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Newb to bass fishing in SoCal


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Hey guys,

 

So my buddy convinced me to join him to target bass last weekend and it wrecked me - conditions were perfect for sight-fishing and I ended up catching three on the drop shot (two were actually blind casts around where I knew they were cruising and one was sight fished while it was hovering around a bed). Prior to this, I had never targeted bass before and only caught one incidentally at a local park pond in NorCal while throwing a Lip Ripperz spoon. Needless to say, I'm now 'hooked' and want to get another one. I've gone back to the same lake twice (Laguna Niguel) and skunked. Although, the last couple times I went out it was midday and late morning - the first time I went out was actually on a Saturday but early AM. Yesterday, I noticed in a couple spots smaller bass (?) swimming around and occasionally a larger bass coming out of the weeds and chasing them if they got too close. Spotted a bluegill chilling out too. Today I went back and only saw a couple bass hiding out around the weeds/reeds. I tried drop shotting with multiple different baits: worms, flukes, leech-type worms, etc and in different colors but couldn't entice a bite. I also threw one of those micro crankbaits out yesterday but no luck. Any other tips/tactics to try out to get these things to bite? I figure they're high-pressured with tons of people harassing them pretty constantly. 

 

Generally speaking, are LM bass more actively feeding and willing to bite in the early AM and late PM/early evening hours?

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Welcome to the endless addiction that is bass fishing!

 

Low-light conditions usually mean more feeding activity for bass, so yes.

 

Try a Texas-rigged worm/creature or wacky rigged worm.  If I can see the bass, these two would be on the list of primary options.

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Weightless 5” 301 Senko wacky rigged, size 1 Owner wacky jungle hook should work the next 2 months. Cast it and free line to sink on it’s own watching for line movement.

Welcome,

Tom

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3 hours ago, Kenny Yi said:

Welcome to the endless addiction that is bass fishing!

 

Low-light conditions usually mean more feeding activity for bass, so yes.

 

Try a Texas-rigged worm/creature or wacky rigged worm.  If I can see the bass, these two would be on the list of primary options.

 

50 minutes ago, WRB said:

Weightless 5” 301 Senko wacky rigged, size 1 Owner wacky jungle hook should work the next 2 months. Cast it and free line to sink on it’s own watching for line movement.

Welcome,

Tom

 

2 hours ago, ATA said:

Welcome to bass resource

 

 

Thanks all! 

 

For the Texas rigged worm, what weight(s) do you suggest? I'm assuming the more 'free-fall' the better?  My drop-shot rigs have all been on 3.5grams

 

For the weightless senko you just tie the hook straight to the end and wacky rig the [sinking] worm on it? I don't have senkos but I have similar worms that sink (I think) so maybe I'll give those a shot.

 

What about colors? I've heard to fish darker colors in low-light conditions and natural colors when it's brighter/sunnier out? What about the chartreuse, pink, firetiger, etc colors? Do you fish those when the water is murky/cloudy?

Also do you tend to want to cast up right into the thick of the reeds in these cases? I've been afraid to do that mostly out of fear of getting snagged (especially as I'm fishing on a BFS-type setup and running 4lb test haha)

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Great questions!

 

A Texas-rigged worm can be used with or without a weight.  The weightless version acts a wacky rig, but only on one end and weedless.  If you want to add weight, try 1/4 or less. 

 

Along with senkos, there's the YUM dinger, Strike King Shim-e stick, BPS Sticko, and others.  What you want with a wacky is for the ends of the worm to do a wiggle while falling. 

 

Be careful with only 4 pound test, I wouldn't cast that into any cover.  If your intention is to get to cover deep in reeds, then you might want to upsize the line.  IMO, line isn't for the fish, it's for where the fish is hiding. 

 

Here's a GENERAL chart for colors, but remember there is no right answer:

 

7C9FC740-B7C2-4AB3-B953-30222D53A33D.jpeg

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34 minutes ago, Kenny Yi said:

Great questions!

 

A Texas-rigged worm can be used with or without a weight.  The weightless version acts a wacky rig, but only on one end and weedless.  If you want to add weight, try 1/4 or less. 

 

Along with senkos, there's the YUM dinger, Strike King Shim-e stick, BPS Sticko, and others.  What you want with a wacky is for the ends of the worm to do a wiggle while falling. 

 

Be careful with only 4 pound test, I wouldn't cast that into any cover.  If your intention is to get to cover deep in reeds, then you might want to upsize the line.  IMO, line isn't for the fish, it's for where the fish is hiding. 

