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How Do I Make My Bass Bite???
#533772 04/11/21 12:13 PM
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I have a 1.5 acre pond in central Alabama and the bass are extremely hook shy!

The pond has an average depth of 6 feet and a maximum depth of 12. It contains Largemouth bass, bluegill and redear sunfish. It was built in the 1970s and like many ponds it suffered from extremely overpopulated bass to the point that they were all 10 inches long and skinny. The bluegill were large but few in number.

In 2016 I started aggressively managing the pond. I had it limed and kept a 16-20 inch algae bloom going from April to November. I added 1,000 intermediate coppernose bluegill in 2016 and 2019 as well as 200 juvenile redear sunfish. I have also been feeding the bluegill 32 percent protein pellets daily, spring through fall.

I began pulling out every bass I caught that was below 12 inches (35-40 pounds worth a year). I feel like the pond is now in balance and I am catching plenty of bass in the 2-2.5 pound range (when they will bite), with relative weights in the 90 to 100 range. I’m actually now to the point where I am catching more 15 inch plus bass than sub 12 inch bass.

All that to ask this: when harvesting all the small bass did I create an environment of “survival of the the most lock jawed”? The bass that were being harvested were the bass that were being caught. The bass that were being caught were the ones that were the most aggressive since they were the ones most willing to hit a lure.

Two now, only bass that are surviving to grow large are the fish least likely to hit a lure (and this trait is being passed on to their offspring). Now the fish are really difficult to catch even though the pond only receives moderate fishing pressure.

Is there any way to make the bass more aggressive without starting from scratch? I was thinking about adding some aggressive northern strain bass to introduce these genetics into the pond. I’m open to any suggestion!

Re: How Do I Make My Bass Bite???
Wallen #533777 04/11/21 12:57 PM
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Try live bait, that seems to work here. Hook minnow in lips and use small split shot weight and a small cork and see if that would work for you

Last edited by Pat Williamson; 04/11/21 12:58 PM.
Re: How Do I Make My Bass Bite???
Wallen #533787 04/11/21 05:29 PM
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The other thing to do is stop fishing for the bass and just fish for the panfish. Let the LMB forget about the lures. Then when fishing again for them, don't release any. Yes adding new genetics will help, but I'm sure that a good percentage of the new bass you will stock will be eaten.

Live bait works wonders, but if you will do a lot of C&R with live bait, the LMB will learn to leave them alone too if anything looks out of whack.


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Re: How Do I Make My Bass Bite???
Wallen #533792 04/11/21 07:31 PM
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It does suck when I can fish and CATCH more lmb out of huge Lake Sam Rayburn than I can out of my own 2 acre pond!! Though this year I caught more this spring than the last SIX YEARS!!!


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Re: How Do I Make My Bass Bite???
Wallen #533794 04/11/21 08:29 PM
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I find the bass in my pond are very particular depending on the day or time of day.

For example, yesterday I tried fishing with worms, a small pink grub, and a natural colour grub. I did not get a single bite on any of the baits fished under a float or even on a weighted jig head or with a splitshot on a hook. The worms on a hook fully weightless led to zero bites. The pink grub weightless led to one or two. When I switched to the natural grub weightless I was getting a fish almost every cast. They seemed to be focused on small baits near the surface that looked natural. I would recommend trying as many techniques as possible to see if they will bite.

Another thing is, I see bass fisherman in the US use heavy gear. In my area we use lighter gear and smaller lures, because our bass are much smaller. I use an UL setup with 4lbs mono line and smaller lures or baits. You might have luck trying a more fitness approach. Good luck.


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