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snowpawn

what to change

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how do you decide what to change when you don't find the bite. assume you're in unfamiliar water. do you try the same bait in a new spot, new spot same bait, same bait and spot but vary the retrieve, etc. etc. etc. less than 8' no fish on sonar. river system

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After you've combed all depths levels in a given location with various presentations (lures & speeds),

to no avail, it's usually best to change something in the pattern. A minor pattern shift

might be moving from weeds to wood (e.g. maidencane to docks), from wood to rock

(e.g. stick-ups to rip-rap), from leeward to windward, etc. A major pattern shift would be a change in

depth, for example from a back bay to an open point, from lily pads in 3-ft of water

to hydrilla in 9 feet of water. Unfortunately, with every pattern shift, you'll have to begin from scratch

working every depth level with different presentations until contact is finally made.

Going into greater detail would consume many pages, and still only scratch the surface.

Roger

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ok, thanks. now let me give you a scenario, and see if anyone can unlock the secret. i'm fishing in a river. i find a spot in the main channel with an island in the middle. the west shore side of the island is anywhere from 2 to 4' deep. trolling from the island shoreline to the west shore, whith a 3" original floating rapala, whith an old junk rod(i can only assume the stiffer tip is the reason my others won't work), i let out line, then let out some more, then open the bail and let it run out for a while, point is i have to let out alot of line, i usually don't make it from one side to the other(i'd guess 150 yrds) without a fish. doing this i can catch 3#ers all day. i cast everything i own at them to no avail. i believe one problem is the boat spooking them. i just got a new 70# motor to replace the 43 i had, in hopes of being able to come up stream behind them, instead of downstream ahead of them where they see me faster, and any sound or scent, or whatever gets to them easier and faster. what else should i be thinking about. i figure if i could cast about 75 yrds, i could probably get them, but i am tired of trolling and my fiance' won't fish with me any other way till i find one that works!

oh, one mor thing, the middle is bedrock, with a few rocks, and maybe accasionally some veg. in the few sandy spots. and maybe a few in between rocky spots(fist to big toe size).

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I have never used sonar, I am kind of behind times lol I have the old style, check the depth with the rod or boat paddle. To answer your question I slow my bait down alot. I tend to catch myself speed fishing on new waters for some reason, when i should be relaxing and finessing it a bit...

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Can you anchor or is the current too swift?  Even if the fish are spooked when you initially anchor up, they should return to normal after you have been there a little bit without much noise.  Unless you are worrind about hitting something, I'd turn the sonar off.  It can spook fish in shallow water.

Is the river clear?  I assume so seeing as it is on bedrock.  I would use a medium action spinning outfit, 6lb. line and a minicrigged plastic with a 18" leader and 1/4 oz. weight pegged to the line, bait nose hooked with a circle style hook if snags are not a problem.  You should be able to get some distance on the cast and hooksets will be easy, just a steady sweep and reel as circle style hooks require no hookset.

Just an idea.

Brad

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I would dropshot with a minnow imitation of some sort. Just walk it down with the current and pausing it while you shake it. This tactic mimics a river minnow perfect. After you get a bunch of line out reel it back in and walk it back again. (walking is when you lift your rod bringing the weight off the bottom and letting fall back to the bottom. Each time you do it the bait sweeps farther down the river.)

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