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garyg199

Cannot catch fish since the heat began. Help!

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Ever since it got really hot here in NJ, I cannot even get a nibble from anything, let alone a large mouth. I understand that they go to deeper waters and into tight cover etc. I fish the cover, the weeds, brush piles, shaded areas. I try my whole garage of baits and lures from topwater to Texas rigged soft baits, and everything in between the water column. I fish fast, I fish slow. I fish first and last light, night and mid-day. 

 

What is going on?! Am I just beat? I fish from the bank, so deeper water isn't always an option. I've even been to a reservoir that holds tournaments occasionally and didn't get a thing. Is there anything else I can try? 

 

I've been using a 7' fast medium action rod, 12lb mono with a black max...if it matters. Ive tried dropshotting a couple of times, but still didn't get anything. I don't know...it's so discouraging. I love the summer but I just wish the heat would go away so I can hook some fish already! Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks 

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Hello Gary and Welcome to Bass Resource ~

I can certainly understand your frustration and it sounds like you're putting in the time & effort.

But sometimes that's just fishing.

We don't always catch them.

At some point the bass have to eat, and when they do, if you're at the right place at the right time and doing the right thing, you may catch a few.

The tough part of course is figuring out the when, where & how part.

IME, there's no secret to it, just need to get out there and make it happen.

But in the meantime perhaps a change in perspective could help.

After all, you are going fishing, and I'm betting it would be even more of a bummer if you couldn't go at all.

Maybe relax a little and enjoy whatever's happening, bet things turn around sooner rather than later.

Good Luck and let us know how it goes.

A-Jay

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As a fellow New Jersey resident and bass angler I understand your frustration and have been there, our state is heating up and the bass are gonna notice it, my advice to you is try in the early morning or around 6:30 to 7 at night when the sun isn't as bright on the water.

 

I've gone weeks with catching no fish at all to weeks where I can only get maybe one or two dinks if I'm lucky.

 

If you are in the Bergen or Passaic Area I can point out a few spots to check out and color codes that produce bass for Me, it's hard though considering a lot of water ways in our state are pressured and the bass are picky.

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Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I am definitely putting in the tjme, that's for sure. Just seems like I'm suddenly doing something wrong. It's been very hot and humid here. High 80s into the 90s and the water is super warm. Most of the fisheries I go to are ponds or small lakes. I thought for sure I would get them at the big tournament lake. Nothin. Bought some big swim baits and mag worms...nothing. My girlfriend catches more than me...granted they're sunnies and bluegill but still..it's getting frustrating. Kid next to me caught a bass right where I had been twenty minutes prior and I just about threw my pole in the water.

 

Guess you're right though. Right place right time. Thanks again for the input!

 

10 minutes ago, pondhopperNJ said:

As a fellow New Jersey resident and bass angler I understand your frustration and have been there, our state is heating up and the bass are gonna notice it, my advice to you is try in the early morning or around 6:30 to 7 at night when the sun isn't as bright on the water.

 

I've gone weeks with catching no fish at all to weeks where I can only get maybe one or two dinks if I'm lucky.

 

If you are in the Bergen or Passaic Area I can point out a few spots to check out and color codes that produce bass for Me, it's hard though considering a lot of water ways in our state are pressured and the bass are picky.

 

 

What do you mean by color codes? I am in ocean county unfortunately. I know there's a few good fisheries up north, but it's a ways for me to go in mid summer with a tough bite. I will gladly take anyone's recommendations though, regardless!

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In Upstate NY where we saw a slow warm up, I find fish farther out, deeper. Even though now the waters have warmed up, not catching shallow close to shore; as one would normally expect. And just forget top-water. 

