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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

This is my 1st posting on the forum, so thanks for having me. After a long break from lure fishing for Bass, partly because I managed to break my spinning rod early on in the year and partly because I have been concentrating on bait fishing this season, I decided to try it again last Sunday. Starting at O dark 30 I fished a variety of different marks throughout the day around the East Sussex Coast, a sandy surf beach (minus the surf), a shallow water reef and an Estuary, and to cut a long story short I blanked big style.

Although catching fish was obviously very much high on the agenda; the trip was also about trying my new set up for the 1st time and experimenting with some new shiny lures, plastics and techniques. The set up I was using was the 8ft Cormoran TR4 rod, 3000 Cormoran Black Master Reel, 15lb Spider Wire Stealth braid, 2ft 20lb fluro leader and a standard size 1 swivel clip. I should say that I bought the TR4 not as a front line tool for all occasions; but more for estuary/ river work with the ‘baby’ versions of the hard lures, plastics and at a push the standard size plugs. However as I am still procrastinating over what rod to get as a replacement for the one I broke I decided to press the TR4 into action. In summary
Poppers: No problems casting lures like the feed popper a long way and easy to get the action on the retrieve right.
Plastics: Didn’t try this style enough to form any real conclusions, so I will save any questions about this for another time.
Shallow divers: No major issues, tried the komomo2 for the 1st time and I’m quite impressed. For a light lure it casts really far and the action you can get out of this lure is something else!
Walk the Dog: I think I struggled with this style, as I understand it I’m trying to get the lure to zig-zag left and right back towards me and for maximum effectiveness in a slow stop-start fashion. Trying to achieve the zig-zag in a slow stop-start fashion was difficult as I was getting slack line and pulling on slack line had no effect on the lure, at times it looked like it would zig in one direction; but not reverse, more popping and spitting than walking (if any of that makes sense?). Retrieving faster (hence keeping a tight line) and rhythmically pulling at the lure (as opposed to jerking as you do for popping) had a better effect as atleast on a couple of occasions I fooled passing seagulls into having a closer look at the lure. However even then I’m not convinced I got the perfect action and in any case it would be probably too fast for the bass unless they were feeding really hard. So I was wondering if the great and the good on this forum have any tips and explain what I might be doing wrong? Is there any tweaking I could do with my set-up? For example I thought the large swivel clip I was using may be inhibiting the action, would changing to a smaller egg shape clip without the swivel help? Alternatively have I just got the wrong rod for this style? Are there any lures which are easier to get the hang of the action for a relative novice like me? The ones I was using by the way were the patchinko2 and the IMA Popkey (this was the one attracting the gulls attention). The sea condition over the reef was calm, so I don’t think it was disturbing the action. However does the state of tide have a bearing, in that does it require slack water to work?

Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post.
 

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Suleman,
Walking the dog (WTD) is one of those things that is harder to explain than do.
But the trick is to make a short pull with the rod tip, about 2", then immediately give slack, then pick up the slack with the reel and start all over again. It is the giving of the slack line that allows the lure to walk rather than just pop along in a straight line. Both the Patchinko2 and the Popkey are good lures to learn with as they are easier than some lures to WTD with.
Try having a look on You Tube for video
Here is Forum Member Bob showing how it is done
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhcUUl2ifQU&feature=related
And here is a "How to" video that might help get you started
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FTd_S-DI40
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Dave,

Thanks very much. The guy showing the technique in the 2nd video is very much a slower more subtle version of what I was doing. For some reason getting that rhythm is easier the faster you do it. Looks like I just need to practice it more, and hopefully in time I will be able to do it all at a slower pace.

Out of interest how much longer would you continue to fish lures for bass this year?

Cheers

Sule
 

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Hi Sule

Not really sure there is a right way. I've been hit when walking it back in fast (like Bob), also when walking it slow, but probably more often when doing absolutely nothing between walks. I guess its worth trying as many different ways as you can think of (incuding slides) until you get hit.

As Dave says, the patchinko and popkey are both great topwater lures (patchinko being my favourite).

I tie a small swivel to my braid, then add a 2-3ft leader of 20lb mono, and use a Gemini swivel clip at the end. It's not the best way to do it, but I like the ease of being able to change things at the beach even in cold weather.

Finally, I would keep at the plugging into January(if the weather allows). Just slow things down as the water gets colder.

Hope this helps

Gary
 

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Suleman,
I see your based in London, so I would say if your fishing the south coast, then you have another month or so of good fishing, then it gets harder to find the bass, once the water temperature hits about 9 degrees C, then it gets REALLY hard to find a bass. But in Jersey or in Cornwall you have a chance of a bass almost all the way through the winter.

As to which retrieve speed is best, the trick is to try different speeds and see what works best on the day. Some days the bass want a fast splashy retrieve. On other days a slow gentle retrieve works better-Easy to vary the speed once you get the hang of Wtd.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok listening to what the guy is saying in the 2nd video (as opposed to just watching with the sound off like I did earlier:oops:), what he says about mono being important to the technique is interesting.

Also as Gary suggests, I think I will switch to a mono leader (I’m sure I’ve got loads of the stuff lying around) and see if that improves things. It’s good to know I have at least a month (if not slightly longer) of trying to get the technique right, and with it hopefully catch bass, before it gets difficult to justify the journey down to the south coast.

