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Anyone else self punish?


JimR
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Allow me to clarify. Have you ever not used a lure that you knew would catch you more fish, maybe lots more fish, just because it was a "child's lure", "cooky cutter", or maybe because you were just so darned determined to prove that you could catch them on something else too? I sure know I have. Mostly probably with the inline spinner. Sometimes I think that I could almost double my numbers if that was all I used. The truth is, it's almost more fun for me to catch few or even no fish while learning to use new techniques than it is to make a million of the exact same cast with the same lure and catch 30 dinks. I have absolutely no disrespect for the in-line spinner (quite the oppositte actually) and especialy not for those who use it almost exclusively. I just cannot however bring myself to believe that that's almost always going to outfish most other lures (for numbers anyway). Now obviously there are exceptions probably from most of you (Eric, John, Norm,etc,etc.) who could tie a shoelace with sparkles to a hook made from bone and catch just as many fish as me with the spinner, but I'll think I'll stick to my mediocre days of pearl grubs, flukes, chug bugs, and Wasshoppers with something new every month. Am I alone in this? Tight lines.

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I have a quirky fishing buddy who has this anoying habit. Once he dials in the fish and is getting bit regularly, he quits using what is working and switches baits, changes presentation and so on. He says he wants to learn another technique. Seems strange to me. I usually go to something else when what I am doing is not working.

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Find a pattern/lure that works and stick with it until it isn't producing any more. Then change it up. Although I will occasionally change it up if all I'm catching are smaller fish (under 12 in). The only time I won't change it up is if the topwater bite is on! I landed 42 smallmouth on a chug bug on July 4th this year and had a blast. Finally switched to a soft plastic so I could slow down a bit. It was 90+ degrees and I was worn out.

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Guest Josh Glovinsky

I think you have the right idea by switching it up. I have a friend that switches up when the bite is hot to perfect other techniques. I myself am pretty one dimensional when it comes to fly fishing right now. I can fish streamers and poppers but don't know how to fish a crayfish pattern or float a wooly bugger through the current and I think that is why I haven't had a spectacular fly fishing day. I need to switch it up and throw a variety. I think it will help in the long run.

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I landed 42 smallmouth on a chug bug on July 4th this year and had a blast. It was 90+ degrees and I was worn out.

 

We gotta hear this again? That was so long ago. I could see bragging for maybe a month but what you are now doing

could almost be considered as sick.

 

Catching all dinks? Yes, change it up. If nothing then, switch back and get some dinks.

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1 up on me Josh. I have not fly fished in 15 years. You said it too with "in the long run". That's what i'm thinking about when I switch away from a proven method. Terry-That's kind of what I do I suppose. With the grub that is. Thanks for the feedback guys.

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In my eyes, it is depends on what you consider a successful outing. I am one to make little changes when fish are biting good to see if there is a chance at a faster catch rate. How do you know if the good bite is only good because the blue sparkle on the current lure is close to the color they really want and black/green is the color that will make it a blast of a day?

 

Or maybe the fish are at 5 feet but your lure is only picking out the ones who are willing to go up a foot to where your lure is swimming at. Then I would have to try a heavier version of the lure if I can't get the original lure down through other retrieval methods.

 

I only make major changes when the skunk is on the platter.

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The more I get out and have success the more experimental I get. If I haven't been out much, and feel the need to land some fish, I tend to stick with what I feel most confident with.

 

I agree with John. This past summer I had a few 30 and 40+ smallie days. After the first couple dozen, I started tossing different flies and different colors just to see if I could get them to hit at the same rate. Certain colors or flies saw a significant drop in hits and others just kept on getting beaten to death. It's as close to a controlled experiment that I can ever come by, but over the years has taught me a lot.

 

Next year, I want to have on hand some older Maine style streamers that were fished 100 years ago and see if they'll still produce as well as our more modern designs on days like that.

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I struggle with this this problem all the time. One approach to help work a variety of lures into your day is to make your first cast with a seldom used lure when you come upon a proven honey hole. Many times it is the first cast that produces a nice fish. Say you are at your favorite bridge where you just know there will be some fish caught before you move on. Put away your go to bait and rig up something you rarely throw. For me that would be tossing a topwater, spinnerbait, crank or buzzbait instead of my old reliable plastics. Chances are that topwater will pop a nice fish. Do this a few more times during your wade at premium spots and you may end the day thinking, "Man that topwater bite was really on today." Once you have made that first cast with something you are reluctant to throw, whether or not a fish has been caught, you can now finish with several follow ups with your old faithful.

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I change lures way too much. Good topic. The #5 mepps looks like a a dying shad doing that disorientated flutter thing.Caught a nice one on it last week. As long as fish eat other fish especially dead and dying fish the spinner is gonna work.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Great topic.

 

First, inline spinners. Never would use one and probably outfish someone using one. Why? They are terrible around cover. In Indiana, you have to be able to fish effectively in wood cover to catch bigger smallmouth. If someone fishes and inline spinner, they're going to be nailing the roaming dinks. You can't drag it over a log or bounce it off a stump/rock. Do you let it sink down into the front of a rootwad? No way. Yeah it catches fish, but at what cost?

 

Same thing with the Rebel wee craw which has another hideous limitation. Cast distance. A wide wobble on a shallow running bait is devastating on smallmouth bass. But smallmouth can also be VERY spooky. Many times, if you are throwing from 50' away or less, you may have already lost.

 

Both these 'smallie magnets' are dink magnets. Yeah, you just caught a fish, but did that little fish keep a big fish off because they are faster?

 

No thanks. ;):)

 

There are definatley times I get weary of a certain lure and want the fishing to change so it is more dynamic. For example let's say they hit buzzbaits 20 times out in a row, I'm going be ready to throw it in the trash, or hope for rain to change things up. Despite the fact I love to fish with buzzbaits, one can grow weary of too much success that is the same.

 

I find the amount of water flowing through your stream changes the lures you would most effectively use.

 

Actually changing to another lure for me at this point there has to be a reason it is better, less breaki offs, more effecient hooking, better casting, more weedless, preferred lure for one piece of structure, etc. I don't fish a lure because someone caught something on it. It has to fit into my profile of what the smallmouth want, what I see on that day on the water.

 

The latest thing I'm onto is light hair jigs as a replacement for riggy flukes.

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