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Guest avid

I have been catching several bass per week in the 4-6 lb range. Add 3 pounders to that and the list gets even bigger. I know there are bass up to 12 llbs in my home lake. But I cant' seem to find them. The conditions are that the deepest holes go to about 13'. Average is about 8 - 10' the banks are weeded with grass and reeds out several feet. there is only a slight incline at about the 3' level then it drops pretty straight down to 8-10 feet. Grass grows up from the bottom about 20' from the shoreline. The middle channel is clean bottom, no structure. The lake is man made and is 10 years old. The primary forage is bream, crappie, golden shiners, crawfish.

there are areas where the lake necks down to less than thirty feet accross and areas where it opens up to several hundere yards accross. It is usually windy approx 15mph. but can gust up harder. Water quality is usually stained with visibilty about 1.5 feet. Right now it is clearer with vis down to about 3.5 feet. Natural colors work well as well as gold. Spinnerbaits are "iffy" sometimes very good other times nada.

I want to catch an 8 lber. I think the time is right because of my heavier than ususal catches and because the bass on starting to bed.

Any suggestions would be greatly apprecieated.

thanks,

avid.

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Remember the old saying

BIG BAITS = BIG BASS

If I were you and really set on catching an 8+, I would super size my baits.  You have to go in with the right mind set though.  Your probably not going to catch many bass, but your odds of catching a new PB go way up.

Go big or go home ......  ;)

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If I am correct, I remember you said you were from Florida?  If that is so, the spawn should be on the horizon, so I think a creature baits (lizard, frog, crawdad) in spawn location.  Hopefully last year after the spawn u scouted out some holes, but if not find them and I think u can find that big momma.  My finacee's dad lives on a 20 acre lake south of Jackson Mississippi and last year around the spawn he and his friend caught 2 5lb'ers and an 8 lb largemouth on a black and gold rapala pencil bait, there is my opinion good luck.

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I don't know much about fishing those natural Florida lakes but I can tell you what works for me any time of the year. As KU said, go big. Bass pro sell some monster worms. http://www.basspro.com/servlet/catalog.TextId?hvarTextId=15663&hvarDept=100&hvarEvent=&hvarClassCode=7&hvarSubCode=1&hvarTarget=browse I texas rig this worm and I fish it painfully slow. This time of year I locate a prespawn holding area and fan cast. It may take me 10 minutes or more to bring each cast in. If you think you are going too slow then you need to slow down some more.  With the wind you will probable need a couple of anchors. When the fish picks it up I count to eight and set the hook hard. You will catch less fish, but the quality of the fish will go up.  

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OOPS ...... I forgot to add that.

BIG BAITS + FISHED REAL SLOW = BIG BASS ........  ;)

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I have a hunch that the key to your 8-lb bass is a matter of Location .

With regard to presentation, there isn't much I can tell an angler who fishes 250 days a year :)

Furthermore, if you're catching several 4 to 6 lb bass, I don't think your presentation needs much work.

Avid, do you have a hydro or topo chart of your home lake?

If so, I'd be interested in looking at that chart.

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Avid,

You catch too many quality fish not to have caught some bigger fish, but for most fishermen consistantly catchingd 5 lb+ bass would be a treat. I question whether there are actually bigger bass in your lake. Ten years is relatively new and perhaps the lake was not stocked until the second or third year, which would make 6lbs or so somewhat in line with what you might expect.

Otherwise, it has to be location, as RoLo suggested. However, as much as you fish, you would think you would have caught a bigger bass, if there are any, even if you are not in exactly the right spot. You have everything going for you as a fisherman, it just doesn't make sense to me that you wouldn't catch a bigger bass, at least once in awhile.

Maybe you need to fish those other 115 days, what do you think?

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RW has the right idea (the other 115 days), effort equals results. Good luck and good fishing.

8-)

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Avid: Until last summer(OK, I got an 8/11 back in Feb), my biggest Bass was a Florida-caught 8 lber, caught 30 years ago from the bank of the Tamiami Trail Canal.

Then I got a few of these:

DCP_2012_small.jpg

and my numbers went up; quantity-wise as well as quality-wise. I fish small waters too, some of them similar to your description. Last summer brought me several 5s, 6s, one 7/12, and my new PB, a 9 lber with Matt's Baby Bass.

I would urge you to order three of them and I firmly believe you will catch your "8 lber".

4tankpic.jpg

His Bluegills make an excellant bedding bait as they stay 'nose-down' when allowed to go to the bottom even if the male nips at the bait.

Dan

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If I may , I'll add my two cents worth. I've caught my bigger bass before the sun comes up. I try to get on the lake at least two hours before dawn. I know the big ones seem to like this time of the day.

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Guest avid

Maybe you need to fish those other 115 days, what do you think?

RW. I hereby procalaim you to be the elite comedian in residence at BassResource.com (pending Glenns approval of course)  You have the unique ability to make me laugh with regular frequency (no easy task for a grump like me).  

