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The Hawg Hunters


Mobasser

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While I love Spots and Smallmouths, it was vastly easier for me to catch my first 5lb Smallmouth and 6lb Alabama Bass than it was for me to catch my 10.6lb PB LGM.   I spend the majority of my time fishing looking for another DD LGM these days on my home lake as a number of them have been caught over the years.   I got an 8lb in August, but the next closest were several 6lb fish, and a few dozen 5lb+ fish over the last several months of fishing 4-5 days a week.   I've caught one LGM over 10lbs in 25yrs + of Bass fishing.    When you think about what somebody like WRB did it boggles the mind.   A 10lb Bass in the flesh is remarkable in every way. 

 

As both a freshwater and saltwater angler, I've never found anything that was as hard to pursue and catch as DD LGM Bass.   They will always be Mount Everest of the fishing universe in my book even though Spotted Bass, and Sailfish are my favorite fish to catch.    

 

My order of importance:

1. Timing/luck

2. Methodical approach and fishing significantly slower and more deliberate 

3. Fishing big fish baits, most times that means baits that don't get hit by smaller fish.  

4. While highly debatable, I'll never stop believing that the best chance to catch big Bass is at night

5. Religious devotion to checking line, knots, and preparing for where a fish might break you off in

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1 hour ago, A-Jay said:

And I'll be there again Friday !

Don't tell anyone  . . . . 

:cool7:

A-Jay

If you hear some giggling coming from under the tarp in the back of your truck when you leave Friday....it's not me....so don't look! Just make sure you have two life jackets in the boat!

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8 lbs.? Yikes! If that were my goal, I think I'd be dead before I caught an 8 lb. bass in Maine. I do catch lots of 4 lb. bass though. I think I'm going to keep two and duct tape them together.

 

True story: I caught a 17.25 inch bass and a 19.25 bass on a Whopper Plopper at the same time this summer. That's about seven pounds of bass on a single cast, but I'm still a pound short!  

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20 hours ago, ol'crickety said:

8 lbs.? Yikes! If that were my goal, I think I'd be dead before I caught an 8 lb. bass in Maine.

Not so fast. You might be surprised. There's a well know swimbaiter up in Maine who's come close. I believe his PB is 7-13. Plus, he's caught plenty of 6lb class fish too. Good ones up there, just like my area. There's something about northeast coastal areas.

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36 minutes ago, PhishLI said:

There's a well know swimbaiter up in Maine who's come close. I believe his PB is 7-13. 

State Record

SPECIES WEIGHT LOCATION
Largemouth Bass 11 lbs 10 oz Moose Pond
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3 minutes ago, roadwarrior said:

State Record

SPECIES WEIGHT LOCATION
Largemouth Bass 11 lbs 10 oz Moose Pond

Lol, I was just about to post this 

 

Maine 11 lbs, 10 oz Moose Pond Rodney Cockrell 1968

 

Seems the Maine record is relatively safe......68 was a long time ago 

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I figured this is a more appropriate place to announce my endeavors this year rather than ol crickety’s thread. I’ll snip my other post. This is also a good thread to revive. 
 

I have set the goal of only trophy hunting this year and breaking my PB with a DD. I live in TX which means this is achievable. 
 

Is anyone else trophy hunting this year?

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I'm always trophy hunting!!!  Hoping to get another DD but I'm always consistently trying to make bigger fish bite.  I really committed to big soft plastic swimbaits this spring and have had some spectacular results and hope to keep improving and upping the size i catch with them.  I get a lot more bites than I ever thought I'd get fishing them a lot faster than I thought they were fished and it's been very fun.

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I'm still trying to catch a new PB, but I'm not obsessed about it. After I .ade this initial post, I became so caught up in catching a big fish I burned myself out. I still like to just go fishing, and catch any bass that hits. I'll probably devote every other trip to this hawg hunting. I haven't, and won't give up.

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Hawg Hunting is really just fish hunting kinda.  It's a numbers game and if you're catching fish, you'll catch big fish IMHO!  You got this @Mobasser !!!!

 

 

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Sometimes ya gotta catch a lot of little fish to catch one big fish, which means fishing normally. Yep, I welcome them all knowing that she’s coming around the corner real soon. It’s kinda like when you’re looking for a hardware store on a Saturday and there’s none in sight but when you’re not looking for one they seem to be at every street corner! 

