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Deliberate Planning

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I was wondering if anyone scripted the first 4 or 5 baits they plan to use before they get to the lake.  I know I have a lot of different baits and sometimes, it's hard to figure out which ones I should lead with.  

I went fishing today and decided before hand I'd start with a spinnerbait then go to a brush hog then a senko.  After that, I went to drop shotting with a Zoom finnese worm.

To boil my question down, do you decide before hand what baits and in what order you will use or do you make an on-scene decision?

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I basically do the same as you; almost the exact same baits.  I like to be ready when I hit the water rather than having to rig up on the water.  

I'm curious to hear other responses, as maybe they will help me improve my fishing. :D

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Absolutely, 5 rods locked and loaded at all times.  The baits will depend on the season and cycle but having them ready and rigged means time and time = more casts and more casts= more fish. More,more,more, more, more, more....oops, I think I just stole the new B.A.S.S. moto,lol

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I will allways start with a plan during a tourny, and even when I fun fish I  mix it up a little to try and get a better idea and or feel for another type bait so as to make me a little more diversified.  Most of the time I start with top water of some sort, buzz bait, POP-R ect. Then spinner bait 1\2oz, then 3\8, then a Fluke or senko and some sort of crank then a drop shot or carolina tube.  Alot depends on water temp, and if I am targeting largies or smallies.  We dont have a real long season here in oregon so it seems like we really need to change along with the season.

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I generally start with a spinnerbait or shallow running crank, If I catch a fish or two in short stretch, then I go back down that stretch with a soft plastic, plastic depends on water depth.

If it's shallow I go with a weightless fluke or senko,

if no takers I'll make one more pass with a brushhog, babybrushhog, or a craw.

if the water is deeper than 4ft I'll weigh down my plastics

Those are the baits I fish the most and have the most confidence in.

If I'm catching fish I don't change up too much more than that.

If I start changing lures I spend more time changing than fishing and usually catch less fish.

   

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I fish several local ponds. On any given day I'll decide to use specific equipment and my lure choice is usually dictated by the rod and reel combination I've chosen. I usually fish one lure only.

If I know I'll have time to fish the pond twice or if I'm really in the mood to catch some fish (rather than working on a technique), I'll take my soft plastics rod and a little box of baits. Every day the fish seem to have a preference for a certain profile or action. I always carry Senkos, Fat Ika, Kreatures, Kut-Tail and Gitzits in my box. I never know exactly which one to start with, but it's usually the Fat Ika. Whichever bait is chosen, most of the time that's all I'll fish.

On a lake and in a boat I usually rig four rods with what I plan to fish that day. I take a tackle bag along, but I can't recall the last time I actually changed a bait. Yep, I've got a plan and I stick to it.

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definitely! especially for tournaments. if i get to prefish ill know exactly what to hook up. if not then i will rig a variety of baits. i always hook up my rods the night before and usually use 6 rods.

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I am all for a plan so please don't get me wrong on my next statements. I usally have a good idea what 4 or 5 rods will be on the deck but I think many fisherman think way to much. I base alot of my fishing on feel and confidence. I may start at fishing a bait and if I am not feeling it I switch to a bait that I FEEL will catch fish. Great example was this week on two trips(Monday & Tuesday) The conditions were perfect for a topwater buzzbait bite but after a little bit and not a fish I felt like I needed to change to a floating worm. The conditions were way wrong for this bait. I made the switch and in 2 days caught almost 40lbs of fish. That may seem like a light load but at Clarks Hill this time of year 8lbs-9lbs are winning weights. The guy I was fishing with had a plan and stuck to it and caught one fish. I tried to tell him several times to change but he kept on saying this is what they are suppose to hit. The point... plans are good but feel and good old common sense are as important.

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Yep, being ready to open fire on 'em so soon as the trollmotor hits the water is essential. Plus, there's nothing good about trying to fumble about for weights, worms, hooks, or other lures in the dark or near-dark.

Don't even mention tying a Palomar with chilled fingers in poor light.

I carry 6-10 rods, depending on location, season, and anticipated tactics. Not to be boringly detailed, but here's a sample menu from a typical trip, the first few in order of use, pre-rigged!

Curado 100Bw/wiffle conversion/6' Lowrider M w/ Tiny Torpedo OR Pop-R. (Switch to 1/8 spinnerbait if no action OR up to 1/4 oz small crankbait.) 8 lb. P-Line ES

Amb. PGS3600/6'3" Cabela TWS w/ Super Spook or larger Pop-R. (Switch to medium crank OR ?) 12 lb. P-Line ES

Curado 200BSF/Castaway 6'10" with Buzzbait OR Frog (Switch to 3/8 oz or larger spinnerbait OR 5" Senko/Tiki.) 15 lb. P-Line FloroClear OR 12 lb.ES

Curado 200BSF/Team AllStar 6'6" M w/1/8 oz soft plastic (Worm, 'dad, or weightless fluke.) 10-12 lb P-line FloroClear OR 20 lb P-line braid w/15 lb. Fluoro leader.