I truly believe that the lake holds bigger bass.  And I do think location is the key.  What I find myself doing is fishing new areas but sooner or later (usually sooner) I end up back in my favorite "honey holes"

LR  I have the Matts bluegill and got a hit on it yesterday.  I know it was it was a strike but he struck on Sunday and I struck on Monday if you get my drift.  Do you have a technique for increase hook up percentage.  I hate to bite on a swimbait and then miss the fish.

thanks to all.

I feel like Don Quixote  "This is my quest, to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far.........LaLalalaldeeeeeda

thanks to BassResource.com for making me as good as I am.

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I vote location also. It could be that some other species of fish has moved into the area and their feeding is upsetting the bass.

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Guest avid

I think Bass brat has a good point.

I do not get up early.  I will fish from late morning untill a little after sundown, but I have not seen the dawn break over a lake in years.  I need to get my butt out of bed  

In terms of location and bait size, I'm like a little kid.  If I don't catch fish, I get bored.  Lately I have been deliberately fishing the deeper channels with swimbaits and big jigs. But I keep drifting back into the familiar waters.  

I have to turn this personal challenge into a commitment and discipline myself to make the sacrifices to catch the bigger fish.  

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Remember Doug Hannon?  He always said his biggest bass catches were between 10am and 4pm.   Most of the waters here in SW Fl. are lined with those pesky reeds.  Ive watched some old timers pick out huge 12lb Bass from deep inside holes back in those reeds.   They rake a path to it in the morning and come back to it 3 hours later.  Using 10" black worms.   I bet those big 7' Senkos would do the trick also.

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Most of my biggest bass have been caught between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM.

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I like night fishing in the summer months, the bass seem to move shallow to feed in the hydrilla at night and move back to deep waters as twilight appears on the horizon.

Bigger baits do well for big bass through the winter and early spawn here, as summer comes about, the best baits for numbers which produce some big bass also are smaller baits, french fries, tubes, flukes and the rest of the small profile bait fish baits because the shad have had their spawns and the bait is tiny at this time of the year, "match the hatch".

But the rule is still in play, "If you want a treat, you gotta throw some meat, BIG,BIG,Big, just don't expect the numbers in the heat.

This is the time of the year, the water temp is getting close to have the fish staged consistently in 10-18ft,  a large spinner bait, depending on light penatration, large colorado, or willow leaf or combo of any,  slow rolled on bottom with fish staged early or on the beds in deeper water were the beds aren't seen can catch some of the biggest bass.   Trophy bass over the years have seen the pressures and now spawn earlier and deeper to avoid the angling pressures.  Call that conditioning!   1 oz spinner baits slow rolled will put the hogs in the boat.   Its a big bait with a large profile that can be crawled slowly along the bottom, and when a hit occurs, my first thought is I'm hung for a brief instant until I feel her head shaking and I realize I got a good one.  

Truth is:  We as anglers only see maybe 15% along the shallows spawning, and the rest are deeper and less pressured on lakes with stained waters.

 

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You don't say where: however, if you are on them try changing up the bait. In particular go to a jig&pig, or Carolina rig. Where would help me quite a bit in giving some better suggestions.

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Avid,

Are you talking about the south end of Southbend, or off Victory.

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Guest avid

I appreciate all of the suggestions.  My own 7lb 8 oz PB was caught at 12 noon in June so I know about midday fishing for bigguns, but I need to change up my habits.  I'm throwing alot of the same baits, in the same way, in the same places,  hell I even caught the same bass twice in one week  :D  so I need to change my habits.  I am still determined not to buy any new baits for awhile.  I want to concentrate on getting the most out of what I have, instead of just throwing "money" at the fish.  I do not catch 4 and 5 lbers regularly all year, that is why I think this is a prime time for me to break my PB>  I don't know when this window of opportunity will close but it will.  Thanks for all the support and encouragement.  Maybe this is the year, maybe it ain't, but I am sure having fun going for it.  

BassResource.com rules  

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Avid,  An old wise man once told me that "if you do what you've always done, you'll catch what you've always caught".  

In short I think you need to rethink the way your thinking.  Those double digit bass are a different breed from the 8, 7, 6, 5 lbers we catch and they aren't getting caught for a reason.  

I would like to suggest you get Bill Siemantel's book "BIG BASS ZONE".  He talks alot about the BIG FISH Mentality.  

Then again if George Welcome wrote a book I'd read that too.  Probably no one in the Southeast United States has caught more 10lb + fish than George and Scott Welcome of Stick Marsh fame.  Part of that is due to fishing the Stick Marsh regularly, but another important part of that is knowing the habits and feeding patterns of big fish.  

Here is a link to Bill's book if your interesting.  I have been fishing hard for 25 years and this book proved alot of theories that I already had and taught me other theories I knew nothing about.  Great read if you want to learn about Swim Baits and big fish but it's not just limited to Swim baits.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0883173131/002-9520006-5396847?v=glance&n=283155

T Mike

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What Mike said about the BBZ book but you have to read it with an OPEN mind as there are techniques/baits explained in it that will have you shaking your head ;D !  It's right here beside my PC as I key.

