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> Bigger bass not biting this year?, Or do I just suck?
rivermaster
Posted: Aug 01, 2020 - 09:53 pm


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Been out half a dozen times so far and everything has been under 2lbs. I've mostly been using the drop shot, squarebills, wacky rig and topwater. I've tried different structure and depths ranging for 3-30ft and have caught mad tiny bass everywhere but nothing of size. Is anybody catching anything decent this year? Need to upsize my bait maybe?

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Krob11
Posted: Aug 01, 2020 - 10:08 pm


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Very similar luck with me. Lots of 1.5 - 2lbs but nothing over 3. I am also doing a lot of drop shot, top water and a little bit of pitching creatures.


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colanut
Posted: Aug 01, 2020 - 10:47 pm


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I have only landed one bass this year, but it was a 4 lber. I've seen a lot follow my baits, but no takers. Most of them appear to be around the 2 lb size, though. Throwing lots of chartreuse coloured plastics this year.

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Attila
Posted: Aug 01, 2020 - 11:04 pm


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After reading your post, am I correct in assuming you're a weekend fisherman who probably spends time on water and spots that you found success on in previous years?

If that is the case, I would suggest changing things up.

If you're fishing for smallmouth, my biggest fish so far this season (5 over 5lbs, more than a dozen over 4lbs) have come from 2 lures; a 1/16oz black marabou jig rigged on 4lbs braid with a 6lbs fluorocarbon leader, and the second is a Megabass PopMax in perch. One is dirt cheap and small, the other is expensive and more substantial than other poppers.

In the event you're fishing highly pressured water, might I suggest spybaiting? I've used it on lakes which have had a number of tournaments on them or which experience a cold front passing through. It's a great bait and the smallmouth seem to like them a lot. As well, you can throw it on the setup you use for dropshotting so you won't even have to buy a new rod and reel for it.

Finally, maybe spend time reading publications that can help with new ideas on how to catch the fish we love to target. I have a subscription to In Fisherman, and I can't tell you how much I've learned reading it.

Fishing is really about adapting to changing conditions, and figuring out ways to catch fish that have probably seen a million drop shot baits, the same topwater baits over and over again, and every senko style bait that has ever been made. Don't be afraid to change things up...you just might be surprised.

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rivermaster
Posted: Aug 02, 2020 - 12:04 am


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QUOTE (Attila @ Aug 01, 2020 - 11:04 pm)
After reading your post, am I correct in assuming you're a weekend fisherman who probably spends time on water and spots that you found success on in previous years?

If that is the case, I would suggest changing things up.

If you're fishing for smallmouth, my biggest fish so far this season (5 over 5lbs, more than a dozen over 4lbs) have come from 2 lures; a 1/16oz black marabou jig rigged on 4lbs braid with a 6lbs fluorocarbon leader, and the second is a Megabass PopMax in perch. One is dirt cheap and small, the other is expensive and more substantial than other poppers.

In the event you're fishing highly pressured water, might I suggest spybaiting? I've used it on lakes which have had a number of tournaments on them or which experience a cold front passing through. It's a great bait and the smallmouth seem to like them a lot. As well, you can throw it on the setup you use for dropshotting so you won't even have to buy a new rod and reel for it.

Finally, maybe spend time reading publications that can help with new ideas on how to catch the fish we love to target. I have a subscription to In Fisherman, and I can't tell you how much I've learned reading it.

Fishing is really about adapting to changing conditions, and figuring out ways to catch fish that have probably seen a million drop shot baits, the same topwater baits over and over again, and every senko style bait that has ever been made. Don't be afraid to change things up...you just might be surprised.

4lb braid? Why so light? I do have some maribou jigs, never thought of using them for bass tho. I'm actually fishing decently unpressured lakes that are on back roads up north so I don't think pressure is the problem. I'm trying new stuff for sure (drop shot is new to me) I used to just chuck a wacky rig around. As far as buying a new rod and reel I've got over a dozen rods lol. I've never tried the megabass because it's a bit pricey, I guess it's worth it though eh? One of my better one's this year (still small) was on a skitterpop. I've mostly been dropshotting tubes and young dinger's. What kind of setup do you use for your megabass, braid? Thanks for the info, I'll keep at it. Something's gotta give eventually.

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300
Posted: Aug 02, 2020 - 05:14 am


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And what lake or lakes we talking about

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Goshawk
Posted: Aug 02, 2020 - 06:19 am


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We managed to get into some 4+lb largemouth 2 weekends ago at Paudash, and there were several others caught in that weight range as well. They are still eating, so don't give up yet!!

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rivermaster
Posted: Aug 02, 2020 - 06:20 am


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QUOTE (300 @ Aug 02, 2020 - 05:14 am)
And what lake or lakes we talking about

Coon, Big Cedar, Eels, Kushog, Bass Lake and Emily Creek

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rivermaster
Posted: Aug 02, 2020 - 06:22 am


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QUOTE (Goshawk @ Aug 02, 2020 - 06:19 am)
We managed to get into some 4+lb largemouth 2 weekends ago at Paudash, and there were several others caught in that weight range as well. They are still eating, so don't give up yet!!

