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Fish Chris

Yesterdays trip.....

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Sorry, no 'photo fish'......

But kind of an interesting trip though. Went to my trout-fed trophy lake, and the big ones were not on beds........ but even when they are, this place is so murky, your lucky to find a big one shallow enough to bed fish. Of course I really don't care. I actually want them to hurry up and finish spawning, so I can start sticking them on swimbaits ;-)

Here's the thing though, I saw probably 8 bass from 8 to 13 lbs, suspended, out in open water, like 1ft from the surface (otherwise I would not have seen them) but 30 or 40 feet straight out from prime spawning areas.

So, they are not "defending a bed"...... but not thinking about food either  :-/ In other words, all but impossible to catch. I did stick one 4 lb'er on a crawler, and one 9 lb Channel cat, both on the micro-light, so that was fun.....

And tell me if this ain't a b####...... I see one of those nice suspended fish (to be honest, not the 13... but maybe an 8 or 9) I flip a weightless crawler out by it. As it wiggles, and sinks down out of view, this nice bass, turns, and follows it down ! My heart speeds up a bit, as I intently watch my line ! ...... but after a couple minutes, nothing  :-[ So, I go on and reel it in, and the crawler is mashed, and dead as can be ! Darnit Jim ! It's very common for a bass to swim up and look at a crawler or dad, and not eat it (waaay more common than most guys who don't use live bait, would ever believe) but I have to say, it's a lot less common for them to suck one in, chomp it up, then spit it out  :-/

......and I never saw as much as a tick on the line.

Oh well. Had fun anyway.

Peace,

Fish

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I haven't fished a live crawdad in over 20 yrs...but I can't ever recall a fish not biting one..

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Ya' know Hammer, that's funny you should say that. (Oh BTW, I was throwing crawlers yesterday, not crawdads) But for the purposes of this discussion, the effectiveness of crawlers and dads, overlap about 75% to 90% of the time anyway.....

So anyway, first off, 20 years is a long time. I think a guy could start to remember that he caught a fish on every cast...... when it might have just been really good fishing, where he caught one every other cast ;-)

However, if your sure you just never missed, here's what I'd say about that....

The closest thing to a population of bass that just would not say no to a dad I threw at it, was in situations with a lot of overpopulated dinks + tiny dads, on the micro-light.

Stepping it up to nice 3 to 7 lb fish, during the hottest live bait bites, it was more like 30% of them would eat it (during a good bite)

Climbing on up to the "BIG" 10 to 13+ lb'ers, and your talking maybe 20% > in the lakes where live bait works well < although I can show you one lake {which, BTW, is full of crawdads} and yet I never once was able to get a big bass to eat 1  :-? :-/ ???

Ya' know, I'm forever trying to educate people about the truth of fishing with live bait. And while I'm not doubting that somebody, in some lake, with a ton of "small, hungry fish" might actually have fish fighting over anything they throw at them, that is just almost never the case in these highly pressured waters..... Most especially for the big fish, which is mostly what I'm concerned with anyway :-)

Peace,

Fish

PS, And if somebody tells me, "Yea... we caught BIG fish on every cast...... It was SO easy, we just got tired of it, and started fishing with artificials just to make it tougher"..... Chuckles. Okay ;)

Oh BTW, where is that place at ? I'll be right there :-)

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Here's the thing though, I saw probably 8 bass from 8 to 13 lbs, suspended, out in open water, like 1ft from the surface (otherwise I would not have seen them) but 30 or 40 feet straight out from prime spawning areas.

i have seen this too in the lakes and ponds i fish. and you are right, these fish are VERY hard to catch. i usually don't even throw anything at them. i just make a note of where i saw them because i will find them on beds in the same general area within a day or so when they are not quite so hard to catch. ;) my experience has been that usually fish like you described are big females, lazily swimming around in an almost trance-like state, waiting to move up on a bed or be courted by a male and herded onto a bed. sometimes, i will see a little male swimming around a big sow when they're like this, bumping or nudging it, as if to say "hey baby, come with me. ;D" sure enough, within a day or 2 i will usually find the same female fish i saw exhibiting the behavior you described on a bed close to the area i saw her suspended. ;)

has this been your experience too chris? or am i giving out too much top secret bed fishing info here? :-X ;D

and thank you for reminding us that as much as some folks swear it is, live bait is not "legal dynamite" ;D

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Hey Paul, your experiences have been "exactly" like mine.

A "trance like state" describes it perfectly (describes some of my co-workers perfectly too  ;-)  LOL

Peace,

Fish

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The trance thing happened to me last weekend just like every year about this time. I was in an area where the fish had evidently just come up. They were laying around under the docks, just under the surface in groups of 5 or more and wouldn't even look at a bait. I could skip my bait under there, it would fall on one of their backs and they wouldn't even move. I've seen this in the past but there was one cove that had 5 or 6 trance bass under every dock.

In that same cove I witnessed a bass about 15" long laying on a ladder step and he was kind of leaned up against the side rail of the ladder at the same time. He must've been really tired. And I thought I was lazy.  ;D I tried to get a pic but got nothing but reflection.

I also saw one of those hypnotized suspenders like you were talking about because I came within a foot of slamming a solid 4 pounder in the head with my trolling motor before it moved. I was cruising along pretty good and I just kept going straight at him, then right before impact, it suddenly 'woke up' and high tailed it out of the way. It was totally oblivious to my boat until I got within a foot or two. Very strange I must say. The overall 'bite' for the day was tough. Lots of fish cruising shallow but not many had eating on their minds.

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