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lacab

To much forage?!

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Is it possible that bass are not biting because there is simply too much to eat available to them? I spent 8 hours on a local lake Saturday and caught 1 small bass. All day long I could see schools of 2" shad swimming on the surface. I lost count at well over 50 schools. There must have been thousands of shad. It looked like the water was swirling from the wind but there was no wind.

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There might be something to that because I've been in the same situation myself. Not only with baitfish but also insect hatches. I don't really know for sure though, sorry.

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Did you try fishing in the schools? Theres a good chance the bass were there

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Guest ouachitabassangler

Too much forage can definitely kill the bite, bass scattered, full stomachs, etc. Your best approach is to make sure your lure imitates a dying shad, getting it under a school where laziest bass wait for easiest meals.

Jim

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I have seen lakes that had hard winters and major shad kills only to see massive shad spawns and too much bait in the water to get good bite going.

Hookem

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2 particular lakes I used to fish had shad populations like that.  We got so frustrated at first and had trouble catching many fish until we tried something different...  we used anything that resembled a craw and started catching fish immediately, both size and numbers.  

I still believe that they had so many shad available that they were full most of the time, the craw was a treat... even if they weren't really hungry.  (kind of like a dog- when he walks away from the food bowl, there is always room and desire for a piece of meat or cheese if it can be had)

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All those shad were not new, they are always there just not on the surface where you could see them. Probably just a bad day to fish, lack of wind for example.

A good forage base is absolutely necessary for bass survival. Not a lot of nuitrition in eating fishing lures.

I live on a lake in East Tennessee and frequently see large schools of shad swimming on or near the surface on days when there is no wind to keep a ripple on the surface. It must take a very large forage base to support a large number of gamefish on any lake. I don't mean to sound like an expert, I'm not, as those that know me can explain. I believe you just happened to be fishing on a day that the shad were on the surface and could be seen due to lack of wind.............Al

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In my experience the extreme abundance of forage vs the bite of the fish have no relationship. In Mexico the most abundant forage of bass is tilapia, and it 's very abundant just because tilapia here spawn 3 or 4 times every year so there 's a constant supply of bite size baby tilapias all year round, there are also bluegills, minnows, shiners, common carp and poecilids available, no wonder why bass in Mexico are always short and fat, here a 22 inch fish is always over 8 pounds easily; any time you go fishing if the water is clear enough you can see huge schools of tilapia crusing the shallows and schools of baby bass behind them.

This extreme abundance of food would make you think that bass do not bite because they are always full, which certainly is not the case, bass can be caught if you are able to locate them.

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Guest ouachitabassangler

When a fishery has a plentiful forage base, forage scatters all over a fishery, bass not concentrated around sparse clusters or colonies of forage. Anytime bass are scattered, such as in spring and a rising river floods brush in backwaters, they become very difficult to locate compared to a steady or falling pool.

Anytime forage is sparse, bass concentrate in prime forage areas and are much easier to predict, locate and catch. Competition for food makes them more aggressive. Sometimes most any lure will catch some bass in that situation. But when bass can be picky about what they eat, just any lure won't appeal, and very specific presentations apply.

Jim

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The shad fry are schooled up on my home lake right now.......everywhere,millions of 'em.I fished with a forum member last week and we were fishing an area where there was abundant shad fry around.I knew the bass were around but we only managed to boat a few fish.All of our bites were deeper than the schools of shad,actually on the bottom.

I always try to fish below the schools like ouachita said,you might try a small blade bait like a Lil George or something,dropped right thru the schools.

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