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Newbie needs tips


Bassin101

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I'm from Mesa, Arizona. Many good lakes near home.   Started bassin about 1 1/2 yr ago.  My dilema.  I fish a 36 acre lake across the street, in a kayak weekly.  Bass, Crappie etc.  When early morning fishing, I cannot get the bass to hit any hard baits, poppers, jerks, cranks, buzz etc...Am I working these baits wrong?  I can drop shot Robos or cast a grub on a jighead and catch fish.  They sometimes roll on the popper or buzz but do not hit except occasionally.  Basically the lake has no structure, picture a swimming pool, max depth 8', grass and sediment bottom, concrete banks.  Little pressure.  Others seem to do well with the hard stuff.  New skills/techniques needed!  ><((((o>

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If they are short strikeing try to add a trailer hook/Grub trailer on your buzz baits, works for me.  Also get some bait spray sometimes they might be picking up a scent off your baits and stops them from hitting it.  If the fish are not real aggresive slow your retreve down a bit.   Any of these or a combination could work, you just have to keep at it.

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Thanks Bassmaster.  I just read about the trailer hooks last week, do they have a special eye to fit over the barb on the lure?  Bye the way yesterday I foul hooked a bass using a buzzbait.  My thought is he never intended to hit it.  I also had some follows

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If they follow and don't hit it you might need to change lures. The fish are interested in the lure but for whatever reason there is something thats turnning them off. you might want to try a shallow crankbait or jerkbait. Another lure would be a spinnerbait. The idea is to use a lure thats just under the surface.

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Let me ask this whats the water color or clearity? Whats the size of the food fish of the lake? Some lakes if the bait in the lake runs mainly small then you might want to change your lure size. Also if your dealing with clear water you might want to scale down some. If the water has color or is stained to murky then then you need to work that into your game plain. I fished a pond in elpaso that had no cover or structure to speak of on the pond. I tried everything to get a bite. I ended up catching fish when i found that the bait in the lake was small. So i switched gears and started throwing a white sexyshad(or whatever they call them)Its a shad swim bait.

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Thanks Chris.  The water is clear, I can see to about 2 to 3 feet.  I foul hooked one and had the follows on a buzzbait just below the surface.  The bait fish are small.

Do you think the action or scent of the 3" grub make them take that?

What would you think of a small lipless?

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There is a small shallow reservoir where I live and the place is loaded with different weed types, depending on the season.

One bait I have a lot of fun with, is a black, Johnson Silver Minnow, weedless spoon and pork or plastic trailer. Those 12"-15" bass ambush that combo within a few seconds of it's being pulled into the weeds from the bank.

A Zoom trick worm ( no wt), worked across weed pockets, gets some good hits.

One shoreline has some nice overhanging branches, so that calls for casting a short-arm black spinnerbait, #4 blade, with black trailer, as close to the bank as possible and  jigging it down the drop.

2 3/4" floating minnows (Rapala and Storm Thunderstick), take a fair share of bass as do Kalin grubs rigged on a light jighead.

Your buzzbait might do better with a tri-wing blade, to slow it to a virtual crawl;  bright 5" curl tail grubs trailers sometime help give the appearance of a larger surface swimmer.

Slow and stealthy are the key for shallow impoundments and you never know when fish will be in one foot of water.

Long casts, 8lb test and downsized lures all help in catching well fed fish.

Poppers are a great bait for what you describe, but my advice would be to use a hair or feather rear treble and allow long pauses between violent, but erratic, pops.

Also, they like being near concrete and riprap, for some reason.

Sam

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What is the main forage in your lake? If there are bluegills in the lake, I'd try crankbaits in those colors. This usually works in just about every lake I fish. If the fish are shallow near wood, they inhale Bluegill colored baits. If they are deep along weedlines, I do better with Perch colored patterns. I'm sure the same would go for shad, but I've never fished a lake with shad. Maybe that's all you need to do, match the hatch.

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Thanks Sam, they will take the Kalin 3" or a Power grub all the time.  If I drop shot a Robo Worm, they will go for that at times.  How do you work the 2 1/2 " floaters?  Do you jerk, twitch, reel or a combo.  I use 8lb on a spnning rig now but those light weight lures do not cast very far.  Ideas?

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Try using lures that are chrome in the clear water. A smaller rattletrap might be the ticket just make sure you count it down to different depths to see where they are hanging at. If you use a jerkbait, crankbait, or spinnerbait remember to try to fish it fast in the clear water so that the fish don't get a good look at it and react to it. A soft jerkbait like a zoom fluke jr. or a baby bass assassin ,might trigger some fish also. Read up on my swimming jig post, the jig i talked about in that artical might be another option. If your catching fish on your grub then change around your colors to something more tansparent like a smoke, watermellon, or greenpunkin.

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Jerks and near-surface lures, surprisingly don't work all of the time, but at times, are the best lures for active fish. Lew's speed minnow (in tiny and medium), has a wider wobble. Sometimes small body/large-action lure makes a big difference, especially on small waters and shallow areas.

