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Exactly, how does a person catch really big bass?


Darth-Baiter

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I’m in a size-slump. My PB is a 7lb fish.  I can’t exceed that, much less catch a double-digit. 
 

I have good /great fisheries.  Clearlake and the CA Delta.   Bigger baits?  Fish more?  Drive to Florida :D?  Please don’t say, “get Livescope”.  I barely have a fish finder, and it’s kinda broken.   Maybe I should buy a new fish finder as the bare minimum.  Mine reads 67 deg, always.  
 

 

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Take a look at what the bigger tournament bass are being caught on at Clear Lake and the Delta.

 Jigs and frogs on the Delta and Hitch swimbaits and frogs at Clear Lake.

Tom

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Read up on some of @WRB stories on when he was after a potential world record in the golden age of largemouth fishing. There is some useful info in there, especially being that it occurred in Cali, which is where you reside.

 

And get a new sonar unit. At the very least you should have basic color 2D sonar and temperature.

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12 hours ago, WRB said:

Take a look at what the bigger tournament bass are being caught on at Clear Lake and the Delta.

 Jigs and frogs on the Delta and Hitch swimbaits and frogs at Clear Lake.

Tom

 The key to catching bigger bass is fishing where they live. Great bass can be found

around the country, but Double Digits are only found  in catchable numbers on a

select number of lakes. The main candidates are Texas, Florida, California and

Mexico.  I have caught an few in Tennessee and our members have claimed a

few in other states. Bur your best bet is the states known for big bass.

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Exactly, how does a person catch really big bass?

Isn't that the ultimate bass fishing question? Especially the 'Exactly' part. There's so much just on this site alone that could help, much is confusing and contradictory. 

Bassheads that make it happen almost always have a system. Sometimes it's different, but not always.  The Big fish need to actually be there when you're there.  And your approach and tackle must be on task.  Still, no guarantees. Put the odds in your favor and you may increase your chances.  Like many things, you'll get out what you put it. But here's the kicker, IMO what goes into getting big bass bites often seems wildly disproportionate to how many we actually get.  So many folks give up.

Good Luck

A-Jay

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Clear lake at this time is on with 5 lb to 6 lb bass using both Chatterbaits and lipless (LV500’s). DD bass have slowed down during summer.

The Delta the frog and jig bite is on with 4 lb to 5 lb bass and occasional 8lb to DD. 

Both are big bodies of water, the Delta is massive and tidal fishery that takes lots of time on the water learn.

You want  to reduce the learning curve hire a good guide.

Tom

 

 

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I'm not saying you HAVE to basically just throw a jig or worm almost exclusively to catch giant bass, but it certainly seems to put the odds greatly in my favor when I'm throwing one of those around here.

 

I've caught em on plenty of other things but the numbers of giant bass I've gotten to bite have overwhelming been on worms or jigs.

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Gotta fish where they live. Region of the country and location within the lake. I really do not believe there is anything else to it. Oh, and fish a lot. Perhaps the only hiccup with big bass is that many can be loners, or they may prefer to be in very specific places on lakes. This makes them difficult to locate. The other troublesome thing is that many seem to like to suspend for much of the year. Livescope is enabling anglers to better catch those suspended fish. 

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3 minutes ago, LrgmouthShad said:

Gotta fish where they live. 

Baits/lures are secondary considerations. Much like the lottery...

You gotta be in it to win it.

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Greetings All,

Sorry I have no definitive advise to share. If I did, I would apply it too! I will simply cheer you on towards success. A good example is the lottery motto, "you can't win if you don't play". I believe just time on the water to get a better understanding and keep working those areas that appear "interesting".

 

Just my personal approach is to simply slow down and provide opportunities for the strikes. Through the years of goofing off, I find the larger fish simply need more time to commit to an available bait in their area. By using subtle actions my catch quality has improved. The other aspect other than a very slow presentation is a compact soft plastic bait size. The use of smaller, typically between 4 ~ 2 inch sized baits has improved my catch quantities and qualities. So by catching more I am simply raising the odds in my favor, I think.

 

Again Bonne Chance! I'll be looking for your success photos! Cheers!

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The Clear Lake and the Delta are world renowned big bass fisheries, DD’s live there in groups, not usually loners.

The OP is in the right place, the right time and just needs to locate where and that isn’t easy, it could take a life time.

Clear Lake John Pearl is good, the Delta ? I would talk to Gary Dobyns today.

Tom

 

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I dont think having to travel to other states is necessary, because even if theres big bass in florida that doesnt guarantee that you will catch a 10lb or large one if you chose to spend the money to travel there.

Heres a good example, i live in Pennsylvania and we are not really thought of for big bass. Mainly 1-3lb smallmouth and 2-4lb largemouth for the average. (Tho my PB for SM is 4lb and LM 8lb in PA).

