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Discussion Starter #1
Right I have been doing well on small and medium surface lures this year, Patchinko 100, Smith Chinupen, and resently the Illex/Jackal Mudsucker 110. Great I am catching bass, admittedly not as many decent bass (as I would like), they have ranged from 4lb down to maybe a few ounces (microbass!!)
Now I think we would all agree that subsurface plugs will normally out fish surface lures, IMHO about 3 or 4 to 1.
But I just CANNOT get a take below the surface!!
The bass are feeding on two different baitfish, one is small mullet about 3-4" long, and the other is a smaller baitfish around 2" long. The bass are both ambushing individual baitfish amoungst the weed, and trapping them against the rocks and slashing through the group of trapped bait. Now I have fished plugs from 2" to 5", shallow/deep, fast/slow, steady/twitched. Nada so far.
So what the hell am I doing wrong???
Yes it is great to be catching, but I hate the feeling that I am missing something.
Fishing 15lb flurocarbon leader about 4' long, small clips, off of 20lb 1.5PE braid.
Advice/tips/hints even, all welcome
 

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A 'proper' suspending jerkbait fished close to cover - and actually left static, just hanging there? Few jerks, pause it again...etc? Maybe by getting it down along the edge of the weed and literally just leaving a bait hanging? Jerk, jerk, long pause....... Baits like the Lucky Craft Pointer for a nice bulky profile?
 

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Or a subsurface pencil bait? Lucky Craft Wander, IMA Calm etc. etc. They obviously like a walk the dog action, so have you tried it sub-surface?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ben,
I tried the Lucky Craft Slim Pointer 120SR and SSR, twitched and hung.Basically trying to mimic the Baitfish behaviour I could see before me-ZIP, But put the Patchinko back on and slam/bang I get boils and hits and hook ups. Really has me baffled!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I tried my old faithful Mirrorlure Catch2000, no joy, but I have a couple of new stickbaits coming. Ima Calm and Maria Slim Codes, working on the principle that thay seem to favour up to 4" slim profile lures.
I will crack it somehow.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Quick question,
I am wondering if it would be possible to use a X-Slayer as a subsurface stickbait??
I would have to play with the weighting to get the sink rate right-but should be possible right???
 

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Mmmm, weird one. Seems they do really love the surface lures in your part of the world. In my little corner of Cornwall, they're about the least productive method for me really. Do the Slim Pointers actually suspend? I can't remember as its a little while since I've used mine. The standard Pointers aren't too far off suspending out of the box though, just need a touch more weight.

Have you fished sinking baits at all? Going by the theory that by slashing at a surface bait they may be trying to stun it, would a shallow diving, sinking bait be useful? Back to above point, but from what I remember, the IMA Calm sinks quite slowly, so worked with a WTD action and then paused to slowly sink like a stunned fish could be worth a shot?
 

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Quick question,
I am wondering if it would be possible to use a X-Slayer as a subsurface stickbait??
I would have to play with the weighting to get the sink rate right-but should be possible right???
Yeah, coarse! Use a weighted hook with the weight towards the hook bend rather than the eye and you should get a fairly slow sinking, lovely looking bait. About the most natural bait I've ever seen I think! Tiny, tiny twitches with pauses of a couple of seconds between each, just to keep it moving.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ben,
The slim Pointer is very very close to being a perfect suspender (at the moment), I have my fingers crossed the Calm works. Totally agree about topwaters normally being the least productive lures. Hence why I have been searching for a successful subsurface lure/technique.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I guess I am being a touch ungrateful, Catching at the moment which is great. But if you don't try and learn/change then you are going nowhere. Hate not being able to slove this puzzle.
 

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Exactly. Some people will be the opposite, but like you obviously, I'd hate to be just doing one thing over and over just because I knew it worked. More often than not I actually find myself trying stuff that I know or think won't work, and then actually trying to catch on it - for the challenge. Got to set yourself goals.
 

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Could it be that there's so much food easily available to them under the surface that they aren't interested or even hungry but are just attacking the annoying splashy thing up top?
 

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Could it be that there's so much food easily available to them under the surface that they aren't interested or even hungry but are just attacking the annoying splashy thing up top?
Inetersting point as my experience with fly fishing for trout is that sometimes when there is such an abundance of natural food, an imatitive approach (the obvious and preferred choice) goes untouched. I have overcome thsee conditions with trout by doing something completely different and had success.
 

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Dave have you tried the baby feed shallow !!! worked for me last week ....... got splashes on the surface lures baby patchinko , Z claw ... ziltch , baby shallow bang 3 bass not big fish but a fish is a fish , as the guys are saying a lot of bait swimming about , tried the normal feed shallow again nothing ... a case of ( match the hatch ) me thinks .
 

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Dave, in reality a nice problem to have! I haven't had a single fish off the top yet this season so have the opposite problem. Any reason why you need to catch sub-surface with a plug? What I mean is why not on a soft lure, twitched slowly sub-surface?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Many thanks for the ideas Guys,
As Tim said, it is kind of nice problem to have.
I did manage to bag a couple of small fish on a Jackson Artist 80 (black/silver) fished just fast enough to stop it from sinking. Looked awesome when fished jerkbait style.
Good morning bag about dozen bass (and one Garfish!! which also liked the Artist), nothing of any size though 3/4-1.5lb. Good news is the
may rot is clearing, hit three different mark, all of which showed a massive imprivement in clairty.
Brace yourself sussex pluggers, the fishing is about to come good.
Bob, the bass are wearing the paint off my patchinko100, poor little lure is getting a hammering. Had something on that stripped about 40 yards of braid and bent the split rings???
But it managed to kelp me-fingers crossed I meet that fish again!
 

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Sounds like the area for a weightless SP. Found a mark like that last autumn, we all fished hard with all manner of hard baits as you decribed, every speed depth size possible but the weightless SP proved the fish killer. For me it was the Pafex Sagat which did the job but there's plenty ther fish shape SP's out there now, it's got much easier to find the SP to match you want with the last 6 months hard work by some of the guys on here as well as others no doubt.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Rob,
Still catching way too many fish off the top, but the clearing water has seen SLD-F 125, Artist80, and X120 all into fish.
I am beinging to think that the reasons behind my over the top results off the top is more to do with the area I was fishing (hiding from May Rot), things are settling back to normal now I am able to fish more marks.
But I have to say the Patchinko100 is an awesome lure, just the right combination of size and action.
 
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