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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok guys I need some help. I haven’t caught a bass in my last 3 trips

I fished 6/23 Sat morning from ledge rock 6 - 11 am. At about 7 my buddy caught a 5.5lb fish on the same rig and worm I used. It was his first bass and one of the few times he has fished. Beginners luck I guess. 6/30 Sat morning from ledge rock, 7 - 11. I don’t even think I had a good strike. When I left I talked to one guy that had 4 nice bass. Then last night we fished from 5:30 - 8:30 and only had one good hit.

I mostly fish a stick worm texas rigged in watermelon with red flake. I have also tried some crankbaits, other worms (red shad, tomato red), boogie bait and inline spinner. I am not sure what I am doing wrong. Probably my biggest issue is I am loosing patience. This has been my best year fishing ever but June has been lean.

Any insight would be appreciated, links, sites, threads, etc THANKS

Few more questions
is it worth fishing Sunday night during the Summer? Given the wake board boat traffic on Sat and Sun is it worth trying to fish Sunday evening? It seems the water is really churned up and I just haven’t seen much activity.

Twice now we have caught bass that I think we gut hooked? It happens on a texas rig with a 4/0 hook. The hook is deep down the throat of the bass and really hard to extract. What is the best thing to do here? I really prefer catch and release for bass but if its going to die anyway (assuming legal size) I will put it to good use. What is best thing to do? One of my fishing buddies said to cut the line and the hook will rust out. But modern hooks aren’t low grade steel that will rust in a few days. Maybe in salt water? Just not sure. I'd really like to know what to do.

Thanks guys.
cobra-drvr
 

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I have had luck at Falls with multi-colored worms, usually bass color schemes. I like to use a wobble head too, because you can fast retrieve it (surface and near structure) and use it like a T-rig, without changing up. Chartreuse spinnerbait is always a good stand-by and when I just have to catch something, I break out the blue fox inline spinners. Went out to Beaver Dam on Falls friday without nary a hit and broke out the blue fox and caught three on the way back. Course, they were nothing I would brag about, but it kept the skunk off.:D
 

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I believe you hit the nail on the head with patience! Patience is a great virtue especially this time of year. If I had to guess as with most bass fisherman you are fishing too shallow. Move out towards the main lake and fish the steep points, especially the ones near a creek or main river channel. Start throwing a Carolina Rig with Lizards. I like a six or eight inch pumpkin seed with a chartreuse tail. I like at least a 24" leader and many times I will throw the rig with a 36"-48" leader. The pumpkin seed chartreuse seems to work well in a variety of water conditions. Work the points throughly and go back to them several times. There is a reason that the original name for the Carolina Rig was the Fish Finder Rig.

As for the gut hooks on a worm rig..........stop letting them run with it a long time before you set the hook. When you feel that infamous tap immediately set the hook with a short hard snap. don't reel way down and rare back like your are going to jerk the fish to the moon. The short hard snap is much more effective.

Mark
 
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The old through the gill trick has worked for me on gut hooks. When fish are really active and I'm using a senko type bait, I'll gut hook a few, no matter how quickly I set the hook.

Some say this method is flawless, but I've had a few instances where there really was nothing I could do to get it out w/o damage (nothing in fishing is flawless). More importantly, it does work a lot better than leaving a hook or ripping half the fish's gullet out. I've seen fish pass hooks though, so leaving a hook must work once in a while. I've also seen emaciated 2-pound bass with a 5-pound frame - fish that look like they haven't eatten in weeks probably because a hook was blocking passage of food.

Anyway I'll shut up and just post the link: Amazingly Effective Hook Removal
 

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And regarding Falls this past weekend, I struggled out there too on Beaver Dam. Sounded like a tough weekend for most. Keep in mind the weather change and temperature drop from the front that came through, maybe that was it (that's my excuse). But I've never had a good day on Falls main lake, have done ok on Beaver Dam. Only caught 2 on Saturday, both short, and got skunked and packed it up early on Sunday.

My main concern is that I can't catch fish deep. I've had succes on the C-rig many times, but only when I already knew some spots. I know there are fish deep in the summer, I know there are suspended fish, but I don't quite have the electronics yet to locate them, and I don't have much confidence or patience if I don't at least know exactly where they are.

They say you can catch fish shallow and on banks/structure all year, but some days if you wanna really catch numbers and size, you gotta learn to find em deeper and hit them when they're active I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys. Let me add some details:

When I originally moved to the area I fished spinner baits and Gulp junebug worms. These worked great for me in Pickeral Lake in Michigan but basically failed on Falls Lake. Pickeral Lake is very clear water and cool (some really deep spots), its a natural lake with weed beds, drop offs, sunken islands, lilly pads, thick weeds etc. That is the lake I fished most of my life and where i learned to fish. It took a helping hand from a bass guy that used to work at Dicks Sporting Goods @ brier creek Raleigh, NC (really wish I could track him down I owe him a huge thanks).

