Bass won't bite, help!

Moderators: MKA, Mike M, Caudawg, ash

Hookset5
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:09 pm

Bass won't bite, help!

Postby Hookset5 » Tue May 23, 2017 4:58 am

My handle implies I hook 5 fish.. but yesterday I got skunked. When this happens, usually I attribute it to not having the right equipment. Whether that's my own research, my actual equipment or something else. but yesterday I found the fish.
I launched at Tiki Lagun in the CalDelta. Obvious heat wave coming, the weather had changed from 80' ambient temp to now high 90's. Post spawn conditions and high ambient temp I figured they HAD to be staging for deeper water. I found a spot just outside Mildred island - a submerged island, flat, hard ground and no current. This is "supposed" to be the makings of the ideal spawning grounds for bass. Anyways, I set up just outside of Mildred where current was flowing and there were steep drop offs leading into deeper water. There were two huge pipes nearby and a small bank with rip rap just yards from these pipes, and just yards from MIldred. My sonar was blasting activity at about 15'! I motored around and found large sonar arches everywhere! Not quick arches but subtle long stretches which told me they were moving but not quickly. I was thinking this is going to be On like Donkey Kong!

Crankbaits - Red 18' depth, Lavender 12-16' depth, Shad/Chart 9-12, HotShot Chrome 4-6, Firetiger 12-18, Gill 12-22 I threw every crankbait I had at them, and got nothing.

I flipped the pipes with all different colors and threw spinnerbaits over the rip rap but I was certain if I could see the fish on sonar, I need to stop pitching shallow and concentrate on where I can SEE the fish. Man I threw everything but my plastic tackle box at them, and these fish would not bite.
What I've learned from reading pro's blogs and listening to just about every seminar a pro ever spoke about is "Don't leave fish to find fish" so I was very hesitant to leave this spot.. but I did, and found other area's holding fish with these same conditions.. (staging for deeper water, sitting on ledges above deep pockets). I could not get these fish to bite! Can anyone throw me a bone here and offer some advice for next time? There's nothing like having all the toos in your toolbox but nothing works. Water Temp 68

MT
Posts: 583
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 7:48 am

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby MT » Tue May 23, 2017 6:02 am

I was out there yesterday as well and did poorly. I did see a ton of very nice fish spawning and cruising in one area but none of them were locked on. I'm a crappy sight fisherman anyway.
The spawn goes on for a long time in the Delta and this time of year is never very consistent out there. Those arches you described in your post suggest suspended and inactive fish and they were most likely stripers. Only advice I can offer is just keep going and maybe simplify your approach. Lots of folks don't even turn on their graphs on the Delta. Just cover water.

User avatar
Bass hack
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:30 am

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby Bass hack » Tue May 23, 2017 7:54 am

I had a similar experience. Given I am new (3years) to the delta and bass fishing. My 13yo son got me into it when he was 10. Since then we bought gear and boats, etc. and fish almost every weekend. We usually do ok and are able to catch our limits during the day. For the past 4 weeks, we have caught almost no fish. On Sat, we found a spot where we could see tons of fish (of all sizes) in heavy cover but they were not biting. We tried T-rigs, wadda jigs, drop shots, frogs, and wacky rigs. No bites for me. My son caught a few small fish on a small ball headed panfish grub. I decided we would come back the next day early and slay them. So we get there on Sunday about 7:30 am and the same thing happens. No fish. This is a bad run for me. I'm going to lose my dad card soon. We cant seem to get fish to bite even when we know they are there. Maybe we should switch back to hook, bobber, and live worms.

monte300
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:18 pm

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby monte300 » Tue May 23, 2017 8:39 am

If it makes you feel any better, I too have struggled lately and I've been fishing the Delta for 25 years. The only good fish I've caught this spring is a 6 1/2 and I've been out around six or seven times.

MasterBassinator
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 10:55 pm

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby MasterBassinator » Tue May 23, 2017 2:43 pm

I fished Saturday and did really well. I can say that all fish were shallow for me. I fished from noon to 8pm. I did frog fish a bit as well and caught several.

