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Search bait versus others

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One of the aspects of bass fishing I am trying to understand is the concept of fishing a bait/lure to fins fish and then changing to up the catch rate.  For example, fishing cranks to find fish then changing to drop or wacky rigged senko etc.  Does this work and if not what is the best approach.  I still feel when I go out on the lake that it makes no difference what I throw because they won't bite without luck.  How can I decide what to rig as I begin the day and how does that fit into search versus catch rigs?

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Simple question with a difficult answwer.

Crankbaits and spinnerbaits can be search baits.

A buzzbait in the early AM or late PM (and sometimes during the day) works great so give them a try.

If you want to cover a lot of water throw a crankbait.

If you have time, then you....

1.  Position your boat by the cover or structure you want to fish.

2.  Throw at the front of the cover first, and work your way to the shore line with your baits.

3.  Using a "fanning" pattern, throw from right to left and then left to right with your crankbait.

4. Then do the same with your spinnerbait.

5. Then do the same with a Texas rigged Senko.

6. Then do the same with a Wacky Senko.

7. Then do the same with a Shaky Heady Senko.

8. Then try your luck with a finesse worm rigged Texas style.

9. The throw a finesse worm Wacky style.

If you don't get bit then there are no fish there and you move on.

You can also use a Chatterbait or a jig and pig or a fluke or a drop shot rig, etc.  I think you get the picture.

Throw a trick worm (pink is great) or a Pop-R or Hula Popper or Chug Bug or a frog at, in and over the grass in the AM.  Topwaters work super in the morning and evening.

Practice your flipping, pitching and skipping.  This time of year skip your Senko or Creature bait under docks or boats.  Consider using a Carolina rig with a lizzard on the bank or off the bank depending on the cloud cover and if they are going to their beds.

During tournaments, when we are working hard to find fish, we use search baits like crankbaits.

When we are out fishing and want to relax you can work any cover you find in any number of ways so take your time and see what works.

WHEN YOU GET BIT...look around. How deep were you?  How much off shore were you?  What bait were you using?  Was your retrieve fast or slow?  Did he hit it hard or just take a slight wack at your lure? Was it on wood, in wood or close to wood? In the grass? In the pads?  Under a bush? In a bush? By a wall or bulkhead?  On a point?  Rocky or mud bottom? In a stump field? Over a hump or down in a hole?

This is "setting the pattern" so you can continue to do the same thing at the next tree or the same type of cover or structure that you caught the first fish.

Remember to throw your bait a number of times at the same cover or structure from different angles.  Then go back and throw another bait the same way.

Now, how about a disussion on what colors work best under what conditions?  Ah, another day.

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What Sammy said X2  ;)

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Guest muddy

What if you followed Sam's basic steps, but started with a lipless crankbait, like a Rattle-trap first, instead of a spinner bait?

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fish your strenghts.if your more confident fishin shallow and w/ plastics then start there.dont search w/ a crank bait if your not comfortable w/ it just to find fish.i most always start shallow,unless conditions say other wise.i'll have several different types of search baits tied on.top water,soft and wire buzz baits,frogs,spinner baits,shallow cranks,lip and lipless depending on the cover im fishin.if i find fish then i'll throw in a t-rig plastic or jig.if that doesnt turn anything then i'll move out to points,drops,docks,and work those the same way.

one thing i can tell you is fishin in general is not luck.bass are predictable and you have to have the confidence to believe you will catch them.if you leave it to luck you'll come up short more times than not.

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I still feel when I go out on the lake that it makes no difference what I throw because they won't bite without luck.

There 's no such thing as "luck", nothing happens by chance, it 's a chain of events what makes the fish bite. Bass and almost any other predatory fish are somewhat predictable, it 's up to you to select the bait ( which is nothing more than a tool ) and knowing where, when and how to present it.

Better good than lucky.

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I still feel when I go out on the lake that it makes no difference what I throw because they won't bite without luck.

There 's no such thing as "luck", nothing happens by chance, it 's a chain of events what makes the fish bite. Bass and almost any other predatory fish are somewhat predictable, it 's up to you to select the bait ( which is nothing more than a tool ) and knowing where, when and how to present it.

Better good than lucky.

Raul, I disagree 100%, I think fishing is the most luck-intensive sport there is, at least of those that come to mind. I could quickly provide at least a dozen examples, but I don't want to go there right now. Suffice it to say that beginners catch fish and without skills,  there is no explanation for their catch other than luck.

Or, as Dr. Jones, author of Knowing Bass, says, he can and does on occasion outfish pros with vastly superior skills. He sees no possible explanation other than luck and I'm in full agreement.

To be blunt, I think people who think there is no luck in fishing are just deluding themselves and overstating their skills.

Certainly, over longer periods of time, those with more skills will prevail, but in the short term luck can be a huge factor, with the shorter the term, the bigger the potential for luck affecting things.

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I'm not a big fan of luck - I don't really believe in it - I classify luck as the intersection of opportunity and preparedness - the skill is in 1. identifying a valid opportunity within the correct parameters and 2. understanding the process required to capitalize on that opportunity and following through with it.  In such a case randomness is eliminated, and luck is simply another word for randomness.  When a beginner catches fish they do so because they meet the above pattern, even if it is done in ignorance of what composed the pattern.  Their lack of awareness of the pattern doesn't eliminate it's existence and validity.  

Just my .02c  - thanks for yours.  

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Here is my approach when it comes to the "search" technique. I usually either do it when I can't seem to find the bass, or when im fishing lakes that Im new to. I will choose a spinnerbait, and move along quickly making long casts, and covering alot of water in a short period of time.. obviously. Then you go back to the spots where you seemed to get the most hits, or catch the most fish, and fish these spots with baits you are most confident in, or a slower approach, therefore thoroughly fishing every nook and hole in that "hot spot". I prefer jigs, but it really depends on what type of cover is around the "hot spot" your focusing on fishing. If its stickes, I'd go with either a jig or a t-rigged creature bait. If its muck I'd try a frog or pegging a creature or using a jig and breaking right through - same for if it was lillypads.

Yes, this is very useful tactic because it lets you cover the water quickly, and find the hot spots, so you do not waste alot of time walking around the lake slowly working each spot to little to no avail, you merely fish the most productive spots with the "finesse" approach and skip the rest. Although the tactic does have its flaws in my opinion, because the fish can move, and the bait your throwing to cover alot of water can just be something there not interested in at that time/day. I had plenty of days where I can't get a hit on a spinnerbait. So if you ask me its not a flawless tactic. But if you don't have all the time in the world, and you want to try an find the hot spots without wasting much time, than it is a tactic I would highly suggest. I use it everytime Im fishing a brand new lake.

Sometimes I will dedicate the entire day to just covering the whole lake with a power fishing approach like a spinnerbait or lipless crank etc. And the next day I will come back and fish the spots that produced best for me with a slower approach. It might not be the best tactic, but it sure is one I keep in the bag of tricks.

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