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Exactly, how does a person catch really big bass?


Darth-Baiter

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Lots of those lakes down here in Alabama, for the most part the trophy Bass pond/lake management was started here in Alabama.   Ray Scott had one of the first I can remember decades and decades ago.   He got in trouble for taking BASS derby fish to his private lake lol.  

 

That said, pay trophy lakes aren't like high fence hunting at all.......if anything pay trophy lakes prove just how hard it is to catch a 7-10lb fish.   Unlike shooting something, if the fish doesn't want to bite, you aren't going to catch it.   

 

Catching a DD from a public lake is a bigger accomplishment, but catching a DD at a pay lake isn't like shooting a deer in a high fence location.   

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3 hours ago, J.Vincent said:

I think some anglers (not necessarily you) assume Florida is just filled with Ten pound bass in every puddle of water...but in my experience that hasn’t been the case, because I have 200+ hours fishing Florida waters, including Lake Tarpon, Lake Seminole, Kissimmee Lake, Lake Toho East, Lake Toho West, Farm Pond 13, Lake Harris, Lake Eustis, Tamiami Canals and various off the map ponds, lakes and roadside canals…and I still have NOT caught a Ten pounder in that state. Obviously they live there and other anglers catch them but it’s not a guaranteed thing. 

You need to fish the native minnows.

 

From a recent trip to Toho. Kent with a 10

5A927F50-3608-4D65-97A6-19CDAA609E6E.jpeg

Kent with an 8

IMG_3996.jpeg

 

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1 hour ago, roadwarrior said:

You need to fish the native minnows.

 

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From a recent trip to Toho. Kent with a 10

5A927F50-3608-4D65-97A6-19CDAA609E6E.jpeg

Kent with an 8

IMG_3996.jpeg

 

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Very nice ? fish ! By native minnows are you referring to live Golden Shiners ? 

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15 minutes ago, J.Vincent said:

Very nice ? fish ! By native minnows are you referring to live Golden Shiners ? 

 Yes!

We fished them on a balloon just outside weed lines.

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Time on the water is the most important thing.

More specifically time on the right water, in the right areas, with the right lures.

 

Choosing the right body of water is the most important part, you can't catch what isn't there.

Clear Lake and the Cal Delta obviously have big fish, they both put out many double digit fish each year. So, you are in the right body of water, I don't believe there is a change that needs to be made there. However, research on which lakes in your area are putting out the most or biggest fish never hurts. Both the California Delta and Clear Lake are world-renowned fisheries that get a lot of pressure. Because of that smaller, lesser-known bodies of water may actually have a better chance of yielding a big fish. 

 

Then you need the right area, big fish tend to congregate, and a lot of time schooling fish will be divided by size and bigger fish will stay with bigger fish and small with small. This holds true even for fish that prefer to stay tight to cover and ambush their prey. Bass are somewhat territorial and many times a large bass will not tolerate a smaller one in its school, or on the same piece of structure. Take notes of which areas seem to have the best combination of forage, cover, and depth range.

 

Also remember what fish you catch in each area and their sizes, even if you aren't catching giants this can still give you a hint as to which area has more sizeable fish. If you catch 50 1-3 Lb fish in an area but none larger than that, then that is likely an area full of smaller fish that size. Likewise, if you catch multiple fish over 3, 5, or 7lbs in an area, then that area likely holds more fish of that size range or larger, as fish in that size range are more able to compete with a larger bass. Catching numbers does not always mean you are in a good area, in any given place there is a specific amount of prey for the bass, smaller fish take up less forage and there can be more of them competing for the same food source. In a spot dominated by larger-sized fish, there will be fewer of them because it takes more food to support each individual fish. 