I think the old saying don't leave fish to find fish is meant for when you are catching fish and on the Delta those arches can be anything. So if they aren't biting I would leave and attribute those arches to some other species of fish.

gabuelhaj
Posts: 296
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 8:21 am
Location: Manteca

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby gabuelhaj » Tue May 23, 2017 2:52 pm

Seems like negative fish and very difficult to coax a bite from. If you insist on fishing for them use finesse baits like drop shot, sluggos, sliders and small swimbaits and tubes, small poppers drifting very slowly and long casts. Adding scent won't hurt either. Or, cover lots of water looking for more active fish. There's a lot of pressure on those fish with the recent tournaments so scaling down may be worthwhile to try next time out.

Good luck!
Glenn Abuelhaj

tbass858
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:59 am

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby tbass858 » Tue May 23, 2017 3:19 pm

Last week I had 25lbs plus shallow flipping senkos watermelon red never fails

Freefall
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:19 am

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby Freefall » Tue May 23, 2017 5:53 pm

Location and timing is key on the D...

Guys are going to catch em because they were in the right place, throwing the right presentation at the right time of day/tide. I've fished a stretch for 0 fish..... 2 hours later, same stretch, same presentation, 20+ pounds. Timing with the tide + conditions is critical.

Don't beat yourself up. If they aren't going on any presentation then move. They're either negative fish or other species. Stick with it, I'll pick back up soon. Those post spawners will need to feed again to put back on the weight.
Fear does not prevent death, it prevents life.

You've never lived until you've almost died and for those who have fought for it, life has a whole new flavor that the protected will never know....

Hookset5
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:09 pm

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby Hookset5 » Tue May 23, 2017 8:59 pm

What is a "nagative fish"? and would a hydrowave been useful here?

Rod Martin
Posts: 2683
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:31 pm
Location: Holiday,Fl.

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby Rod Martin » Wed May 24, 2017 4:22 am

Hookset5 wrote:What is a "nagative fish"? and would a hydrowave been useful here?



Do they work ? How far from the boat will they influence fish ?
TR177 Ranger Mercury/MK

mark poulson
Posts: 9031
Joined: Sun May 08, 2005 4:16 am
Location: Oakley, Ca.

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby mark poulson » Wed May 24, 2017 7:53 am

Rod Martin wrote:
Hookset5 wrote:What is a "nagative fish"? and would a hydrowave been useful here?



Do they work ? How far from the boat will they influence fish ?


I don't think it will reach from the Delta to Florida. :lol: :lol: :lol:
Attitude plus effort equal success
CLEAN AND DRY

gabuelhaj
Posts: 296
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 8:21 am
Location: Manteca

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby gabuelhaj » Wed May 24, 2017 10:35 am

Rod Martin wrote:
Hookset5 wrote:What is a "nagative fish"? and would a hydrowave been useful here?



Do they work ? How far from the boat will they influence fish ?


Fish in a negative mood generally don’t feed and are difficult to catch thus a finesse presentation with scent may trigger a bite. Or cover water looking for the more active fish. Don't know anything about the hydro wave but noise travels louder and faster in water. If you have sonar, may want to turn that off while working the area.

Good luck!
Glenn Abuelhaj

Rod Martin
Posts: 2683
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:31 pm
Location: Holiday,Fl.

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby Rod Martin » Wed May 24, 2017 10:54 am

mark poulson wrote:
Rod Martin wrote:
Hookset5 wrote:What is a "nagative fish"? and would a hydrowave been useful here?



Do they work ? How far from the boat will they influence fish ?


I don't think it will reach from the Delta to Florida. :lol: :lol: :lol:



Here we don't need them but I am coming back there and I know in Calif. you guys need all the help you can get :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
TR177 Ranger Mercury/MK

nivanov30
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:33 pm

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby nivanov30 » Wed May 24, 2017 1:06 pm

Here's my take on this.

