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rjattack19

What im i doing wrong?

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i am completly up in arms at this point. i have tried many different kinds of bait and lures and i havnt caught a thing in several outings. i get bites all the time but for some reason there just not biting the hook. plz help, im a beginner and love the sport, but this is just depressing.

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Need more info bro.  Are you fishing creek, river, lake?  From the shore or from a boat.  

Thing is I may go a few times and never catch fish but have those little tail biters that just pull my bait down the hook but either wont take the whole bait or cant take it.   Depending on where you are fishing maybe you arent targeting the right areas.  Give us some more details and we'll all surely throw our 2cents in man!

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I think you've asked the question, who's answer, that if it could be bottled, would be worth millions. I know I'd pay and have. I truly think the figuring out how to get them to bite is what has me addicted to this sport. But as the previous poster mentions, if you want an explicit answer and I get the impression your looking for an explict answer, you need to ask a question that has much more detail to it. As and example, I am fishing lake xyz, I'm fishing from a boat/shore, a description of the structure, cover, depth, location on the lake(example, main lake points, secondary points, coves, etc), water color, temperature, area of the country, your bait choices, presentation, etc. The forum crowd will then be able to provide explicit instruction.

That being said, here's some suggestions:

1. Contact folks in your area that are experienced fishermen to take you out. You will learn more, both good and not so good this way. I say fishermen, which means multple, that way you get different perspectives, and you will find what works for you and what is just bs.

2. Join a bass fishing club. There are clubs of all types all over the country, clubs are a great way to achieve item 1 above. Most clubs meet on some schedule and have a variety of offerings, so look around before jumping in to find the one that suites your needs.

3. Your posting now, so I assume your fishing now. which means fall patterns, in the Northern hemisphere. You've posted to the smallmouth forum, so I hope your fishing in a lake with a well known population of smallmouth.  

4. Check out magazine or website articles for fall pattern techniques for smallmouth.

5. Everyone has their go to baits and techniques, you will develop your own over time.

6. For beginners I always suggest one technique, plastics on a jig head dragging the bottom. Try a 3.5 to 4 inch tube bait and start with a heavy jig head, like 1/2 ounce so you get the feel for inching the bait along the bottom. Watermelon/black flake is my personal favorite, but the darker the water the darker the color. Buy a few your gonna loose some, but then you'll know your doing it right. Your tube represents a crawdad  to the smallie, which is a favorite prey, in most waters. Make long casts and let the bait drop to the bottom, then vary your retrieve back to the boat or shore with the bait never loosing contact with the bottom. Inch it along by twitching your rod tip or just simply raising it, a few inches and then reeling up the slack. Pratice in the shallows so you can see what your doing. Does it look like a crawdad. Is the jig head end down and dragging along the bottom, while the tubes tentacles are pointing up and representing the crawdads penchers in a defensive position.

7. As  you become adept, you will find that changing the weight, will change your presentation which is needed for different conditions.

8. Repeat 6 for one entire day. Don't give up, it will work. If your on the shore work your way around the lakes shore, moving 1/2 the distance of your cast every 7-10 casts.  When you do catch that first fish, take notice of where you casted and do it again and again until you don't catch anything, then change to a different bait on  that area. Look for any differences in the bottom, structure or cover. Bass will simply hang near any irregularity. If there is a lake thats a perfect circle with nothing but sand everywhere on a perfectly flat bottom, and I threw in one rock, I would keep fishing near that rock.

9. Write down what you did that was sucessful, and where, weather conditions, date, water clarity, air and water temps.  Be specific. Write as much as you know. This will serve as a reminder.... yes.... but even more important is you will re-enforce in your own mind what you did. A college instructor taught me that you will never know it till you have to teach it. By writing it down your are acting as your own instructor.