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This thread really speaks to me. I've personally been on this grind for a good 8 years and it's mostly in the last 2 that I feel I've really made strides so I'll share what I have learned. The most important thing is to be fishing the correct body of water. Back in 2016 I caught my first fish I would consider giant for my state - 7lb 4oz. Since then I was striving to beat that fish, but my approach was all wrong. I was hopping around to probably about 20 different bodies of water, most of which simply don't hold that caliber of fish in catchable numbers.

 

Over the years I started eliminating bodies of water that I felt were hurting my chances. Not that these places aren't fun to fish or good for numbers with the occasional big one. Eventually I narrowed it down to just two lakes that I fish on almost exclusively. Sure, it got repetitive but I learned a lot more about these lakes by fishing them exclusively. I also saw my numbers of 5+lb fish increase dramatically on a year by year basis. 

 

I'll also make a note about location. All of the biggest fish I've caught were on very obvious prime cover/structure. There's a particular tree on my home lake that has produced two giants for me in the last two years. This tree doesn't really fish well - those two fish are the only fish I've ever caught off it. I never see or catch small fish on it. My belief is that the big fish dominate the best locations which is why some of these spots are overlooked or considered beat to death - the small, easily caught fish aren't present. 

 

Last and probably least is throw baits that target big fish. Don't think of it with the mindset of a tournament angler that has to catch a limit within a small time frame. Be patient and accept that you will get fewer bites and skunk at times. Look at it instead on a year by year basis and you will see a difference.

 

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Fried Lemons said:

 

 

I'll also make a note about location. All of the biggest fish I've caught were on very obvious prime cover/structure. There's a particular tree on my home lake that has produced two giants for me in the last two years. This tree doesn't really fish well - those two fish are the only fish I've ever caught off it. I never see or catch small fish on it. My belief is that the big fish dominate the best locations which is why some of these spots are overlooked or considered beat to death - the small, easily caught fish aren't present. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good point because once a big fish is caught from a certain spot, it's more than likely that another one will take it's place at the exact same spot, sooner or later. I've played this out many times, fishing spots were I've caught big fish before only to catch another big fish about the same size (8lbs and up). I've also caught multiple big fish from the exact same spot at the same time, one right after another, which shows me that big trophy sized fish can and do buddy up. It's all a matter of timing, right place, right time, right bait. Sometimes a prime spot may appear to be dead but it's just not the right time, etc. Come around again to the same spot at another time and, boom, there she blows! 

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Ive been a numbers guy the past few years when it comes to bass catches, usually 1.5-3lbs but 5-20 per trip.

Last year i invested alot of time/money and went all in on hunting for big bass, and what i was thinking was between 3-6lbs. what i learned is that most of the year up north atleast they are very hard to catch, except from February to June. They come shallow and bring their appetite.

Gotta love prespawn right.

 

Theres a place i fish that held huge bass (up to 10lbs+) but this lakes fished extremely heavily and to say high pressured would be a total understatement, whether by bank or boat. Fishing here rarely pays off, i think out of the past few years of people here catching hundreds and hundreds of bass only 1 or 2 bass were caught in the 5-10lb range. Where as a decade ago people were catching 5-8lb bass from this one spot on the bank every so often. Sadly a few people took their big bass home and ate them (im not against eating bass but let the big ones go). So either the big bass here got smarter and went deeper or their population is starting to reduce at a drastic level....

 

Theres another lake i fish that has huge bass but you cant fish it from mid June-Winter because of how bad its aquatic vegetation is. The place gets around 90% covered and even punching a 1.5oz weight in all you are catching is a few pounds of slime and grass. But from February to June from several years ago to last year theres 2 spots where the big ones always go. Year after year

Last year was my first prespawn for bass, i usually wouldve went for trout but i wanted to do something different.

I went on one of the fishing apps and looked this lake up, studied the catches people posted for the past half decade, what month, day, lure/bait they were using, color too even.

I saw so many pictures of peoples 3-6lb bass it motivated me and gave me hope.

I fished most of the lake early spring with the usual baits and lures and only caught 2 trout on them,

i was starting to think i just wasnt good enough with the lures i was using and starting losing hope, but i kept going back day after day.