 

Here's a GENERAL chart for colors, but remember there is no right answer:

 

7C9FC740-B7C2-4AB3-B953-30222D53A33D.jpeg

 

Thanks for the tips! I'll try weightless next time I go out. 

 

What lb test and or line type would you suggest for fishing cover like that? Straight braid? Flouro? And at least 8-10lb? Seems mono would be counterproductive for fishing weightless senkos since it seems to have the tendency to float.

 

 

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Fluorocarbon (10-12 lbs should be good), remember straight braid also floats.  Fluoro has more abrasion resistance than the other two, but check your line occasionally for fraying.  It's also the most invisible, though that I never prioritize that over the first two concerns. 

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9 minutes ago, Kenny Yi said:

Fluorocarbon (10-12 lbs should be good), remember straight braid also floats.  Fluoro has more abrasion resistance than the other two, but check your line occasionally for fraying.  It's also the most invisible, though that I never prioritize that over the first two concerns. 

I have been so confused over the abrasion resistance question of mono vs flouro. I looked this question up online and got both answers. Mono has been more abrasion resistant for me, but then again I have used pretty tough monos. Help? Lol 

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1 hour ago, LrgmouthShad said:

I have been so confused over the abrasion resistance question of mono vs flouro. I looked this question up online and got both answers. Mono has been more abrasion resistant for me, but then again I have used pretty tough monos. Help? Lol 

My thought is that mono will hold more when cut, but fluoro is harder to cut.  A small nick in mono might last the extra seconds needed to land a fish because it stretches, while a small nick in fluoro will snap easily.  But, because mono is softer, it will get cut more often than fluoro.

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Senko on spinning using bright colored braid that floats makes a good strike indicator. You can get by with 10 lb FC leader with braid. 

I use 5 lb Maxima Ultra Green mono copolymer line for my finesse spinning in SoCal lakes without any issues?

The only soft plastic worm you need in SoCal lakes is Roboworms in Oxblood light red flake. MM111 and hologram Shad.

Finesse spinning weight to 1/8 oz works.

Tom

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As someone who's fished L.N. lake many times, when they use to rent non motorized boats, I totally agree with what Tom  suggested. 

Nowadays there's very little access to most of the lake. Best pace there is by the coontails/toolies. Cast out as far ass you can without casting into them. Warning, the fishing is very tough there. 

There are a few city park ponds/lake in  the O.C. that IMHO are easier to fish. All of them get tons of pressure. Good luck out there.

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8 hours ago, Hammer 4 said:

As someone who's fished L.N. lake many times, when they use to rent non motorized boats, I totally agree with what Tom  suggested. 

Nowadays there's very little access to most of the lake. Best pace there is by the coontails/toolies. Cast out as far ass you can without casting into them. Warning, the fishing is very tough there. 

There are a few city park ponds/lake in  the O.C. that IMHO are easier to fish. All of them get tons of pressure. Good luck out there.

 

Yea, per the last couple times I went it was discouraging, so the first time I went and pulled three out I'm sure was a fluke and beginner's luck haha. I'll try weightless senkos next time. I was trying to get my dropshot rig up into the weeds as much as I could but it was tough. There were a few times where I saw bass within a foot of the bank and I just lowered my bait into the water and tried to tick them off but they weren't having it. I tried doing this to a bluegill too and it wasn't working. A few of the smaller bass would chase my plastics and nip at them but the bigger ones were too smart.

 

 

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Went back out today and scratched out a dink on a robo-type worm hahah:

RvLliQNcaEmHwNNGdqChboa2isvSMwOMfskjF6Y4Bx3cM_p90BL30A9kgppnOkZYPbtEJDzAY98y-OzDsATRngIkTMVvfvyHngzlSb0S_xw39tqSEI7x1HcckIMy0aAuZKOU-keOmQqSh3WRTonvmQ5E1ZgKG0oFVWFpiFCryn6uGD4daHzp0TQM7EbwGlUwbfIek79E8skePWdQP3eYGQNyFknMkC0xqHSfCn_AYFHMSmR6qJdZ7y78yfrniuB6ZCZxTJnil-sq-USgbaZNaWibkET8aCtlZcTsjtxW3swHu5GlttDCmBalSzzlwHRno3YV0QvtxpZP8yeS8wW5DAEi0A-2AxRSX-VmRfMieEWu5yxG9Icc2Puz_ytFCgsBLtt9pcBRwQNx3FBjyIDaRShJ1iShqHywIyaBixCLbaxkEuFE7fFJgzOveM7ug57_U4uq9xoPgM4-pw7CmLgcW-B2tCj5NODailY6BjIRK3RGKQlueISkCeNcEZpJTCq_z5CsCd9VZmM1oDSg7S9PvC-VQXJQh8tI7WegPwt8nbcvf3EWPnh0o2yvFV4ryXe9Ffq6yTLrBi1f8mHFNCA0DQlcWRtM7KkwK0JVCX9GtLgUZHpHvgFPI506ZD2UxjPYSQqQadcNUN9dIA00jTvhxQyGJWJlhUkdcd3cAvxxcRqyvSAEaZoPi9xbU0HMpYOlUVkw7G_bu1xEmN2PapVHeOLFhg=w1920-h934-no?authuser=0

