14 posts in this topic

So, I start my morning at the lake around 5:15am, sunrise is approx. 6:10-15am.

(I’m lucky to work at a college, surrounded by a huge lake and every morning, I see dozens of bass boat launch)

My First choice is top water poppers typically then to a different style top water, of a few different patterns, colors,

sizes, etc. My retrieval starts slow, a pop at a time. At times I let the ripples fade away

then make another set of ripples or I pop frequently and at faster rate. I have also used jerk baits.

The Lake is smooth as glass and bass are jumping all around me.

 

And still NOTHING!!!!!

What I'm I doing wrong???

Please advise

 

 

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"Glass" like conditions can be tough to fish and make bass very spooky. I hate to see flat, calm water. The mere act of your lure plopping down into the water, can spook any bass in the area to quickly dart away, out of your potential strike zone. Do your best to enter the water as quietly as possible. 

I usually take a different approach in those conditions. When I establish where the bass are holding, or the cover they are relating to, I make a long cast way beyond it, and bring my lure to the area or object. This gives the bass a chance to hone in on your lure, and see it. Under those conditions, I take one of two approaches in trying to figure out their mood. I usually make a long cast with a buzzbait and bring it through the cover very quickly. Bass are aggressive feeders, even when they are not in the mood to feed. It's in their DNA, as predatory feeders, to just attack out of instinct. The buzzbait, brings out that nature, as it's moving by quickly and forces them to react to it before it escapes. It's not a given that they will strike, but more often then not, they will. 

In the event that they are not actively feeding, I like to throw a soft plastic jerkbait like a Zoom fluke, and work it just the opposite. Bring the lure into the area with small, soft jerks, and allow the bait to just slowly sink, and flutter to the bottom. This type of action mimics a dying baitfish, and they just can't resist hitting it. A lot of your hits will come as you lift the bait quickly off the bottom, on your next jerk. It's that reaction that will draw the strike. I love poppers also, but won't spend more than 10-15 mins on them, if their not getting love right away. Hope this helps ya, and good luck this Spring!

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Wow this is extremely helpful!

Thank you!

I've been doing the complete opposite from what you describe above,

as per the 10-15min of poppers, I'd do 10-15min of worms/soft baits,

spending majority of my time throwing top water/hard plastics.

 

 

As far as buzz baits,

The lake has a sand bottom, some what clear water and near

the banks/shores lots of vegetation/grass in the water (lost one floater and get caught up a lot)

there is a boat house with a pretty descent size dock/ramp (that isn't in use while I fish)

a lot of small fish around.

What should I throw in these types of conditions?

 

I appreciate the post Mack26!!!!

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Envy, if you think there are a lot of small fish in the lake, the first thing you may want to do is downsize your presentations. But, you stated that you see a lot of bass boats launching, so I'm willing to bet that there are bigger fish available, maybe just not in the area you are fishing.

With buzzbait's, if the area has shallow grass that doesn't cover the surface, that is a perfect place for one. Bass will set up in small holes and pockets, and ambush bait as it goes by, or above. Dock's are also a fish magnet, as they provide shade and cover, and bass use them for the cooler temps they provide. Another bait I would spend some time with in these areas is a hollow bodied frog, or a soft plastic one like a Zoom Horny Toad. You will want to make sure you have heavy, or better yet, braided line to quickly pull the fish out of the cover before they bury you in the grass. Being on shore you are at a disadvantage, whereas a boat you can go to the fish. A high speed reel will help too.

It's somewhat tough to work soft plastics effectively from shore as they usually get hung up due to your angle to the water. They would be better suited if you were fishing from a boat, where you could pitch them into the holes, and present your bait more vertically. I'm not saying you can't catch fish that way, it's just not going to be as productive.

Another bait that might give you some action would be a floating worm. These aren't used very widely anymore, but can be deadly under the right conditions, especially around the spawn. 

Lastly, is the wacky rigged senko. These seem to catch bass when nothing else will. If you have a lot of grass you will need get some weedless style hooks, and fish them SLOW. Almost painfully. If you know the fish are there, stick with it, and keep track of your catches, and the conditions you caught them under. You will be amazed how quickly you can begin to establish patterns, and eliminate unproductive presentations, and spend more time catching fish.

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Mack, 

Thanks for taking the time out and helping me. Here are some photos of the lake I️ Fish. Maybe you can give me an idea on how to proceed. Thanks again. 