But theres a lake near me thats not very large, its more like a huge pond but for some reason called a lake. There have been several 10lb bass caught there and some bass may even exceed 12 to 14lbs and this is extremely rare for Pennsylvania (especially for how small the lake is). But the lake is fished by around 50-100 people every day from the bank and on boats/kayaks and only around 3-4 times a year someone might be able to get one of these bass.

So lets say theres no ice for 9 months out of the year on it, so thats 450 to 900 people who fish it heavily a year, and maybe 3 or 4 people might catch one that size.

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Time on the water ☺️

 

I didn't think I can or anyone above can even guesstimate the total hours spent on the water. Many of those hours were spent in conditions most anglers would bail on. 

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I've known a few hunters that shot very nice bucks every year. What I learned from them was find the right area and spent every available moment you can there. My best years for bigger bass were the years I'd go fish every chance I had. 

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Some more random thoughts on large bass:

 

Yeah you can't catch em if you aren't where they live.  You can't catch em if you're not fishing the right times a lot.

 

I can tell you this much.  The areas I catch 8 + lbers are usually 'carnage zones' (thanks Paul at The Nature of Fishing....).

 

These are sort of high percentage check points that occur on and around main lake structure, especially the heaviest pieces of cover at the optimum depth for the season (this summer the magic depth has been 9-10 feet).

 

Identifying these key pieces of structure and then the key pieces of cover and then fishing them often and as many seemingly high percentage times of year and day as you can.

 

If I feel like 'its a good day for a bite ' for whatever generic reason, I almost always catch a big one, so don't doubt your instincts.

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I don’t specifically target “big bass” I do not care to break my PB. Yes, I enjoy catching big bass but, I just enjoy catching. I’ll go to a different species if I truly want to target something big. 
 

I have noticed bass hang around other bass the same size. So I’d you are in an area and catching smaller ones likely is you need to move till you start getting closer to the size you want. Again there can always be a big momma there but, that’s fishing you don’t know what you don’t know.  
 

You are 100% hurting yourself without decent electronics. Get yourself a garmin striker or something comparable in a different brand  for under $1000. Something with side view, 2D, down scan way points. 
 

You have to fish the waters that have a targetable population of the size fish you want to go after. Then spend a majority of your time there. 
 

I also think the big bass hunters are almost like musky guys in the respect you never see the time put in. You only see the result after. Those big bass guys may have very well put in 40 hours that week to get the trophies  you see. This time on the water allows them to pattern where they are or potentially  can be. Big fish are the smallest population of the target species. 
 

As much as I hate the use of FFS these guys are putting lots of time on the water to find these fish.  The FFS just allows them to cast at them more proficiently.  

 

the take away from this? Big fish of any species = lots of time on the water. 

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Darnold335 said:

You are 100% hurting yourself without decent electronics. Get yourself a garmin striker or something comparable in a different brand  for under $1000. Something with side view, 2D, down scan way points

 

Uhh no!

 

Spend 2 or 3 hundred dollars on a unit & spend the other 7-8 hundred going to the lake. Spot lock would be more important to me. 

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If you are serious about targeting only big bass, you should know you are not going to get as many fish in the boat and you may fish for some time without a bite.  Big bass eat big food.  Not always, but generally.  They don't expend a lot of energy feeding.  Here in Florida, this means fishing with large native shiners.  Nothing works better.  If you want to fish only artificial baits, you have two options; large soft plastic baits or flipping heavy cover.   One of the largest Florida bass caught in recent times was caught with a worm made from two worms fused together. It weighed 17 pounds and was caught in Lake Roussea west of my home in Eustis.  Years ago I was in your position.  My PB bass was 6 1/4 pounds. At the time, there was a 13" worm called a "Hawg Hunter".   It was humongous and sounded like a bull whip on the cast.  Within a month, I caught a 8 1/2 on that worm.  I guided a man who caught an 11 on one.   That worm is no longer made, but large worms still catch big fish.  In all my years of flipping, my biggest bass have come in heavy cover near deep water.  My best big bass flipping bait has been a large craw. 

 

 

010.jpg

 

This photo was when I was younger and better looking.  The boy is my grandson,  He's now 30 something with a son of his own.

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@Cattunder $1000 is in your price range. I think striker 7” might run around $500?  Most people aren’t going to spend $800 every weekend to fish. If someone can’t afford that extra $200 on a one time purchase maybe they need to change priorities. 

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15 minutes ago, Darnold335 said:

I think striker 7” might run around $500?

 

Humminbird Helix 5 G2 Fishfinders

$219.99 - $269.99

 

16 minutes ago, Darnold335 said:

 Most people aren’t going to spend $800 every weekend to fish.

 

Correct but I could probably stay on Toledo Bend for a couple weeks.

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Last summer, I became consumed with catching a huge bass. I spent most of my on the water time doing this. I never got the big fish I was after.                                          This year I'm just fishing. I haven't given up on that 8 pound fish. She'll show up at some point. And, I'll be ready for her.

It's not easy. 

 

 

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