Mr.Belmar

Targeting Bigger Fish

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134 posts in this topic

On 5/21/2021 at 8:23 AM, shanation said:

 Definitely agree on shallow water near deeper water. Add in some heavy current or big waves . When you look outside and say "man it's nasty out there" time to go! Personally I think how you present the plug is more important then the plug. I had an incredible day a few September's ago. 8 ft swells with a gnarly cross wind. Casting into the wind gave me the perfect swing with my plugs allowing them to be retrieved at a slow pace producing 3 or 4 fish over 40" on 3 different lures. 2oz Bucktail, sp minnow, and a pencil popper. I wasn't bombing it out there either, they were tight to the shoreFB_IMG_1621563108125.jpg.3c1749941ec6db8b13d92073c37fd481.jpg

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Stop, you can’t catch big fish during the day. Pix are fake.

 

one thing to note hooking big fish is the easy part. Landing them in a huge swell is when things get interesting. Don’t die over a fish.

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12 hours ago, Reed422 said:

Stop, you can’t catch big fish during the day. Pix are fake.

 

one thing to note hooking big fish is the easy part. Landing them in a huge swell is when things get interesting. Don’t die over a fish.

Good point and often overlooked. Have a plan

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A lot of good info here!

 

Look up at the stars tonight and then towards the water because the New Moon is upon us.

 

Report back in five days... :)

 

Good luck

Lou T 

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Reed your so right! No big ones during daylight! Unless your in maine Lol. Seriously tho do not push it during big swells. I got swept off some rocks and dumped 10 feet off the other side. Luckily I clunk to the rocks on the third try after being swept out and slammed backed in a couple years ago. Had a gnarly gash on my left hand that needed 4 stitches, lucky to be alive. No fish is worth your life

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New member here. Visit Maine in summer.

My experience on bigger strippers comes from afar. For decades I’ve fished Lake  Powell, over 2500 miles of shoreline ( no, wait that was when it was full, not down 150’ like this yr.

The big cows were always taken trolling deep water out in the main channel. I’m talking 30#to 50#. Ive a buddy that spear fishes the lake & he sees them deep and singles only.

As a side note no limit, no size restriction and the same for walleye. If it doesn't dry up it will continue to be a tremendous stripper fishery for another decade or more.

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15 hours ago, A man called horse said:

New member here. Visit Maine in summer.

My experience on bigger strippers comes from afar. For decades I’ve fished Lake  Powell, over 2500 miles of shoreline ( no, wait that was when it was full, not down 150’ like this yr.

The big cows were always taken trolling deep water out in the main channel. I’m talking 30#to 50#. Ive a buddy that spear fishes the lake & he sees them deep and singles only.

As a side note no limit, no size restriction and the same for walleye. If it doesn't dry up it will continue to be a tremendous stripper fishery for another decade or more.

What kind of feed do they have for the striped bass in lake Powell?

 

HH

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2 hours ago, Heavy Hooksetter said:

What kind of feed do they have for the striped bass in lake Powell?

 

HH

They feed on thread fin shad and gizzard shad. Literally herd them into the shallows or into a ball. Then the boil begins. Convenience stores and the marinas sell frozen anchovies as bait. Many times everybody in a boat will have one on at the same time, a circus. Someplace I have a pic of a contractor and his crews catch. It was a flatbed trailer heaped.

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Catching big fish involves being in the right spots at the right times and in general, time on the water in my opinion is the most important aspect.

 

From shore I've caught 50 lb plus bass at night on a fly rod with smaller flies even. I've caught 50 lb + bass in broad daylight during a blitz. From a boat I've taken multiple very big fish in a variety of ways.

 

Working structure is paramount to success. Understanding what the bass are eating is definitely the other biggest key. For example, if Herring are running, being on the back side of a cove with an outflow is a great idea. Things change a lot at night. 

 

If you're out front, know your structure. Know where your cuts are. Big fish tend to come in at high tide. If you can get everything right that we've been talking about in this thread in terms of the moon, low light conditions and a strong tide then you can take advantage of these technical factors. 

 

When the tide starts to change do you need to move? A lot of times people post up and fish in one particular spot. I'm a big believer in moving. 

 

Big fish don't necessarily want big bait. What they want is the maximum amount of calories they can get for the minimum amount of effort. Sometimes small bait in large abundances provides more calories than big bait does.

 

Other times if a big fish is in the vicinity of a big plug, he might just swipe it simply because it's moving slowly and it doesn't take a lot of effort to grab it.

 

If you want to specifically target big fish then getting down below blue fish during a blitz is a great way to explore what might be there. 

 

Therefore and like some have said during this thread, getting down near the bottom is really important at times.

