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electrikal

"Big Bass Zone" by Bill Siemantel

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I just completed reading "Big Bass Zone" by Bill Siemantel. I found it an excellent read on "thinking outside the box." I wondered if anyone else has read it and what your thoughts were on his tactics. It reads like FishChris could have written it. In particular, I'm interested in how you might have applied his methods in the South. I already was a firm believer in BIG BAIT, BIG FISH but his methods really call out for different tackle setup. The bait & tackle monkey is knocking at my door ::) AGAIN. Has anyone tried BIG swimbaits and 10-12" lures in the South (not including Florida) with any success?

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I've read it. I wouldn't disgrace Fish Chris by saying that he would write something like that though.

There are a few southern guys that throw swimbaits on here.

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Fourbizzle - I take it that you dislike Siemantel or disagree with him. Can you explain? I see you're from California so I guess you would know more about him. I just thought his approach was interesting.

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My real point was that FC is twice the fisherman Siemantel is, if he wrote a book it would be WAAAAAY better!

I also think that with the tackle we have available to us right now, and the amount of big bait pressure ( especially out here) that much of that book expounds on baits and tactics that are outdated.

Thats not to say that there isn't of bunch of applicable info though, there is. It'll definitely jump start your big bait thinking.

As far as whether or not I like him.......I don't know him, but the needle is pointed pretty strongly towards Nope! LOL :D Probably because he has caught alot more big fish than me ;)

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Jay I like you. You tell it like it is.  I also have opinions of Seimental but I'll keep them to myself. I read the book and I honestly found it borring. Not saying it doesnt have good info and Bill definatly knows how to fish but I just found the book non exciting. Now if only Mike long were to write a book..... Oh wait that would be a very bad thing. As Biz has said there is a ton of pressure out here so if you do figure something or somplace out its better to keep it quiet. I have learned that the hard way. Its almost impossible to not give up your bite if you post a report. If there is any background at all in a pic sombody will know exactly where you were. Even if do keep quiet there is a good chance sombody will recognize you and watch you. It used to be easy. That book says to think out side the box. Exactly. If you figure out something that works, THATS NOT IN A BOOK, you own it until you blab. Figure out tactics and baits that work for you in your waters and you will own that bite!

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Before taking the plunge, order the Baby Bass three pack special from Mattlures. I had pretty good luck with these baits which are bigger than almost any other lure I fish, but do not require new or additional equipment. The Baby Bass is relatively inexpensive for a swimbait, but I found it still has a tendency to find a new home! I think this is a good bait to introduce swimbaits into the mix, but I have not reordered. I have had some luck on cheaper (Storm) lures which aren't as painful to lose, so I'm going to finish out this first pack of five (2 left) before deciding on my next purchase.

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No disrespect meant to FC. I guess the difference is that down South not many folks are onto the techniques he uses whereas, out West, where you guys are (fourbizzle/mattlures) - these methods are outdated & boring. I've been fishing for many years and have figured out several methods that work but would like to target the big fish I know exist in our waters. And Matt, I've seen your website and your lures look fantastic. I'll be ordering some soon. I would still like to know if any Southerns have had any luck using these methods. No specifics needed - I wouldn't want to know anybody's secrets  :-X ::) ;D. Oh yeah, Matt, if you shouldn't blab why are you selling those cool lures or do you have something even more deadly up your sleeve.

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Well, to be more specific, I caught some bigger bass fishing midday over and along structure. What I'm trying to target is patrolling fish in deeper water. I think regionally, White River lakes (Table Rock, Bull Shoals, etc.) might be the better choice vs. Tennessee River Lakes. My experience below Pickwick Dam was ONE cast! The fish I caught were in one of my local ponds, but although this water is "relatively clean", I have still lost five swimmbaits in less than eight weeks.

So, the lures work and the bass have never seen them, but they are not "forgiving". Also, before fishing the baits you will need to spend some time getting a feel for the right retrieve speed. Too fast and they turn over; too slow and they sink with very little tail action.

Although I am already convinced that swimbaits can be VERY effective in Southern waters, much of the structure that I fish is just too gnarley to use the bait regularly. Like other lures, there is a time and place and with the exception of very specific situations, the river is probably the wrong choice.

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It depends on what you mean when you say I would still like to know if any Southerns have had any luck using these methods.

While I haven't read "Big Bass Zone" by Bill Siemantel, I have read every post both here and elsewhere by Fish Chris, Mattlures, fourbizzle, Randall, Doug Hannon, Bill Murphy and others. Catching big bass is not so much about lures as it is about where you search for them and like Fish Chris once posted here it's about mind set.

Not all big bass are caught on big swim baits as everyone will attest to; below is a list of Double Digit bass I've caught so far in 2007 and not one was caught on swim bait only because I wasn't throwing them.