The spots i was fishing just werent paying off, i started to doubt myself about how i was fishing, probably wasnt working the bait right, probably was reeling the lure in too slow or too fast etc....

 

Days later i found this one spot i usually didnt fish and thats where it began, over a 3 month period this is where the big bass were. I started catching 2-3lb bass and wow did i have a good time, a few days pass and the grass starts to grow off the bottom. My lipless crank and Chatterbait start catching on the grass, so i start ripping them out of it and thats where things go full speed.

My PB from the years prior was a 4lb smallmouth and a 3.75lb largemouth and once i started catching 3-4lb bass i started really paying attention to every single thing the lure and i did.

I would sweep the rod the same way, pause the lure for the same time, over and over again,

the bite died down after that. I could throw every lure i had and they wouldnt bite, bought a $15 Jackhammer and figured it would get bites, but no only 1 smaller bass.

I would show up and make cast after cast with the Warpig, i figured that was the lure i could cast the farthest so maybe they went deep.

After around 50-100 casts nothing, covered most of that small stretch of the bank and nothing....

But just like the last time i just kept going day after day doing the same thing in the same area, and i started to learn and realize the bass were still there. I just had to be persistent, it took around 100 casts or more over and over again to the exact same spot to get 1 bite.

I was now brining in bass from 4-5lbs. Just took an hour of casting to get one, but it was an hour well spent.

One day it was slightly warmer and there were alot of people fishing the bank, no one had caught anything yet. I was fishing for over an hour and a half and there were no signs of life.

Around the 200th cast with the Warpig i ripped it out of grass and BOOM a 3.25lb bass, another dozen casts and a 3lber, a hundred more and a 3 3/4oz. And just as quick as the bite came it left.

Another half hour goes by and i see a bubble on top of the surface out deep above the grass i cast right into the middle of it, and there it goes! This ones fighting hard and its really out there too, its taking quite awhile to bring it in, im worried itll come off the hook when it jumps. And also i had a Warpig hook break a few weeks earlier so now im doubting its strength to keep this fish on. But somehow it didnt jump once, i get it right to the bank and pull it out. This bass's head could fit my whole arm in it, came in at 10LBS!!!!! People were coming up to me and asking what i was using and i got some pictures taken with it. 

 

Most people would always just pass by this spot and move on, or make less than 20 casts and continue on down the bank. Even i would leave for the night sometimes after just 100 casts here.

 

The reason im telling this long story is because its very important when fishing for big bass, you can cover a whole lake fishing moving from spot to spot every few minutes, but you are potentially missing out on a lot of big bass. Find 1 good spot and spend some time there, like i said it would take me an hour or 2 casting the same lure in the same spot before i got a bite, but it was well worth it. And there were 2 spots where the big bass would be and week after week those are the only spots they were at. If you catch one in a spot then probably move on, but if youve caught a few or several in a certain spot then keep at it. Something in that area must be going on from them to keep coming there over and over again.

 

Also patience and will power are key components, you cant give up no matter how exhausted or tired you are.

If i had given up on the 99th cast i wouldnt have caught 12 out of the 14 bass ranging from 3-4-5-6-8-10lbs.

 

Even if you can find the spot thats good, it has to meet certain conditions. Remember how the big ones wouldnt bite until the grass grew off the bottom? Well im fishing the same lake again for the past few weeks, not much signs of life yet. Even though we have been having great weather theres no grass on the bottom of that spot yet. Well that explains why the bass arent there yet too.

So in the next few weeks ill be getting the gear ready and taking my knowledge from last year and hopefully catching some big ones!

 

And dont think big baits = only way to catch big bass, i spent alot of money on 3 swimbait setups and lots of swimbaits/glide baits ranging from 1-6oz, yes they will work and work great but you dont need them to catch big ones. I was catching these on a small lipless.

But if you can afford them or already have them then swimbaits are the way to go, you are ruling out most of the smaller bass catches and targeting the big ones (i know i know, smaller bass have bit them before but its a lesser amount).

 

DONT GIVE UP!!!! Having a slow day on the water? Maybe you have been fishing a big swimbait for 4 hours and no bass yet well you could go regular bass fishing and probably catch 20 1.5lbers. BUT DONT, KEEP GOING!

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