 

Exploring with a Pikie or a big Commander Swimmer, or a big Spook are all good ideas and more often than not you have to live with not producing as many fish if you try these tactics. 

 

One well made large size Pikie with a little bit of herring and a little bit of bunker appeal would make an excellent big fish searching plug. 

 

The more time you spend on the water the more time you have to experiment. If you want to use live bait, catching big fish is a lot easier. Big eels or live lining Bunker are slim dunks. I don't use any live bait these days so right off the bat the odds are stacked a little bit against someone who's only going to use artificials.

 

That's the fun in fishing. Fishing can be as challenging as you want to make it. If you spend a lot of time on the water and you try different techniques you have to be absolutely prepared at all times for the fish of a lifetime. Check your connections. Make sure your knots are good. 

 

Beyond that I know your spots know the tides know the wind direction know the moon & slow things down. Most often the reason people aren't really catching a lot is because they're burning everything back. Today's reels are lightning fast. 

 

A wounded bait is clinging to life. It's losing ballast. It's many times past struggling. Sometimes a larger plug just moving very seductively and slowly is all it takes to get attention. 

 

Understand what the bass are eating and try to imitate how whatever they're eating behaves.

 

For example if You have a nice pod of 8" Bunker around, with plenty of blue fish chopping them up, the larger fish are going to get the maximum calories for the minimum amount of effort. Which means, they're going to wait below and eat the front portion of the sawed in half Bunker. Dropping something down to them sometimes makes more since then swimming in adult size bunker plug through the havoc.

 

Dropping a nicely weighted bucktail jig with a rind off the back end down beneath all the blues might actually look like a fish head and it might work, especially if you let it go all the way to the bottom before you bounce it up and let it drop again. It also might look like an eel? For whatever reason it also might work.

 

Big bass will cruise structure especially at night. Slowly wobbling plugs that give off a little vibration, such as a black Bomber for example, swimming so slowly that it just barely thumps, might score a really big fish. 

 

At times when you're certain that bigger fish are pinning whatever they're eating up towards the surface then you can break out something that you can either hold at the surface and that sinks when you don't, or maybe even a larger floating plug like a big pencil. The key is to make it look alive but also be able to keep it in the zone long enough.

 

Plugs that can stay in the zone versus plugs that have to move through the zone quickly have an advantage. That's why big Darters are effective, especially at night when you have a little current. You can wobble them back and forth and hang them in the right spot. 

 

Plugs that barely need any speed to undulate or move are plugs you should have in your bag. For example, a Super Strike Sinking Little Neck can be lethal if you just barely make any surface disturbance and then just let it wobble back and forth as you hang it.

 

Time on the water kind of teaches all things. A plug bag filled with five plugs some tins and some bucktails could take a lifetime to really learn how to use. Some fisherman would have very little success with an assortment like that. Others would do really well. It's about experimenting and trying different things and learning how you can best imitate whatever the fish are eating & remembering to present bigger fish with opportunities the way they are eating whatever it is that's on the menu.

 

I use a rotation actually when I'm searching the water. Sooner or later I will stumble on something that's working. The more time you spend developing a good working knowledge of whatever your imitating, the better off you are when you're targeting big fish.

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Posted (edited)

22 hours ago, A man called horse said:

They feed on thread fin shad and gizzard shad. Literally herd them into the shallows or into a ball. Then the boil begins. Convenience stores and the marinas sell frozen anchovies as bait. Many times everybody in a boat will have one on at the same time, a circus. Someplace I have a pic of a contractor and his crews catch. It was a flatbed trailer heaped.

Threadfins and gizzies, okay got that.

I have used American shad and gizzard shad as cut bait in salt water.

Both work,very effectively but the gizzard s*** especially because it's got that stink to it and man it was like as soon as I threw the first chunk of that out there and they were oversized chunks because they were wide and big ones and I cut one chunk two inches wide but the damn thing was about 6 inches tall so it's 2x6 and I'll tell you what when I threw that tongue out there it drew a fish in cuz everybody started getting hit with that on every kind of a bunker mackerel herring.

But one important thing was me I couldn't keep I can put the rod down I threw it out there and as soon as the sinker at the bottom cuz I was fishing with a fish finder on the sinker hit the bottom I had exactly 2 minutes to wait and that rod would double over.

That night was insane I must have had 200 bites.

HH

 

Edited by Heavy Hooksetter

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1 hour ago, CaryGreene said:

Catching big fish involves being in the right spots at the right times and in general, time on the water in my opinion is the most important aspect.

 

From shore I've caught 50 lb plus bass at night on a fly rod with smaller flies even. I've caught 50 lb + bass in broad daylight during a blitz. From a boat I've taken multiple very big fish in a variety of ways.

 

Working structure is paramount to success. Understanding what the bass are eating is definitely the other biggest key. For example, if Herring are running, being on the back side of a cove with an outflow is a great idea. Things change a lot at night. 

