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BASS fisherman

Specifically targeting the pigs

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 So I found this lake that actually has bass in it that beat the current Pa record bass by several pounds.  I fished the lake this past Saturday and caught 11 bass, but together they maybe weighed 5lbs, all pretty small. I want to know of those on this forum who target big bass specifically, what do you use, and where?  I know this is rather vague,  but give me an idea of where to start.  I have caught a couple bass around 5lbs, but they were a combination of luck, and skill.  I was simply fishing, and got them.  I believe the big bass in this lake are deep, in the middle, usually holding on the outside edges of milfoil columns.   When fishing this lake, I rent a row boat, so I don't have any electronics, so if you say to find a ledge, also state in the best detail you can, how to find it.  This is actually more of a large pond, than a lake, so there are no maps of the water to refer to.  I simply want to catch a pig or 2, not kill them to get recognition of beating the Pa record bass weight.

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As you fish the lake/ pond you will discover its "structure" over time. Fish the entire body of water, but focus on structure and cover, especially in deeper water. I suggest fishing soft plastics and jigs exclusively. Other guys may suggest other "big bass" lures, but for me it's a slow presentation on or near the bottom that catches big fish.

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Bass,

   Not familar with Pa waters, but heres are some tips.

Lakes that I like and will fish often, I drive the roads around the lake and look at the countryside.   By visualizing what is above water, you can get an ideal of what the lake consists of underwater.  Creeks that lead to the water will have ditches or channels.

In Tex., we have a variety of trees all over the state.   By identifing trees, trees that grow on knolls (sp, is that right?) or high ground, humps, or trees that grows in the bottom next to creek channels, you can get an ideal where creeks and humps are located with trees above water.  Some trees grow better in sandy soils.   Learning to identify trees can eliminate lots of searching.

The next best tool if vegitation isn't present to show some shallows or depth is the carolina rig to probe bottom contours with.

A string and weight can be used to get accurate depths.   Paint the line at different depths.

Do you have shad present in this lake?    Alot of times when bass school on shad, they push shad next to humps, tree lines, points to herd the shad up.   If you see them schooled on top, see what contours are under them.    Bass will use anything they can to pin and push shad up towards the surface.   Sometimes its an old tank dam, some may call them stock ponds built with a dozer for cattle.   they might have a dam that would be considered a ledge, hump.

Is this lake natural or man made?  An old farmer or local whos lived there most his life may be able to tell you what is donw there.

Hope some of this helps.

hookem

Matt

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How deep is what you consider deep on this pond? I like BIG noisy topwaters on ponds. They have accounted for some good fish for me. I prefer them over slow bottom fishing presentations unless I know EXACTLY where the fish is. But if I was in your postion ( convinced that there is toads, but unable to really figure out where they are) I would force the BIG fish to come to me. If you worked a  large topwater bait around that pond, it is just a matter of time.  "only in low light", "summer time", "only when it is choppy" forget all of those topwater guidelines and commit to it. They will come to the bait. Sometimes 30 ft or more. Just try weedlines or any other cover or structure and spend some time doing it. I don't know what kind of gear you have but you might try one of these they are *relatively* inexpensive, though not cheap and they might just fit the bill. buy a pattern you like, i dont think it makes much difference. I would prefer to specifically target the better fish than to just hope for the best.

ACM-AY.JPG

http://www.***.com/descpageSWMOPTIMUM-ACM.html

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Matt...that 's some pretty good advice, you sound just like me.  ;D

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From what little I've learned from bass fishing Tv shows and my own experience I like to use a nice big plastic, prefebly a worm 6 inches and up. Thats not to say every once and a while the 1lb dink wont slam it but I've had good luck with big plastics In ponds. I like either dual toned worms, two darker colors red and black or black and blue are good, senkos konami's ect. Also I've had great luck with 6 inch Berkely gulp earthworms baged not jars in either flesh colored or pumkin seed . A big bass is older and knows that a worm in the water is a helpess tasty meal, no energy is wasted just scooping him up as opposed to chasing a shiner or other baitfish. Also I fish them all seasons with success t riged to a tiny skirtless jig draggin and twitching it along the bottom. Try it out let me know what you think!!

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Thanks for the info so far.  A few things I forgot.  It is a man made lake, I'd guess 15-20ft in the deepest spot.  Lots of vegitation, and other cover like submerged trees.  I am not positive if shad are present, but I don't believe so.  The main forage would be crawfish, blue gill, frogs, and other small fish.  I like the string and weight tip.  All the tips sound good to me.

