Mr.Belmar

Targeting Bigger Fish

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14 hours ago, carangua said:

Nice read.

For HH, who likes to let the lure drift far away I'd recommend trying a lure called Z-Claw magnum; I had good results with this one. 

 

Most of us want bigger fish but who is willing to do what it takes? :)

 

Bigger fish will naturally go for bigger bait-live bait, bigger lures, this  mean that one will miss out a lot of action on common regular fish. 

 

So the general consensus is to propose what will mostly find takers, more so that even a small lure presented at the right time in the right place (in front of the kahuna) will eventually trigger the bite of a trophy.

 

It is called luck and you cant get enough of it when fishing.

 

So if you put enough time, a lot of time, you will increase your chances in connecting with the big one. 

 

Otherwise, those who consider they got enough of their share of "dinks" will accept giving up quantity for quality (size) and will not hesitate in spending time for presenting bigger offerings, with a discreet set up, top of the notch in terms of rigging ( knots, sharpness of hooks, drag, main line and leader) in areas they know hold bigger fish, frequented by bait fish, such as drop offs, river mouths, close to deep water and also shallow water during the right tide and especially at night. 

 

The luck factor will only influence the time spent, the rest can be under control, knowing that no offering is too big to find a taker.

 

Tight lines :th: 

 

What are the specs on this  Z claw you speak of?

HH

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Posted (edited)

On 5/13/2021 at 9:00 PM, Mr.Belmar said:

The struggle for me (especially when time is limited) is to settle for any fish and not target bigger bass. 


That's the thing right there is to get over the struggle and be okay with not catching a single fish. I see people tossing out small baits like a cut piece of calamari or a small chunk of mackerel. They'll catch more than me but they're going to be throwing them back anyway. 

I'm in it for something I can take home, I really don't care if it's a giant or my PB. So in order to do that I'll chunk out the head or a bigger piece that won't make an easy meal for a catfish or a schoolie. 

Something that someone told me years ago is that you have to put in in the time. This guy catches more than I do but he's out there more than I am and I know for a fact that he comes home a lot of times without having caught anything. But because he's out there often he raises the odds of catching something. 

 

Last time I was out the newb next to me was catching catfish all night. Although the catfish were harassing my bait none of them swallowed the size 10 and size 9 circle hooks I was using. He "advised me" that I should scale down my bait and I was like, no way because I don't want to start catching catfish.

 

I have to get back out there soon because I can feel it that it's time now. 

Edited by TroutGhost

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3 hours ago, Heavy Hooksetter said:

What are the specs on this  Z claw you speak of?

HH

They come in different sizes, the biggest is the magnum nearly 6" or 150mm.

Floating, wire armature for the magnum, made in Japan.

They work best during calm to slight agitated waves, minimal rod tip jerks will produce subtle lure motion, more accentuated on the smaller original model, which is popular with European Bass anglers.

I caught GT's with them at night while barely moving them at a very slow retrieve, had the smaller ones destroyed since no throughout wiring and needed to avoid corals and boulders, but was matching the hatch and wanted the contact, the bigger one is more bullet proof and I would definitely give them a shot for striped bass in your neck of the woods.

   

z claw1.jpg

z claw 3.jpg

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Maybe some of the other big fish guys can chime in on this... Do you guys get the 'feeling' when a big one is down there? You know what I mean. There a zen sort of feeling that calms the body and the mind and you have a laser focus on trying to fool the one. Its not every night but you know when they're lurking within casting distance. 

 

Often times I get this feeling and I'll still go home skunked but I break it down in my head on the car ride home why I couldn't get bit.

 

Newbies, this feeling comes with time on the water. You may be lucky to catch a big one, but you need to figure out what made you so lucky to tango with the bull. 

 

@SC would love to get your personal take on this

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2 hours ago, carangua said:

They come in different sizes, the biggest is the magnum nearly 6" or 150mm.

Floating, wire armature for the magnum, made in Japan.

They work best during calm to slight agitated waves, minimal rod tip jerks will produce subtle lure motion, more accentuated on the smaller original model, which is popular with European Bass anglers.

I caught GT's with them at night while barely moving them at a very slow retrieve, had the smaller ones destroyed since no throughout wiring and needed to avoid corals and boulders, but was matching the hatch and wanted the contact, the bigger one is more bullet proof and I would definitely give them a shot for striped bass in your neck of the woods.

   

z claw1.jpg

z claw 3.jpg

Yeah that's definitely a cool looking lure, I don't do the beach anymore, I've been a River fisherman for very many years now then that's where I fit right in the car strong slight whichever depending on the moon.