 

If you're out front, know your structure. Know where your cuts are. Big fish tend to come in at high tide. If you can get everything right that we've been talking about in this thread in terms of the moon, low light conditions and a strong tide then you can take advantage of these technical factors. 

 

When the tide starts to change do you need to move? A lot of times people post up and fish in one particular spot. I'm a big believer in moving. 

 

Big fish don't necessarily want big bait. What they want is the maximum amount of calories they can get for the minimum amount of effort. Sometimes small bait in large abundances provides more calories than big bait does.

 

Other times if a big fish is in the vicinity of a big plug, he might just swipe it simply because it's moving slowly and it doesn't take a lot of effort to grab it.

 

If you want to specifically target big fish then getting down below blue fish during a blitz is a great way to explore what might be there. 

 

Therefore and like some have said during this thread, getting down near the bottom is really important at times.

 

Exploring with a Pikie or a big Commander Swimmer, or a big Spook are all good ideas and more often than not you have to live with not producing as many fish if you try these tactics. 

 

One well made large size Pikie with a little bit of herring and a little bit of bunker appeal would make an excellent big fish searching plug. 

 

The more time you spend on the water the more time you have to experiment. If you want to use live bait, catching big fish is a lot easier. Big eels or live lining Bunker are slim dunks. I don't use any live bait these days so right off the bat the odds are stacked a little bit against someone who's only going to use artificials.

 

That's the fun in fishing. Fishing can be as challenging as you want to make it. If you spend a lot of time on the water and you try different techniques you have to be absolutely prepared at all times for the fish of a lifetime. Check your connections. Make sure your knots are good. 

 

Beyond that I know your spots know the tides know the wind direction know the moon & slow things down. Most often the reason people aren't really catching a lot is because they're burning everything back. Today's reels are lightning fast. 

 

A wounded bait is clinging to life. It's losing ballast. It's many times past struggling. Sometimes a larger plug just moving very seductively and slowly is all it takes to get attention. 

 

Understand what the bass are eating and try to imitate how whatever they're eating behaves.

 

For example if You have a nice pod of 8" Bunker around, with plenty of blue fish chopping them up, the larger fish are going to get the maximum calories for the minimum amount of effort. Which means, they're going to wait below and eat the front portion of the sawed in half Bunker. Dropping something down to them sometimes makes more since then swimming in adult size bunker plug through the havoc.

 

Dropping a nicely weighted bucktail jig with a rind off the back end down beneath all the blues might actually look like a fish head and it might work, especially if you let it go all the way to the bottom before you bounce it up and let it drop again. It also might look like an eel? For whatever reason it also might work.

 

Big bass will cruise structure especially at night. Slowly wobbling plugs that give off a little vibration, such as a black Bomber for example, swimming so slowly that it just barely thumps, might score a really big fish. 

 

At times when you're certain that bigger fish are pinning whatever they're eating up towards the surface then you can break out something that you can either hold at the surface and that sinks when you don't, or maybe even a larger floating plug like a big pencil. The key is to make it look alive but also be able to keep it in the zone long enough.

 

Plugs that can stay in the zone versus plugs that have to move through the zone quickly have an advantage. That's why big Darters are effective, especially at night when you have a little current. You can wobble them back and forth and hang them in the right spot. 

 

Plugs that barely need any speed to undulate or move are plugs you should have in your bag. For example, a Super Strike Sinking Little Neck can be lethal if you just barely make any surface disturbance and then just let it wobble back and forth as you hang it.

 

Time on the water kind of teaches all things. A plug bag filled with five plugs some tins and some bucktails could take a lifetime to really learn how to use. Some fisherman would have very little success with an assortment like that. Others would do really well. It's about experimenting and trying different things and learning how you can best imitate whatever the fish are eating & remembering to present bigger fish with opportunities the way they are eating whatever it is that's on the menu.

 

I use a rotation actually when I'm searching the water. Sooner or later I will stumble on something that's working. The more time you spend developing a good working knowledge of whatever your imitating, the better off you are when you're targeting big fish.

I love to see a picture of that.

HH

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On 6/12/2021 at 7:02 PM, CaryGreene said:

The more time you spend developing a good working knowledge of whatever your imitating, the better off you are when you're targeting big fish.

So much great information in one post. Thanks for chiming in.

 

Time on the water is so important. I ended many of my nights watching bass and baitfish in the light lines around bridges. The small bass would feed on the bait pods in a much different manner than the big fish. Watching how the bait fish swam in the current helped me dial in a few different presentations. 

 

I think observing the water prior to throwing that first cast can give me a leg up when it comes to targeting bigger fish. I try to take 5-10 min to sit back and observe

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