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Todd2

How many variables do you change at a time?

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This question could apply to a variety of lures. I'll use pitching Texas rigs into shoreline cover as the example. Let's say your working a bank with a 1/4oz black worm and it's just not working. Do you just change one thing at a time, like moving to a different color? Or weight? Or location? Or do you make multiple changes at once. I've personally had several days this year where I've seen a color swap make all of the difference. I've also seen a weight swap really turn them on, usually going lighter but not always.

 

It could apply to most all other lures..for example..changing crankbait color, running depth, or size.

 

If I'm getting some bites but feel I'm passing up fish, my change is subtle. If the bite is nonexistent, I'm usually changing up more aggressively. Sometimes it works...sometimes it doesn't.

 

Thoughts?

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For me it depends on a couple of factors.

Initially, how confident I am that the area is holding fish, the water clarity, and the depth - and that's just to start.

Unless I'm super confident the area is holding bass - first thing I'm changing is my location.

If I think I'm on the fish, depending on what part of the water column I think they are looking to feed in, I may change my presentation of offer something in or at a different 'level'.

I may change my presentation speed, size or profile type, well before I'm thinking about a color change.

I might even drop down a line size if I believe that matters one way or another. 

Another concern for me is getting 'too close'.

If I think I may have 'burned the spot' by alerting the fish to my presence, I may leave for a bit and return; but will often make whatever presentation I choose either from further away or from another direction or angle (if that's possible) - the wind can also dictate how that whole thing plays out as well.

Quite certain there's more - but I'm going to stop right there.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

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Good question!

 

I usually change one independent variable at a time. That's a basis of the Scientific Method that's been around far longer than any of us.

 

However, that doesn't factor in coincidence or other conditions out of our control. For example, using a green pumpkin jig for 30 minutes without a bite, then switching to a PB&J and getting a half-dozen bites in the same timeframe doesn't exactly mean the color change did the trick. 

 

Anyone who's watched MLF has witnessed that an entire lake can turn on and off simultaneously for almost all of the competitors spread miles apart.

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15 minutes ago, BassThumb said:

For example, using a green pumpkin jig for 30 minutes without a bite, then switching to a PB&J and getting a half-dozen bites in the same timeframe doesn't exactly mean the color change did the trick. 

 

Fair point, especially if a location change is in there. Of course, if they start biting with the new color, who in their right mind would go back to the original to verify. :)

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Im also in the camp of location being the first variable I change. If they aren't biting the black worm 1/4 oz Texas rig you described, then I will just keep throwing it because I know it works basically 365 days a year! 

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Really good question.  How many variable do I change at a time?  As few as possible,  so hopefully just one.  

 

Of course if I'm fishing a buzzbait around shallow cover and then decide to move to deep structure,  I'll probably change baits also. 😀

 

There are so many things to consider when making these kinds of decisions.

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Usually opt to change locations before baits. And sometimes when I get to that new location I think "OOOOO a [insert bait here] looks like it would be really killer right here!" and then I end up switching baits too. But yeah usually location more often than presentation.

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Interesting..a lot of location changing..that's usually the last thing I do..lol.  Only half joking, unless you consider moving to the next lay down a cast away changing location. I don't run and gun often unless I'm targeting deeper brushpiles that I have marked, but even then I'm dropping some different things on them first.

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If you stop and think about it, the number of variables you can change can become quite extensive.  Assuming I have found my location, I can try multiple speeds, depths, weights, profiles, styles of lure, colors, etc. or any combination of the above.  One could spend a great deal of time trying out different combinations of variables before finding the best one.  This is where knowing the seasons, the forage, the weather, and the body of water play a huge role in allowing you to minimize the number of choices before you even hit the water.  

 

If you are familiar with Buck Perry, he advised concentrating on speed and depth characteristics to simplify things, because most of the other factors like the weight, profile, and style affect speed and depth of your presentation.

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As a bank angler this question hits home hard... if i'm fishing a spot and don't recieve a bite within 30 minutes I'm either A. Switching to a slower bait (t rig, jig shakeyhead) or B. Switching spots or strategies, (deep fishing or casting into cover) if I'm in the same spot after 30 minutes and I already changed lures or changed strategies I'm moving to a different spot, I'll convince myself that area isn't holding bass at the moment. 

 

I'm glad more newer anglers are also starting to realize bass aren't panfish that bite everytime everywhere.

 

Bass are strategic in their own right, as Bass anglers it's our job to find out what they want and where they are and how to catch them. I see bass fishing as one giant game of chess vs checkers. 

 

We beat the fish in their game by catching them. 

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1 hour ago, Todd2 said:

Interesting..a lot of location changing..that's usually the last thing I do..lol.  Only half joking, unless you consider moving to the next lay down a cast away changing location. I don't run and gun often unless I'm targeting deeper brushpiles that I have marked, but even then I'm dropping some different things on them first.

 

18 minutes ago, pondhopperNJ said:

As a bank angler this question hits home hard... if i'm fishing a spot and don't recieve a bite within 30 minutes I'm either A. Switching to a slower bait (t rig, jig shakeyhead) or B. Switching spots or strategies, (deep fishing or casting into cover) if I'm in the same spot after 30 minutes and I already changed lures or changed strategies I'm moving to a different spot, I'll convince myself that area isn't holding bass at the moment. 

 

I'm glad more newer anglers are also starting to realize bass aren't panfish that bite everytime everywhere.

 

Bass are strategic in their own right, as Bass anglers it's our job to find out what they want and where they are and how to catch them. I see bass fishing as one giant game of chess vs checkers. 