Avid: I learned how to hook up a Bass with a swimbait from that very book(I got it right after it came out.) Bill tells about a "reelset" not a hookset when using bigger baits like Matt's Bluegills and the slightly smaller Baby Bass(You really need to get some of them IMO.)

A reelset starts out with the rod's position. After the bait is where you want it, point the rod directly at the bait, inline with the line. Think of the rod as a 'rifle' and you're 'shooting' at the bait. Yes, I know that sounds 'wrong' but it's not. If you hold the rod to the side or upward, when you get bit, you don't have time to reel down to tighten the line and do a conventinal hookset. I'm guessing that's what happened to you with the Bluegill?

Now start a steady, slow retrieve keeping the rod pointed directly at the bait. If you're standing(and you should be), the rod will be pointing slightly downward. directly in front of your body with the rod's handle tucked under your arm.

When I get bit it's always just a slight 'thump' not a savage strike so you have to be ready at all times(including right at your boat or your feet) and this where a fluro line earns its cost as it's so sensitive. When I feel that light thump(I think it's the bait hitting the back of the Bass's mouth as she flared her gills and sucked it in?), I start REELING....NOW and then I sweep the rod to the side, torquing my upper body with it, reeling the entire time......Bass on! The upper. dorsal hook usually ends up stuck into the roof of the Bass's mouth unless it's a smaller fish and then it's usually in the lip. I don't add a 'stinger' treble hook to his baits but I do on the larger Hudds.

I use a 7', 6" Heavy rod(Kistler Helium) to take advantage of its leverage and power.

The reeling adds power to the reelset and you can't do that immediately unless your rod is pointing directly at the bait/Bass. I've even started holding my rod like that for some other baits; cr/baits, spinnerbaits for instance but not for 'normal' soft-plastics or topwaters.

Dan

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Some things I have learned about big bass is they are predictable and efficent. They always use the best structure in an area to feed and live. I rarely catch a really big bass by casting as I go down a bank. They are almost always caught on the sweet spots they use to travel, hold and feed. They either hold in the best cover on the best structure or suspend over deep water near the structure where they are inactive. IMHO if you are not a good structure fisherman then you will have a very hard time catching really big fish even in shallow lakes full of good shoreline cover. Big bass always use structure to move and feed. The one thing I have also noticed about big fish is they know how to conserve energy. They dont chase food they stalk it very slowly and when the time is right they use a burst of energy to eat what they can in one gulp. This means that 99% of the time they are inactive and hard to catch. Thats my theory on how they get big. So, I think there are only two good ways to catch a big fish. Get a reaction strike from the spot that it is holding while inactive or catch it where it feeds at the time it is feeding. This goes back to you have to be a good at fishing structure to know where the bass will hold and where it will feed. As for the best time of day I think big bass feed at two times. When the bait cant see them well(low light periods) is the first time they will feed and when they can see the bait the best (mid day). As for the size of bait I think it need to be good size but doesnt have to be huge. It has to be worth the effort to a big bass. The slower and easier your bait is to catch the smaller it can be. If a big bass is going to chase down a meal it needs to be a little bigger. Slow and big is the best but not so big and slow as to look fake. For example a big spinnerbait needs to be fished fast enough to fool the fish while a big worm looks more natural and can be fished slower. Just some of my big bass theorys. I havent read the BBZ book yet but I think I may have to read it. I have heard a lot of good things about the book.

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Listen to KU!  In the pre-spawn time I throw the biggest slowest nastiest looking spinnerbait in stained water with gold and copper blades.  Many people quit throwing copper blades long ago but they still work everywhere.  This is a go-to pattern custom made for early spring fishing as weel as the rest of the year.  Go Slow!

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Guest avid

Yeah, I have heard good things about that book too.  

George I fish in a 125 acre man made lake in a gated community near Stuart.   It's a pretty typical situation down here.  The shore slopes down gradually for about 3 feet then drops pretty straight down to 8-10 feet.  Out in the middle there may be holes up to 15 feet deep or so depending on recent rainfall.  There is no structure other than weeds.  The middle has a clean bottom.  there are points and these are reliable fish catching areas.  The reeds are good when the water is high enough.  I am a jig lover and caught a number of 3-5 pounders on them.  Oddly I have caught several fish in the 4 lb class on finesse worms.  I like crankbaits and do well with wiggle warts.  The water is usually pretty stained and the big wobble helps.  Spinnerbaits are very iffy. They seem to do best in the wind.  Jerkbaits are also very reliable this time of year especially.  My other biggest bass come on big poppers right at dark and on horny toads flipped deep in the grass.

I wonder if fishing deeper off the main points might be worth a try.  Will try it with jigs and cranks tomorrow.

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The shore slopes down gradually for about 3 feet then DROPS pretty straight down to 8-10 feet. There is no structure other than weeds.

Technically speaking, the weeds are cover, and the drop-off you described is your structure.

Speaking just for myself, I always place structure (bottom contour) ahead of cover,

and wherever you can bring the two together it's virtually assured that you've found a holding site.

The point being, if I'm not covering big bass, no lure, size or color will produce a big bass.

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