I determine it's a shad or bass surfacing I toss a buzzbait in that area and if I'm correct on the type of fish I thought I saw I usually get a strike from a bass.

 

My suggestion is to start of with a Senko or trick warm, spinnerbait, and a top water like a buzzbait. You could go with a frog, but you waon't hook up as frequently as the buzzbait. With the Senko I'd make sure to fish it wacky rigged, weightless Texas rig, and weighted Texas rig. Personally, I'm not a fan of crankbaits, but that's because I fish from the bank. It's a different game with crankbaits fished from a watercraft.

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Learn how to fish, and get good with a plastic worm.

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I think the next thing I would try is a weightless texas rigged senko.

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Best Advise.  If your married, Find a way to get home when UPS drops off all the Lures, Rods, Reels, Pliers, Hooks and any other gear you will be purchasing so the Wife doesn't find out how much your spending per month on gear. Every time the wife sees UPS, I get the same thing. What did you order Now???  LOL It's an addiction, Got to have new Lures even if you never use them.  

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Were these fish breaching the water or just busting the surface?  Bass seldom do the former and if it's this, likely as not you were casting to carp.

 

Topwaters are fun but for my money, soft plastics (especially worms) cast to where the splash was will produce more fish.

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Probably carp that you were seeing,  keep at it,  you'll get it.

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