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Rose_Jackets67

What do you throw at schooling bass?

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Recently, I was fishing a buddys private lake in Madison County, GA. It was cool (mid-50s) and overcast. While pounding the shallows, I noticed shad balling up on the surface closer to the main lake. As we made our way over 2 or 3 nice large mouth completely cleared the water.

Once we started casting toward the area where the bass were feeding, I threw everything we had at them without a bite. Spooks of about 6 different colors and sizes, poppers, hard jerk baits worked at different depths, t-rigged worms, drop shotted Zoom finesse worms and trick worms, and i even tried letting a wacky rigged senko drop right through the center of the action. Not a bite after about an hour of chasing these fish around.

The fish were extremely agressive the whole day with probably 20 15"+ large mouths caught. All good fish came on DT6s and DT16s or wacky rigged 5" senkos. Caught fish in submerged stumps, shoreline cover, shallow and deep creek beds.

But, why no action from the seemingly most active fish in the lake? What would you have thrown in this situation? Any info/insight is appreciated, as always.

adam

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Lipless cranks, Silver Buddy or spoon. Something that the bass think resembles a shad. I like the deep presentations because you can fish them fast near the surface or let them drop through the schooling baitfish. Also, when you are chasing baitfish it always seems that they surface just a little out of casting range. With the lures I suggested, you have a much better chance of reaching your target with a long cast.

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For Schoolies... I've always had great luck with an all white bomber (or equivalent) model A, and the last several years I have been using white or white ice, Zoom super flukes, worked fast.  I like the Flukes best... I don't even use the crank anymore.

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I'd have to throw a Quad Shad spinnerbait (white) or a Spittin Image (threadfinshad) or a shallow diving clear bodied crankbait or maybe a weightless t-rigged tube (smoke color) on the outside edge of the school. Hope this helps!

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I hit a lot of schooling bass on the Red River this past October.  My boater used one of those swarmin' hornets with a fluke and didn't catch many.  I used a large sized mimic minnow and had 3 keepers in a matter of minutes.  This is the mimic minnow with a spinner attached, not a commonly used tournament bait but its the most realistic looking baitfish I think there is.

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Also, when you are chasing baitfish it always seems that they surface just a little out of casting range. With the lures I suggested, you have a much better chance of reaching your target with a long cast.

MAde me chuckle thinking back about last fall.  I was in my two man boat and I found a pod of bait in the back of a descent sized cove.  This lake has houses on it and I had a guy watching me from his deck.  I finally get in casting range and the bait disappears.  I make a few cast with a Rattletrap anyways, but know takers.  A few minutes later the bait is surfacing behind me where I just was.  I troll back over.  What do you know.  They disappear again.  Couple cast no takers.  Now the bait is back where I cam from again ....................... went on for about 45 minutes with no sucess.  Finally the guy on his deck comes dwon to his dock (beer in hand) confused look on his face .... and asks "Whatcha doin there?".  I told him and I don't think he understood, but he did give me some good advice.  He said "I would try something else cause that sure ain't working" as he walked back up to his deck. ;D

As far as baits for schooling bass - I like reaction type baits because it seems as if you can get one of them to hit, it will excite the rest and you might me able to catch every last one of them.

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Good info - thanks a lot.

I was wishing i had brought a bag or two of flukes with me (I've had success with the white ice color in other situations).

I threw both suspending and floating Rogues with no luck, same for X-raps and the Husky Jerk I tossed to 'em.

The advice is all appreciated - hopefully I'll land a few next time. Thanks again.

adam

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I did best this year with the x-rap and swimming a jig. When the bass are chasing the shad you have to use a lure that is similair in size as the shad.

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My favorites for fall jump-fishing is the Hopkins Spoon and the Rat-L-Trap

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I think it all depends on the size of the fish in the school. For smaller fish will go more for the jerkbaits... but the larger size fish take more to lil' cleos or rattletraps and even zara spooks...Good Luck!!!

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Guest bigtex

I would use a beetle spin or the original stump jumper.  It sounds to me that they want someting small and with flash.  This has done it for me in the past when nothing else would work.  Same thing happened to me last year.  I threw every plastic, cranking, and lipless bait I had.  Only this worked.  Its worth a try and is not expensive to get.  Good luck.

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The first thing is whatever I have in my hand. Then a grab a white Fluke or an X-Rap #8 or a clear Sinko.

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Soft Jerkbait, pointer, trap, spit'n image, popR, rogue, white tube, jigging spoon, spinnerbait, crankbait, spook, worm,

Make sure that you throw past them and bring the bait to the school. Don't throw to the middle of the school fish the edges first. Same with any drop baits swim it to the school then drop it.

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If shad busters won't hit the conventional then downsize: Blakemore road runner

post-1882-130163004251_thumb.jpg

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3/8 oz Roostertail/white.  The smaler bass are chasing the shad on top and the larger ones are under the pod waiting on the stunned easy pickin's to fall out of the pod.  I have caught 4 & 5 lbers deep while the ones on top were 1 to 1 1/2 lbers.  Cast past the pod of bait and let the inline spinner sink before you reel it back under the baitfish.

Kelley

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I live on a lake that the bass school and chase shad alot, what works well for me is a white tube. I throw it at the school and jerk it hard two or three times then let it fall. It seems the farther down it sinks before getting bit the bigger the fish are.

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I've caught them throwing chrome w/black or blue back hard jerkbaits(floating and suspending).I had an old basser who fished tournaments in the late 70's and early 80's tell me to throw a white curly tailed grub on a lead head jig at 'em.I tried it this fall and winter and had some sucess doing it.At times it worked really well and other times,nada.I know what you mean about following schools with a trolling motor.They'll run ya around in circles and make ya look foolish at times.That happened SEVERAL times to me this year.

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