10. Be persistent. The smallie is far more persistent that you will ever be, which is our advantage.

Good luck, hope it helps,

Steve

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You might to make sure you have the hook placed in a better way to hook the fish.  Maybe the hook isn't out enough or can't really hook the fish well and your just pulling it out.  Are you sure you are getting bites because if your dragging a worm on the bottom.  Sometimes you think you are getting a bt but it is just going through some brush/grass.  If you are using a 10-12 inch worm, downsize.    Spinners and crankbaits I usually get no bit or they are on.

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rj I usually fish for smallies in a river a few miles from the house. I normally use 6lb test with a #5 silver or gold rapala. I haven't had an outing where I haven't caught anything. Smallies are really finicky about feeding. If it doesnt act real, they probably wont bite. Hope this helps.

John

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well so far you have all been extremly helpful.  ;D i fish in a lake in so-cal. i fish from the shore at around 4:30 to dark. i have tried spinner baits with no luck, but mostly i have used plastic worms. the water is rather murky with only about a foot or less of vison. casting off the shore the water, at the deepest point is probably about 5 feet deep and it gets shallower from there. the lake has tons of blue gill, millions of minnows, and i know that there are smallies cuz i have been with friends that have caught them, and have talked to people that have told me that they catch them all the time. i hope this helps. thank you once again

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Just curious how your rigging your worm. So I would start with murky water try darker colors. In my post above regarding rigging a tube, just change the color to greenpumpkin. Overall stick to greenpumpkin, or blues and black, or blue black laminate for your soft plastics. If you know how to rig a drop shot, based on where your fishing, I would use a drop shot. Try a minnow (match the bait fish you see) or a 3 inch worm with a 6 to 12 inch tag end down to your weight. I like the 3 inch senko, greenpumpkin black flake, wacky rigged on a drop shot with a number 2 gamakatsu hook, and 3/8 ounce dropshot weight, so you can cast it as far as possible. Let it soak, keeping just enough tension on your line to feel the bite, and you can slowly drag it back or give it an occasionaly twitch, the wacky rigged work has a nice presentation when twitched. Not sure from your post if your suggesting the lake is no deeper than 5 feet anywhere, or just where your fishing. Its not real common for smallies to be in such a shallow lake. (I'm imagining a lake of 5 feet all over) They tend to like water that is more clear and better water movement than a largemouth.

Since there is lots of bluegill and minnows. I would try a Storm wild eyes bluegill pattern swim bait also. Cast it as far as you can and a nice stead swimming action retrieve. Its a great smallie bait.

Dusk always produces good top water opportunities, try a rebel Pop R, in a pattern thats close the minnows in the lake. Cast it on light line, and jerk, jerk, and wait for 8-10 seconds, then jerk, jerk, Jerk and wait. They will hit on the pause. The key is don't try to set the hook on the splash, you have to wait for the pressure on a top water. Also Try your minnow on a wieghted hook like a Falcon Bait-Jerk. Its weighted so you can cast it far, but then retrieve it fast enough where it swims across the surface, making a V wake behind it. You'll find it works best on Braid type lines because it floats. You can also try just letting it sink, and swim it back or jerk it back.

My concern with what you wrote is the 5 feet thing. If your standing on the bank, fishing in 5 feet of water, fish will likely see you or your shadow. They relate shadows with being preyed upon by larger fish, from when they were younger, ( My theory) I would seriously try to fish further from the shore, so make long casts. Your short strike problem mentioned in your first post, may be the dinks in the shallows. Fish deeper and farther from the shore. If the water is as murky as you say, its to your advantage, Bass will feel more comfortable if they feel hidden, but their sense are better than yours.

Good Luck and again above all try any one of the suggestions above and work it hard for as long as you can. Being patient is the key. Anyone can be lucky now and then, you want to be consistently good and its no accident.

