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Shad_Master

School is in session

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If this has been covered in other topics, please give me the link and don't say bad things about me, please.   I have always heard that bass of the same size tend to school together, but I am not sure this is true.  I have caught fish from 4" to 18" on one brush pile within minutes of each other.  But when bass of different sizes are "bunched up", which ones will bite first?  Is it the bigger ones or the smaller.

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Smaller fish bite first, they're generally more aggressive. Really big fish are usually loners, they probably scare other fish away!

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It seems like with largemouth the little ones always bite first but with smallies it always seems like the biggest one is the one to hit first out of a school because they are extremely competitve.

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Both good point's by RW and Wabassin. And believe it or not this is why I stay shallow all year long. I know there is some nice bass deep too but I find the loners simply easier to find and catch. I usually try to find the oldest, nastiest cover on a lake. Whether it be a falling apart dock, the back end of boggy bays, old rice beds, etc. Maybe it's just coincedence but I have found that old bass like old cover, maybe they just feel more at home.

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Just to follow-up on this, then if smaller fish bite first will that turn the bigger one's on?  In other words is it productive to keep fishing an area even if the fish you are catching are smaller, 'cause there might be a bigger one hanging around?  Or is it better to move off in search of bigger fish?  Should I stay or should I go???

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Size is relative. If you're catching some 1-2 lb bass, you might catch a 4 or 5 lber in the general area, but it's highly unlikely that you will find 7+ in the same location. Generally, I would say move on because smaller fish tend to hang out together and that's probably all you will catch. If there are larger fish in the area they will either be further out from shore or deeper or both. Bigger fish are sometimes around picking off bait that the smaller fish have injured or stunned, but that's the exception, not the rule.

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"Cull" the fish with the size of your bait, most big fish I have caught were caught in the depths, I said most, which means that........not all of them, even though my first ten pounder and my personal best were caught on crankbaits; crankbaits are NOT my BIG fish baits, my big fish baits are not 10-12 inch worms, my big fish baits are jigs with a trailer big enough to make the bait huge enough to deter smaller fish from biting it, I don 't get many strikes but when I do get one normally it 's a bigger than average fish. Let me give you an example, some months ago I went with my SIL 's husband and a friend to a lake 2 hour drive from where we live known to be home of BIGUNS, a place where an 8 or more pounds fish is not uncommon, you don 't catch them by the truckloads but if you go regularily you will eventually catch one of those. My SIL 's husband and my buddy tied grubs, worms, cranks, etc and caught a ton of fish between half a pound and two pounds, I tied a 1/2 oz jig and added a soft plastic 4" craw as a trailer, I fished with that rig ALL DAY LONG, I got 3 strikes, landed 2 fish, a 3 pounder, a 5+ pounder and lost right next to the boat a fish that must have weighted at least 9 pounds, it was as huge as a ham. 3 strikes in 12 hours of fishing and they were getting lots of strikes and lots of fish in the same places where I hooked those fish, the difference was the size of the bait.

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Depends on the time of year. Pre-spawn, spawn and post-spawn will likely find fish of all sizes in shallow cover. I have had giant fish engulf keepers while competing for the same lure and have many times let a non-keeper flop on the top of the water with a crankbait until one of several following big fish took it away.

I have a few lakes where I have learned when and where there will be huge schools of bass (thousands). Invariably, there won't be much more than a one lb. difference in the size of the fish in the school.

I know one large lake that for a two week (post spawn, early summer) period when each year thousands of bass between 2.25 and 3.5 lbs. school in the same place (about a 10 acre area) every year if the water level is in specific two foot range and they have been doing so since I found them in 1972. They go into this area to feed during daylight only and you can catch them on every cast with just about anything (except topwaters and bottom baits) until your hands and arms are too sore to stand any more. When the water level is right that's where I'll be each year, but three days is about all I can stand before my thumbs and forearms are shot. Once they get to about 3.5 lbs they don't show up with the school anymore.

And big fish can be found in biunches together during prespawn in staging areas in about 4 to 5 weeks before winter breaks (this is about February 1 in my area).

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AceHigh,

Which kind of bass are you catching? Newport puts you in the middle of largemouth, smallmouth and Kentucky bass country. I have had smallmouth and Kentucky bunched up like that at Bull Shoals and on the Tennessee River, but never consistently year after year.

Do you fish the White River much or are you a lake guy? I fish the White several times a year, but never that far downstream.

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...and don't say bad things about me, please.

You won't find that here.  :)

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