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ok you just had a good bite but it got off is that the only bass in that 20 ft. area or are there others sharing the same space - you can get a bite and go back to that same spot for 10 more throws and nuttin [ WHAT GIVES ]
 

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Wow...that one depends on a lot of different variables.

During pre-spawn and toward the fall and winter, the bass tend to travel in schools and there are usually several within a 20 ft stretch...but not EVERY 20 ft stretch. There are still areas that hold them better than others and for the most part, at any given time they are in some form of a school.

Often, depending on the size of the water and all, the fish will cruise solo, especially as they get larger. They usually have a "home zone" they stay in.

If there is cover, there could easily be more than one in the area depending on the amount of cover. Docks certainly can hold large numbers of fish, but not EVERY dock. Lay downs can hold numbers, but not EVERY one.

The best way to tell is to keep casting the area. If you had one hit, and it got off, keep trying that same bait for a bit, and then change it up. If you lost it n a crank bait, alternate with a jerk bait or a worm. If you lost it on a worm, try a jig or a tube.

If you have a sonar unit, you can often see if there is bait in the area. If not, then there may not be a school nearby. If there is bait, then there are likely more bass in the area.

The main thing is to keep casting. If you have tried a few things and nothing hits, move on...and keep casting.

I hope that helped a bit...at least a start, anyway...
 
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A Wes said, its not uncommon to find multiple fish in a small area and only way to know is to keep throwing.

I have caught 2 or 3 fish off of one dock before, a 5 and 6 lb fish off the same stump 10 minutes apart (not during the spawn), multiple fish off the same bottom feature dragging a c-rig or throwing a topwater plug.

A good piece of structure can be like the waiting area at Outback steakhouse, one fish leaves to go eat, another moves into its place.
 

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A good piece of structure can be like the waiting area at Outback steakhouse, one fish leaves to go eat, another moves into its place.
I still quote Neil when talking about a good piece of cover when he said in a post once, to paraphrase: "A good piece of cover is like a bus stop. There will be fish coming and going on a good piece of cover all the time." This analogy made so much sense to me, that when I cycle back to good spots I've already fished that day I call it "bus-stopping" those spots. There is one laydown at Randleman that I cannot pass by without fishing it, and I will often catch anywhere from one to four bass off it and then come back an hour or 3 later and catch another.

Can't always catch another one in a given spot, but you sometimes can. If you have a livewell, some people will keep the one they caught till they finish fishing the spot and then release it back. Dunno if it matters, or if it's just superstition but some believe it helps?... I caught a 4lb'er at Randleman this summer off a partly emergent log, and because it was summer figured there might be more with him and cast back and two casts later got another fish (different one, different markings) that was almost the exact same size. One was 4lb 2oz and the other was 3lb 15oz.

Try a different bait, or sometimes especially with a laydown, I'll just change the angle I'm casting from. That difference in bait or difference in presentation could trigger another fish to strike where that fish might not hit what it just saw its buddy get caught on.
 
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Red X Angler
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I do it for a reason :D

Hey Sam, I think I know the tree. Watched you catch fish off of it, and we came in later and caught fish on it, then you went back and probably caught more too!!!!


Now I just need you to give me a clinic on catching fish on crankbaits, Mike!
 

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Here's the most important thing I learned about bass after spending a day with the local biologist shocking my favorite lake:


If you got six lay downs in 200 yards of bank big bass will only be on one or two of them.................but there will be four or five big ones on those those one or two trees.................so if you hook a five pounder off a fallen pine tree I PROMISE you there are several more down there. Try not to spook them and keep working it or come back later.................and remember that particular tree..................they like it and will keep using it over the other trees that look identical. From what I saw there is no such thing as one bass on one tree. At least what I'm saying holds true post spawn as that was when we did the shocking.

And if you think about it likely the best thing to throw in a lay down is an Alabama rig as you might hook several of them if you figure out how not to hook the tree first.
 
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