 

Fish as far out and deep as you can using soft-plastics on the bottom. Cast out, let lure sit on the bottom for a bit, slow slow slow retrieve. Basically by short pulls with the rod. Repeat every 5 sec or so. Pull out if nothing after 10 or so drags along the bottom. Better off casting out again - hoping to get the attention of the falling bait. Believe that's what happens - fish see the bait fall to the bottom. This has caught their attention. Now you have to tease them into a strike. This usually happens in the fist few jerks of the lure.

 

I'm also fishing from shore, but not a large body of water. Not wide anyway...

 

Karl

 

 

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12 minutes ago, garyg199 said:

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I am definitely putting in the tjme, that's for sure. Just seems like I'm suddenly doing something wrong. It's been very hot and humid here. High 80s into the 90s and the water is super warm. Most of the fisheries I go to are ponds or small lakes. I thought for sure I would get them at the big tournament lake. Nothin. Bought some big swim baits and mag worms...nothing. My girlfriend catches more than me...granted they're sunnies and bluegill but still..it's getting frustrating. Kid next to me caught a bass right where I had been twenty minutes prior and I just about threw my pole in the water.

 

Guess you're right though. Right place right time. Thanks again for the input!

 

 

 

What do you mean by color codes? I am in ocean county unfortunately. I know there's a few good fisheries up north, but it's a ways for me to go in mid summer with a tough bite. I will gladly take anyone's recommendations though, regardless!

Oh yeah down south in the pines that's pickerel country hahahaha color codes are basically what color of bait to throw in the water based on water clarity and what the bass can see. 

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Ohhhh, yeah I see. Yeah I try to keep a wide color assortment. Throwing June bug and pumpkins, darker for muddy water, natural for clear. See, I feel like I'm making all the right moves... Just not getting their attention.

 

And yeah, pickeral...garbage fish. I'd rather not catch anything lol. If anyone comes across this that lives in Ocean Co. Please let me know of anywhere with a good bite. Even tried that Fishbrain app to try different spots. 

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Depending ho how you want to fish you have choices.  I like a little combat fishing punching is a way to get bit and it's a demanding way to spend your time but when you hook a good one it's a real battle.  Heavy braid a strong hook, and a heavy tungsten weight and your in business.  If your collection includes a good frog rod then your set.  Frigging is also a good option on the same setup.  The other option is go deep but having good electronics is key and if you have them the other good option.

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Speaking of punching... That's the other frustrating part; the vegetation. No matter the lake, I always have some type of mass amount of slop or grass to worry about. A lot of the time I'm forced to frog because it. 

 

Haven't tried punching yet with an actual punching rig, so maybe I'll try that next. Thanks for the tip

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@garyg199 I feel your pain I have tried different lakes, all types of baits, Fishing is about being at the right spot at the right time. I am in Monmouth county and the heat is on and the banks are getting overgrown. My luck has been with T-Rigs so far. I think when the bass are hungry they will hit almost anything.

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It might be time to try some night fishing .

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Where I live those are considered cooler summer days. Our temps have been in the mid to upper 90's with the heat index nearing 110. Even when I fish after 5 pm the heat index has been above 100. But you know what? The fishing has been great!

 

The #1 weapon in my arsenal to catch a lot of 4-6 pound bass during the heat has been a Pop-R. It has worked in shade spots, weed lines, and in sunny, open water. Sometimes I fish it at a slower pace, sometimes a medium pace, and sometimes I just rip it. They key is finding the rhythm that ticks the bass off and makes them come rushing to the surface. It helps even more if you can find the tiny surface disruptions when baitfish are close to the surface.

 

Bass need to eat more to maintain their metabolism in the warmer months, but they are also prone to periods of inactivity in the heat. During those periods you either need to drop a bait in front of their nose to get them to strike or find a way to tick them off and get them to strike. 

 

Now a bait like a buzzbait, Teckel Sprinker Frog or Whopper Plopper is good to tick them off, but in my experience unless they are in a feeding window they are less likely to chase those baits for any distance. That's why I prefer the Pop-R in the heat. It ticks them off and they don't have to move far to get it.

