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Presentation vs fish reaction

Norm M

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I got out this evening after for dinner to get some fishing in. After all the Cubs had already beat the Astros , I didn't want to cut the grass, no good books left unread in the house, why watch fishing on the tube when you can do it and I had a hunch the fish might be back in the waterwillows.


With the water up from the recent storms, it was licking the outside of the waterwillow beds quite nicely. With the sun hid behind the clouds I figured the fish should be on.


I decided to start with a circle hook and a nose hooked weightless 3.5 inch salted -coffee scented tube.{I got them cheap at a garage sale.} I started pitching them to the pockets and points of the beds where I figured the fish where holding out of the current. I got 6 fish that way and every one of them was an extremely light bite, maybe a bit of a mushy feeling at best, you really had to be watching the line to see the slight twitch. I figured ok that works, now let's see if anything else does.


I tied on a 3/16 oz single spin[ size 3 Indiana blade on a ball bearing snapswivel- reversed silicone skirt] and pitched to some more points and pockets. I got 3 more fish and they just about tore the rod from my hands. Now all these fish came from the same stretch of water within a short period of time, a little less than an hour.


I headed back to the car and while driving to the next spot I kept thinking about how different the reactions of the fish were. I thought well maybe it's just the added attraction on the blade or maybe it was just a little darker. I decided to make things a little closer in lure choices for the next waterwillow bed. I tied on a snap to make changing lures quickly much easier. I went with 2 rigs, one the weightless circle hook with the 3.5 inch tube, the other a 1/8 oz Charlie Brewer Classic Spider head inserted into the same style of 3.5 inch tube.


I pitched the weightless rig into a pocket and got the same real soft, hard to feel and see bite. I switched to the weighted rig for the next round and the next fish I got slammed it on the fall. I kept this up for an hour with the same results time after time- weightless rig mushy and hard to see, weighted rig- no doubt about it strike.


I got a jonesing for a crankbait and switched to a Bandit 100, the fish absolutely destroyed them on the strike as I worked the edges of the waterwillow beds. I ran out of beds and moved to a small rocky point that had produced when the water was at this level earlier in the year. I got 2 bass on the crank real quick and decided to make a quick change of pace. By this time I was out of the tubes so I wacky rigged a cigar type soft plastic[senko/magic stik type] on the circle hook. The take while not as soft and mushy as with the tubes was still more of a see the line twitch than feel it deal.


After that it was back to taking care of the crankbait jones and banging rocks, where the hits were no doubt about it.


For me this was a very unsual event , usually when the fish are hot and aggressive it doesn't matter what you throw it gets slammed. For them to seemingly tailor their reaction to the type of presentation was definitely odd. Anyone else ever experience this?


The only explanation that seems reasonable to me at this point is that the weighted presentations were percieved as getting away and had to be chased a bit and the unweighted ones were able to be leisurely sucked in with little or no movement required. Then again maybe it's just one of those quirks that have no real explanation other than they are smallies.


It was an enjoyable experience that made me think with a glorious sunset to boot. All in all one of life's pleasures.

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Norm, that's exactly what happened to me the last time I walked around Willow Island.I had

one rod rigged with a woolyhawgtail and the other with a buzz bait. Plastics-mushy,buzzbait or

spinner they hammered and all from similar spots.Given the choice I stayed with the aggressive


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Interesting post.


Question; what is the probability that some of the bass were more active while others were in a neutral mood on the same piece of structure?


Is catching a few bass on a topwater from a given structure, then following up with a soft plastic to seek out the others the same scenario? Been there - done that as well. I always figured it was a result of the activity level of the bass.

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When using a lure that is moving, such as a crank bait, spinnerbait, buzzbait---

the lure is moving, and in most cases the line is taught.

The fish are taking the lure while they're moving, which may appear to the angler that the strike or take is harder.

In most cases, when the fish takes the lure, it grabs it and turns---which makes it feel like the take is harder.


Whereas, with a worm, tube, or the like, that is fished weightless, or with little weight, the fish just swims up to the lure and sucks it in.

In many instances, the fish then stays in place, and doesn't run off with it.

Most noticeable in shallow waters.


When fishing a Senko weightless, over the tops of weeds, in deeper waters, the fish swims up, grabs the lure, and it heads back to the bottom,

and the line peels off rapidly or there's a good tug on rod.


I experiece this most frequently, with the same fish specie in the same body of water.


Just my take on the matter.


I don't pretend to be an expert, I just try to fish a lot.


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Interesting post.


Question; what is the probability that some of the bass were more active while others were in a neutral mood on the same piece of structure?


I always figured it was a result of the activity level of the bass.




I agree with your comments.


All the fish are not in the same mood---some are active, some neutral and some inactive.

Each may react differently to a certain stimuli, lure and its presentation.


Everyone doesn't wolf down a burger, with one gulp.

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I don't pretend to be an expert, I just try to fish a lot.



That's all it is spending a lot of time on the water.

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