 

As for lure selection, you generally want to match the overall size, shape, and color of your lure to whatever the forage is. In some lakes, the primary forage will be different for different sizes of fish. One prime example is the trout-stocked lakes in your state. Once fish became large enough to eat those trout, that became the primary food source instead of shad, shiners, minnows, crawfish, or panfish. A similar thing happens in ponds near where I live, bass will get large enough that minnows are no longer worth the effort to catch, and they begin eating a diet mostly composed of golden shiners over 5 inches long. They choose the shiners over bluegill because of the lack of dorsal spines, and their fragility as opposed to bluegill. Those are the same traits that make trout so attractive to bass in Cali, they are a large meal that doesn't put up too much fight and is easy to swallow. Large gizzard shad are another species worth mimicking, especially in the dog days of summer and middle of winter when they commonly have major die-offs and big bass will gorge themselves on dying gizzard shad.

 

 

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there is a shallow kid lake near my house that is stocked with small trout for the kids successful fishing trip.  

 

I hear there are giants in there as far as bass. I will hit it next post spawn.  I could float in there on a giant inflatable flamingo and fit right in.   I am not telling my friends.  I'll bring my kayak.  shhhhhh..

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In my opinion, it's more a thought process than anything else, catching the bigger bass. I mean, it wasn't until I started thinking big bass that I started actually catching them....and catching them all the time very consistently. Once that mindset got established, things changed drastically--which can happen for anyone, in my opinion. All this other stuff about fishing where big bass live may be true but I've caught absolute giants in the most least expected places imaginable, all because I was fishing with that big fish mentality. Every move I make, whether it be with gear, lures, presentation, location, weather, day or night, every single move is geared to getting that bigger fish--which have been in most all places that I fish all along, btw. They seemed to suddenly come out of the woodwork, not in any supernatural way but more in a way because I made myself catch them!  

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Lots of advice some good some mostly repeating other folks thoughts.

Choosing the lake with active big bass populations requires lots of research because the trophy bass anglers know that loose lips sinks ships.

There are secrets but the guys who consistently catch DD bass are grinders willing to put in the time where the big bass are located.

When my small 2,000 acre local lakes were in their prime the fishing pressure was off the charts do to the $ million $ reward for a record bass. Boats from all over the country were on those lakes every day. Yet only a hand full of dedicated anglers caught giant bass. I was using long forgotten hair jigs with pork rind trailers that big bass will eat. Basically I had those bass to myself and spent sun up to sun down every hour the lakes were open to the public as often as I could.

The Delta is massive and you can fish a week without seeing another bass boat in some areas, it’s not pressures like most bass lakes. Clear lake is a very old natural lake about 35 miles long and 8 miles wide, no trout.

The only way to reduce the area to fish is get lucky or hire a good guide. After that get dedicated and grind it out.

Tom

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i have hired a good guide.  both Clearlake and the Delta.  sadly, neither guide took me to an area i could reach on a kayak.  not without risking more than i want to. :D i did get into the next class of bass.  

 

Maybe if i bought an electric motor for my kayak.  maybe.  

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7 hours ago, WRB said:

the guys who consistently catch DD bass are grinders willing to put in the time where the big bass are located.

 

C'est Fini ?

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On 8/5/2023 at 10:09 PM, 813basstard said:

Much like catching big women. Get around things they like.


Food, comfort, easy access. 

She ain't a lady unless she's 180

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On 8/5/2023 at 7:44 PM, Darth-Baiter said:

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.  
 

 

 

I know how you feel and where you're at when it comes to the slump you're describing. My PB is 6.5 pounds and I caught it last year in mid-November at the tail end of the fall feeding frenzy. The rest of that year was filled with 1 and 2 pounders. 

 

This year I've fared better as I've caught a lot more 3-4 pounders, and a 5 pounder. But nothing larger than my PB. Like others have said its all about being where the big ones are when they're there, and tossing out something they'll want. I'm mostly a wacky rigger, but will toss around other worm rigs when I need to. Wacky rig works really well where I fish normally. I've caught most of the bigger fish on it, along with the Ned rig. I've also been fishing up shallow a lot this summer.