HH

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9 mins ago, DragonsLax48 said:

Maybe some of the other big fish guys can chime in on this... Do you guys get the 'feeling' when a big one is down there? You know what I mean. There a zen sort of feeling that calms the body and the mind and you have a laser focus on trying to fool the one. Its not every night but you know when they're lurking within casting distance. 

 

Often times I get this feeling and I'll still go home skunked but I break it down in my head on the car ride home why I couldn't get bit.

 

Newbies, this feeling comes with time on the water. You may be lucky to catch a big one, but you need to figure out what made you so lucky to tango with the bull. 

 

@SC would love to get your personal take on this

I completely understand what you mean, I have had this feeling when it's raining out in late May early June and I'm debating should I go or s*** like that cuz the weather is just crappy out.

I just lay there I know the time it's going to be right at 1:00 a.m. and I think only so now I'm not going out there in that soup, then something hits me and I jump up and I say yeah I'm going and almost every time I got a good one or a few good ones.

HH

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41 mins ago, Heavy Hooksetter said:

I completely understand what you mean, I have had this feeling when it's raining out in late May early June and I'm debating should I go or s*** like that cuz the weather is just crappy out.

I just lay there I know the time it's going to be right at 1:00 a.m. and I think only so now I'm not going out there in that soup, then something hits me and I jump up and I say yeah I'm going and almost every time I got a good one or a few good ones.

HH

hate getting this feeling and not being able to fish! 

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15 mins ago, DragonsLax48 said:

hate getting this feeling and not being able to fish! 

Oh yeah that definitely sucks, I learned my lesson many years ago where I started to keep track of the times where I felt that feeling and went almost every time it was well worth it.

HH

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Had a giant musky/pike follow me up last night. big fish seem more random in freshwater but I still get the feeling. bigger lures should do the trick. 

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On 5/27/2021 at 9:27 AM, DragonsLax48 said:

Maybe some of the other big fish guys can chime in on this... Do you guys get the 'feeling' when a big one is down there? You know what I mean. There a zen sort of feeling that calms the body and the mind and you have a laser focus on trying to fool the one. Its not every night but you know when they're lurking within casting distance. 

 

Often times I get this feeling and I'll still go home skunked but I break it down in my head on the car ride home why I couldn't get bit.

 

Newbies, this feeling comes with time on the water. You may be lucky to catch a big one, but you need to figure out what made you so lucky to tango with the bull. 

 

@SC would love to get your personal take on this

Nothing worse than sitting on the porch knowing the bite is on and even though its less than a mile away its already too late.

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WOW... thanks for all the great replies guys!

 

So as you may have known- I started this thread as just an area that we can share ideas and some interesting reading on the fish that we are literally dreaming about....maybe some tips here and there0- but what I was NOT expecting it to necessarily change my fishing habits or strategies -BUT IT DID!

 

So after reading all of this and some conversations with some of you, specially with the man @Heavy Hooksetter I have come to understand a theory that actually - really - works! and its not just throwing SP minnows hoping by luck that a big fish will see it swim by its nose and strike, but - as the title suggests- its actually targeting bigger fish. the theory - in short- is this: you use your plug to lure the fish to your plug.

 

First- I think you gotta understand stripers a little better and how they operate- I tried to post an article on here last week, but I guess it got taken down since it was a link? idk- but it was about how stripers in particular use their senses. like feel, touch, taste, sight ect. In short- they happen to use a lot of these senses together as one- not like our distinct sight- but they use sight and feeling together. they are actually near sighted and cant adjust their eyes. most time the water is dirty too... and they have a very sensitive lateral line that can detect vibrations from afar. They also have smell and taste mixed in (they can taste and smell with their lips!) and much more, very interesting. (web search "Bass Biology: Making Sense Of Striper Sense")

 

@Heavy Hooksetter has some real knowledge on this issue- take a moment and reread some of the things he posted and all that he has learned from the many many years of experience. Something that got me thinking and started was this:

 

On ‎5‎/‎14‎/‎2021 at 11:53 PM, Heavy Hooksetter said:

My point being is that I was the only one fishing big baits very big baits moving them very slow on the top in shallow water that was 12 14 feet deep mimicking a big bait fish that was not nervous scared or being chased.

The plugs demeanor was mimicking a large bait that was not worried was not being evasive was relaxed and cruising along unsuspecting and easy target for that fish with the stripes on it.

I believe and feel deeply that a with plug thats behaving like that is not in a hurry not afraid not panicked is an easy target because it's not aware or worried or appear to be.

