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Sam

Think Like a Baitfish?

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We try to use our various lures to minic the baitfish and crawfish the bass eat.

I have viewed Bigmouth, Bigmouth Forever and the Feeding Habits of Bass plus many other videos/DVDs and have read a lot of publications and articles, but I never thought about viewing bream videos/DVDs to see how the bream and other baitfish act.

Do you all think it is worth the investment to view the videos and DVDs of how to fish other types of fish that the bass eat and also research how crawfish move around, etc.?

Thanks.

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I don 't see why it would not be worth it, the catch is not to think like baitfish, it 's to think like a bass.

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I think it's a great idea! It can really pay to know when sunfish spawn and other bait fish patterns. I've hunted enough crayfish in my early days to know how they move but I couldn't say for sure when they molt or have hatches. Let us know if you come across any good information. Any knowledge is power!

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I don 't see why it would not be worth it, the catch is not to think like baitfish, it 's to think like a bass.

well, the bass are thinking about baitfish, so it you think like a bass, you'll think like a bait fish.

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Good Idea but just take this into consideration...

No matter how many tapes or dvd's you watch they all come down to the same thing...PRESENTATION!

Any lure or bait that you try or buy the key to success is going to be how you present it.

example.....I tie a plastic worm on my hook and throw it out...nothing!

Now I take that same worm and cast it out ....wait for a sec and shake the rod tip then let it sink some and ....BAM!     FISH ON!!!

understand what im trying to say here?

Hope this helps ya out a little ;)

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Thanks guys.

I try to think like a bass but in the Army I learned to think like your enemy and the bass is the baitfish's enemy.

I am going to try to research the question and I will let you all know what I find out.

Thanks again.

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Any time you increase your knowledge you have to improve your skill level.

I know a local guy that years ago cut open a fat bass (unthinkable!) to see what it had been eating. He found three crawfish that were all about the same size. He has been fishing artificials that mimic these ever since. He does very well!

Four of the ten biggest bass ever have been caught on live crawfish.

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Four of the ten biggest bass ever have been caught on live crawfish.

Let's face it! They are delicious!!  ;)

Ronnie

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Guest ouachitabassangler

If I've been off the lake too long I get some bass remains out of the fish cleaning carcass cans and examine stomach contents. Unless the cleanup crew beat me to the cans there's always some nice bass to examine. Most of the time head to tail remains with organs intact, fillets removed, so there isn't much to do but slice the stomach open and squeeze the contents out, esophagus too, as there I find the most recently eaten forage and truer colors to include in my lures. Probably 90% are shad plus undigested plastic worms, and an occasional bream. If I find two or more with bream I figure on imitating bream and fishing where bream live. I mostly just want to know shad length and colors.

If the bass are feding on crawfish that's how I match their colors.

Good way to mask accumulated human odors, too, the ones soap doesn't get ;D

Jim

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If I've been off the lake too long I get some bass remains out of the fish cleaning carcass cans and examine stomach contents. ...

Holy smoke, Jim!  Now that is dedication to your sport...or you're crazy...or both. ;D ;D ;D

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If you can track the daily habits of shad, you can find ambush points of bass.

Which is easier to find, schools of shad or bass?

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If I've been off the lake too long I get some bass remains out of the fish cleaning carcass cans and examine stomach contents. Unless the cleanup crew beat me to the cans there's always some nice bass to examine. Most of the time head to tail remains with organs intact, fillets removed, so there isn't much to do but slice the stomach open and squeeze the contents out, esophagus too, as there I find the most recently eaten forage and truer colors to include in my lures. Probably 90% are shad plus undigested plastic worms, and an occasional bream. If I find two or more with bream I figure on imitating bream and fishing where bream live. I mostly just want to know shad length and colors.

If the bass are feding on crawfish that's how I match their colors.

Good way to mask accumulated human odors, too, the ones soap doesn't get ;D

Jim

I've often thought of Jim as one of the smartest most experienced guys here.  Now I know he's just plain crazy! :D

I guess your suggestions makes sense but it sure keeps the ladies away and creates a good diet program too.  Man, that's just nasty!  I think I'll keep learning the hard way!  ha ha! ;D

As far as the videos, I think it's a good idea.  I may give it a try myself.

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Guest ouachitabassangler

;D  That behavior is just something I did for years off & on as part of my job working in wetlands management. I remember hating it at first, but got used to that since I imagine we cut open thousands if fish from sampling, and investigated fish kills, collecting tissue samples for analysis. Maybe "getting used to that" is crazy, but sometimes it's the crazy ideas that make the day successful.

What's really obnoxious is cutting into dead birds. I never got used to that. I carried a little vial of wintergreen oil to get past it. It got smeared each side of my nose.

Dead fish in the cans doesn't really smell much worse than while still fresh and being filleted. They get emptied daily, so whatever is in there is no more than a day old. I grab the carcass by the jaw and the  knife does the rest, slicing stomach and mashing with the flat side. If I think a raccoon or opposum has got to them I use a latex glove, more concerned about infections coons carry. When I'm on the job and see coon droppings I always wash it down to protect people not aware of deadly virus carried in the droppings in some areas of the US.

