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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you do when the sun is out, the sea is flat and super clear? Fish for a reaction strike or go smaller, finer and natural?

Go LRF/HRF for mixed species should be the answer, but if you're a bass nut, what do you do?
 

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Ben,
For me the answer normally has been go natural, try and match the bait in the water, size, colour and most importantly action.
No point having a brilliantly natural looking lure, and then burning it through the water if the bait is just hanging around in the water.
Subsurface stickbaits like the Mirrorlure Catch2000 have done well for me in the conditions you describe.
Have to say if it is going to be bright sunny and clear, get on the those marks first or last light. Can make ALL the difference.
 

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Ben, these are the conditions we faced today. We weren't out early so had to make the best of it. The fish were there all right (kept seeing the blasted things cruise past!). We found that casting beyond any small patches of reef or rocks and retrieving "standard" plugs got their attention. It seems they were hanging behind the rocks in the shade. We moved more than we caught but we didn't blank. Hound Dog did rather well in fact on a Tide Minnow 145 SLD in a "natural" colour. Water was like gin, too.
 

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What I usually do is try and find the bait, number one priority.
Then I will try and "match the hatch" as closely as possible keeping everything slow and light, usually with flutter baits if there are bass working the bait, or softs around the edges in the likely spots.
If that Doesn't work or I cant find the bait I will cover as much ground as possible, Twice.
Once looking for the reaction bite, then once looking for any inactive fish that are in the area with softs.
The reaction bite doesn't usually produce and i'm always tempted to go straight for the finesse but when these days produce fish to the reaction bait they usually do big time.
Sometimes they're in the mood sometimes not..
If this fails I will fish hard with the softs and really knuckle down to hit a single fish.
Then i can go home without a blank..
Had my first blank of the year today, only had 4 casts but still, not a happy bunny!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cheers guys. Just interested in what other people do to be honest.

When it's like this I don't usually consider (to start with) that the fish are really feeding, and mostly you're just fishing for crusing fish - trying to put a good looking lure in front of a passing fish. Covering a load of ground to find them is one way, but I think there's a little bit to be said occasionally (if you have knowledge of an area) to plonk yourself in one spot and wait for that group of fish to pass. If you miss your chance, then I think it can kill it totally as they won't look twice sometimes if you cock it up.

Obviously ANY bit of moving water will be the ideal place to head - not necessarily because it's where the fish are holding (bearing in mind they may not be in a 'feeding' mood), but more because if you're going to persuade them to have a bite at a passing lure then any bit of water movement will cover the fact that your lure isn't real slightly better than if you were in open, clear water.

Must admit, tackle wise I'd probably be stepping line and bait size down. I find reaction takes are a bit easier to push in sunny conditions when there is a bit more water movement.
 

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When it's like this I don't usually consider (to start with) that the fish are really feeding, and mostly you're just fishing for crusing fish - trying to put a good looking lure in front of a passing fish. Covering a load of ground to find them is one way, but I think there's a little bit to be said occasionally (if you have knowledge of an area) to plonk yourself in one spot and wait for that group of fish to pass. If you miss your chance, then I think it can kill it totally as they won't look twice sometimes if you cock it up.
Ben, there was a group of fish holding behind a rock yesterday (same on as last week btw!) and I pulled them out to follow a variety of lures cast after cast yesterday but only hooked one. Being on a rock well above the crystal clear water I could see everything. Very frustrating as there were some good fish - typically I caught one of the smallest! My point is this: one group of three good fish continued past my ambush point after I had drawn them out, so I cast ahead of them and for three conscutive casts I managed to turn the fish onto the lure but was unable to provoke a proper take. This suggests to me that you may get more than one chance at cruising fish. George had something similar also yesterday with a group of schoolies, getting a fish on his 3rd cast past them - sight casting in effect.

Not sure how relevant any of this is, but it was bloomin' interesting to see so much for a change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah agreed mate. There obviously isn't a 'rule' that we can follow as the fish will react in 100 different ways on 100 different days. All I'm saying is that in these conditions I don't usually go out with the mindest that the fish will even be willing to take a lure. Obviously there are then those days when they smash in to them without a care in the world. I think that expecting it to be hard and fishing carefully and accordingly will generally be the way to start out though - to avoid scaring them away from the area entirely. If they end up being a lot more bold than expected then all the better - but at least you've avoided scaring them off at the start.

That kind of leads on to why I mention reaction strikes. I also believe that groups of fish are more likely to have a go on days like this than a single fish would. Like any animal/fish/creature (even human), confidence grows in numbers. Even if conditions aren't perfect (i.e. those I describe), then I think that most catches (like yours) are made more possible when there are a greater number of fish in the area. Not because there are more fish to aim at, but because between them they will create their own mood change and be more willing to take a risky swipe.
 

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Ben, it was indeed a reaction "swipe" as you put it which I induced when three smaller fish were behind the lure. As for scaring them, they couldn't have cared less yesterday. I had a group of three fish in the 5lb bracket cruise past me just under the surface no more than two rod lengths out. Not a care in the world...
 