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If you are gonna due the plastics thing. I would say 10" worms, full size brush hogs, and flip double wides. A seven inch senko wouldnt be terrible either.

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Guest whittler

Sure have to agree with the c-rig, it is the poor man's depthfinder. Wether using a worm, tube, lizard or floating crank the c-rig will allow you to map the bottom plus tell what kind of bottom you have, mud, sand, rock or weed.

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Some general info about larger female bass may help you here.

Typically when you find bass schooling and they are actively feeding you can find the larger females holding deeper below these active males. The females will actually stay down and catch injured or escaping bait fish that come down below. This is directly related to how lazy larger bass are.

So if you find them schooling or a hot area of these smaller fish you referto, fish slower and deepr right in the midst of it.

Something else I do when hunting for something big, I will fish much larger baits. At a minimum, it has kept the dinks off.

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JIGS!!!

Best way to learn that bottom as RW suggested.  Once you know it, bring on the plastics to see who lives there.

Remember that you may very well be fishing a lake with no big fish in it.  RW will tell you a thousand times,...the number 1 tip to catching larger fish is to fish lakes that you know hold these larger class fish.  Ya ain't gonna catch 'em if they ain't there.

Good luck, keep us posted.

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So far, I'm agreeing with two people 110%.  LBH and Matt Fly.  You can't get a better "sonar" than a C-Rig to figure out what the lake looks like.  But as Matt said, if there are tell tale signs above or near the surface, that makes life easy.

We have some small lakes here on Fort Hood that we fish.  We (buddy and I) don't have electronics, so we just had to learn.  My best technique for catching quality fish out of a small lake is the same as a big one.  I fish the channels and dropoffs of coves (if any are present), visable grass lines and 'holes' in the grass beds, points leading to deeper water, and matted vegitation.  Flipping a jig around the cover, searching with a C-Rig, and slow-rolling a big spinnerbait are great techniques for clear to stained water.  For muddy water, I prefer slower, bigger baits like spinnerbaits, big rattling crankbaits, and rattling jigs.  I've talked to you a lot over email and I know you know your colors, so I guess I won't waste your time giving you that spill.

I'd go with a jig (you know my recommendation :D ), carolina rigging a brush hog, running a mid depth or lipless crankbait, and a multi-bladed, bulky spinnerbait.

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What LBH said......if there aren't any bigguns, well................... :-[  I've fished the swamp pond(30 years old and about 10 acres?) for about 8 years and the heaviest out of hundreds I've been able to hang weighed just 6.5 lbs :-?  I think the genetics of the Bass there don't allow for lunkers.

My second heaviest(8/11) Bass came while slow-rolling a 3/4 oz spinnerbait from the shore.

8 lber

My current PB, a 9-even hit a Matt's Baby Bass in a 104 acre lake that in known for it's heavier Bass.  Most big ones from that lake have come on a bottom-bumping jig or a 10", T-rigged worm.

Dan

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I agree with what roadwarrior said and I would try that if I were you. Fish jigs with worms slow and close to the bottom, that's exactly how I fish the ponds I fish.

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JIGS!!!

Remember that you may very well be fishing a lake with no big fish in it. RW will tell you a thousand times,...the number 1 tip to catching larger fish is to fish lakes that you know hold these larger class fish. Ya ain't gonna catch 'em if they ain't there.

Good luck, keep us posted.

Absolutly!!  Alot of the lakes and ponds I fish don't have big bass in them, but I know for sure that this one does.  Pa states record LM bass is 11lb some odd ounces.  The largest bass pulled from this lake was 13 lbs 9oz.  I see big bass jumping in and around this one spot in particular, and have for 2 weeks, so I am thinking that this next Saturday, depending on conditions, I should be able to pull at least one out of that area.  They say that if your catching dinks, move on because you won't find any pigs in that area.  The whole shoreline is full of dinks, so Im thinking that the pigs group together in the deeper middle, on some sort of structure, and close to the milfoil columns.  It sounds like perfect pig territory to me.  I think when I get there I am going to try the Spook over the area, then cranks starting with the DT 10, going to a DT 16 if needed.  Then if they aren't biting, I'll go with a spider jig rigged on a spot remover type jig.  If I can feel the structure great, if not I'll try the C-rig with a green trick worm with red flakes.  That is just the preliminary plan, and definatly not set in stone yet.  It will most likely change due to conditions, and if I find something is hot that day.  What do you think?