I myself shy away from plugs no matter if they're big enough that are too busy in the water, they wiggle too much they look hurried they look rushed, they even look like they're being pursued when they're not.

A plug that's doing that gives all that kind of vibration is also sending a message out to other fish that are in the area they can hear it feel it and I'm scared I'm getting the hell out of here they're probably not going to chase it or hunt it down because it's moving too fast and spending too much energy for them.

The baits that are moving slow unaware, unassuming and not nervous are the baits that get stalked and are seeked out.

 

SO HERE IS MY STORY- I decided to give it a try one morning. Mind you- this year the fish for me have been on the small side... actually the past few years were all on the small side. Its been a while since I remember constantly catching bigger fish. So I figure I will give it a go- what do I got to loose?

 

I get up early one morning before sunrise- after reading and combining all the knowledge here- select one spot I had in mind that fit the descriptions perfectly (as others had described good spots with structure etc)  - but as I was going out I noticed a lot of guys already there (head lamps on and off in the darkness). So I figure, if im going to use a big plug to 'lure' a fish by using the vibrations (like the swimming action - 'thump... thump... thump...) then I should be able to move 100ft from these guys and get a fish to swim over to me and check out the plug. That I did! I saw these guys catch 2 fish that they kept- so I suppose they where a fair sized fish. After about 45 min, I wasn't getting anything- but I kept at it... and all the sudden- 'thump'! and my pole is bent over and drag running! I do a quick hookset but my adrenaline started running and I was kinda tantalized watching my spool and drag going (in the dark) , then after a short time the fish came off- I didn't get a good hookset mainly due to my light rod being undergunned. but that was a big fish and I was hooked. So now I have given up on the light weight gear and switched it up with some help from HH

 

just the other day I was out fishing and all the guys around me are throwing all the normal small stuff- sp minnow, plastics  type of thing. after some friendly conversation they were catching some fish - small blues and some bass. I gotta admit I felt a little misplaced with by heavy gear and big plugs but hey- I will give it a go. So once again, I gave the guys some room and let them have the structure... trying to be friendly and curious - and I move down and start throwing just like @Heavy Hooksetter described above... real slow... after about 30 min all the sudden my plug developed like 6ft of thrashing in its wake then BAM - it was on! got a real nice sized bass and blue- with the heavy gear bent over lol now im not feeling misplaced with my gear!

 

so its not necessarily big bait catches big fish- the bigger sp minnow isn't goint to catch bigger fish then the smaller version- but the way the bait sends out vibrations to the fish. Im a firm believer now that I have had first hand experience and it wasn't just luck or the right place at the right time- the fish are there. The bigger ones- as someone else stated arnt lazy, but arnt running around with the schoolies - they are waiting for the right meal. They want to stalk their prey, not fight over it. They are just waiting....

 

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for sharing- I wasn't expecting it- but big changes to my fishing strategies, special thanks to HH for sharing his knowledge, a lot to learn from him!

 

Lets keep this thread going- please share your thoughts!

 

  

 

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Super fun and interesting thread. Lots of good input so far. I'll add my $.02, although it's worth less than that...

 

Two things I know for sure; 1. You can't catch big fish if your plug isn't in the water, and 2. As Jeremy Wade says, size your gear to handle the biggest example of the species you're targeting. That's not to say you can't have fun catching schoolies on light tackle, but if you want to land a big bass, you gotta be able to get it to shore...

 

As far as actual tactics are concerned, my experience aligns with everyone else's, for the most part; Fish at night, know your spots, fish the moon, fish slack, etc...but in the end of the day (night), there's a lot of luck involved. 

 

For most of the summer and fall I fish all over the place...In the spring, for reasons that aren't really important, I only fish a few very specific spots. I've been out 25 nights since early May. I've caught 71 fish (all released). 60 of the 71 on the same plug. 46 of them 25" or smaller...only ONE was over 35"...and it was 49" (on May 21)...and it was on a flat calm night, slack as a pond, low water, and otherwise dead...literally my only bite of the night...on the exact same plug that I've been catching schoolies on for the past month...

 

Fish hard. Fish often. Maintain your gear. Be smart. Have fun. Get lucky!

 

Tight lines!

IMG_8698.mov

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Posted (edited)

I’m hoping to get some bigger fish! Been years since I’ve got on a good big fish bite. The area I has lots of fish but are smaller. Schoolies to slot fish. 
 

I may have to go out after dark! 
but I’ve always sucked plugging after dark 

Edited by bassturds

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