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jeremyt

What Would You Guys Do In This Situation?

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My buddy showed up at 10 and we headed to the local power plant lake. Get there and launch, water temp is 63 at the boat dock. Get to the hot ditch and its 75 degrees. Bass busting on baitfish everywhere. I am thinking to myself, holy crap this is going to be awesome. Start fishing the banks with jigs, cranks, and plastics. 1 hour not a bite. Move to the middle of the channel and start throwing spinners, 2 fish in 2 hours. Hmmm, not the day I thought it would be. Get up on the bank to flip and pitch to the bushes. WOW, baitfish everywhere and I mean all over the whole bank from one end to the other. See a bass and flip, bass screams out of there. We finish the rest of the day without another nibble. The whole time there were bass busting all over. \

It seemed like the bass were not even interested in anything because they were mixed in with the baitfish and could just nab one up if they wanted. I was frustrated because we could see the fish busting and cruising all around but couldn't hook up. What could I have done differently.

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Throw a topwater through the area they're busting, or fish a soft plastic swimbait. Personal favorite is a weightless T-rigged fluke. Cast right into the baitfish, twich it once or twice, and let it fall right in the middle of them. Attempts to imitate a stunned baitfish that got caught up in all of the commotion.

Most important lesson, match the hatch. Don't throw a crayfish imitation into the brush if the bass are feeding on baitfish in open water.

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I don't know how fast you fished your baits,but what I would've done different if the bass were hitting the baitfish like you say they were, I would have thrown a weightless fluke matching the baitfish. Topwater lure such as: pop-r,spook,or spit'n immage. Seems like most of the bass were in schools,so you were in the right place to catch the bass. I don't know if you were looking for size because I don't think in my own opinion that bass over 3 lbs do not school up, again that's my opinion.

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I would have done away with the jigs, plastics and spinnerbaits. I would have concentrated on the school using a rattle trap and pointer minnow. You can work either bait on top of the school or below the school. If the school was concentrated in one particular area and the pointer minnow and trap were unsuccessful, then I would fish the edge of the channel and work may way towards deeper water using the jig, t-rig worm or deep crank.

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Fluke or a swimbait.

A-Jay

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when their keyed in on bait fish like that and don't want anything else, the rapala shallow shad rap #7 silver/black never lets me down...

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Fluke, wacky worm or fluke, red eye shad, sammy, pointer, or gunfish.

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Match the hatch. I agree with Bassn Blvd. Forget the jig and plastics, and try and match whatever they were feeding on, either with a trap, slashbait, or jerkbait.I do fairly well at powerplant lakes with sqarebills and bombers

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I'll repeat the fluke idea. I'd want to weight it properly though. You want it to fall at a slower rate like a stunned baitfish. Experiment with weights till you get a bite. I'd think a weight around 1/8 to 3/16 oz. would be just about right to start with.

Twitch, twitch, then deadstick it. let it fall. fish it slow.

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Just think of it this way. Bass will always take an easy meal over one they have to chase. Get a bait that will act injured and let it sink or "swim" outside the group of bait. Hopefully it gets a hit!

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I would agree with everyone trying to imitate the baitfish but maybe there were just too many for the bass to eat so they didn't have to target your lure to get a meal. Maybe you could alter a fluke that matches the baitfish in color with a little chartreuse dye just to make it stand out. Hope this helps!

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Throw a topwater through the area they're busting, or fish a soft plastic swimbait. Personal favorite is a weightless T-rigged fluke. Cast right into the baitfish, twich it once or twice, and let it fall right in the middle of them. Attempts to imitate a stunned baitfish that got caught up in all of the commotion.

Most important lesson, match the hatch. Don't throw a crayfish imitation into the brush if the bass are feeding on baitfish in open water.

Exellent advice!!!!

As for your comment jeremyt, you mentioned, bass were not interested in what you had to offer, the reason for that is they look for the easy meal, and an injured bait fish was the ticket on that particular day, the spinner proved that, but if the spinner was working I would have continued to use it if that was the only other option you had that day and " yo yo'd " it through there.

The reason the bass screamed away is because they saw you as a potintial threat, they have instincts built in and they know enough that when there are bait fish, there are preditors just like them that are looking for the same easy meal and these other preditors have teeth too.