Love Paudash, caught some biggins myself there a couple years ago.

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Attila
Posted: Aug 02, 2020 - 06:36 am


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QUOTE (rivermaster @ Aug 02, 2020 - 01:04 am)
4lb braid? Why so light? I do have some maribou jigs, never thought of using them for bass tho. I'm actually fishing decently unpressured lakes that are on back roads up north so I don't think pressure is the problem. I'm trying new stuff for sure (drop shot is new to me) I used to just chuck a wacky rig around. As far as buying a new rod and reel I've got over a dozen rods lol. I've never tried the megabass because it's a bit pricey, I guess it's worth it though eh? One of my better one's this year (still small) was on a skitterpop. I've mostly been dropshotting tubes and young dinger's. What kind of setup do you use for your megabass, braid? Thanks for the info, I'll keep at it. Something's gotta give eventually.

Regarding marabou jigs, I'm doing a writeup on them shortly. Long story short, using such light braid makes it easier to cast them a decent distance while still having enough strength to land large fish successfully. A longer rod, 7'6" in my case, also helps alleviate stress on the line while a reel with a good drag system helps a lot too. There are plenty of articles, both online and in print, talking about marabou jigs for bass. I'd suggest reading them.

Decently unpressured lakes that are on back roads up north could be part of the equation. While it's great to fish unpressured water, there could be the very real possibility that such a lake might not have the forage available to allow the fish to grow larger than the size which you're getting. As well, the lake could have a large density of fish which also stunts their growth. Realistically, there isn't much you can do in either situation, save for eating a lot of the smaller bass which will mean more forage for the larger fish, thus enabling them to grow larger. This week Bassmaster is fishing on Lake Champlain in NY state, where there are tonnes of fish in the three pound class, many fish in the 4lbs class, and not so many fish in the 5lbs class. That's just the nature of the lake...same could be said for the lakes you're fishing. I had the chance to talk with Gord Pyzer regarding bass fishing up north in the Kenora region...would it surprise you to know that a big bass up there is one in the 4lbs range? Food for thought that's for sure...and he knows how to catch fish, of that there is no doubt.

While pricey @ $25 per bait, the Megabass PopMax to me produces larger than average sized fish. I throw it on a 6'8" St. Croix Mojo Bass crankbait rod paired with a Daiwa Tatula HSL which is spooled with 30lbs Berkley X9 braid. I started out fishing Skitter Pop's like you, and I caught decent fish up to 5lbs so there's no doubt that they will catch larger fish. They still hold a spot in my topwater arsenal. That said, it really does pay to match the forage in the lake. In the case of the Kawartha Lakes, that would be perch. The intricate designs on each PopMax are worth their weight in gold and I don't think there is any bait out there on the market that comes close to the quality in these lures.

Finally, regarding something giving eventually...I wish you well, but if the lake doesn't have fish that big in it, then you'll be beating your head against the wall for many years. I'd reach out to the MNR, maybe find out if the lake has been stocked or if there are any surveys that have been done. They'll share the information if they have it.

While it's nice not to worry about the crowds we deal with in and around the Kawartha's, sometimes we have to face the fact that the fish won't grow as big as we hope. I know I like catching big fish, and there are plenty of big fish here in the Kawartha's. I can live with everything I face when I fish...though the thought of fishing without seeing another person or boat for a while is appealing as well.

Cheers, hope this information helps.

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rivermaster
Posted: Aug 02, 2020 - 07:05 am


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QUOTE (Attila @ Aug 02, 2020 - 06:36 am)
QUOTE (rivermaster @ Aug 02, 2020 - 01:04 am)
4lb braid? Why so light? I do have some maribou jigs, never thought of using them for bass tho. I'm actually fishing decently unpressured lakes that are on back roads up north so I don't think pressure is the problem. I'm trying new stuff for sure (drop shot is new to me) I used to just chuck a wacky rig around. As far as buying a new rod and reel I've got over a dozen rods lol. I've never tried the megabass because it's a bit pricey, I guess it's worth it though eh? One of my better one's this year (still small) was on a skitterpop. I've mostly been dropshotting tubes and young dinger's. What kind of setup do you use for your megabass, braid? Thanks for the info, I'll keep at it. Something's gotta give eventually.

Regarding marabou jigs, I'm doing a writeup on them shortly. Long story short, using such light braid makes it easier to cast them a decent distance while still having enough strength to land large fish successfully. A longer rod, 7'6" in my case, also helps alleviate stress on the line while a reel with a good drag system helps a lot too. There are plenty of articles, both online and in print, talking about marabou jigs for bass. I'd suggest reading them.