Curado 200BSF/Same (different soft plastic from above. Possilbly 3/16 oz. Possibly larger crankbait.) Same lines.

Chronarch 50MG/Avid 6'6" MH w/3/16-1/4 oz. soft plastic OR jig. 12-15 lb FloroClear OR 20-30 P-line braid w/ 15-20 lb. Fluoro leader.

Chronarch 50MG/Avid 6'9' MLXF w/weightless 4" Tiki OR

1/32-1/16 4" worm, 5" finesse, or small craw. 10 lb FloroClear OR 15 lb braid  w/ 12 lb FloroClear leader.

Another, same as above. May use "Stalker" jig with one of these combos if spinning rig is in use w/dropshot OR 1/8 crankbait.

CastaicSF/AllStar T38x "Reef Walker" for flip and pitch (Weird, but works well.) 30 braid w/20 Fluoro leader. Rod is rated 1/8-1&1/4! Go figure.

Quantum Ti 2000/Allstar 6'6" L (Spinning) with 10 lb P-line CX OR 10 lb. Floroclear OR 15 lb braid w/12 lb Fluoro leader. (Dropshot OR "Stalker" jig OR weightless-1/32 oz 4" Tiki.)

Some of these are deleted OR replaced by different rigs depending earlier-referenced factors. I rarely use a Carolina rig or crankbait, but those creep in now and then.

Night fishing: Usually no more than 6-7 rods, and mostly P-line CX or Hi-Vis braid 'cause the other stuff won't fluoresce under the Nucli-Eye UV.

"Danged boat looks like a porcupine!" (Quoting a bank fisherman as we drifted by him.)

Well, you asked!

F.Rod

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I go out with a plan and stick to it for a couple hours, if i have not gotten a bite i will change baits or just change the color. I always go wit my gut feeling when it comes to bait selection when i have not gotten bites on my preset baits. Like a tournament in June, I had one fish in the livewell with 2 hours to go and i was fishing a carolina rig and a dropshot for smallies. Something was telling me i needed to get a bottom present, like a Hula Grub on a 1/4 Jighead and drag it along the bottom. So i put it on my drop shot rod. I had 2 fish on and they all came off, within 30 minutes. S i thought i had weeds so i set the hook just in case and the drag starts going wild. on a ML rod with McCoy 6 lbs. Test I landed a 5 1/2 pound smallie in 5 minutes. Since then when my gut says its time to change i change and dont second guess myself.

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I make no plans, I select the baits after taking a good look at the lake and the conditions of the day right on the spot.

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Raul,

So, let's see. You have been to the lake you are fishing about 100 times, and probably once or twice in the last month. It's 110 degrees and sunny, just like last time. The water is the same, the weather is the same, everything is the same. What are you looking at that helps you decide what to fish with today?

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im kinda similar to raul.  although i do try to plan ahead of time but you just nver know out there on the water.  things can change by the minute.

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My approach wouldn't work for tourney fishing but here it is....I always have a topwater rigged, and a senko type, usually rigged wacky with an O ring.....other than that, I go by feel, based on what I see on and in the water.....there's one more thing though...I might "plan" to flip/pitch Gitzits or some other finesse bait under docks and moored boats, because that's where they probably are at a given time of day....but when I start, I might be too wound up from work to have the patience to finesse fish, or be too distracted by some issue bugging me to focus enough to "feel" a bite. In that case, I tie on a crank, or spinner, or some other reaction lure, and cast until I'm relaxed. That's why I'm out there in the first place, after all....once I'm in my happy place, then I start thinking about finessing them if that's what's called for. Some days, it ain't about the catching, it's about the fishing.....if planning and executing the plan is what helps you relax, I say plan away....if figuring it out as you go gets it done for you, do that....as long as you come off the water more relaxed than when you went on it, you've had a great day.

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if im carrying all 5 poles then yes i have different baits for the conditions and lake im fishing but if im only taking 1 then im gunna put on a versitle bait then change it depending on my sucess and conditions

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I always have a plan and the baits to cover the water I'm fishing. But keep an open mind, and be ready to change if needed. I have seen guys go out with a plan and try to force feed the fish with what they think they should bite and get skunked. When I pre-fish I'll go through most everything I carry and then have my rods ready come tournament day.

Without some kind of plan you waste a lot of your time tying and retying.

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From reading all the replies, the word that comes to mind is:

Agile.  Agility is the key.  Think through your plan and make the necessary adjustment at the lake.  Let the conditions dictate your response.

This has been helpful for me in thinking through some issues.

Thanks!

Ray

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