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I had a similar problem on my home lake, until I spent the time out there and learned the contours and niches etc.  Like everything else in bass fishing, the more you do it, the better you'll know it.  One thing I will suggest that has yet to be mentioned is getting a good pair of sunglasses.  This may seem like a trivial thing, but I found that when I got a good pair of polarized (the real thing, not that crap they sell in the 7-11) I could see so much farther down into the water that I could see a lot more cover and structure than I could before.  Also, realize that the higher your eyes are above the water, the better your chance of seeing farther down (imagine the difference in angle from sitting in a canoe and standing in a row boat...).  Hope this helps.

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If you are gonna due the plastics thing. I would say 10" worms, full size brush hogs, and flip double wides. A seven inch senko wouldnt be terrible either.

Okay, I'll bite,   What are double wides?    A double wide mobile home is all I'm familar with and I don't have a rod with strong enough line to heave one of those lol.

Info please.

Matt

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Double Wide Beavers. They are an inch longer and much much bulkier than a normal beaver. I like California 420.

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Is this a knock off of the sweet beavers?    Who is making this 420?   I wonder were the 420 comes from also?  LOL

Hookem

Matt

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color: California 420

lol, you know what those guys like to do. he he he

I just got my home made/poormans depth finder done.  It is 26 feet long, each foot has a knot, and every 3 feet is painted blue.  

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First off, I wouldn't want to pretend like I was the expert on bass in your part of the country. I'm the first to admit that our Cali bass are somewhat of an exception in many ways. However, there is some truth to the statement that, "A bass is a bass".

Anyway, my first bit of advice would be to try to seek out the guys who are consiently catching the biggest fish from your area. Investigate. Dig. What are they throwing ? When ? Where ? How ? Try your own stuff too though.

But ya' gotta' find them first ! I would certainly recomend that you get out there and throw a big swimbait, because whether or not you stick them on it, they will almost certainly follow it to investigate. Always wear those polarized glasses, and watch closely behinbd that swimbait at the end of every retrieve. Whenever you see a big one, mark that spot on the map in your head (or on paper) and put together a rout. If the swimbaits start to actually catch some big fish for you, you might not feel the need to use anything else..... But even if not, at least you will have already put together a "big fish rout" which you can go through, trying other lures and techniques.

Remember, there are always lots of spots that "look great" but won't hold big fish, but once you have seen them with your own two eyes, you have already one half the battle. Then all ya' need is Patience, Persistence, and Perseverence, and you will eventually make it happen !

This is what works for me.

Stick a pig ! :-)

Fish

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Thanks for all the input.  I have my gear ready, a few plans of action, and my confidence is high too.  I'll post the pics if/when I get that 10+ lber.  

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One thing I have to tell you;

If anybody can do it, you can ! Fact is, a large percentage of anglers simply go out with the mind set of, "I'm just out to catch whatever I can". You, on the other hand, are asking specifically about big fish, and pushing in that direction. If you can put aside numbers (don't mind getting skunked more often) and can just keep your focus on the biggest fish in your ponds, you will eventually make it happen !

Go stick em' ! :-)

Fish

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I do think that persistence and perseverance are a big part of it. When I started fishing a new pond this spring, I had never seen more than one or two people ever fish this particular pond, so had no idea what it might contain. So I put some time on the water trying to figure it out, to understand just how the structure and cover were laid out and how the fish related to them. Then I matched my baits to that layout.

At first I caught nothing, then some small fish regularly, and as I got to know the place better and better I started catching 4, 5, and 6 pounders fairly frequently. I kept learning and kept reminding myself not to get set in my ways. Some anglers talk about having to "earn" your fish by spending time on a body of water, and I think this is really about getting so familiar with the body of water that you can visualize the structure and cover beneath you and you therefore know where the big fish are likely to be. Once you do this, your odds of catching the biggest fish in that particular body of water go up.

This process can happen faster on a body of water that's well-known and about which there's a lot of info out there to be had. But the point is that it's unlikely somebody can just go to a new body of water and catch big fish simply by using big baits. That may be a part of it, but more important, I would argue, is the time spent getting to know a particular body of water, the persistence and perseverance that Fish Chris is talking about.

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