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What do you do when the sun is out, the sea is flat and super clear? Fish for a reaction strike or go smaller, finer and natural?

Go LRF/HRF for mixed species should be the answer, but if you're a bass nut, what do you do?
Go down deep when its like this in the day time and go for something natural.
In the (late,late) evening be ready with those surface plugs and choose a 'small' one.
That new 4" Patchinko sounds lethal to me and I would also try the small chugbug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good call on the depth Nick. Forgot to mention it, but because we can see them swimming shallower, it's easy to assume that's where they are.

Its the same with the LRF species, they'll all be found much closer to the bottom on days like that. Probably safe to say that most predators are doing the same. if they're feeding, that's where the cover will be.
 

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Ben,
Another way around those conditions is to work edges that drop into deeper water. Bass Love to hang in the deep water and nail anything that swims out over the drop off. Plus I have noticed that in this situation the bass don't seem to get fussy. Like they will in shallower water. Plus STAY THE HELL AWAY from seagulls. I had two aggresive follows spoilt by gull shadows on the water-sent the bass racing away. Inspite of both bass being big enough to have NOTHING to fear from gulls.
 

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Well I fished your neck of the woods 23rd in the morning and used xlayer giant Ayu on a 7gm jighead and the bass were wild for it. the thing I realised the day before was that you gotta cover all of the water, meaning the depth, where we were fishing varied in depth and there was a good swell running which seemed to pull up our hard plastic lures when a line of white water came crashing through. the sinking ability of the soft plastic on a jighead didnt suffer from this problem at all. That said we spotted fish running through guliies only 2-3ft deep.
 

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Go LRF/HRF for mixed species should be the answer, but if you're a bass nut, what do you do?
Based upon the amount of Bass we've knocked together already this year using LRF/HRF techniques I'd suggest you try it Bass nut or not.
We are somewhere over 70 - 80 Bass so far this season and about 6 of those on hard baits. Question sort of doesn't need asking as to how effective it is.
And, we haven't fished purposely for Bass more than 7 or 8 times..
 

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Based upon the amount of Bass we've knocked together already this year using LRF/HRF techniques I'd suggest you try it Bass nut or not.
We are somewhere over 70 - 80 Bass so far this season and about 6 of those on hard baits. Question sort of doesn't need asking as to how effective it is.
And, we haven't fished purposely for Bass more than 7 or 8 times..
Keith I'm not trying to be a smart arse but just looking for an honest answer and I know you'll provide me with that.

But do you think if 3 or 4 of you were going out as often as you are doing and only using hard plastics (not talking toppers) that the number of bass caught on HPs would be much greater?

The results are AMAZING and stuff I can only dream of but I keep getting this feeling that your saying hard lures aren't very good? (Please don't take this the wrong way)!

All I'm trying to say is how can you say somethings not that productive if your all JUST using softies?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Keith I'm not trying to be a smart arse but just looking for an honest answer and I know you'll provide me with that.

But do you think if 3 or 4 of you were going out as often as you are doing and only using hard plastics (not talking toppers) that the number of bass caught on HPs would be much greater?

The results are AMAZING and stuff I can only dream of but I keep getting this feeling that your saying hard lures aren't very good? (Please don't take this the wrong way)!

All I'm trying to say is how can you say somethings not that productive if your all JUST using softies?

Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooh, YOU DIDN'T???!!! You little devil!!!!! ;-)

:muttley:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
For what it's worth, the softs are a more subtle way of fishing mate, imitating life if fished properly and catching wiser or more cautions (perhaps not so hungry) fish at this time of year. Hard lures are great on certain days when the fish are in god knows what mood, but softs ARE more natural. So if natural is what the fish want....
 

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Keith I'm not trying to be a smart arse but just looking for an honest answer and I know you'll provide me with that.
Yes you are but here is an honest answer.

But do you think if 3 or 4 of you were going out as often as you are doing and only using hard plastics (not talking toppers) that the number of bass caught on HPs would be much greater?
No. Do you really think we haven't got years of data to support this. We don't just fish soft lures and to be honest, you haven't seen our better Bass marks some of which can fire big time on hard lures should the conditions be right. They are not right so they whilst they are producing odd fish and follows, fish will not commit. Even in the night.

The results are AMAZING and stuff I can only dream of but I keep getting this feeling that your saying hard lures aren't very good? (Please don't take this the wrong way)!
Who says we aren't fishing hard lures ? Just because you don't see it doesn't mean we aren't out there trying. I've been product testing a load of new hard lures you and loads of others haven't seen yet that late season hammered fish. They aren't working now but soft lures (small and falling) are. In fact, it was small falling hard lures that scored 4 out of the 6 or so hard bait caught fish.

All I'm trying to say is how can you say somethings not that productive if your all JUST using softies?
Just your perception Ritchie, not reality. Don't base results on what we let you see. There is much more going on. I'll often fish it 'wrong' just to see if methods are working exclusively. Not just on the Bass too.
 
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