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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Kind of ashamed to admit this but here goes. I know that confidence in a lure or technique makes a world of difference when you are fishing so maybe that is where I'm messing up. In the time since I've picked back up fishing I have caught 1 fish on an artificial lure. And that was purely accident. I had the thing on the side of a boat just tryign to see how it acted and a bream came up and got it. Nothing hit it the rest of the day. My question is how do you know if you are getting a hit. It seems like I set the hook in more trees and stumps and things like that. I can't tell the difference. I've tried Ultra lite rods and reels and even used one buddy's high dollar rod and reel and nothing. Maybe I just need a day out with someone who knows what they are doing. I don't know.
 

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The "bump" from hitting snags is very similar to a bite and everyone will 'set the hook" on a bump so thats normal. You might try hesitating just a second when you feel a hit as you may be pulling the bait out when they strike. I have had mixed success with lures myself but it seems when I am after certain fish like panfish or in salt specks, reds.. I have a funny little way of stalling to set the hook. When I feel a hit I verbally grunt...LOL! Like "hut" before I set the hook. That little 1/2-1 sec seems to make a big difference in hooksets for me.
I like soft baits because I think the fish is less prone to spit it because it feels real, and I dont hesitate to set the hook with hard plastics for that reason. It may even be the areas fished and time of year causing your frustration. Fishing with someone else is good because it can help you judge whether it is you, your technique, your bait, or that they just aren't biting. For an inexperience "lure" person. I like Roadrunners and Beetle spins. They are simple and attractive to most anything that swims. Next would be Plastic worms rigged Carolina style and you can also try plastic crawfish bodies.
With Spring here and the bedding beginning it is a good time to find concentrated areas of panfish and build some confidence in your lures. I use live bait to locate and then will start tossing lures to see if I can keep them biting. Sometimes you just can't beat natural baits!! Thats part of the "game".

You can also swap any hooks on your lures to "wire" hooks. They will bend if hung usually if you have 10lb test or better line. You can also switch to a single J hook and cut down on snags without missing many hook-ups.


I find it is better to mimic insects with most Panfish with exception of Crappie/ White/Yellow perch ( they like minnows) and minnows with Bass so keep that in mind. I prefer gold spinners over silver and lighter colors in muddier waters.
 

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Ditto Drop's advice on the lures. Everyting will hit the beetle spin, so try that for a day. One thing about the beetle spin tho is it is the WORST at skipping debris in the water. If it runs over a log, it seems the hook the log far too often. So buy several- they are cheap. Bream, bass, crappie perch etc. will go for this lure. My other go-to is the blue fox spinner series. The best ones are the ones that come in the 5 pack. They are small, so lots of fish will hit these. I have even caught 4 and 5 lb bass before on them. Give these a try, and if you want, work up from there.
 

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I agree with the above.

Get a hold of *any* kind of in-line spinner. Here's what I mean by "in-line spinner":

Bass Pro In-line spinners


Just cast it out and retrieve it a *tad* slower than you think you should. Have your rod pointed down at the water during the retrieve. This will catch bream, crappie, and bass. Again, these are liable to get hung up. If you have braided line, you can usually pull it off the stump it gets hung up on and then bend the hook back straight with a pair of pliers. I am a beginner lure fisherman as well. I usually experiment with other lures to try and learn, and then go back to the in-line spinner if I'm not having any luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What color do you all recommend in the beetle spin and inline spiner?
 

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Hey Coach,
I don't know where you fish or how often, but probably the most important thing to know is someone who knows the bite. What type lure are they hitting most, what color are they hitting, when are they most active, and where? We all experience the similar problems of lure choosing, especially when we are not familiar with the body of water. I make it a point to ask or watch what others are doing. Now, some folks won't always share, but most are more than willing to tell you their success stories. Once you know these things, you can spend more time on presentation and retrieval. Varying your speed, depth, and colors until you make contact with the prey. I think everyone has been pretty much on point with their advice. I would use the soft plastic, like Drop says. A worm, carolina rigged, is hard to beat. I usually do a slow pick-up and reel technique. When a bass hits it you'll feel it, kinda like a thud, right through the rod handle. Unlike everyone else, I will actually release the line and wait a few seconds to see if the fish starts to move off with it. You can see the line start to move away. Then, I reel up the slack while dropping my rod tip down. At that point I rear back on the rod and set the hook hard. For hardbaits, vary your retrieve, and you'll feel and often see the fish hit the bait. I like spinners, buzzbaits, and topwaters. Believe me, you'll know when a fish hits them. They may almost knock the rod out of your hand. Good Luck.


One day I was at Lake Gaston with a friend and we were catching Bass almost every cast on rattle traps. Blue and Silver Lews RTs. Another day we were on Tar River near Goat Island and the Bass choice was Top Guns or Rattling Rouges. Black/Silver; Blue/Silver; Chart/White; it didn't make any difference. I can tell you that color varies, and that is why I would bet that most folks on this board have a variety of colors for almost every bait. That is what the Tackle Monkey thrives on. Again, just my advice, and Good Luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lots of great advice here. I'm going to have to try some of it.