 

We beat the fish in their game by catching them. 

I fished for 10 straight years from an Old Town Canoe before I purchased the Pro-V bass I fish from now (mostly)

So I understand the 'camp' on a spot very well.

In fact I use everything I've learned from that style of fishing every trip I make.

Timing - it's a big deal.

post-13860-0-58758500-1353867504_thumb.jpg

:smiley:

A-Jay

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One thing to consider here is the location of the advice givers and whether they're fishing for green, brown, or spotted bass. Often times a largemouth will be super shallow under a log while the spots are on a long point all congregated up together in a school. I have no idea what a brown bass does as I've never had the opportunity to fish for one. (That's a bucket list item) So, take into consideration the species most fished for as you peruse these answers. When I'm fishing for spots I'll change locations much faster than when I'm targeting largemouth because of the nature of the fish. Spots congregate and school much more than largemouth, in my lakes anyway.  So, you can fish right by a largemouth with the wrong bait and he won't move. Then again, you can have the EXACT bait and be on the wrong point and never catch a spot. But, when you DO hit all the right buttons the action is often fast, furious and predictable. 

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I Fish soft plastics, worms and flukes exclusively from a kayak. I fish a 40 acre lake. I look for where the herons are feeding. Usually works. I have a few colors that always work when the bite is on. Watermelon red flake. So what I change is generally presentation. Start with a weightless Yamamoto senko if it’s calm. If not I’ll go with a split shot rig. I don’t have to retire. Then next choice is weightless fluke in same color or a baitfish color. After that I go with a ned rig with California craw and finesse spinner in the tail. After that I figure I won’t catch anything so I start throwing the kitchen sink. Creatures different color worms etc

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I aint that complicated 😉

 

Aint gonna change colors but once or twice.

 

I'm gonna change rates of fall 

 

I'm gonna change retrieval speeds 

 

I'm gonna change boat positioning 

 

Then he gone!

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Being bank bound I often have very few spots open to me, so I have adopted a method of starting small and getting more in depth as needed. I usually start by varying my retrieve, faster, slower, hop, fall, anything I haven't tried yet, after that I will try a new location if one is available, after that I will change baits, usually I start off going big, just because everyone else seems to immediately go finesse, then I go small, if I still can't get bit I start doing dumb things just so I don't get that "If only I had" feeling later on, topwater in clear water with no cover to be seen on a hot calm sunny day, or a spinnerbait that same day etc, sometimes it makes no sense, but it's definitely caught me fish

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When I go out to locations I know well, I will have three or four confidence baits I know work for those locations.  I also have two or three baits that I want to give a try because of conditions that day.  I usually start with the baits I want to try because of wind, light conditions, and water clarity.  Example a frog early, a top water, high winds a spinnerbait, or a chatterbait.  Once that experiment is over, I will move to confidence baits.

 

Confidence baits for me are plastics like flukes, senko's, trick worms texas rigged and wacky. finally U-vibes.  These I know will catch most days in my areas, all I have to do is find out how they want it that day, that hour.  I will start in weedy areas and change cadence from rapid moving, to jerk and stop, to slow pull, then dead stick.  If that doesn't work I will change depths, to drop-offs, and ledges, doing the same cadence changes I did in shallow weedy areas.  This game plan usually does the trick for me to bring bass to the boat.  I use this plan almost every trip and it usually finds bass of various size.

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I Change em all at once. If pitching a Texas rig doesn’t work, I go straight to the gill net. If that fails to produce, next up is dynamite. If that still won’t get em, I’ll try to blow the dam and drain the lake, that usually finds the fish. 

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15 hours ago, Way north bass guy said:

I Change em all at once. If pitching a Texas rig doesn’t work, I go straight to the gill net. If that fails to produce, next up is dynamite. If that still won’t get em, I’ll try to blow the dam and drain the lake, that usually finds the fish. 

Before you totally destroy the whole lake dial 'em up on a telephone.....the faster you crank the bigger the fish, lol!

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16 hours ago, Way north bass guy said:

I Change em all at once. If pitching a Texas rig doesn’t work, I go straight to the gill net. If that fails to produce, next up is dynamite. If that still won’t get em, I’ll try to blow the dam and drain the lake, that usually finds the fish. 

 

11 minutes ago, Big Rick said:

Before you totally destroy the whole lake dial 'em up on a telephone.....the faster you crank the bigger the fish, lol!

 

All y'all need is the right phone app, clock, or chart & ya good to go!

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Since I kayak fish, changing locations is usually the last thing I wanna do. If I’m not getting bit on a Texas rig, I’ll grab my jig rod. Then grab another rod until I either get bit, or run out of rods (I usually go with 4-7)with different presentations tied on. 

 Color is usually the last thing I even think of changing, because my colors are always basic. Black/blue in dirty water, white where shad is the main forage, and browns, greens, etc for everything else. 

 

If if I move spots, it’s usually not a far paddle. Usually to the next cove/bank/point I see. Keeping an eye on my graph on the paddle there in case I see something good to try

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The variables I can change depend on the variables that I can't change. 

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My first change is always retrieve speed. Although I normally change retrieve speed during a cast, I'll speed things up or slow them down first.

Next is depth change. Bottom, top, middle is the norm, but there are times I'll opt for topwater to start. A change in the type of bait is usually necessary to accomplish this

Last is location. First would be the type of cover, followed by a different structure element.

The only time I change color is when I've been getting light hits, or when I can't get fish to commit to a presentation, but follow, or just swipe at my presentation.

 

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