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Master of Nothing
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The local lake/pond that I fish at pretty frequently has been extremely tough this year. I notice that there is an abundant amount of young bluegills and minnows swimming around. It seems to me that the bass are just gourging themselves on the gills. I see large schools of bass just following the schools of gills around. I have tried tossing swimbaits, jig-n-pigs, swimmin jigs, cranks, lipless cranks, Senkos, and spinnerbaits but nothing.

The swimbaits that I am throwing is really lifelike...lifelike enough that the real gills actually school and swim with it. http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/descpageSWIMRSTRIKE-RSRBG.html

It is the same size as the bluegills that I see being chased around the lake but NOTHING.

Another thing that is different this year than the last few years is that the lake is extremely clear. Clear to where I can see straight down about 5-6 feet deep and see what is down there. I have never seen this lake this clear. With all the rain that we have had the last few weeks, I figure the lake would at least be a little tint, but no, the lake is still crystal clear.

I have never had this much problem figuring the basses out at this lake the last 3 years. All the spots that I have found the last few years holding fish is not producing this year.

Any other tricks???
 

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try being more stealthy.... with the water that clear the fish are really spooky it may sound funny but ive heard of crawling around the shore and stuff haha u may not wanna do tht but yea stand farther back from shore and be stealthy
 

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If you aren't opposed to live bait I'd try catching a couple of small gills and tossing them out under a bobber. Good luck!
 

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Just One More Cast
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Topwater...

Might want to try a different style of lure and go for a reaction strike. Hard to resist a lure that is designed to look as if it is wounded or dying.

If that doesn't work, fish slower, further away, smaller lures, smaller line, etc.
 

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my crystal clear water trick, take notes lol
get a clear zara spook(or puppy whatever size is the one that still has split rings and two hooks) and yes clear colored
I like spinning tackle for this but either works, and I prefer light line 8-10#, its not that they see the line, I think the idea of line shy fish is bull, its just makes the bait easier to work. fish a loop knot and stand still in one place. when the fish start pushing gills, or you see them cruise by, throw the spook past them and work it as fast as you can, very erratic retrieve, I promise you if they want it there is no way you can real it fast enough they wont get it. they dont always get it in thier mouth, and they often just chase it but it is a hoot.
or you can do what my dad does, 3in senko, 6lb spinning and when you see them near the bank throw it on the bank and pull it into the water and work it slow. I dont have the patience for that though.
 

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Go Bulldogs!!!
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If you aren't opposed to live bait I'd try catching a couple of small gills and tossing them out under a bobber. Good luck!
I agree, use what the fish are eating. Catch some small bluegills and hook them in the meaty area behind the dorsal fin. If you really want to stay with artificials, maybe try a plastic manf. that uses the enzymes that a injured or distressed baitfish give off. YUM manf. comes to mind but there are others. might be worth a try.
 

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Been fishing a farm pond for bluegills with my fly rod recently. I've had (several times) a bass follow the hooked 'gill in close to the bank, then take or try to take the 'gill. Of course the bass doesn't get hooked, and when it feels the pressure of the line/rod it spits out the 'gill.
The bass ignore artificials (my son has gone along and tried to catch a bass), but a hooked 'gill triggers a strike almost every time.

Yesterday morning I took the fly rod and my channel cat rod (an 8'6" salmon/steelhead rod with an abu garcia 5500 ProRocket) along to try to catch a bass. I caught an average 'gill (6-7" length) and hooked it behind the dorsal fin with a 4/0 wide gap circle hook. Tossed it out, then slowly retrieved it letting it try to swim down - then pulling it back to the surface. First cast I got a bass to hit, but missed hooking it. Second cast the bass hit and I free-spooled the reel and let it run a few feet, then clicked the reel off free spool and held the rod tip high. Hooked & landed the bass that time!
They say a bass will eat a baitfish 1/3 it's length. This one took a baitfish well over 1/3 it's length!

The 'gill was between 6-7" the bass was 15"!!!!!!!!!!!
The bass in that pond have plenty of bluegill available, but for the most part they seem to live together peacefully. I've watched the bass swim past a school of bluegill and the 'gills ignore them and the bass don't try to get a meal. But, hook a 'gill and the bass zero in on the 'gill in distress instantly!
 

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Try just putting the gill's out under a decent size floater. I think that will work better than the retrieve method you were trying.
 

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One of my favorite lures is a bluegill pattern shallow shad rapala
 

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Wishin I was Fishin!
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a husky jerk twitched hard and fast or the storm bluegill swim baits.....If I could have only one lure for the rest of my life would be a hj6 black and silver
 

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Try lighter line, longer casts, fish right at dawn and dusk, maybe even at night. It's not always matching the hatch exactly that kills in situations like that. It's coming at the fish in a way they haven't seen much. Light line is a must in clear water. The plus to that is that you won't need weights with your zoom fluke or your #7 Rapala jerkbait and they will have more action because of the lighter line. After you jerk that Rapala, let it sit until you think you're going to go crazy and then count to 5 before you move it again. And try casting parallel to shore more often. That's where those bluegills are holding and you can bet the bass are cruising the shoreline.

One other thing I used to do in the clear strip mine ponds I grew up around was to go out early and late with a light spinning outfit and a 1/4 oz Little Cleo. I'd cast it out and let it fall on a tight line. When it hit bottom, I would jump it up and reel about 5 turns and then stop and let it flutter down a bit before starting to reel again. I used to have bass try to take my rod away from me when that spoon started to fall or when I started reeling again.

By the way, when I say light, I mean that I routinely use 4# test for this kind of fishing. The only other thing I have found that helps with bass chasing bluegills is a chartreuse and blue H&H 3/8 oz two-blade spinner bait. Just chunk it and wind it! I hope this helps.
 

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Wishin I was Fishin!
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I love the 4 pound as well! I used to use a 5 10" ugly and mitchell w/ 6 or 8 and Ive been using a 5 footer IM6 and a light reel w/ 4 and I love it....its a renewed feeling.
 

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I like the live bluegill and also the Zara spook ideas.

Another idea, if its permitted, is to fish at night. Go back with a big spinnerbait, or the Zara spook or another topwater you like, and hit the same spots. They might lose some of their caution after dark.
 

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I fish the same farm pond every year like you. I seems like every year I have to change things up. This year they seem to like the Rage Shad bait best. Earlier it was the Red eyed shad. One year it was the yum dinger. Another it was a white spinner bait. At first it was a small rapala. I believe the fish get used to the same tactics and lures so you might want to try something new like the rest of the guys mentioned. In Fisherman has a great article this issue on pond bass and they talked a lot about fishing live bluegill. If you can get hold of a copy it would be a good read.
 

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Master of Nothing
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I appreciate all the inputs. I will try to implement them and will post the results whether I produce or not.
 
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