Lacassine Wildlife Refuge: All caught on a 9 worm

10.37 lbs

10.63 lbs

11 lbs 3 oz

Toledo Bend Reservoir:

10 lbs 3 oz: 7 ½ Worm

10.061 lbs: ½ oz Jig-N-Craw

10 lbs 10 oz: 7 ½ Worm

12 lbs 8 oz: ½ oz Rat-L-Trap

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I started reading the book then put it down, skimmed through it and finally gave it to someone. So, I can't tell you much about the book other than I wasn't getting much out of it. I personally don't totaly buy into the big bait theory. I throw big baits up to twelve inches but throw them less than I do smaller five and six inch baits. Big baits have a time and place as do the smaller baits. I have over 100 swimbaits from four inches to twelve inches all have a time and place but most of my biggest fish were caught on five and six inch baits. My biggest was a fifteen pound twelve ounce fish caught on a Mattlures bluegill and I hooked a fish twice that was around that same size on a six inch bait just a few days back and lost it near the boat twice in one day. There is a lot more to catching big bass than just throwing a big bait. You have to be able to pattern bigger fish and know where the areas bigger fish are likely to be and then be able to pick the best baits for the area, lake or day. Also, what works on one lake for big fish may not work on another. All lakes are different in forage, size of fish, structure, etc. These fish in the photo were all caught on a ten inch bait so I have had sucess with big baits in  the South. But the ten inch bait was just a tool that matched the conditions at the time. Notice the blacked out background. Location is the hardest part of catching big fish. :) If you want a suggestion of a bait to start with get a Mattlures bluegill. I have yet to find a lake in the South it will not work on and it caught the fish in up in the left top corner by my name.

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I don't know Bill Siemantel but from writeups about him he seems like a good fisherman. But his book Big Bass Zone  is worthless in my opinion. He gave no information of any use on techniques or on using lures or on structure fishing or patterns or anything else in that book. Its more like a 300  page pep talk than a fishing book. Really disappointed with it.  I think he just phoned it in when he wrote that book because from his magazine writeups he does seem to know a great deal about fishing.

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Nice fish, Randall. Where exactly did you catchem ;D I promise I want tell!! :-X ::);). I agree with you guys about the importance of location, conditions and attitude but, from what I read, so would Siemantel. Since I already utilize these in my fishing maybe I was looking for a "peptalk" or confirmation of my own fishing mindset. Big baits (which I haven't tried yet) would obviously not be an end all solution to big bass, just another "tool". That is also stated in the book. I've fish primarily for smallmouth in areas of Pickwick most other fishermen seem to be passing by (off shore structure, channels & isolated deep stumps) and have had good success doing so. Trying something out of the norm, i.e. - BIG bait, appealed to me so I was just checking out the forum response. I'm really not interested in personal opinions of the man just the techniques.

 RW - I had read some of your other post on fishing expensive swimbait in the Tenn River. I cringe when lose a $7.00 lure much less a $25.00+ one however I'm planning to do more fishing for LMB on Cedar Creek Lake. Plenty of standing timber on the edge of 50' to 75' steep dropoffs and much clearer water with numerous 10lb+ LM (no smallies though :'(). I think Mattslures might be just the ticket there. Still working on a day to get you down here on my favorite Pickwick

spots (don't tell :-X) or up around the dam - your choice. Let you know soon.

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Mike Whitten (Southeastern writer for Gary Yamamoto's Inside Line magazine) lives here in Germantown, TN. A couple of years ago he turned me on to fishing deep structure on the Tennessee River throwing 3/4 & 1 oz Ledgebuster Single Willow Blade spinnerbaits. That might be something you could try. This is a big bass lure that those fat footballs have probably never seen. Another suggestion is the LC Slender Pointer which Mike has been having great luck with. I like the Pointer 128. It seems to discourage smaller fish, but makes a tempting target for better smallies.

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Guest btlva
As Biz has said there is a ton of pressure out here so if you do figure something or somplace out its better to keep it quiet. I have learned that the hard way. Its almost impossible to not give up your bite if you post a report. If there is any background at all in a pic sombody will know exactly where you were. Even if do keep quiet there is a good chance sombody will recognize you and watch you. It used to be easy. That book says to think out side the box. Exactly. If you figure out something that works, THATS NOT IN A BOOK, you own it until you blab. Figure out tactics and baits that work for you in your waters and you will own that bite!

You are sooooo right about this, and I live on the other side of the country!

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I use a dbl willow leaf 3/4 oz spinner alot in fact it's what I was using when I caught my PB smallmouth (5 3/4lb)  for this year.  I usually have one rig set up with a spinner at all times but haven't used the single heavier wt. lately. I'll have to give it another try. I've always felt that a large spinner gives a good imitation of a large shad or bluegill if fished properly. Nothing like casting past a good piece of deep structure, rippin' it up to it and letting it flutter down in front of their noses. If a smallmouth is there it really P.O.'s them into a strike. I caught three in a row, over 4 1/2 lbs, off three consecutive deep stumps, doing just that, back in March. GOOD DAY!! Thanks for the tip. ;)

Hey, guys, I don't want to know your favorite holes but if we weren't sharing tactics what would we talk about on this forum?

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