1. Over 90% of catchable fish in CA Delta is in less than 10ft of water.
2. Most of the time bass is in negative to neutral mood, with ~30 mins windows throughout the day of active feeding (mornings and evenings mostly). Active feeding happens mostly in 10ft of water or less. Thus covering water is essential.
3. Sonars are next to useless because of (1). Remember that 200KHz cone has 3ft size at the bottom for 10ft of water depth. Sonars used on delta for depth and bottom structure , not for locating the actual fish. Moreover, distinguishing between large crappy, carps, cats, LM bass or striper is hard.
4. If you don't get bit there are only two options: (a) fish are not there, and (b) they are in negative mood. Baits, presentations, colors, lines, equipments, moon phases, cold/hot fronts, sky cover, and the rest of the folklore mostly don't matter. Remember: if bass is at least half active - they will bite any bait, any color, any presentation...
5. As everyone said - tides and current matter on delta (except for large flooded lakes like Franks). Tides reposition fish closer or farther from the bank. Bass don't live in a strong current or in a complete still water (except for spawn).
6. Delta has a constant fishing pressure with everyone fishing exactly the same spots, banks, and points. This is one of the only few proven factors that negatively affects bite ratio.

Lastly, my personal point of view. When bass is in negative to neutral mood - the finesse approach isn't necessarily the answer. Not in the spring, summer or fall at least. Bass has one fallacy that it is an easy suspect for the reaction strikes. Try burning crankbait to induce that strike (or in KVD's speak - activating a school). Bass will often just try to injure such bait out of reaction or territorial habit and with treble hooks you have a chance to hook it.

User avatar
ash
SpeedBump
Posts: 4223
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 9:07 am
Location: DirtyD
Contact:

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby ash » Wed May 24, 2017 5:57 pm

Always tough, if those marks aren't toward the bottom I'm moving on. We've all seen holes loaded with fish marks without a bite.

Things to try, wadda jig, dropshot :shock: underspin and flick shake. But really move on and check em when the tide starts moving

roaddog
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:42 pm

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby roaddog » Wed May 24, 2017 6:40 pm

Navonov30, well said... Thank you for breaking it down like that...

Hookset5
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:09 pm

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby Hookset5 » Fri May 26, 2017 3:18 pm

Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply. I know the delta is a different animal than lakes and reservoirs. I've been more successful flipping tulle's in the past on the delta than crankin', but I like experimenting with different techniques to find "Big Momma".. She's out there ya know! Ill change a few things around and hopefully dial in a pattern that works consistently. Thanks again for the responses

User avatar
ash
SpeedBump
Posts: 4223
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 9:07 am
Location: DirtyD
Contact:

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby ash » Tue May 30, 2017 7:26 am

Do me a favor once you dial in a pattern that works consistently, let us all know what it is! :lol: The one thing i have learned about the delta is once you think you have it all dialed in, it changes again.

User avatar
Bass hack
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:30 am

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby Bass hack » Tue May 30, 2017 8:37 am

Ok, so we had better luck this weekend. We fished the levy walls mostly with homemade senkos . We also fished some home made grubs and creatures on ball headed jigs for some fish in the 2lb range. Nothing to brag about, but it's nice to put my boys 8 and 13 back on the fish. I have recently become keenly aware of the weed eradication program in the delta. Places that had a lot of hyacinth and ground weeds in the past that don't have those ground weeds anymore, I stopped fishing them because there are no fish there.

I saw this on FB from a pro regarding bass this year around a tournament and it has changed my strategy for finding fish from going to places I used to catch fish, to going to places that will hold fish and seeing if they will bite;

"many variables came into play. First, the sea lions have had a huge impact on these BIG spawning females over the last couple of years. Anyone that doesn't think so simply has their head in the sand. I've witnessed giant bull sea lions just camping out on a bedding flat for 2-4 weeks and letting the fish come to them. I've seen this all over the river and many other anglers have witnessed the same thing. Secondly, the state has launched a full scale weed abatement campaign on the Hyacinth and other floating vegetation as well as submerged grass. My primary area had an application of grass pellets administered the day before the event. I had no idea because it takes 24-48 hours for the grass to start to die off. After 7 days of prefish it was the healthiest grass that I found and I marked 25 fish between 5-10lbs. Every bed fish, cruising fish and blue gill had vacated the flat. After speaking with a couple of biologists, I learned that the pellets starve the water of oxygen so the fish either die or exit the area. I went back to visit the area after the tournament and all of the grass was dead and there were dead fish too."

Freefall
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:19 am

Re: Bass won't bite, help!

Postby Freefall » Tue May 30, 2017 8:47 pm

That explains the dead fish I saw littering an area I was in today....
Fear does not prevent death, it prevents life.

You've never lived until you've almost died and for those who have fought for it, life has a whole new flavor that the protected will never know....


Return to “Fishing”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 62 guests