He pointed out that I had to re-learn how to bass fish. I wasnt fishing a clear natural lake anymore. He had me simplifiy my approach and just fish stick worms slllooowwwlllyyy with watermelon red flake and pumkinseed colors. Almost immediately it paid off big time and I have been improving ever since. This year I have a powered boat and have gone more and caught more fish then ever. So overall I really cant complain I am just trying to learn how to cut out the skunk trips and turn the 2 bass days into 5+ bass days.;):D

Ok so I havent fished a spinner bait on Falls in two years. In Michigan I would fish them deep along dropoffs or skim the surface through weed lines. What are the techniques for spinner baits on falls lake?

Livebait, there was no believeable way to say "it wasnt me that caught the gut hooked fish" but honestly its been my fishing partners. I will pass the hook set information on to them :). Its has only happened twice and it really tore me up. I try to get the bass back in the water as quick and painless as possible but with a gut hook.....I just dont know. So besides a better hook set, what do you do if you happen to have a gut hook?

Skooteri, by wobble head is that considered a shakey head jig? I need to try that one of these days. I had been told that shakey head only works on gin clear water but starting to read you can use it in stained water too. Makes sense to me but just not sure.

I need to try the Carolina rig some more. I have tried it but I always fall back to texas rig as I am more comfortable with it. I guess its my go-to comfort lure for me. For C-rig I have been using either a pegged bullet weight or a lindy snagproof weight. Is there a better setup or will this work ?

I have been using the Tivo to grab the fishing shows on Versus and ESPN and reading webpages etc but there is nothing like local advice for local experts. Thanks guys its appreciated.

I am going to see if i can find some multi-colored bass color worms, and pumpkin seed with a chartreuse tail lizards tommorow. Plan to fish Ledge Rock Wed morning.

THANKS
cobra-drvr
 

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I have had maybe two good days in this entire state not including one little private lake I used to fish. I've been here 3.5 years, although I didn't get out much outside of local club tournaments.

I get skunked every other weekend. It has been the most humbling expeirence. I was spoiled by Lake Erie and the 3 Rivers in Pittsburgh. I used to think everyone caught 20-30 bass per trip, with plenty of 50+ days each spring. 5 pound smallies were common.

I come down here and if I get more than 3 in a day, it's a good day. And the senko worked great for me up North, not down here, I've tried it everywhere with little luck. Maybe you can give us some tips on how and when to fish a senko here?

And where is all the grass?! I gotta get to Harris more is all it is :)
 

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Zman is right on with leaving the hook in a gut hooked fish. Most of the time they will pass them and survive.

As far as fishing the main lake I have had success around or just inside the creeks this time of year not necessarily right out on the main lake. This is a good summer pattern up near the Dam. I believe the fish move in and out along the main creek channels. When I had my boat and fished it a lot I didn't use my electronics much unless I was going to mark a particular area or piece of structure. Just work the points at or near the mouths of the creeks in say 8'-25' of water till you find them. Also, long points that lead to good flats but also drop off sharp at the end will hold fish as they move up and down these areas to feed. Very early in the morning you can't beat a buzz bait or Zara Spook up on the flats.

The way I rig a C-Rig is with a barrel swivel tied to the main line with a glass or plastic bead above it to protect the knot and a 1/4-3/4 egg sinker or brass bullet weight above the bead, then a 24"-48" leader tied to the other end of the barrel swivel with a 2/0 worm hook. let the weight slide freely. Here is a link to a good article on C-Rigs.
Learn These Bass Fishing Rigs, Texas Rig, Carolina Rig, Floating Rig
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update: I did go fishing this past weekend and was able to get a few bass. I got the biggest bass while crappie fishing with live minnows. The rest where small on senko worm, swimbait, inline spinner, and buzzbait. Lots of fun but not much in size. Reading some of the reports, I should have been fishing crankbaits in the deep water. Will try that this weekend. :D
 

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Glad to hear that you were sucessful. Keep plugging! (no pun intended)........LOL!
 

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Keep in mind as the water gets hotter you'll have to offer the slowest presentation and use baits that allow it. Falls is a shallow lake in general so it is quickly effected by the heat this time of year... Rock bottoms hold more heat so this time of year I stay off the rocks except at the very crack of daylight and then only if you have had a night below 70 "ish" degrees..
 

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I was or maybe still am in the same boat as cobra. I am used to fishing clear, weedy, lily pad filled and cold deep waters of New England. I too have had to relearn how to bass fish. I had my best trip last Wednesday night at Falls. I was fishing night tourney and wasn't catching anything until 12:30am. I was using a gold rattle trap and got 3 in and hour and a half. Two were just a tad short of keepers and the third was small. A 6.25 lber was caught at the Barton Creek ramp. I'm looking forward to fishing this fall when the water hopefully returns to normal levels and the temps cool off. I was under the assumption that bass fishing down here was a piece of cake compared to New England.
 

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Home Wood,

The next time you fish a night tournament try using black colored baits. I have fished a lot of night tournaments and have had the most success with very dark colored baits but mainly black. The most success has come on jet black Culprit worms and black head/skirt Lunker Lures (buzz baits). I catch a lot of fish on top at night. Early in the morning just before light and at dawn the big fish usually move up off of deep points. You can also catch them on carolina rigs in between. I am not sure exactly why the black baits work but an old timer turned me on to them and it increased my night catches dramatically.

Mark
 

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A black bait gives a strong silhouette against the night sky and at night all bass can see is shadows and feel vibrations so black works well. As do buzzbaits and chatterbaits.
 
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