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Bass tournament pressures

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I didn't realize SOL had a freshwater forum until now.

 

Beginning in Dec 2009, my brother in law and I joined a bass tournament trail that hosts tournaments around Orlando, Fl once a month.

 

We do pretty well in the early hours of the tournament, but as the day progresses, fishing gets REALLY slow. We'd go for a couple of hours before catching a keeper sometimes.

 

My question is, when the fishing gets tough, what lure/jig/method of fishing do you resort to? We mostly fish with soft plastics along the shore line; 95% of our fish are caught this way. We haven't really tried flipping much, but should probably start. When the day is hot (10ish AM - 2pm), where do I look for bass? What should I use?

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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when its hot and in the middle of the day I'd look for structure off of the shoreline. Look for some deeper cooler water with some kind of structure in it or around. Rock pile, humps, sunken islands, creek channels stuff like that

 

 

up here in NJ its similar, once it gets warm out my fishing buddy and I get off of the shoreline for the most part, though we do well there early season and during the morning hours.

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Around here we use frogs over weedbeds and moss scum. But it is hard to set the hook, you have to let the fish turn with the frog. You'll have a lot of heartbreak with that. Use braid and a heavy stick.

 

The other mid-day technique is punching the weeds. "Bass like grass." I use a .75 - 1.0 oz titanium weight, 50 pound braid (always braid), and a heavy flippin' stick. You'll have to go get some of them if the weeds are thick. It'll take a while to determine which weeds the fish prefer, and find the underwater structure that they like. Never give the fish line, they'll drop the bait when they feel the weight.

 

Make sure your livewell is working well, you'll be sticking some pigs.

 

Good luck!

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View PostAround here we use frogs over weedbeds and moss scum. But it is hard to set the hook, you have to let the fish turn with the frog. You'll have a lot of heartbreak with that. Use braid and a heavy stick.

 

 

The other mid-day technique is punching the weeds. "Bass like grass." I use a .75 - 1.0 oz titanium weight, 50 pound braid (always braid), and a heavy flippin' stick. You'll have to go get some of them if the weeds are thick. It'll take a while to determine which weeds the fish prefer, and find the underwater structure that they like. Never give the fish line, they'll drop the bait when they feel the weight.

 

 

Make sure your livewell is working well, you'll be sticking some pigs.

 

 

Good luck!

 

Livewell is great. 112qts and great flow/air.

 

 

We've tried running the frog across the surface but no luck

 

so far.

 

 

I also believe practicing flipping may be the way to go. Just have to practice our technique and build some confidence in that area.

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View Postvertical jig with an actual butterfly jig??

 

 

Have not tried a butterfly jig. Mostly done it for Hybrid Stripers with a casting spoon made from a do it mold. Mann's also makes a jigging spoon and a hopkins will serve the same purpose. The guy who showed me how to work the spoon used to wear out LM during the summer with jigging spoons. I've also used a silver buddy for the same purpose.

 

With the spoon, locate suspending fish and use the trolling motor to keep over them. Drop the spoon down below the fish and start working it. With a single, steady motion raise the rod tip from the water to almost straight up. Let the spoon flutter back down on a slightly tight line (line should coil a little). Watch the line. If you see it stop, move a little, or feel something, set the hook hard. It takes a little getting used to, but once you do it can produce well.

 

Jigman

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THe lake I fish has a problem simular to this, around 9:30 10ish the bite greatly drops off from along the banks. Normally we'll switch and go to deeper water. The lake has a nice flat area though that drops right off into teh creek bed which is about 6 feet deep in the are and drops to about 10 feet on the other side of it. They seem to like to stack up along the creek bed just below the flat and hang there for most of the late morning. Sometimes they've even cornered the gizzard shad in this area and it becomes an all out blitz. Normally when we switch to this area I'll switch to a crankbait or a spinnerbait as a last resort.

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When the fishing gets tough I often down size lures and slow down. Try a shaky head worm or a drop shot rig. You may want to look at a topo map of the lake if available and find some drop offs around points. If all of the fish are leaving the shore struture they are often on the closest ledge to that shore line and are often stacked up.

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View PostWhen the fishing gets tough I often down size lures and slow down. Try a shaky head worm or a drop shot rig. You may want to look at a topo map of the lake if available and find some drop offs around points. If all of the fish are leaving the shore struture they are often on the closest ledge to that shore line and are often stacked up.

 

Good points... Thanks.

 

 

We have a lowrance hds7 with a separate structure scan module that reads the topo map pretty accurately.

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View PostTHe lake I fish has a problem simular to this, around 9:30 10ish the bite greatly drops off from along the banks. Normally we'll switch and go to deeper water. The lake has a nice flat area though that drops right off into teh creek bed which is about 6 feet deep in the are and drops to about 10 feet on the other side of it. They seem to like to stack up along the creek bed just below the flat and hang there for most of the late morning. Sometimes they've even cornered the gizzard shad in this area and it becomes an all out blitz. Normally when we switch to this area I'll switch to a crankbait or a spinnerbait as a last resort.

 

Crankbait is a good idea for deeper waters. The only problem with the tournaments is that they are usually at new lakes that I am unfamiliar with, and can't really prefish as I already have to

 

drive 100+ miles each tourney.

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View PostCrankbait is a good idea for deeper waters. The only problem with the tournaments is that they are usually at new lakes that I am unfamiliar with, and can't really prefish as I already have to

drive 100+ miles each tourney.

 

 

 

Thats is a disadvantage. Not having a map of the lake also sucks. Then it becomes a guessing game and really puts your instincts to the test.

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i can definitely relate to the drive situation here in mass. some tourneys we fish are on the other side of the state, so when it comes down to it, the team of my father and i usually resort to techniques and methods we use at out own lakes in town to catch some pigs. for instance, in one lake (no spot burning) near dartmouth, there is a large hydrilla bed that holds some lunkers, so we usually flip to it using 1-1.5 jig heads with curly tail trailers. that produces keepers 90% of the time, so when out on a tourney and we stumble upon a similar hydrilla bed, we revert to those tactics and 9 times out of 10 it produces similar if not better results.

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View Posti can definitely relate to the drive situation here in mass. some tourneys we fish are on the other side of the state, so when it comes down to it, the team of my father and i usually resort to techniques and methods we use at out own lakes in town to catch some pigs. for instance, in one lake (no spot burning) near dartmouth, there is a large hydrilla bed that holds some lunkers, so we usually flip to it using 1-1.5 jig heads with curly tail trailers. that produces keepers 90% of the time, so when out on a tourney and we stumble upon a similar hydrilla bed, we revert to those tactics and 9 times out of 10 it produces similar if not better results.

 

View PostLook for this study it helped me alot. Tought me about a bass's behaviors.

 

 

THE BEHAVIOR AND HABITS

 

 

of LARGEMOUTH BASS By William K. Johnke

 

thanks for the tips guys. I guess my team should start working on flipping at local lakes so we have the technique and confidence for

 

the tourneys.

 

 

One question, when you're flipping in hydrilla, do they typically bite on the fall, or do you bounce a couple of times before they hit

 

it?

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