 

If you're fishing over weeds the Teckel Sprinker Frog with its paddletail fished at a slow to medium pace will draw them out better than a plain frog.

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3 hours ago, Koz said:

Where I live those are considered cooler summer days. Our temps have been in the mid to upper 90's with the heat index nearing 110. Even when I fish after 5 pm the heat index has been above 100. But you know what? The fishing has been great!

 

The #1 weapon in my arsenal to catch a lot of 4-6 pound bass during the heat has been a Pop-R. It has worked in shade spots, weed lines, and in sunny, open water. Sometimes I fish it at a slower pace, sometimes a medium pace, and sometimes I just rip it. They key is finding the rhythm that ticks the bass off and makes them come rushing to the surface. It helps even more if you can find the tiny surface disruptions when baitfish are close to the surface.

 

Bass need to eat more to maintain their metabolism in the warmer months, but they are also prone to periods of inactivity in the heat. During those periods you either need to drop a bait in front of their nose to get them to strike or find a way to tick them off and get them to strike. 

 

Now a bait like a buzzbait, Teckel Sprinker Frog or Whopper Plopper is good to tick them off, but in my experience unless they are in a feeding window they are less likely to chase those baits for any distance. That's why I prefer the Pop-R in the heat. It ticks them off and they don't have to move far to get it.

 

If you're fishing over weeds the Teckel Sprinker Frog with its paddletail fished at a slow to medium pace will draw them out better than a plain frog.

Thanks man great tip. I'll have to try my buzzbaits more and I'll check the frog out too . I have a Pop R somewhere. I've been using a couple different poppers and seem to get fish, it's just been so hard to use them with all the weeds and blooms in the water from the direct sun and heat. I've tossed the Whopper plopper when I can and it's literally hit or miss. Was thinking about checking out that plopper trailer they make for frogs. If anyone has tried it, let me know how it does. 

 

I actually hooked a little dink this morning before work on a June bug smallie beaver. Went super early before the sun even cracked. Was surprised to actually see shad this morning. They were coming right to the shore to feed on them. Tried a kietech 3.5 and got a bite after my catch but didn't get any. 

 

Keep the tips coming guys. I appreciate it. 

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2 hours ago, garyg199 said:

Was thinking about checking out that plopper trailer they make for frogs. If anyone has tried it, let me know how it does.

That's what the Teckel Sprinker Frog has - the paddle tail trailer. It works well without being as aggressive like the Whopper Plopper. I bend the hooks on the Sprinker Frog up a little bit for a better hookset.

 

Whenever I see shad busting on the surface it is THE best time to throw a buzzbait in the area. I don't even put a trailer on it. The Strike King Sexy Shad buzzbait works best for me in those conditions. When the sun begins to set I switch to a blue/black buzzbait.

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Feel your pain!  Fishing south jersey too (Camden county) and it’s been tough the past few weeks.  I’ve been doing ok with zman’s version of a trick worm on a shakey-head.  The Gamakatsu skip-gap jig works best bc of the ElaZtech material.  Cast it out, let it settle and reel in super slowly.  Basically looking to feel every pebble and twig it comes into contact with on the bottom.  Pause it and shake it occasionally, good presentation bc the worm stands straight up on the bottom.  Can also Texas rig this worm and fish it the same way if you’re worried about snot-grass.  Match the worm color to the water clarity and should be good to go. Good luck!

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1 hour ago, vince_k said:

Feel your pain!  Fishing south jersey too (Camden county) and it’s been tough the past few weeks.  I’ve been doing ok with zman’s version of a trick worm on a shakey-head.  The Gamakatsu skip-gap jig works best bc of the ElaZtech material.  Cast it out, let it settle and reel in super slowly.  Basically looking to feel every pebble and twig it comes into contact with on the bottom.  Pause it and shake it occasionally, good presentation bc the worm stands straight up on the bottom.  Can also Texas rig this worm and fish it the same way if you’re worried about snot-grass.  Match the worm color to the water clarity and should be good to go. Good luck!

