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Need help...

Discussion in 'Bass Discussions' started by CragerDv, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. Bass fishing from shore. I use 7 inch and 5 inch worms. Different types/varieties. I have jerkabits, jointed and normal, rattlin and suspending. I also use buzzbaits and spinnerbaits. I use very few jigs, and have orange and yellow jig heads. I also use Live baits (worms and minnows) I know how to texas rig only. I cannot seem to get any bass to bite. No matter how many places on Milton I goto, I cant seem to get any to bite no matter what I use. Need some help.
  2. JBJ


    It sounds to me like you need to find another fishing hole at this time of the year, or go at different times during the day.

    Expand a bit on what times of the day you are hitting this hole, what types of cover are available, water clarity, etc. Someone may be able to help a bit with more information.

  3. CragerDv. I bass fish from shore (well , usually wading) all the time. You have to do a few different things to catch bass from shore but it shouldn't be too hard to do. The first thing you might want to do is get some waders, that way you aren't as limited in the spots you can fish. You can wade out just far enough to give your self room to cast so you aren't catching trees and you can hit a lot of spots others can reach from shore or even by boat. For bass just key on obvious spots that might hold fish like downed trees in the water, weeds, rocks and areas where feeder creeks enter the main lake. In spring try to fish along northern shorelines and in coves with feeder creeks until the water stays over 60. Also, wind can help you find fish especially in spring. Baitfish will often school up on windblown shorelines feeding on the plankton and whatnot that is stirred up by the wind. You can find schools of smaller 1-2 year old bass feeding openly in these areas when the wind is kicking up; look for bigger bass hiding in nearby cover.

    For baits, I only use a very limited selection of lures to catch bass from shore. These are baits that have always caught fish for me and I've learned to use them well. First, I use floating rapalas in shad and firetiger in 3.5" and 5" sizes. I usually use a pause and pump retrieve early in the year so the bait runs a few feet under the surface. I use this bait and retrieve pattern year round but it is my primary bass catcher in spring. I'll use the shad color in clearer water and on sunny days and the firetiger when the water is stained. Experiment with the retrieve and try to make the lure look like a baitfish. Beginning in the middle of May, I use these same lures on the surface by just twitching the bait or jerking it under the surface then allowing it to float back to the surface. I've caught a lot of big bass like this and it's cool to watch them explode and hit the lure. I also use suspending rapalas but these are trickier to use from shore as they often get snagged during the retrieve. The floating rapalas are pretty easy to keep from getting snagged and if they do get hung up you can usually get them back after they pop back up to the surface. Another bait I use a lot is a tandem blade spinner bait, usually with a white skirt. These are effective year round but I use them most of the time in spring through summer when the water is muddy and the rapalas aren't producing fish. Usually a slower retrieve or pump and pause retrieve is used in spring and a faster retrieve with the bait just a foot under the water's surface is used later in the year. Next would be buzz baits usually in white and sometimes in black. I use these starting at the end of May when I see the fish becoming more active at the water's surface. I don't fish these as fast as most people and just retrieve them fast enough to keep them at the surface of the water. I usually use the white skirted buzzbaits during the day and use the black skirts at times of low light. The only other baits I use from shore are a few soft plastics, mostly 6" purple worms with a red/pink tail, rigged Texas or Carolina style. I only use plastic worms in the summer, from the middle of June to August. I'm not as good with plastics as I am with rapala's and spinner baits so I only use them when the fish won't bite anything else. Recently, I have started using Senko's (mostly in white) and they produced well last year but these aren't a major go-to bait for me yet. I'll also use plastic lizards, usually black, when bass are spawning if I really want to catch a fish but I don't often purposely target spawning fish anymore.

    The best advice I can give would be #1) Be observant. Watch how bait fish move in the water and try to make your bait mimic this movement. Also, look for activity in the water that will tell you if there are active fish in the water. If the area you are fishing seems devoid of baitfish and you don't see any other activity in the water it might be time to fish someplace else. If you don't have a fishfinder to help you locate the fish you have to rely on what you can see in the water. #2) Pick a bait and learn how to fish the heck out of it. The reason I like rapalas, spinner baits and buzzbaits is that these produced fish for me when I first started bass fishing. I became confident that these would catch fish so I've just learned how to use them in all sorts of situations. Confidence in a bait and retrieve pattern is really important, so pick a bait that you know catches fish for other people and learn how to use it every way possible. #3) Some of the techinques that work well for me from a boat won't work for me from shore. I love to use deeper diving cranks and to do a lot of flipping with jigs and tubes when I'm in a boat but these techniques just don't work for me when I am shore-bound. #4) If you are casting where the fish are you are going to lose some lures. I have no idea how many lures I lose each year but it is a LOT. I think this is just the price you have to pay to catch good fish when shorebound.

    One last thing, Milton is a pretty good smallie lake but there are better lakes around here for largemouths. For lake smallies, I would look for rocky areas at the "ends" of the lake and use rapalas most of the year and go to 3" pumkinseed tubes in the summer rather than plastic worms. I used to do really well for smallies at Alum Creek Reservoir using these guidelines.
  4. DaleM

    DaleM Original OGF Staff Member

    JBJ pretty well said it. Try smaller worms, tubes etc. throw them out and let them sink. very slowly retreve them. Small cranks will also work well. Stay to the areas that have cover, trees, rocks, under water cover. Points, and area where drop off are. Don't give up, this is a tough time of the year to catch bass. Once the water hits 60-65 degree they will become easier to catch.