Fishing over the last month pics/video

Thread starter #1
I pasted this from my blog to save a little wear and tear on the fingers but here's a little report from the last few weeks:

Nothing much has changed for me over the past few of weeks, with the exception of a few more stripers showing up with the bass. I’ve been trying my best to find a shallow bass bite but it’s just not happening for me because I know there are still plenty of fish cruising the ditches so that’s where I’ve been spending the majority of my time. Last year I started reading more and more about ditches so this winter I’ve been determined to find these mythical “ditches” and conquer them and the massive schools of fish that reside in them during the coldest months of the year. I’ve spent the last month in the deep underwater valleys and I think I’ve finally located and slayed the mighty ditch this year so it’s on to the next thing.

Lately the best approach for me is to cruise right down the deepest part of a cut or pocket off the main creek and look for the presence of bait and/or fish. This week a friend and I got my structure scan and side scan working which helps tremendously in the search. Usually if there is going to be fish or bait it will start showing up around the 60-70 foot mark and then run into the shallower area of the ditch. When referring to a ditch, it can be nothing more than a submerged valley between two hills. It doesn’t really have to be a defined “ditch” that has been scoured out by years of run-off before the lake was created.

If the fish are present they have been showing up around the 40-55 foot range with a few out even deeper and some much shallower. I’ve been crisscrossing the ditch and if I find fish around I’ve got 3 items close by. The first is my new favorite striper bait, the Lucky Craft suspending Pointer 100 in Aurora Black. I bought this bait from Hammonds for bass but as luck would have it the stripers love them, the bass… not so much. The second bait I’m using is a 1/4 or 3/8 ounce underspin or Fish Head Spin in white or pearl with a all white fluke trailer. I lost all of my Fish Head Spins so I had to got to my low budget homemade version of an underspin. The key to using this bait is to fish it slow. Just when you think you’re fishing it slow enough, slow it down more. Sometimes just letting it set and taking a quick nap will do the trick. I know it takes a while for the 1/4 ounce to sink but you really have to take your time with it. Let it go all the way down and crawl it back, pausing every once in a while to make sure it’s still relating to the bottom. I’m throwing it in the ditch and along the edges where I’m marking fish. The third bait I’m using is a white spoon, about 2 inches in length and I’m not really dropping it unless I’m right over a few fish or a school. I’m just dropping the spoon down to the bottom and bouncing it along in small hops along the bottom. Yesterday, 4 out of 5 of our first keepers in the tournament came from the spoon.

*Note: I would recommend changing out the hooks and all slip rings including the oval tying ring on the Pointer if you are targeting larger stripers. I just replaced mine with two #4 Eagle Claw nickel plated 375 trebles with 30lb stainless slip rings.

So basically, I’m working the jerkbait and underspin all around the boat when in the area of fish and dropping the spoon when I feel like I can quickly get it close to the fish I’m marking. Very early in the morning the stripers are showing up, usually cruising near shore so there have been a few times I’ve chased them down and picked one off with the Pointer so you need to have it at the ready when they show up. A few more baits I’ve got tied up and ready is the dropshot and Shakey head for the bass and the Bone Vixen for the topwater stripers. If I don’t feel like the bass are responding to the first 3 options and I’m still marking fish, I break out the Shakey head or the dropshot. Both may work at any given time, and a week ago it was a primary bait for me in the ditches and around the docks. There’s been a few fish in the backs of the ditches in shallower water and that’s where the Shakey head has been working the best for me. Water temps have been around 49 very early and warming into the lower 50’s by afternoon. Here's a video I made this morning about the jerkbaits I'm using and a nice striper from early this morning.

Here’s a few pics from the last few trips out:
 

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WPrich

Senior Member
Great report with some very nice fish!!! Gotta love those underspins after the amount of hybrids, stripers, and spotted bass I caught on those things last year there one of my favorite lures now.
 
awesome job man! it looks like you are really dialing it in! haha I bet you thought you had MOMO when that catfish thumped the underspin!
 

Dustin Pate

Administrator
Nice Jim!!

I agree 100% on changing hooks and split rings on plugs. I love the Eagle Claw's as well...anything of the 3x or 4x. Any of the heavy duty saltwater split rings will work. With a good pair of split ring pliers, a total hook/ring change takes a few seconds and is huge insurance against a big fish.
 
Thread starter #7
Thanks guys, It's getting to be that time of year when the stripers start eating pretty heavy for the spring spawn. Strong gear is a must.