The comparable water displacement for lures such as the popper and Lew's jerk, is a major turn on which fish never expect from a runt. (Bass Pro for Lew's for around $2.49)

Rapala's and Lew's require the plug to constantly have to rise to the surface and causing rings to form from small jerks and popping to the surface. Fish have been known to get so excited that they jump clear over the lure!

Hair jigs (1/16) in fiber, feather or hair, are fanastic multispecies lures, in the finesse category. They fall slow, can be twitched in place anywhere in the water column and are the ultimate come-&-get-me lure. I found this out this summer. Three weeks ago I caught over 40 perch and 2 bass on hair jigs.

Sam

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Okay, I'm going to contradict a few folks, but there is a time for every technique.  I've found that a short striking fish or a following fish is the best time to actually speed up the buzzbait.  It forces them to commit before the bait gets away.  You'll either start whackin em or they'll not make an attempt at all.  Either way, you learn something about their mood.

Anybody else??

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What you bring up about mood is a key consideration concerning bait size, profile, action, vibration, (sometimes color) and retrieve.

Sometimes small baits are rejected over larger ones because fish are reved up to the challenge of taking down the big stuff. If I find that a 6" Senko or a 7" Culprti are the preferred size, I won't bother putting on a small version of either.

The same for jerkbaits in spring. Fish seem to attack 4-5" models far better than 3" and under, which have better chances once the water temp rises to over 65.

I've caught many crappie and small bass on large bass baits, especially when the school is mixed. When the fish are excited, bigger can be better, but erratic, from slow to fast to dead stop, get more bites for me than steady and fast for all non-blade baits. Steady medium to fast, is my preference for buzzers, spinnerbaits and inlines, the exception being for short arm spinnerbaits.

(In my opinion, shortarms are nothing more that a jig with a spinner and superb for vertical fishing.)

Sam

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Guys,

If you fish a 7" worm do you rig Texas style, on a jighead, splitshot, carolina rig?  

Here in Arizona of course we have more bright sunny days than anything.  The 3" Kalin Grub or Power Grub I use is a punkin brown with a yellowish tail.  Any other color suggestions

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Worm'n is as diverse as you need it to be. The plastic worm has more diverse uses than any lure made and many factors decide how to use a certain style.

Senkos are not C-rig lures nor any other heavily salted plastics. Their main attraction is the horizontal drop. They are not used for dropshot rigs by anyone I know. C-rigged worms should float or almost float so that they are above the mud and weeds that the sinker is plowing through.

Can Senkos work well horizontally as a jerk worm. Most definitely! They're soft enough to snake back-&-forth and then drop, deadstick, to the bottom.

It's said that any (unsalted) soft plastic can be used dropshotting. Power dropshotting calls for a 6" slim worm that can be shortened if fish want a smaller lure, but 4 1/2" is the norm. Different styles can be dropshot as long as they semifloat.

Worms, 5" or better, can be T-rigged with a bullet wt. Anything smaller is usually split shot or light C-rigged. The decision to forward-weight a lure and how heavy a weight to use, depends on weed density, depth, speed of retrieve and the lures fall rate.

Flukes, creature baits and lizards have many uses, but when and where is something only the angler can guess at. There are no universal rules, just options, decisions and experimentation. That's the best thing about fishing - you can find a way that's different from anything read or heard about, and do well.

Sam

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99% of all worms I ever fished were action tail (grubs also). But then I discovered the rat tail grub (fluke) and began catching fish. But before that, I found out that I could catch fish on the old Flip Tail worm and Mann's Jelly worm, which have small paddle tails. Yamamoto's Kut tail worms have a semi-paddle which really does have a unique action on the worm's horizontal drop. The cut tail is useless as an action tail since it does nothing for a salted bait used on bottom.

The largest sickle tail I've ever used is the Gator Tail by Ditto. The bass smash it on the vertical drop, near tree limbs and vertical cover. We're talking major water displacement with that big, fat whipping tail. I've even used the 5" model as a jig trailer and caught bass in rivers.

I haven't used the Phenom in years, though I know I can catch fish with it. That style is for bottom-hopping, which for me is a last resort technique. I lean toward power fishing, except when using grubs. Grub tail action, like profile, can be anything from the flutter of white bucktail or maribou, to the wide action of a Kalin.

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  • BassResource.com Administrator

I thought Ditto wasn't around anymore.  Does anybody still make Gator Tails?

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If they are short strikeing try to add a trailer hook/Grub trailer on your buzz baits, works for me. Also get some bait spray sometimes they might be picking up a scent off your baits and stops them from hitting it. If the fish are not real aggresive slow your retreve down a bit. Any of these or a combination could work, you just have to keep at it.

Some times speeding your retrive helps, creates a reaction strike. Keep trying different retrives and colors, I assume the water clarity is clear so color can be the key. Also try down sizing or upgrading the baits you've been using.

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