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The options are endless depending on how you like to fish. if i was approaching your spot around those lilly pads, i would start off with a topwater in low light conditions. When the sun started to get up and those fish started to get under the pads for shade, i would opt for a swim jig or chatter bait. They will both come through grass well and allow you to present a bait fish imitation to the fish with minimal hang ups. Sam could go for the spots with submerged grass. Something that is going to ride in the water column high enough to get on top of that grass. Hard to tell how deep down the grass is in the pictures, but if it is 3/4' down, you could throw a rattletrap. You would make a long cast and reel it on top of the grass. When it gets hung up, you rip it hard upwards, and that can trigger reaction strikes from fish sitting in the grass. Also ripping a chatterbait/swim jig/spinnerbait/swimbait over the top of that gras could be effective, depending on conditions. Possibilities are endless depending on conditions, water temp, and mood of the fish. 

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Hey Envy, that looks like a beautiful lake! Did you say that you are strictly a shore bound fisherman or did you have access to a boat or kayak?  The problem with being on the shore is your accessibility to fish wher you want or need to. That being said, does not mean you can't catch fish.

If you DO have the ability to get out on the lake, it looks like you have endless options with regards to presentations to fish the underwater grass, and vegetation like those pads. It also looks like there are some nice areas of sandy bottom too, which will be key during the spawning process. Bass prefer a clean sandy bottom to lay their eggs during this time. Those pads would be my first choice for a frog, but I kinda have a problem with frogs! It also would be a great place for the buzzbait I mentioned, as it would work well over that submerged grass. If you look at those pictures, pay attention to the small points and pockets within the outskirts of the pads. Bass will use those as an ambush point, and tuck in behind them. Also look at any wind direction and how it is blowing into or across the pads. The bass will position themselves in a way that brings bait and other offerings past them for easy pickings.

The submerged grass can be fished any number of ways under different conditions, so you'll have to experiment to find out what they want. Early in the morning, I would be burning a spinnerbait across the top, fast as to create a wake. You'll need a higher speed reel to keep from tiring yourself out. You didn't mention whether you use spinning or baitcasting equipment? The spinning reels are a little tougher to do this because of their gear ratios.  But, other than that, as the sun got up I would start pitching a jig, into the holes and pockets within the grass. A swim jig as previously mentioned, is another great choice. You mentioned you throw worms and plastics, those are also good.

Not knowing how you approach these areas makes it tough to critique, or offer advise to help you, but just keep in mind that bass are creatures of habit, and will become a little more predictable to catch if you pay attention to their habits. They prefer cover, and will be usually close to it, even when they are actively, and aggressively feeding. If you are making long casts over open water, and working your bait in, you may be over water that is potentially out of their strike zone due to the depth, or water color and conditions.

One other thing that might help you, is getting a pair of fairly decent polarized glasses. I am not suggesting that you need Costa's or other glasses in that price range, just something like $30-40 Strike King's will do. You would be amazed at your ability to pick up on underwater depth, and vegetation, that might help you make more and better casts to potential areas that will hold fish. Just my .02.

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Another type of topwater action for a calm day can be a weightless worm, or fluke.  The sometimes just slurp those down which is cool to see.  Down south many old timers would use pink and cream colored worms for this.

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On 3/8/2018 at 7:41 PM, Envy69 said:

So, I start my morning at the lake around 5:15am, sunrise is approx. 6:10-15am.

(I’m lucky to work at a college, surrounded by a huge lake and every morning, I see dozens of bass boat launch)

My First choice is top water poppers typically then to a different style top water, of a few different patterns, colors,

sizes, etc. My retrieval starts slow, a pop at a time. At times I let the ripples fade away

then make another set of ripples or I pop frequently and at faster rate. I have also used jerk baits.

The Lake is smooth as glass and bass are jumping all around me.

 

And still NOTHING!!!!!

What I'm I doing wrong???

Please advise

 

 

A lot of great suggestions. In addition to what has been posted.  Also, based on  your post and pics, plus, If bass are busting all around you ...

My speculation, pre spawn/ spawn, bass in feeding mode on a heavily pressured lake

Sometimes in this situation the slightest , subtle of changes can the difference .  

They might prefer a slow drop or quicker, try your soft plastics (worm, fluke, horny toad) weightless or Texas rigged, or Carolina 

On your jigs, different trailers...

Your spinnerbaits, blade color gold/silver  or colorado/willow

Etc.

As for location, besides, points humps, grasses , lollies, etc

 

Look for  a change in structure or a combination of something unique.  sand meets rock, shade/sun,

2ft/6ft, slow/ fast current, moss/Lilly ,  etc .. 

 

Tight lines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I️ appreciate all this feed back!! 

Thanks to all 

Once I️ get some free time I’m hitting the lake again until I️ finally land one!!! 

Sharing some photos of the other day..

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Saw this beautiful Owl 

It was stalking my frog lure that was jumping from lily to lily 

DE7C7D99-2D25-48AB-BEA3-B7A16461D5EB.jpeg

2A0DA82B-46FE-4832-A370-9A5FD93F0297.jpeg

A216C202-9975-464B-B9A7-B833CFBC10C5.jpeg

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