 

13 hours ago, ike8120 said:

@garyg199 I feel your pain I have tried different lakes, all types of baits, Fishing is about being at the right spot at the right time. I am in Monmouth county and the heat is on and the banks are getting overgrown. My luck has been with T-Rigs so far. I think when the bass are hungry they will hit almost anything.

It's gonna be like this all summer my fellow New Jersey anglers. Upper 90s all next week please fish at dusk or in the morning don't risk it mid-day! You'll get skunked hardcore. 

13 hours ago, garyg199 said:

Speaking of punching... That's the other frustrating part; the vegetation. No matter the lake, I always have some type of mass amount of slop or grass to worry about. A lot of the time I'm forced to frog because it. 

 

Haven't tried punching yet with an actual punching rig, so maybe I'll try that next. Thanks for the tip

Yeah I was at Greenwood lake today the slop kept hooking on to my chatterbait! Caught a nice Perch though on the zman before it started raining. Try weedless baits like T rigging or whacky weedless pick up some Berkeley pit boss at walmart been killing it in green pumpkin purple 

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Think I'm gonna try the manasquan reservoir again tomorrow or Saturday. I feel a second wind after getting that one today and a few more bites. Lots of deep water there even from the banks and docks

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odds are the bass are feeding early in the morning ... the only luck i've had in this heat is to get to my favorite spots at the crack of dawn ... topwater (chug bug) and worms work for me ... by 11am i'm gone... the heat has really kicked in ...

 

good fishing ...

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I have seen a lot of bluegill in my lake big and small. Too bad no grass to be found yet and no wolf pack around just some small bass. I changed to finesse and did pretty good, shakey head and Ned rig, but weightless worm got no love. Another bait I remembered work well at this time last year is light standup jig head with either hula grub or baby brush hog, gotta try that soon.

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Ask the Texas guys about fishing in the heat. If you can stand the midday heat there's good fishing going on. I think there's data from a Toyota bass fishing program in Texas that showed the biggest bass are generally caught between 11 am and 2 pm. I've also done well in the blazing SC midday heat, but not every time I go out. That makes for some miserable, sweaty afternoons.

 

 

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find a river or stream to fish, and get the skunk off. then you'll feel better.

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Camden??? My brother works there! Didn't know people fished there haha. If y'all ever need screen printing, look him up! He looks like me and is one of the only printers up there.... 

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I feel WAY better today! Went out to a little pond I frequent and threw a deep crank. First cast...little 1-2 pounder. Next cast I got this beast! Unfortunately I did not have a scale with me but it had to be a solid 5-6 pounds. I could not believe I pulled this thing out of this little pond. After that I even got two more 1-3 pounders on some soft baits! I was blown away! I'll add more pictures after this post. Can only upload 1mb for some reason. 

 

Might be in attachments. Not sure if it's going to show on the post

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3 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

Camden??? My brother works there! Didn't know people fished there haha. If y'all ever need screen printing, look him up! He looks like me and is one of the only printers up there.... 

Camden *COUNTY* lol.  Do my best to steer clear of Camden city, black hole with no fishing lol

3 hours ago, garyg199 said:

I feel WAY better today! Went out to a little pond I frequent and threw a deep crank. First cast...little 1-2 pounder. Next cast I got this beast! Unfortunately I did not have a scale with me but it had to be a solid 5-6 pounds. I could not believe I pulled this thing out of this little pond. After that I even got two more 1-3 pounders on some soft baits! I was blown away! I'll add more pictures after this post. Can only upload 1mb for some reason. 

 

Might be in attachments. Not sure if it's going to show on the post

Glad to hear your luck turned around, way to persevere!  What time of day did you catch and what crank we’re you using?  Might have to invest in some deep divers and give them a shot

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