Often times I have seen bass on the shallows corralling a small school that has broken away from the bait ball, or they are there waiting for the school of fish and they ambush them as they go by.

In that case I would have stayed away as far as I could and casted the bait past where they were located and brought it to where the bass were staged, most likely with the fluke rigged as Imoore stated.

Oh well at least you got a couple, but that is how we learn, good job on changing things up and getting the bites you did though.

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Match the hatch? That's great advice for trout fishermen, but not for bass.

Often we find bass focused on bottom forage (crawdads) or baitfish. When it's predominately baitfish as in this case, moving lures are the ticket. However, if, for example, threadfin are the "shad", that color (sexy shad?) is not necessarily the best choice. Profile, speed and presentation are probably most important, but I think you also need "color" that stands out from the crowd. "That color" may just be your favoritge color, but for me it's either green or American Shad. Sometimes a little flash is key.

My specific suggestion is the Sworming Hornet with a Lake Fork Tackle Magic Shad trailer. Fish the lure by letting it hit the bottom, reel FAST and let if fall on slack line. The blade on the bottom lifts the lure. DO NOT "pump" your retrieve, that only moves the lure forward. The fall is what is important. 100% of your strikes will be on the drop.

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Match the hatch? That's great advice for trout fishermen, but not for bass.

Often we find bass focused on bottom forage (crawdads) or baitfish. When it's predominately baitfish as in this case, moving lures are the ticket. However, if, for example, threadfin are the "shad", that color (sexy shad?) is not necessarily the best choice. Profile, speed and presentation are probably most important, but I think you also need "color" that stands out from the crowd. "That color" may just be your favoritge color, but for me it's either green or American Shad. Sometimes a little flash is key.

My specific suggestion is the Sworming Hornet with a Lake Fork Tackle Magic Shad trailer. Fish the lure by letting it hit the bottom, reel FAST and let if fall on slack line. The blade on the bottom lifts the lure. DO NOT "pump" your retrieve, that only moves the lure forward. The fall is what is important. 100% of your strikes will be on the drop.

The best bass fisherman in the world offers advice opposite of what you just posted.

Just pointing that out. :eyebrows:

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The best bass fisherman in the world offers advice opposite of what you just posted.

Just pointing that out. :eyebrows:

Although RW probably wouldn't consider himself on the level of the best bass fishermen in the world, he's a pretty darned accomplished fisherman in his own right. He's simply offering another perspective that has worked for him in the past. You can't go wrong paying attention to his advice.

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On the power plant lake I fish, a 3" or 4" whiteish grub on an 1/8 ounce darter jig has caught more schooling bass and hybrids than any other bait over the years. An eighth ounce Roadrunner has caught a lot of fish as well. These smaller baits seem to work when nothing else will, and they seem to work well for whatever size happens to show up. Color can make a difference, but I think size is the key.

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I don't claim to be anywhere close to the level of any professional. For the most part, this has been my experience on the Tennessee River and some of the regional reservoirs. Threadfin are known as "yellowtail" around here and represent the overwhelming percentage of forage. That's not to say other species are not important, but bluegill, crawfish and multi- species "minnows" represent significanly less biomass. My observation is that farm raised minnows are more productive than the natives! Why? Maybe because they are just something different.

On the other hand, Dwight Hottle and his Jenson Yellow Perch Jig is "proof"

of the match the hatch proposition: http://www.angelfire.com/biz2/jighead/rabbithairjigs.html

So, situations vary and I could be wrong!

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I don't claim to be anywhere close to the level of any professional. For the most part, this has been my experience on the Tennessee River and some of the regional reservoirs. Threadfin are known as "yellowtail" around here and represent the overwhelming percentage of forage. That's not to say other species are not important, but bluegill, crawfish and multi- species "minnows" represent significanly less biomass. My observation is that farm raised minnows are more productive than the natives! Why? Maybe because they are just something different.

On the other hand, Dwight Hottle and his Jenson Yellow Perch Jig is "proof"

of the match the hatch proposition: http://www.angelfire...ithairjigs.html

So, situations vary and I could be wrong!

What makes you think you could be wrong?

