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Skeeter6598

I need help?

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I need help becoming more versatile.

Me and a buddy of mine have been fishing bass tournaments for serval years now. We both started team tournaments together in high school and faired pretty well. During April thru June and September thru early November (the good months) we are strong. Even though this time of year produces easier fishing for everyone we still manage to bring home some checks.

But the problem we have is early season. Fishing cold water we just can't seem to do things right. And during those burning heat months of July and August we seem to struggle as well.

Just haven't figured out what to do in cold water to produce a 5 fish limit. And during the heat can't seem to pattern the bigger fish. We can cath those 14 and 15 inchers all day but can't seem to find those kicker fish.

Any suggestions?

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I have had very good luck with the Yamamoto Fat Ika. I started fishing it last year and caught most of my 5 lb+ bass on them. Still fishing them this winter and have caught lots of largemouth including two over 5 lbs this year ('05).

The Ika works when it's hot and works when it's cold. Senkos have been my go to bait in hot weather, but they don't work for me in winter. They say there is no such thing as a majic bait, but I think they're wrong! Try the Fat Ika, it's numero uno in my book.

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Thanks,

I will definitely give it a go.

I've never thrown one but going to assume just from the looks of it that it would be a great smallmouth bait as well as largemouths.

BTW those are some really awesome smallies in your pic.

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Maybe smallmouth would like them, but I've never fished Ikas for smallies. I fish the Ika exclusively weightless and weedless on light line with a #3 or #4 Gammie EWG. I think the key to success is fishing it slow. I don't drag it or hop it, I pull it 6-12 inches with a short sweeping motion, then move the rod forward to create slack line which lets the lure drop like it's dead. Most of the strikes occur as the Ika is moved after sitting motionless on the bottom for some time. Occasionally a bass will pick it up from the bottom, but that is really hard to detect. I rarely get a hit on the fall. I think the fish watch this thing like its dead and then strike when it moves.

Anyhow, nothing I do with the Ika can be done exactly the same in moving water on the Tennessee River.  So, that's why I don't use it.

By the way, the smallmouth in the pic were caught 1/15/05 on the river. The fat one weighed just over 7 and although the other one was 3 or 4 inches longer, it was just a pound heavier.

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Thanks for the tip. Going out Saturday just to play around and will try it. Means I have to make a 2 hour run down to bass pro or gander mountian, if they have them, Friday! ;D

I live on Lake Texoma in Oklahoma. It's a great smallmouth lake but people rarely fish for them. The people that do and master it do really awesome in tournaments. Jeff Reynolds is the expert on smallmouth here on Texoma. I tend to target the smallmouth a little more in cold weather because they usually seem to be more active than blacks.

My biggest smallmouth was 5 1/4, so now I'm jealous after seeing your's! haha! Mighty fine catch.

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Hey! I always leave this out: It's the Fat Ika

I fish the darker colors: 042J, 194J, 208, 286 & 297

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Gotcha! Will try it and let ya know how it worked this Saturday. Should be a good day of fishing considering this week has been nothing but mid-60 to 70 degree days. Hopefully warm that water up a few degrees. Supposed to stay that way thru the weekend.

Thanks again for your help!

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Excellent tip Roadwarrior. I will have to try some of the Ikas next outing. As for me, I have a select number of lakes that I really try to study. And as you already know Skeeter6598, the larger fish usually aren't far from deeper water. Now depending on the lake in reference, deep water may be 10-15 ft when the overall lake is 20-30 max. I have caught some really nice fish close to areas I have picked up on with maps and its my opinion that is where I would start if I were only after a BIG fish. Bites will more than likely be slow too so having patience is the key. Good luck on your next tournament and find you some maps of your favorite spots then go and graph them with your ff. This can really tell you a lot.  

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Ive had some good success on fishing shallow running crankbaits along shoreline later in the day if the sun is out.  Not the best way to get the big ones but Ive filled many limits in the winter by doing this.  I use small minnow colored crankbaits around logs close to shoreline and shallow water.

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Thanks Guys!

I'll give all ideas a shot. I need to do something. LOL! I guess that's the main reason neither one of us have started fishing as pro's in the pro-am tournaments around here. That and haven't picked up many sponsors yet, but we're both still young and God willing have many more years to keep fishing.

BTW cgs2004 that's what Jay Yelas done the last time B.A.S.S fished here. (Lake Texoma, Ok). It was a winter tournament and he found shallow brush and threw a shallowing running crankbait thru the tops of the brush piles. Reeling it so slow that it ran about 3 inches under the water surface. He had a nice bag of fish for winter time.

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