Thanks again guys

Sule
 

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99% of my fishing is surface lures, i found like you sugested, it is harder to get a good WTD action on larger clips.
This is my set up, i use braid and attach it to an 18 inch-2foot amnesia 20lb leader using an albright knot (or double uni). I now use JB clips size 3, you can get them from MR fish, expensive 5 for £4.50 but worth it. Otherwise i would suggest a small swivel link clip of some kind (size 4 ish) down to your own preference.
If your fooling seagulls then you can't be doing too much wrong, my suggestion is if you can make the lure work when your doing it fast then you need to keep the action the same with the rod but wind the reel slower.
The reel moves the lure distance and speed towards you whereas the rod puts in the action. So if you can make it go side to side, then what you need to concentrate on is the speed your reeling in.
I personally think (mistakes) if thats what you want to call them is purely down to the speed of the retrieve, if your winding fast the lure wont have any slack to move side to side. Remember though you may think your not doing the action right but whatever it is your doing may catch the fish. A sure sign is gull interest, if they take note so will bass.

One last quick point while your working on your technique dont cast as far, it is easier to see what the lures is doing 15-20yards out, once you get the feel of it you can cast further and instantly know what the lure is doing by the way it feels.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I thought I would put an update to my original WTD post. As suggested earlier (but slightly modified for what I had lying around) I changed the fluro leader and large swivel clip for a 2ft 15lb mono leader and smaller size 4 swivel clip. I tried this setup on Saturday at a reef mark in Sussex; but after only a few chucks it was clear that there way too much energy in the waves for surface lures and to be honest the colour of the water didn’t inspire much confidence in any kind of lure fishing. So I moved swiftly on to an Estuary mark at just after high water. The water was clear and smooth, so I thought it would be ideal to practice the technique.

The patchinko especially was easy to WTD this time. Almost complete opposite to the last time I tried it; I could now make this lure, if I wanted, turn left and right through 180 degrees with minimal forward movement. I now see how giving slack line is vital to this technique. I changed to the popkey for a while, and then the baby version of the patch. Both lures being smaller and lighter than the normal patchinko were, I found, slightly harder to WTD. I think this was because the lures offer less resistance when tugged, and therefore the tug you make on the rod tip needs to be more subtle. I found this slightly awkward to do with my rod because trying to gently tug the rod tip down just by using my wrist meant that the butt of the rod kept getting hindered by my forearm. It gave me the feeling that if I had a shorter rod, possibly the bait casting type with a mini multiplier reel on top of rod, then it would be easier to do. However at times I could get the action to work on the smaller lures. I have to say at times when the baby patch did WTD, I was just blown away on how realistic it looked as a small prey item in trouble. It was actually mesmerizing just watching it.

I only fished for an hour or so because as the tide started dropping it started to wash in mud from the banks making the water dirty, plus I didn’t fancy going on down onto the mud without my wellies. Sadly no fish in that time; but at least I’m getting there with the technique. I’m sure with practice and possibly a few tweaks to the set-up here and there it’s only going to get better

In general, I found the new set-up caused the nose of the lure to be higher up in the water than last time so I’m sure it helped WTD. Finally, I do understand that there is no one proscribed technique for catching Bass; but at least now I can do the basic action (some of the time) and by applying variations in the theme I’m sure it will catch.

Thanks for helping me with this guys.
 

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I thought I would put an update to my original WTD post. As suggested earlier (but slightly modified for what I had lying around) I changed the fluro leader and large swivel clip for a 2ft 15lb mono leader and smaller size 4 swivel clip. I tried this setup on Saturday at a reef mark in Sussex; but after only a few chucks it was clear that there way too much energy in the waves for surface lures and to be honest the colour of the water didn’t inspire much confidence in any kind of lure fishing. So I moved swiftly on to an Estuary mark at just after high water. The water was clear and smooth, so I thought it would be ideal to practice the technique.

The patchinko especially was easy to WTD this time. Almost complete opposite to the last time I tried it; I could now make this lure, if I wanted, turn left and right through 180 degrees with minimal forward movement. I now see how giving slack line is vital to this technique. I changed to the popkey for a while, and then the baby version of the patch. Both lures being smaller and lighter than the normal patchinko were, I found, slightly harder to WTD. I think this was because the lures offer less resistance when tugged, and therefore the tug you make on the rod tip needs to be more subtle. I found this slightly awkward to do with my rod because trying to gently tug the rod tip down just by using my wrist meant that the butt of the rod kept getting hindered by my forearm. It gave me the feeling that if I had a shorter rod, possibly the bait casting type with a mini multiplier reel on top of rod, then it would be easier to do. However at times I could get the action to work on the smaller lures. I have to say at times when the baby patch did WTD, I was just blown away on how realistic it looked as a small prey item in trouble. It was actually mesmerizing just watching it.

I only fished for an hour or so because as the tide started dropping it started to wash in mud from the banks making the water dirty, plus I didn’t fancy going on down onto the mud without my wellies. Sadly no fish in that time; but at least I’m getting there with the technique. I’m sure with practice and possibly a few tweaks to the set-up here and there it’s only going to get better

In general, I found the new set-up caused the nose of the lure to be higher up in the water than last time so I’m sure it helped WTD. Finally, I do understand that there is no one proscribed technique for catching Bass; but at least now I can do the basic action (some of the time) and by applying variations in the theme I’m sure it will catch.

Thanks for helping me with this guys.
sounds like you've got it sussed already
 
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