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Although RW probably wouldn't consider himself on the level of the best bass fishermen in the world, he's a pretty darned accomplished fisherman in his own right. He's simply offering another perspective that has worked for him in the past. You can't go wrong paying attention to his advice.

The smiley face indicates that I was just giving him a hard time.

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Match the hatch? That's great advice for trout fishermen, but not for bass.

Often we find bass focused on bottom forage (crawdads) or baitfish. When it's predominately baitfish as in this case, moving lures are the ticket. However, if, for example, threadfin are the "shad", that color (sexy shad?) is not necessarily the best choice. Profile, speed and presentation are probably most important, but I think you also need "color" that stands out from the crowd. "That color" may just be your favoritge color, but for me it's either green or American Shad. Sometimes a little flash is key.

My specific suggestion is the Sworming Hornet with a Lake Fork Tackle Magic Shad trailer. Fish the lure by letting it hit the bottom, reel FAST and let if fall on slack line. The blade on the bottom lifts the lure. DO NOT "pump" your retrieve, that only moves the lure forward. The fall is what is important. 100% of your strikes will be on the drop.

Agree and disagree.

I agree "a little flash is the key""speed and presentation are probably most important"

I disagree "a color that stands out from the crowd"

RW, You are still throwing a shad or bluegill pattern. What about that stands out from the crowd? Standing out from the crowd would be throwing a bubblegum senko on a scrounger jig. It may work as far as causing a reaction strike, but the OP is not looking for a reaction strike, he is trying to catch feeding fish. If you're in the mood for a hamburger and there are McDonalds, Burger King, White Castle, and (insert burger joint here) restaurants on every block are you going to go to the China Buffet? Probably not. You will choose the burger joint that is most appealing to you. I do not believe a fish has an intelligence level that matches a human, nor do I believe they have any kind of ability to reason. I do however believe their instincts will overpower any decisions their tiny brain makes. If something doesn't look right while they are feeding they are not going to try and eat it, may even get spooked and swim away. The clearer the water the more prevalent this will be. On the other hand, If the bass feels threatened there is a good chance he's going to attack the bait. As I stated earlier, OP is not looking for a reaction strike.

And congrats on being the best fisherman in the world :respect-059:

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K.I.S.S. Bass want the most meal for the least energy. Doesn't matter what it looks like as long as it wiggles like a meal. Ever seen a bass eat a goldfish?

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i have found that if they are in there like you say they are (the water looks like it is solid shad) then 99% of the time they will not bite anything i throw unless it is a reaction bite because no matter how hard i try i will not be able to match the shad when there is that many around your chances are about a million to one "literally" i would pack up and move but keep the spot in mind because shad move fish move anything could happen

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Throw something thats gonna cause a rucus or something that stands out from the bait fish. Or if you have some lure that you think wouldnt work cuz the color isnt the same as the bait fish because they see the same lures everyday and start to figure it out so give it a shot especially if its a lake with a lot of pressure. But also a few guys said to use top water and i deffinitly agree with them especially since you said they where busting.

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Match the hatch? That's great advice for trout fishermen, but not for bass.

Often we find bass focused on bottom forage (crawdads) or baitfish. When it's predominately baitfish as in this case, moving lures are the ticket. However, if, for example, threadfin are the "shad", that color (sexy shad?) is not necessarily the best choice. Profile, speed and presentation are probably most important, but I think you also need "color" that stands out from the crowd. "That color" may just be your favoritge color, but for me it's either green or American Shad. Sometimes a little flash is key.

My specific suggestion is the Sworming Hornet with a Lake Fork Tackle Magic Shad trailer. Fish the lure by letting it hit the bottom, reel FAST and let if fall on slack line. The blade on the bottom lifts the lure. DO NOT "pump" your retrieve, that only moves the lure forward. The fall is what is important. 100% of your strikes will be on the drop.

Yep, I agree. Under normal conditions I catch more fish, not just bass, on the drop or pause.

The OP was in regards to bass busting bait, I only fish 1 rod and whatever lure I have on catches bass in that situation, no question I'm hoping I have a top lure on then.

That is not the case with all species, no need to get into that as the OP is about bass.

RW is a good fisherman, knows what he is talking about.

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