Steve

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well so far you have all been extremly helpful. ;D i fish in a lake in so-cal. i fish from the shore at around 4:30 to dark. i have tried spinner baits with no luck, but mostly i have used plastic worms. the water is rather murky with only about a foot or less of vison. casting off the shore the water, at the deepest point is probably about 5 feet deep and it gets shallower from there. the lake has tons of blue gill, millions of minnows, and i know that there are smallies cuz i have been with friends that have caught them, and have talked to people that have told me that they catch them all the time. i hope this helps. thank you once again

Those little bites are probably those small fish going for your offering. Step up in bait size to hopefully minimize their onslaught of mini bites.  As for colors, try earth worm brown, dark brown and if the water has some green tint to it, watermelon. Red and its variants and even bubble gum pink might also be productive.

Despite the murkiness, give the drop shot a try with 6-8# line. The lighter line should aid in giving the lures a more enticing action and hopefully induce more bites. Good luck.

Being a so cal guy, try to find yourself some sniper snubs and bolts. They are smallie killers.

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Two new guys on the same thread,

Welcome aboard!

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"If there is a lake thats a perfect circle with nothing but sand everywhere on a perfectly flat bottom, and I threw in one rock, I would keep fishing near that rock. "

i love this statement...!!!

very nice

the little bits can help, because the big bass sometime will come in and take it from the little ones.....

i would try it slower.....your probably bringing it in too fast

the easiest GOOD lure to use has to be the plastic worm, from senko to power worm

just put a buillet weight in front of a 2/0 hook (texas style) fishb it slow off the bottom and you will get something eventually....thjat was the way i learned to fish....

i think jigs are a little hard to work for someone brand new, they took me a while to learn

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then its all about setting the hook

always keep your line semi tight.....just enough to feel the bait

when you get a hit, not on the hit, but a half a second after sweep your rop up....Not too hard, or you will rip it out of their jaw (something i learned here, and has really helped!)

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I have a couple of ideas/suggestions:

First, what you feel biting might be small fish such as bluegill. or creek chubs.  You can eliminate them by going with larger baits.  If they are bass, then you might want to add a trailer hook.  You can't do that to some lures such as crankbaits but when you can, it can add a few fish to the tally.  Lastly, if they are small bass, you may want to down size to smaller baits such as spinners (rooster tails, panther martins, or mepps) or beetle spins.  The river I fish has mostly small smallmouths and if I used a large bait, I'd rarely hook or catch a bass.

Don't be discouraged.  Keep at it!

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Hey farmpond,

Welcome aboard!

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OH you are in Smally Country !  SC is Lunkerville USA

Yo, throw out the worm bags. Burn them. hehehe The bass can't see them. I never throw worms in low visbilty water

Get to some noisy flashy baits and PICK up the pace.

You are fishing in prime periods of the day.

Get some big Calardao blade spinner baits. They go thump thump flash flash.  STICK with it.  They will hit. Throw it all afternoon.  Make the bait bigger to see by adding a mister twister tail on the hook.  Bigger baits, noisy baits and reaction type baits.

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lures I would Try:

Small Spinerbait:  I have a stash of the old BlueFox Big Crappies in 1/16 oz that I rig a trailer hook for using a saltwater (big eye) hook.  Makes a Great finesse/River spinnnerbait. Spinnner baits are awsome but PUT ON THE TRAILER HOOK!!!

#5 Rapala fish this like a jerk and fast. Twitch, twitch,  twitch, ... to the rod tip.  Imitates one of the small minnow feeing.

#9 or #11 Rapala:  This one on top.  Slow back to the rod in twitches.  Should be on top most of the time.

1/8 oz white buzz.  Don't forget the trailer hook and a Big bodied white grub on the trailer. I like this one at about dark.

Tesas rigged worm:  I like the PowerBait stuff for this one.  I rig with a Little heavier than usual hook in the Gama. line.  I will put a 3/0 to 5/0 in a 4" Powerworm. I like irregular banks and toss this unweighted down the bank.  Really Great if their are undercuts on the bank.  I can't count the bass I have pulled like this.

Lots of other but ta wll get you goin' ;)

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This thread is five months old.  The guy that started it hasn't been back on line since he asked the original question. You're all beating a dead horse to death.

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