Decently unpressured lakes that are on back roads up north could be part of the equation. While it's great to fish unpressured water, there could be the very real possibility that such a lake might not have the forage available to allow the fish to grow larger than the size which you're getting. As well, the lake could have a large density of fish which also stunts their growth. Realistically, there isn't much you can do in either situation, save for eating a lot of the smaller bass which will mean more forage for the larger fish, thus enabling them to grow larger. This week Bassmaster is fishing on Lake Champlain in NY state, where there are tonnes of fish in the three pound class, many fish in the 4lbs class, and not so many fish in the 5lbs class. That's just the nature of the lake...same could be said for the lakes you're fishing. I had the chance to talk with Gord Pyzer regarding bass fishing up north in the Kenora region...would it surprise you to know that a big bass up there is one in the 4lbs range? Food for thought that's for sure...and he knows how to catch fish, of that there is no doubt.

While pricey @ $25 per bait, the Megabass PopMax to me produces larger than average sized fish. I throw it on a 6'8" St. Croix Mojo Bass crankbait rod paired with a Daiwa Tatula HSL which is spooled with 30lbs Berkley X9 braid. I started out fishing Skitter Pop's like you, and I caught decent fish up to 5lbs so there's no doubt that they will catch larger fish. They still hold a spot in my topwater arsenal. That said, it really does pay to match the forage in the lake. In the case of the Kawartha Lakes, that would be perch. The intricate designs on each PopMax are worth their weight in gold and I don't think there is any bait out there on the market that comes close to the quality in these lures.

Finally, regarding something giving eventually...I wish you well, but if the lake doesn't have fish that big in it, then you'll be beating your head against the wall for many years. I'd reach out to the MNR, maybe find out if the lake has been stocked or if there are any surveys that have been done. They'll share the information if they have it.

While it's nice not to worry about the crowds we deal with in and around the Kawartha's, sometimes we have to face the fact that the fish won't grow as big as we hope. I know I like catching big fish, and there are plenty of big fish here in the Kawartha's. I can live with everything I face when I fish...though the thought of fishing without seeing another person or boat for a while is appealing as well.

Cheers, hope this information helps.

Thanks for all the tips, I'll try running a maribou jig on my 6'9 UL Fenwick. When it comes to Baitcasters I've only got the one and hate it because the handle is on the opposite side, never realised Baitcasters were made that way when I bought it, wish I bought a lefty. As for big fish not being there I'm not too sure about 3 of the lakes as they were new lakes I'd never fished before but on Angler's Atlas somebody put a pin down saying "monster largemouth" on the one lake. One of the lakes in particular that I only caught dinks on we actually saw an absolute monster smallie and we also saw a 3lber demolish a rockbass on the surface. The monster smallie kept following the little bass we were catching but wanted nothing to do with our baits, pretty frustrating

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nbender81
Posted: Aug 14, 2020 - 11:59 am


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Well, shout out to you Atilla!

I have been catching some bigger fish this year, not having much of an issue there. But read your response here was was curious about the PopMax. Watched some youtubes and decided to treat myself! And I have not really been much of a topwater guy.

First couple times out, not much luck, was really just learning how to fish it. Today I got a handful of smaller ones in early and this fella hit just before noon! Nothing else was working so I figured, what the hell, let's throw the PopMax again, who cares if it is noon, nothing else is working. 4.5 lbs and a big belly.

And that is only 1/2 the story. When I got this one, another similar sized fish hit it at the exact same time. Had them both on for about 5 seconds and this guy was just hanging on by one hook. They did a number on the rear treble...small hooks on this lure, but maybe they need to be.

Thanks for the tip!



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Attila
Posted: Aug 14, 2020 - 12:48 pm


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QUOTE (nbender81 @ Aug 14, 2020 - 12:59 pm)
Well, shout out to you Atilla!

I have been catching some bigger fish this year, not having much of an issue there. But read your response here was was curious about the PopMax. Watched some youtubes and decided to treat myself! And I have not really been much of a topwater guy.

First couple times out, not much luck, was really just learning how to fish it. Today I got a handful of smaller ones in early and this fella hit just before noon! Nothing else was working so I figured, what the hell, let's throw the PopMax again, who cares if it is noon, nothing else is working. 4.5 lbs and a big belly.

And that is only 1/2 the story. When I got this one, another similar sized fish hit it at the exact same time. Had them both on for about 5 seconds and this guy was just hanging on by one hook. They did a number on the rear treble...small hooks on this lure, but maybe they need to be.

Thanks for the tip!

nbender81,

Glad that you're having a great summer, that's a nice largemouth right there.

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jay_7680
Posted: Aug 14, 2020 - 09:05 pm


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This year the smallmouth fishing has been on fire .almost every trip out we have boated about 4 or 5 good size smallmouth.

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rivermaster
Posted: Aug 15, 2020 - 03:51 pm


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I watched some videos on maribou jigs for smallies and tried the maribou jig out, got zero bites then got snagged and had to cut my line, lost the jig and my 10' fluoro leader. I haven't been able to get any bites on the pop max yet but I like the action, going to try it again tomorrow. After losing the maribou jig I just tied a tube directly on to the 6lb braid and caught a small Muskie, only thing I caught that day and it was a muskie on an ultralight with 6lb braid lol.



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