Jim

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An interesting topic and one that I have been working on (sort of) this year -- at my local lake there aren't any shad, but there are tons of blue gill.  One of the things I have observed is that both bass and bluegill hang out along the brush piles on the channel.  I have found that if I throw a worm out into the brush pile, it is likely to be picked up by a blue gill.  But if I let the BG run with it, rather than try to set the hook, the odds are good that a bass will take it away.  I caught a limit from one brush pile by doing this in a recent tournament.

Also, in this same area, I often fish from bank in the evening.  As the sun begins to set the BG's get real active and will pester you to death.  But as the darkness settles in, the BG bite slows down and the bass begin to bite.  It is a very predictable pattern.

Don't know if any of this helps you, but it has been an insight for me.

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;D That behavior is just something I did for years off & on as part of my job working in wetlands management. I remember hating it at first, but got used to that since I imagine we cut open thousands if fish from sampling, and investigated fish kills, collecting tissue samples for analysis. Maybe "getting used to that" is crazy, but sometimes it's the crazy ideas that make the day successful.

What's really obnoxious is cutting into dead birds. I never got used to that. I carried a little vial of wintergreen oil to get past it. It got smeared each side of my nose.

Dead fish in the cans doesn't really smell much worse than while still fresh and being filleted. They get emptied daily, so whatever is in there is no more than a day old. I grab the carcass by the jaw and the knife does the rest, slicing stomach and mashing with the flat side. If I think a raccoon or opposum has got to them I use a latex glove, more concerned about infections coons carry. When I'm on the job and see coon droppings I always wash it down to protect people not aware of deadly virus carried in the droppings in some areas of the US.

Jim

Now I know that Jim simply knows too much.  Man I was trying to eat lunch when reading this post....

;D

By the way Shad_Master, that's a pretty interesting tip on the brush piles.  The more you think like a fish, the better off you are I think.

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Guest avid

the more knowledge you have, the better off you'll be, but what makes you think that fish think?

They behave according to instinct, conditioning, and environmental circumstances. this doesn't sound like much but it's enough to make to make predicting their behavior as difficult as a bass or any other creature.

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the more knowledge you have, the better off you'll be, but what makes you think that fish think?

They behave according to instinct, conditioning, and environmental circumstances. this doesn't sound like much but it's enough to make to make predicting their behavior as difficult as a bass or any other creature.

I think you misunderstood.  All of us are only referring to the term "think" figuratively and not literally.  If they could think, we would all be screwed because they would all be too smart to fall for most of our bait presentations. ;D

And I agree about knowing more.  I think Jim has tapped a few good sources for info.  Gross as it may be, they are still good sources.  A fish's stomach.

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Guest ouachitabassangler

Predicting baitfish is close to being able to predict the wind. Finding them is maybe like catching the wind. The things just eat and reproduce, that's it. They find then follow a cloud of plankton. Plankton is driven by current, wind on most reservoirs. Find the green water, find the baitfish. They don't swim off in different directions to get some exercise. They do spread out when plankton gets scattered, but they school up when threatened by predators.

If shad are balled up I can find them on sonar pretty quickly because I know to look first at places packed by steady wind. But predicting bass and other creatures is actually a little easier. They are larger individuals that follow seasonal patterns. They are known to hide in structure and cover, the more isolated and special the better. They are also less particular, eating many more things than shad eating plankton. I know deer follow habitual paths and keep appointments to sleep here, feed there, water over there. Find the pattern, harvest the deer.

Do fish think? They imitate other fish like themselves, and are trainable. They can learn to avoid certain behavior. They learn what's a predator and what's harmless. I watched a huge carp enter an area filled with pre-spawn bass scouting for beds. The carp was large enough to eat a good sized bass, but every bass was aware a bass-eater was not present. They didn't budge for the carp, and will butt a carp come to eat their eggs, and leave the nest to a 5' gar. Is any of that thinking? Who will define "thinking" to accurately deal with a baitfish or bass? Probably no scientist knows, and none will see enough value in knowing to spend a million dollars finding out. All we needed was to identify the food chain.

Jim

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Knowing when and where bait fish spawn and their movements is one of the keys to banner days.

It can't be stressed enough - be observant when you are out there - detail, detail, detail.

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Guest ouachitabassangler

I fish with an old friend occasionally as his health permits, a guy who never smoked. His nose must have some buzzard in it. He can smell shad milt and eggs along a shoreline. I can't say I can detect that from a general fishy smell in the air most of the time. Same for all fish that are spawning, but especially baitfish. When that happens, the fishing there is usually very good. We get in one or two good shad spawns in spring until the water warms up, then one last one in early fall. Knowing favorite spawn areas helps enough to get close enough to see the wild activity of shad in the shallows. the water fills with eggs and milt, and we'll be getting eggs stuck to hard plastic lures. That seasons them to catch bass better. But. that doesn't happen enough to count on it. I'll locate green water first.

Jim

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