 

I'm starting to fish the deeper flats though to see if they're lurking around. Haven't had any luck with that yet. My normal pattern this time of year is burning up the shallows in the morning into the afternoon, then making my way out to the flats in the main body when most go home. I've had a lot of luck in the flats this summer, lots of shad in the lake I normally fish. The water temp drives the other anglers away from there but, I've been catching them. Granted, I don't have this massive catch rate, but have good quality catches. 

 

A good example was this past Saturday. Had a boat of noisy anglers come by and fish an area I was already in. They blocked the entrance so I couldn't leave right away. I hadn't caught anything yet but saw them raking in 1 pounders. I was like "I don't understand is wrong with me?" LOL.... I was eventually able to leave and they told me on the way out that they've just been nabbing 1 pounders. They caught 2 or 3 in the area I like to explore. I came back 40 minutes later after they had left. Tossed out a Ned rig next to some sunken timber, and got a reaction strike immediately.... Ended up pulling in a 4 pounder. I just laughed. Found got 2.5 pounder on my way back to the main lake. Fished the flats, and didn't have any luck lol... still learning the techniques for the flats but having fun doing it.

 

But still on the hunt for the 8 pounders and 10 pounders in the lake. I know they're there, just a matter of time before our patterns line up. 

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My home lake is smaller, which may help in some ways. It produced two fish over 8 lbs in the last 5 yrs, and one 7lb fish for a bank fisherman last summer, in the hottest part of the day.          A- Jay, WRB, Catt and others have all mentioned timing in past threads.                   We all have the correct baits and tackle to catch them, but I'm saying timing is very important. There's no way around it. You've got to be casting when the big fish are feeding. And, what are the odds? You could miss the perfect time by five minutes.Big fish have been caught on every type of  lure at one time or another. This is the grinding it out thing. We have to be there at the right time.

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On 8/7/2023 at 1:02 PM, J.Vincent said:

I think some anglers (not necessarily you) assume Florida is just filled with Ten pound bass in every puddle of water...but in my experience that hasn’t been the case, because I have 200+ hours fishing Florida waters, including Lake Tarpon, Lake Seminole, Kissimmee Lake, Lake Toho East, Lake Toho West, Farm Pond 13, Lake Harris, Lake Eustis, Tamiami Canals and various off the map ponds, lakes and roadside canals…and I still have NOT caught a Ten pounder in that state. Obviously they live there and other anglers catch them but it’s not a guaranteed thing. 

 

Grab some live shiners and hit Headwaters Lake in Fellsmere, Florida, a small 10,000 acre reservoir. You’re bound to get one there sooner or later. That place is definitely DD territory. FWC trophy rating is off the charts, considering the short time it’s been opened, it’s gaining and will eventually surpass lake Okeechobee.

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On 8/5/2023 at 11:09 PM, 813basstard said:

Much like catching big women. Get around things they like.


Food, comfort, easy access. 

You mean set a trap with wine and chocolate?

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On 8/7/2023 at 11:30 AM, gimruis said:

 

Not sure about you, but it wouldn't create the same level of personal satisfaction if I had caught a new PB DD bass out of a private pond for 400 bucks.  It would rank on the same level as shooting a buck out of a pen or a rooster at a game farm.  I realize that not everyone feels this way because there are lots of people that are willing to shell out dough for the easy way out.

Well I wouldn’t tell you all it was a private lake!   :)

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You guys are making this way more complicated than it is. Want to catch a DD? It can be done in three easy steps with a rope and a boat:

 

1. Tie a rope to the bow of your boat.

 

2. Tie the other end of the rope to the stern of Tom's (@WRB's) boat. 

 

3. When Tom's boat stops, do EXACTLY what he does.

 

 

 

You are welcome.

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44 minutes ago, ol'crickety said:

You guys are making this way more complicated than it is. Want to catch a DD? It can be done in three easy steps with a rope and a boat:

 

1. Tie a rope to the bow of your boat.

 

2. Tie the other end of the rope to the stern of Tom's (@WRB's) boat. 

 

3. When Tom's boat stops, do EXACTLY what he does.

 

 

 

You are welcome.

Nice try I sold my boat 3 years ago?

Tom

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