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Discussion Starter #1
I'm still haunted by having the biggest bass I've ever seen turn it's nose up at my Patchinko in October and had my first follow of the year this weekend to give me more nightmares....

I know I'm fishing the right places, I know I'm using the right gear, I know I've got the right lures and using them at the right time BUT how do I convert these follows into bites?

The type of lure (Zonk Getaride Iwashi this time) and retrieve must have been enough to get them interested, so is it a case of changing lure colour, stopping retrieve, speeding up retrieve, or is it a case of shrugging your shoulders and thinking it's one of those things?!


What do you guys do? All advice appreciated!



Regards and tightlines,
Rob
 

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I had a session at the tail end of 2008 when i must've had about 20 follows in one session with no hook-ups !! I'd like to think that knowing what i know now, i would've changed something which would have changed the result - but i'll never know.

I am no expert in this, but i've missed fish over the past year when i've made mistakes . . . lurching at a swirl behind the lure for example. I suspect that even the best anglers on here will get it wrong sometimes.

I guess that through experience, and learning from other anglers, we can maximise our chances, but i would imagine that from time to time . . . . we'll just get follows, and no hook-ups !! All part of the intrigue of the sport !!!

Great topic Rob !!!
 

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Rob, I think you just have to accept the odd follow that doesn't lead to a hook up - in reality I bet it happens quite often and we just don't see it. However, if it keeps happening in the same session then I think you have to change something and the first thing to try is lure. Whether you change size or colour or action I am not sure, but if they keep refusing a lure, then try another one.
Tunny wrote a good article about a session at Portland last year where he had to try several lures before he found the one they wanted - a Zara Super Spook junior from memory. Hopefully he'll find this thread and add his experience. The good news is that if you are getting follows you are in an area that holds bass, so that is half the battle won!
 

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No hard and fast rules on this one Rob,
If I follows and no takes, then I often try speeding up the retrieve , so the lure accelerates towards the shore, then stop the retrieve dead. This often gets a hit, or a hit as you start the retrieve again. If that doesn't work, and I am still getting follows, then I tend to scale down, to a smaller lure. Say from a 145mm to a 125 or 105mm lure. Something I am keen to try is switching to a matt coloured lure, from a shiney one. Or try throwing a very lightly weighted soft plastic at them.
Basically ring the changes. The session Tim mentioned, it took me a good 45 minutes of lure/retrieve changes to work out what the bass wanted (mullet coloured Super Spook Jnr) , but then it was two or three hits/slaps per cast. So stick with it.
 

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Its a brilliant question Rob. Spose the only answer is trial and error really. Knowing exactly what to do would be the ultimate holy grail - we'll probably never get there, and it'll change from one day to the next.

Tim's probably right though I think about not seeing all of the follows we get. I'd LOVE to see exactly how many fish look at a lure over the coarse of a session. I bet it's loooooooads compared to the actual number we catch. Its nice to think that we get a chance to see every fish that's in front of us, but assuming that we don't is probably an easier way of keeping confidence up :-D
 

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Rob, like Dave (and if I can see the actual follow) I tend to always speed up the retrieve when the fish is studying the lure mimicking an injured bait fish with one last run in it, hoping for a reaction bite. I also tend to go with a smaller (sinking preferred) lure if this doesn't work and there are still no takes.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Some great replies there, thanks lads.

So, generally speaking when we spot a follow we need to speed up the retrieve but put in stops like an erratic stunned baitfish (I remember a post elsewhere about stopping a lure dead to let Mr Bass catch up and instinctively snap at the morsel infront of him!) then change to smaller lures working lower down the water column?
 

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It's so frustrating. The biggest bass I ever saw followed my lure in all the way down the cliffs. Was just mucking with a sidewinder and I picked up the fish tracking it about 30 yards out as I was high up. Easy double as it was twice the size (length and width) of the largest mullet in my shirvy but no interest in doing anything other than follow the lure. Sod!!
 
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