On a sad note, at the 5:17 mark in the video you can hear a bang and a splash. That would have been my wife Lisa's Lew's spinning rig going over the side after another big striper came up and nailed the StaySee 90 I had dangling from her rod. There was maybe 2 feet of line out when the striper nailed it right beside the boat. I was watching the graph because the striper I was fighting had several swimming with him, one of which came up and took off with the StaySee. Not good.facepalm:

awesome job man! it looks like you are really dialing it in! haha I bet you thought you had MOMO when that catfish thumped the underspin!
LOL Thanks.. Yea, go figure Ryan, I try and target bass and get the stripers. Those catfish are vicious on the underspin.
 

jocko755

Senior Member
Dang - right at the boat. So much for being stealthy and making long casts. I just need to dangle a staysee 2 feet off the freeboard and lock the rod and reel down!

You mentioned having topwaters tied on like the vixen, did you catch any on top? Or was that just in case you come upon some surface activity?

Great report
 
Thread starter #9
Dang - right at the boat. So much for being stealthy and making long casts. I just need to dangle a staysee 2 feet off the freeboard and lock the rod and reel down!

You mentioned having topwaters tied on like the vixen, did you catch any on top? Or was that just in case you come upon some surface activity?
Great report
Make sure that the rod has an unobstructed path to the water if you're going to dangle the StaySee over the side. Oh, and use one of your best rods or in my case, use your wife's best rod.

I did try the Vixen a few times over the last week. We had 1 bass blow up on it last Friday morning and chase it but other than that, it didn't get a sniff, even with big stripers blowing up around it. It's not Vixen time yet though IMO.
 
Make sure that the rod has an unobstructed path to the water if you're going to dangle the StaySee over the side. Oh, and use one of your best rods or in my case, use your wife's best rod.

I did try the Vixen a few times over the last week. We had 1 bass blow up on it and chase it but other than that, it didn't get a sniff, even with big stripers blowing up around it. It's not Vixen time yet though IMO.
When I got my last one on the spook it had to be walked way out with long twitches and even longer pauses to get a reaction. They wouldn't give it more than a glance if it was any faster. Mine was also clear, might want to give that a shot.
 
Thread starter #13
When I got my last one on the spook it had to be walked way out with long twitches and even longer pauses to get a reaction. They wouldn't give it more than a glance if it was any faster. Mine was also clear, might want to give that a shot.
Thanks Mike. I need to pick up a Spook or a Spook jr. I don't have any in my tackle arsenal right now. That Vixen is big and clunky where as a Spook is just a little more stealthy.

Nice Jerkbait striper !!!! I caught my biggest on a jerk bait at West Point . Enjoy your report .
Thanks LTZ25. Until these stripers decide to hit the surface stuff this spring, hopefully they stay on a jerkbait bite. It's a lot of fun to feel them inhale the jerkbait and take off with it.:cheers:
 

Cletus T.

Senior Member
DANG dude…….talk about some solid catches……you hit for the tri-fecter too!!! Congrats man and thanks for sharing it with us.

Great info and tips you share!!!
 
Thread starter #15
DANG dude…….talk about some solid catches……you hit for the tri-fecter too!!! Congrats man and thanks for sharing it with us.

Great info and tips you share!!!
Thanks Cletus. Hopefully the info helps the fishermen as well as the local tackle businesses.

I gotta say, I've been trying my best to be a bass fisherman for a while now but these dang stripers show up and next thing you know I've got the trolling motor hammered down on 100 and I'm grabbing gear and chasing a striper boil half way across the creek.facepalm: It's like having a bird dog that chases rabbits.
 

bayoubetty

Senior Member
Awesome!!! love those FhS too, caught a many on mine ;) Nice stripe!!! Jerk bait on spinning gear, that's a first for me!! Way to go Jim!!! Nice video :)
 

Worley

Senior Member
Fish

Daggum that dead screaming makes me wanna out the crappie rods up...great fish buddy, and even better information for us once a week warriors. Thanks bud for a great report!
 
Thread starter #18
Awesome!!! love those FhS too, caught a many on mine ;) Nice stripe!!! Jerk bait on spinning gear, that's a first for me!! Way to go Jim!!! Nice video :)
Thanks Jenn, I've learned a little more about the fhs this year. We've used it for a few years on Lanier now, mainly beating the banks with it and I even have a few videos on my YouTube page including a nice LM on the fhs but after Casey Ashley won the Bassmaster Classic last year he said you have to fish it slow in the ditches in the winter. I really didn't know what that meant till this year.

Daggum that dead screaming makes me wanna out the crappie rods up...great fish buddy, and even better information for us once a week warriors. Thanks bud for a great report!
Thanks Worley, it's getting to be that time again. Right now a lot of these stripers are long and skinny but give it another month or two and we'll be seeing some big ole fat momma's.
 
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