 

I saw a bunch of bigger ones cruising the banks back and forth but they were mostly disinterested in all of my offerings. I was throwing everything I could...

fd0LfuuWdXmfrHSVQ-tEcudE8hXifPMAsmHhiWkvgGZqsbwBGBZb5dTmeRN523MzNEZ5vOCEgfzbGKQb3I8kXgAlHzby-F05eoS465kEg_zlBqSEybNMbUhiCp_gZ2lhKu1i8bX87Iu_0tLCBbjMmk_qfFdv9D5xTi_6-ShOtTlb7kd8hmRZOEZC43TJiELQ6rzbSZIRU1Fyhq5ch4qATv9SdaKF533mtB9F-p7t7-pnERC1cUNRcaJ3iZadhD2lAqVs4C-7gKtz2WtC6GePYlR18c_tBihNDm82iHM27ogNt5eJ8Eh_S733J66b4xJbf4dKBgCxzdxIwsZBuAMCXHcteoHS4TtglF4oU6A0l_4q60VSmnJEoui26V4YiNCGcovry-9Ay366cilhNHt6iuDNJpi9m6aFTeIXwoBiUqQyqdrB0uELjVmVQhz3r8i3_JKYFSCmNhOh9hHqcEjFtKYUx8EyMFh6XTIODROslNNSmFgYZpoUjRHr2DA5brsR4NJe29jatKCN01Hz6-DMaslBEosk8muXN9dgvwY7xLA7GvmziyEeay_K_gGk-CF2GoebqhuM527haBZsWUx5dT0Vvd42e012Ut9Rs9mLvjy3OMx_SKjvU6kcC85p2I_1zAAloMRIGkn1UdaQZ2oVCCpKVb5LHa7IdZOj4UDNHw0z1T63nqRZa5TPD4ESSXZAkXZ9UwL0t_9Ov3cayFTW9zGMOA=w461-h947-no?authuser=0

 

I got the dink on the roboworm-ish lure 3rd from the bottom. Some of the other fish seemed slightly interested. Otherwise, they didn't really like any of the other lures at all. The only ones I've caught fish on there are the top two. I threw those and the fish weren't that interested either. Actually, I almost caught another dink on the green/brown bait second from the top.

 

I was pretty much fishing all of these weightless and wacky hooked most of the time. I tried nose-hooking on several occasions but nothing.

 

Not quite sure how to target these bass when they're cruising. As soon as I would drop it in front of them they would turn and swim the other way or swim around it. I got a couple of the bigger ones to stop and look at the bait but they shortly swam off. I'm sure most of these are so heavily pressured that they're just super smart.

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On 5/6/2021 at 5:14 PM, WRB said:

Senko on spinning using bright colored braid that floats makes a good strike indicator. You can get by with 10 lb FC leader with braid. 

I use 5 lb Maxima Ultra Green mono copolymer line for my finesse spinning in SoCal lakes without any issues?

The only soft plastic worm you need in SoCal lakes is Roboworms in Oxblood light red flake. MM111 and hologram Shad.

Finesse spinning weight to 1/8 oz works.

Tom

 

 

Do you suggest the straight tail, fat straight tail, or curly tail robos? And what length? 4.5? I'm assuming these are slow sinking?

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Roboworms are used for drop shot and slip shot rigs.

I use Owner #5133 size 2/0 down shot hook for weedless (T-rig) about 8” drop shot length 1/8 oz sinker.

Wacky rigged and nose hooked drop shot use size 1 Owner Mosquito hook.

Slip Shot rig is made up with Carolina Keeper, 8mm faceted glass bead, 1/8 oz cyclinder mojo weight and 5133 size 1/0 hook. You cast and s l o w l y drag the weight along the bottom. Use the 4 1/2” to 5” curl tail with slip shot.

6” straight tails for wacky rigged drop shot and+weedless drop shot. Drop nose hook use call the above from 4” FX Sculpins to 6” straight tails.

Roboworms float, Senko sink.

Tom

 

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