The pond I've been fishing is a private one and i haven't seen anyone else fishing it but myself and my partner. Who has the same problem I do.
 

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For ponds, a rebel topwater grasshopper is hard to beat. Will catch bass and bream equally well. No problem knowing when you get a bite on top.:) Sometimes I take the front treble off. One of the harder things is being calm enough to know a bream bite on a worm from a bass. A bream bite feels like a machine gun. RAT-tat-TAt. We call it getting "tattooed". After a while you learn not to set the hook. Braid helps with the feel ALOT.
 

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Coach,

Great advice given so far. Soft plastics can be hard to learn, its a mix of feel and watching your line. I like to take a weightless texas rigged senko with a 3/0 and cast it parallel to the bank. I will let it sit for a minute and then move it about 6 inches wait 15-30 seconds and move it again. Do this all the way back. The hardest part of it all is detecting the bite, you can get some 1/8 oz tungsten weights and cast them around and you should be able to feel out the bottom pretty well. Getting to know what it feels like is 90% of it. If something feels out of the ordinary then set the hook. Swings are free. You will get very frustrated with it to start with, but when you start to catch fish it will be worth it.
 

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You should be able to catch loads of bream in a month or so with beetle spins. Not sure exactly where you are at, I checked your profile, Fayetteville, I would say that Waldos Beach, would be a great place to catch some bream.

I use to fish it all the time, big bream and bigger bass to be caught there. Only a few bucks to launch a boat, nice bait and tackle shop, they use to rent boats and tackle, they have a pier for people to fish from.

Put in at the ramp. Go straight out and to the left past the pier, stay to the right and when the tree tops quit on the right is a seems like a double decker pier. Right in front out in 3-5 foot of water, big area there, the bream bed right there. Might be where the boat is sitting. Fish this area around the boat and the bank real good.

Then go on towards the left more and there is a point with a cove going back with a big brick house on the point with a wood barrier wall. This is also a great bedding point and on out into the mouth of the cove.

This is where I saw the biggest bass come and get a baby bird that was fluttering on the water. The fish swam right up, you could see the back out of the water and all the water that the fish was pushing away, up to the bird, one slurp and she was gone. Big, Big bass.

Anyway, beetle spins or crickets it doesn't get any better. If you haven't been to this place you need to check it out. It is on Camden Rd towards hope Mills. This area is about a mile long and full of stumps on one end and open water at the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Isn't that on Hope Mills lake? If so it drained out after a hurricane a few years ago and they haven't replaced the dam yet.
 

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I get laughed at but a rooster tail is my confidence bait. I love it because you can generally feel when it is working properly. I like to use white or chartruese colors. Size depends on how big you want to go. It will be easier to catch bream and crappie with smaller sizes.

I always seem to put on a new lure that I haven't used and have no idea how to work it but sometimes that might come into your favor as you may be working it some different way that the fish hasn't seen before and they are to curious not to bite. Once you get that first fish then you generally know what to look for.

As far as catching snags and thinking that they are bites I always remember the quote from Mike Iconelli "better to look the fool and set the hook than be the fool and miss the fish" (or something like that).

Good luck Coach!
 

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No not Hope Mills Lake, go back on Camden Road towards RockFish area, back towards Raeford. It is on Camden Road. This is Rockfish Creek damned up and its a good mile long stretch of water to fish, nice area.

Maybe also called Upchurch Lake on the maps. Waldo Beach has the boat ramp area, swimming and game areas in the summer. I use to have a key to the gate so I could come and go as I pleased, did a lot of night bass fishing in the area.

You can pay by the day or a season fishing pass, the season pass was my ticket since I fished it so much and with that pass I got a gate key.

tight lines <*)))))>{
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh ok. I have heard of it. Never been near it. Will have to look into it.
 

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10-4...........plenty of room for a bass boat

Some people in the area call it Waldos Beach. Ask in Hope Mills and most people can direct you straight to it.

I just checked Google Earth to do a map and it shows the lake is dry except for Rockfish Creek running thru. Also checked for the phone number (910)423-8701. Some one local might want to check it out before everyone heads that way and no water.???
**** may have busted, use to have some type of hydroelectic power at the end.????

tight lines <*)))))>{

First pic is the location of Waldos Beach and the second shows the what should be water
but only see the creek running thru what was a lake. Another lake taken out. Someone local
should check it out to make sure it wasn't Sunspots blocking the water.



 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I thought it was dry. Not sure why I thought that. I think maybe Dave B. said something about it once.
 

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10-4 that sure is a bummer, that use to be one heck of a nice lake to fish. You can see the length of the dry lake bed.

Sorry guys didn't mean to get everyone ready to go fishing and pull the plug. Like I said its been a while since I've been in that area and just remember the good places to fish.

I do have one more spot but I'll save it for a rainy day. :D

Coach hope you get on something with an artificial. If not I'll get you down in my neck of the wood and give you some pointer with a day of fishing down the Neuse River around Kinston. All we'll need is beetle spins and a cooler to put the masses in.

tight lines <*)))))>{
 
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