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Rayraff

So You Just Caught Your Limit...

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It all depends. Alot of times it's change of location and lure. I may fill a limit in 6 ft. of water during late May then go drop a big t-rigged worm off onto a 20 ft. hump (just an example). Then I may not change anything. Big fish often feed during the middle of the day. So I may just be waiting on "big momma". Really it's a pending question that has lots of factors. It's not to often that I got a back up plan for a big fish. It's usually my first plan.

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Most of the time I'm already fishing places where I will catch bigger bass.

I'm a little different than most I guess ;) I don't generally fish for a limit first then go looking for bigger fish. I ALWAYS fish for bigger fish. In doing that I will usually also catch some smaller ones. I may not get as many bites as some other anglers but they are of better quality.

With that said, If I'm fishing an area where I'm not catchng the quality I should be I'll either slow down or speed up. I fish a jig alot, it's easy to change speeds with. I may try a different color or weight jig. I may even switch to another presentation like a t-rig or crankbait. It just depends on the day's conditions and time of year.

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What bassnleo said; why aren't y'all fishing where Big Momma is at?  ;)

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What bassnleo said; why aren't y'all fishing where Big Momma is at? ;)

Not everybody lives in Texas.  ;)

I fish a trail on the Smithland Pool (Ohio River). The chances of catching a 5 lber, according to all of last years weigh ins, is about 1 out of 5000. There was only one 5 lber caught all year and only two or three 4 lbers, on this trail. At a fishery like this a simple lure change and slow down is all you could do.

Another factor, are you fishing for points to qualify for a Classic? You may not want to chance "big fish hunting" first thing when your chances of catching a big fish are so slim.

I've heard it several times myself,"we're gonna go to X and get a limit, then go looking for a big fish".

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Unless I was finesse fishing with little baits and catching barely legal fish, I will keep doing what I'm doing.

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Why waste time catching fish you know you'll cull later in the day?  I don't live in "big fish country", but still fish for the "bigger fish" relatively speaking.  I think it's a waste of time to limit on the smaller, easier fish and then switch tactics once you have a limit.  The only time I fish for the smaller fish, is when it's getting near crunch time and I still don't have a limit.  

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Why waste time catching fish you know you'll cull later in the day?  I don't live in "big fish country", but still fish for the "bigger fish" relatively speaking.  I think it's a waste of time to limit on the smaller, easier fish and then switch tactics once you have a limit.  The only time I fish for the smaller fish, is when it's getting near crunch time and I still don't have a limit.  

Because some of us will fish all day and never get the chance to cull!  ;D

I'm very new to tournament fishing (and even relatively new to bass fishing) but I don't think I've ever caught my limit in a day.  :o

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In the tourneys that I fish, the boaters always just cull ounces.  I've never heard anyone in my club say lets go find big ones now.

WHY.... I'm getting jipped

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I am by no means an expert but if spend half my day targeting the deep water bass with a swimbait and only come up with 2 I don't want to have to rush to get 3 more bass to fill my limit.  I would rather get at least 3 keepers and then go for the lunker.  Maybe I'm too conservative.

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It depends on the tourny.  If I am fishing water I am very familiar with I will target the larger fish right away.  If I'm on water I don't know or conditions indicate maybe only a short window I will target smaller fish for numbers then switch to a jig or big worm.  Remember 3 fish at 1.75# beats one at 5#.

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Why waste time catching fish you know you'll cull later in the day? I don't live in "big fish country", but still fish for the "bigger fish" relatively speaking. I think it's a waste of time to limit on the smaller, easier fish and then switch tactics once you have a limit. The only time I fish for the smaller fish, is when it's getting near crunch time and I still don't have a limit.

Definately agree and what I was trying to say. You may have those little ones figured out but why not try right off the bat to figure the biggns out? Seems like a waste to me too. I've learned one thing tourney fishing, someone is ALWAYS gonna catch em so why should my goal be to just come in with a limit, I fish to win.

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3 fish at 1.75 lbs beats 1 at 5 lbs? Huh??? :-?

I'll take 3 - 1.75 pounders over 1 - 5 pounder any day of the week.

3 x 1.75 = 5.25 lbs

1 x 5.00 = 5 lbs

5.25 > 5.00

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3 fish at 1.75 lbs beats 1 at 5 lbs? Huh??? :-?

I'll take 3 - 1.75 pounders over 1 - 5 pounder any day of the week.

3 x 1.75 = 5.25 lbs

1 x 5.00 = 5 lbs

LOL, I had a brain fart.......

I was thinkin lunker, not overall weight.

