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granadethrow

What am I doing wrong?

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Ok,

I'm fishing a reservior that is chock full of smallies, I fish this one desertted spot really close to the shore, its a really steep drop off ledge that is about a mile long, though this is the only spot you can sight fish it. When its choppy there are no smallies, but when its flat calm a group of them swim by every 5-10 minutes.  It appears that the smallies are in the current created by the ledge and the tides, but not really eating anything. I have put soft shell crawdads on bobbers, dragged the bottom with them but only one look at one. The bottom is sand and gravel and there are tons of crawfish all around under the rocks. No lures work either. If you are not wearing camo they will see you and not bite it. I tried reaction bite but they just look at it and swim away. Tried topwater, nothing.

I haven't tried live shiners yet, would they be a option?

What can I do to get them to bite?

Some of the smallies appear to be chasing a school of spawning golden shiners, maybe if I put a shiner on a bobber and a hook would convince them to bite?

The smallies here are huge 2-7lbs so people use 7 inch dark green lizards embedded with glitter and sometimes get them.

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Well, a couple of things:

The smallmouth, or at least some of them are always there. That's where they live! If you fish the shiners you will catch some bass, but lures will work, too. If you are fishing from shore I would stick to soft plastics (hard baits will hang up and there is usually no way to retrieve them). Some specific suggestions are: Fat Ika, 3 1/2" tube, lizard, Kreature, 5" Senko, Senko Swimbait and the all time classic, a single tail grub. If you are fishing from a boat, I HIGHLY recommend jerkbaits: Lucky Craft Pointer 100, Rapala Husky Jerk and X-Rap or Smithwick Rogue.

Regarding clothing, those guys on tour are never camouflaged!

Also, use lighter line or fluorocarbon. Line diameter and visibility can make a SIGNIFICANT difference.

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If you can see them, they have already seen you and the boat.  I would say they are swimming fast by you because they see the boat and are swimming fast to get clear of it.  

I have heard that the clearer the water the more realisic bait you need to use.

Have you tried reeling in the crawdads, maybe try to give them a real action and not just let the bobber do the work.  Or maybe change it up to a worm, they maybe getting caught on the same things so they learned not to go after that, so something new may get them to bit.  

Which direction are you fishing?  I would get far enough away that they can't see you, and then throw to on top of the drop off and reel it to the drop off.  Or hop the worm to the drop off.  

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rw, the bass don't even look at the lures, even huge 7 inch worms dragged 3 feet away from them, its as if they aren't hungry. I have 6 pound clear mono, thats pretty unnoticable, no snap swivel, and I make sure to hide the hook well.

tntitans, this reservoir is shore fishing only, I have dragged crawdads along the bottom, they don't even notice it.

Today I tried shiners, I used a dozen, used 3 on a bobber, then the rest for casting, I almost got a decent 2 lber, it followed it right up to the shore then swam away, came back striked but missed and swam away, I wasn't even reeling it in fast. Then I saw a guy pull in 2 right away AGAIN on a 7 inch green lizards and a 1/4 green bullet weight.

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Anglers shore fishing like to stand with their feet touching the water. If you would stand back 15 or 2o ft your success will go up. Even if other anglers are close to the water the fish will watch these anglers.

Make your cast just as they reel in.

Garnet

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I'm with roadwarrior, jerkbaits on 8lb flouro! In cold water it is just too much fun.

O ya and in clear clear water like that, make really really long casts.

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