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SnowBass23

Where am I going wrong?

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Hi all,

I've been bass fishing for a while but I'm hoping you all can provide some insight or direction into something I'm doing wrong.  When I go out fishing if it is the last few hours before dark I can catch bass without a problem.  You know where you hit that magical hour where it seems every cast is a bass, or at least a great strike?  I have no problems catching/feeling bass at that time.  Also, if I fish smaller creeks, streams, and ponds I can usually clean up pretty well.

The problem is if I go fishing on a lake during the daytime, say just after sunrise throughout the day, I don't catch hardly any fish.  I can go out all day and might get a couple of strikes at best.  The lake I fish is 660 acres, depth is usually 15 feet or less (to be honest I prefer fishing right up on shore).  I usually throw soft plastics, in fact that is the only thing I have any confidence in.  I have caught random bass on a crankbait, spinners, and an occasional buzz bait.  But, anytime I throw those lures I feel I should be using the worm.  

I think my problem is more of an issue with locating bass during the day, than it is with presentation.  What do you guys think?  I absolutely love it and would never dream of stopping.  But, when I read posts of guys having great or even consistent numbers compared to all my skunkings it is frustrating.

SnowBass

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You are catching them where ?

Lake got what kind of cover ( if it has any ) ?

Fish move and change location depending upon conditions throughout the day, so for example they move to shallow/flats during the late hours of the day and retreat to whatever connects to the deeper water during high light periods like the midday, instead of banging the flats & shallows attack the deepr portions of those areas that are productive consistently during the midday.

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I had a big description of the lake and lost it... Oh well, it is all flooded timber in 5-8 feet of water in the north half, lillies and grass on east and west side.  Main lake depth is up to 15 feet average with a 30 foot creek channel that runs the length of the lake.  All my fish have come from within arms length of the bank usually, in or around heavy grass and lilly pads.  Never any deeper than 5 feet.  Thanks for the inputs.  :)

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If you ask me that drawing is actually pretty good for doing it with paint i assume.

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look for your weed edges or structure in 6-12 feet of water.  when it gets really warm  go to the deeper points. you gotta get off the shore a bit. I figured that one out 5-6 years ago. good luck keep us updated on your progress.

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look for your weed edges or structure in 6-12 feet of water. when it gets really warm go to the deeper points. you gotta get off the shore a bit. I figured that one out 5-6 years ago. good luck keep us updated on your progress.

Thinking just that, I've tried to drag a c-rig a few times, but it just 'doesn't feel right'.  It's probably my lack of confidence in it.

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look for your weed edges or structure in 6-12 feet of water. when it gets really warm go to the deeper points. you gotta get off the shore a bit. I figured that one out 5-6 years ago. good luck keep us updated on your progress.

Thinking just that, I've tried to drag a c-rig a few times, but it just 'doesn't feel right'. It's probably my lack of confidence in it.

I know just what you mean bro! I always end up on or near the shore for some reason. If i can't see visible structure i just do't have confidence in it!  :(

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I would take two rods each trip....first trip...look for aggressive fish....

Rod #1.....Baitcaster with a mid range crankbait...7-10 ft. change up thru the day...Craw....Firetiger.....Shad etc...

Rod #2.....Baitcaster for a slow rolled Spinnerbait...change up...White to Chartreuse/white to Firetiger etc....

Day two...

Rod #1.....Baitcaster with a Jig.....throw to wood, Rip-Rap...combo and at bases of weedlines

Rod #2.....Spinning Rod with 8 lb line...rigged with a weightless and weighted Senko......cast it to the weedlines, inside and out for the suspended fish and staged Spawn-Post Spawn fish

By limiting yourself to two rods you learn to  adjust your thinking and eliminate non-productive techniques more methodically and by all means keep notes to aid in the learning process.

Feel free to expand this to multiple days but keep the limit at two rods to continue the elimination process.

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My only opinion on the subject is this...  It may suck but only take 3 or 4 rods with baits you have little or no confidence in (spinnerbait, traps, cranks, jigs) and use only those baits in their appropriate places/situations for a few trips. You may zero, you may only catch a few, but you'll build confidence in those baits. Its hard but I did just that and I caught my first trap fish and jig fish in the same 3hr trip. Look at it as adding pieces of the puzzle. The more weapons you have at your disposal the more you learn and the quicker you'll be able to adapt and figure out your lake.

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I would fish the wood closest to the creek channel, and work your way through that until you find the depth the fish are holding at, start off early morning with topwater, then as the sun goes up, throw traps, spinner baits. if you aren't getting on those, switch to a worm, either t-rigged, or c-rigged.  if those presentations aren't working, then switch up to a jig, again,either around the wood, or fish the rip rap. you'll gain confidence in those when you feel the bites.

if you havn't developed a solid pattern by this time, go into the lily pads and start throwing senkos and worms again, paying attention to depth, and little subtle differences so that you can establish what is holding the fish. and if that doesn't work, then the fish are obviously jsut late risers and don't fish the morning  :D

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My only opinion on the subject is this... It may suck but only take 3 or 4 rods with baits you have little or no confidence in (spinnerbait, traps, cranks, jigs) and use only those baits in their appropriate places/situations for a few trips. You may zero, you may only catch a few, but you'll build confidence in those baits. Its hard but I did just that and I caught my first trap fish and jig fish in the same 3hr trip. Look at it as adding pieces of the puzzle. The more weapons you have at your disposal the more you learn and the quicker you'll be able to adapt and figure out your lake.

I would have to disagree on this a little. I believe one of the biggest downfalls of people being discouraged while fishing is not catching anything. If you are not comfortable in some sort of presentation you should integrate it slowly into your arsenal of tactics. We are not pros and we do not have the time to spend everyday out on the water improving our techniques. I would start slow with throwing new baits and new presentations.

I used to be a "Bank Beater" because that is what I was comfortable fishing. I would have the occasional 3-4lber but nothing with consistency. You have to figure out a bass' environment and then work to where they live. I have transitioned enormously in my fishing tactics by studying more than fishing. Learn how bass live and where they live first.

Not knowing anything about your lake and what part of the spawn it is this is how I would fish it:

Pre-Spawn:

Fish the Creek Channel ledges and humps. I would throw Suspending Jerks, Carolina rigged tube or lizard, shakey head or jig w/trailer.

Spawn:

I would first hit the two main points on the bottom and move into where the cover is. I would then hit the rip wrap banging a crank and pitching a tube or jig. After there I would hit the third point on the left hand side of map I would then transition out to the creek channel and look for humps and spawning flats.

When you find a stump or tree or any kind of cover, don't be afraid to spend 15 minutes on that one piece. Your first throws should always be on the shady side and work your way around it. 90% of catching fish is eliminating the areas where the fish aren't. Confidence is built from catching fish and until you find the fish you can't get a start on the confidence of a new bait.

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If you have timber id fish the structure. I usualy use a jig and i catch decent bass. Nothing big but at least its somthing.

I know what you mean when ya hear about everyone catching 10lbs bass and all ya get are dinks 24/7 im in the same boat.

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Thanks to everyone who's given me tips.  Btech, I don't even mind the dinks, it's just the consistency that bothers me.  On other waters (where the fish are generally trapped!) I can fish dusk to dawn and slay them.  But, on larger waters where it might require switching to a different bait as the day progresses my luck is just hit or miss.  I can't wait to get out tommorrow and try some of this out.

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"I know what you mean when ya hear about everyone catching 10lbs bass and all ya get are dinks 24/7 im in the same boat."

jeez i know how it feels too ive only recently caught any decent sized fish on lures and some of my friends have caught fish in the 10=15 pound range.

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