Sorry ;D

5.25 > 5.00

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You may have those little ones figured out but why not try right off the bat to figure the biggns out? Seems like a waste to me too.

im in central florida, and i almost always try to limit early.

my reasons are:

-if im fishing a series for points especially, 10 pounds on 5 2 pounders, and the points that come with it is a whole lot better than the comfort of lifting one 7 pounder and telling stories about the other ones that broke of or just wouldnt take it right.

- my limit fish are raw weight, so they are the most important...

-the bite (at least after it warms up and stays warm) is strong early, so for sheer numbers thats the time to get it.

-there are some big ones moving around w/ those 2 pound limit fish, i may get lucky.

limit, then upgrade.

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I think ya'll may be getting the wrong idea. Just because your going for an early limit doesn't mean your going after dinks. Certain times of year, right now especially, big fish may be in a little bit different water.

Pre-fish scernario:

You find a shallow roadbed (4 ft. deep on top). You learn it's stacked (3-4 lbers). Then you go flip the brush back in the bays for the rest of the day catching one or two 6-8 lbers.

Are you going to the brush first?

Most guys I've fished tournaments with got one thing in mind, a limit. I know ever time I fish a tournament, I get alot more comfortable when I got 5. Really, I have started out alot of tournaments on spots that there were more quanity, than quality. Also it can help me determine how well the fish are biting for that day. I've always let the fish talk to me when I fish, tournament or not. I like to go where they're plenty of them to talk to. And...NO, I never go after dinks regardless. Yet the term I've used myself,"Hero or Zero", gets thrown out the window when fishing tournament trails I'm trying to qualify for a bigger event at the end of the year. In other words, when fishing for points.

Just the way I do it. To each his own.  CJ

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In a lot of tournies out here a limit of fish in you have a good shot of being in the money. Our lakes are so small they shut down real quick. For example one tourney last year I fished was a 7pm-1am Open. Not one of the 18 boats caught a fish after 9pm! No limits were weighed in and 6 pounds took home some cash. This happens a lot out here, there were 25 boat tournies that would pay $700 to first place, and first place would have 5 dinks for 5.5 pounds. Every 12" fish counts out here.

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3 fish at 1.75 lbs beats 1 at 5 lbs? Huh??? :-?

I'll take 3 - 1.75 pounders over 1 - 5 pounder any day of the week.

3 x 1.75 = 5.25 lbs

1 x 5.00 = 5 lbs

5.25 > 5.00

I agree wholeheartedly.  

1) I fish in an area where there aren't many big fish to be found so the first thing I do is to look for a limit, or atleast try my best to catch a limit.

2) When I do fish a tournament where I know there are bigger fish it depends on what size of fish I'm catching during the day.  

ex. If I'm catching anywhere from 12 inchers to 3 lbers I'm gona keep doing what I'm doing trying to get more 3 lbers.  

On the other hand if all I'm catching are 12 inchers I might move up to a bigger bait or go to a different area all together.

So my answer is really based on what my limit is made up of.

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I like going for the limit first. Once I got "5 in the Live" (cheesy but it rhymed) my confidence goes way up. A 5 pound northern Michigan bass isn't happening like a 5 pound Florida bass. On last year's trail the lunker of the year was 5.28 pounds. Pathetic to a southerner, but I can load up a limit of 14.5" bass in about an hour. Once you got that you've got an excellent chance at placing, and its time to bust out the swimbait or a 9" Slug-Go and look for mama out in the deep water. My point is that I think it depends on where you're fishing. If I'm in a 20 boat Texas tourney, I probably gotta grab a limit of 2's or 3's for a win, where as here up north, a limit of babies gives you a fair shot.

Here's a specific example from my own experience. Last year, I fished a 10 boat tourney in the middle of June. Temp came up around 100 which is really unseasonable here (city all time record 102 in June and 104 overall) so the bite was painfully slow. My buddy and I found some small fish in some lillies with a flowing cool channel nearby. Now, the minimum size was 14 and we were throwing fish back. Fish were averaging 12, but at least we were catching something. In 7 hours we pulled 4 fish between 14 and 15 inches. It was sad. We went back to the weigh in thinking we were wrecked. When we arrived, we found that one other boat had one fish and that was it. It was a NICE fish at about 3.5lbs but it couldn't take down 4 bare minimum keepers. Embarrasingly enough, I dropped one of the fish into the lake while taking it out of the livewell and we still won.

So, IMO, in the north, or lakes that aren't known for big fish, go for the limit. Where you know there are bigguns, go for them from the get go.

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My screen name speaks volumes about what I try to accomplish in a tournament. Once I get my limit, I am able to relax 100%. I fish a whole lot better when I'm relaxed.

And yes, you can win a tournament with less than 5 fish.....but why chance it?

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