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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read several posts where you guys have slayed the fish (bass, perch, walleye, muskie) whatever. What do you think is the cause of a great day of fishing? Is it the weather (stable maybe), the wind (light or strong), the barometric pressure, the baitfish, the location you were fishing (tho there are some days were the fish seem to be biting everywhere), the lure you used, maybe the color.

I am trying to maximize my days on the water where the possibility of good fishing exists even before I leave the dock, if thats possible . Any thoughts on these ideas. Thanks.

Eric C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I also should have mentioned water temp. above, obviously that one alone can be huge.

The only observation I have made is that no wind=no fish for me, maybe its different for someone else.
 

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the best thing you can do before getting out on the water is make sure you are aware of the season. by season i dont mean summer, winter, fall necessarily.

to be productive you have to know what the fish are doing. you dont have to be on the water to have a good idea on what will probably be going on.

remember that the fish have a lot going on especially in the spring. take into consideration the weather. this determines when the fish will start the spawning cycle. there are many steps when it comes time to spawn. the fish must feed heavily to get the energy up to spawn. they will also spend time staging in areas near where they will spawn and wait for the right temp. then they have to make a bed, do the deed, and then guard the bed. after the eggs hatch, the males spend a while guarding the fry.

after the spawn the fish will start feeding aggressivly again. they will still use the same flats they spawned on to feed. they will also start to move deeper as the weather starts getting hot in between feeding.

take into account the stages of the spawn ( staging/prespawn, spawn, and post spawn )
weather conditions and water temp
locations of flats, first drops, baitfish, etc.

there are so many things that could dictate where the fish will be on any given day. its like a big jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces scattered in front of you. its hard to know exactly where to start. once you spend some time on the water, the pieces start to come together.

if you have the oppotunity to get out on the water often, and early in the season it makes it easier. if you can find the fish early in the spring, its easier to follow them throughout the year. remember that they arent going to go very far from where they start.

in the early spring i find bass on kent lake on all the points that lead into shallow bays. they will stage on these points before moving into the bays once the water temps go up. from there, they move into the bays to set up beds. after they spawn and they fry are big enough to go out on there own they move right back to the points for a few and then i usually catch them on the first break near the same bays they spawned in. once the water temps get higher in the summer, they move to the outside edges of the grass on the same breaks. they will basically be in the same area, just using different structure.

find a lake you have access to and can really spend some time on. pick a few areas on the lake as a starting point. look for some of the same things i mentioned above. fish them until you find an area where the fish are holding. and follow them around that area througout the year.

hope this rambling helps.

madman himself
 

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Well, Eric C., I have heard that on a day where there is a slight wind out of the North, that you have had great success trolling a Kelly's Striper purple worm. That if you can manage to get your gear tangled for appoximately 10 mins. your worm will float to the bottom, get tangled in the weeds & by the time you get it fixed there is a 3.5lb bucketmouth on the end. So I've witnessed anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Madman,

Thanks for the advice, I understand the jist of what you are saying with seasonal patterns. But there has to be certain factors that trigger one day of fishing from the next, I am just trying to understand what are the optimal conditions esp. for fishing Lake St. Clair, sunny, cloudy, rainy day, slight wind or strong wind, water temp in a certain range, obviously good water clarity, etc., etc., etc.

Disregard JRoach17 comments, he's making fun of me over a 4 pounder I caught at Orchard Lake many years ago, while I was tending to a nasty tangle.
 

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Eric, here's my two cents. First of all know where fish are, once you have that down, next i think is to down size, meaning use 4lb. test, I prefer fireline. Now tie direct to that a 1/8 oz. jig, put a berkley power grub or berkleys new gulp on it. In white, pearl + white, pumpkin, or shad colors. That lure smells great to fish and they can't resist it. Now take your time and work area's well and you'll see everyday on the lake will be a riot. Using #2 +3 Mepps in the rainbow color, also works great. Use 6lb test for the #3 Mepps. See I have found that the more i keep it simple the better i do. There's less things to go wrong that way trust me. All i can say is try it and see for yourself. If fish are snapping than try anything you want. But for a full proof pattern downsize and you'll be surprised.

To know where fish are find weedbeds or just drift till you hit one than toss a marker out, anchor around the marker and pick the area clean. Don't be afraid to cast in the same place 5 times. I do 10 sometimes.

Using that berkley product will surprise the heck out of you it works so well it's amazing. See fish smell alot better than we do and using that product your hitting a home run from the get go.

Keep it simple and you'll be surprised at the result. Don't complicate things because there lies the things that can go wrong

h2o<---just try 3in power grubs and gulp and most importantly LITE LINE. LITE LINE LITE LINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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I'm going to oversimplify this, but here goes...If you are in an area that you know has fish and they aren't biting:
1) Change colors...
2) Tie on a bigger bait...
3) Tie on a smaller bait...
4) Try a faster retrieve...
5) Try a slower retrieve...
6) Repeat 1-5 as often as necessary until you find what's working.

Simple, yes, but it works! Here's something a little more serious...I have always felt that confidence is a bigger factor in catching fish sometimes. And I have learned over the years that you will find fish deep, you will find fish shallow, and you will find fish inbetween. I am confident fishing shallow. I KNOW I will find a fish shallow, regardless of the season, regardless of the weather. And I have a handful of "confidence baits" that you will find tied on a rod on my boat all year long. Of course, it takes some time to build confidence in these baits, but it makes all the difference in the world sometimes.

Oh, and every day is a great day fishing in my book. I just catch more fish on some days, and less fish on others...
 

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Now for my two cent's. In my opinion Icteetam your 5 points are the best tip in this post. H2o's light line is second. You never know when it is going to be a catching day or a fishing day. A catching day is great but a fishing day is a learning day as well as great. Eric C If the fish are giving your lures the I'll pass treatment I think the best thing to try is a Jig. If that don't work try a Crawler or a Minnow and if they don't work go home and do your Honey Do's or sharpen your hooks. Any day on the water fishing is a gift so enjoy it. Bob
 

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When the wind is from the west the fishing is the best.

When the wind is from the east the fishing is the least.

When the wind is from the south it blows the bait into the fishes mouth.

When the wind is from the north, most fishermen don't dare go forth.
 

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[I am trying to maximize my days on the water where the possibility of good fishing exists even before I leave the dock, if thats possible . Any thoughts on these ideas.]

Remember Eric "time on the water"is the only help,unless you hire a guide......lol

But to better understand the water, take notes of everything,mark your spots w/gps and at the end of the season you should be able to pattern the bait fish movement,from river to river.

We all try to maximize or time on the water, I`m waiting for someone to open a catch & release "Pay-lake" for smallies......... next to the trout pond... lol
 

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Someone could write a book to answer a question like that (I wonder how long before someone makes a comment about that?).

One thing you learn from tournaments is that someone pretty much always gets them. Someone pretty much always has a great day. So it would seem that every day can be a great day if you learn to adjust to the season and recent conditions.

Read everything you can and pay attention on the water to the clues you're given. Sometimes, just moving a short distance or coming back at another time or making changes like those suggested above can make all the difference.

There are things to be said about fishing your best spots around the full and new moon, or using other high activity measures to plan your fishing, but I don't know that many people who have that flexible a schedule. Most of us have to go fishing when we can and make the best of it.

That's why learning to adjust on the water throughout the day is important to anyone who wants to catch more bass or more larger bass.

It helps to learn to find high percentage spots too. The more you fish in spots that attract more bass, the more likely you are to catch more bass. It helps to remember that prime structure will attract more bass.

This means structure like points, drops and humps. Then you look for the prime cover on that structure to catch the better bass. Doesn't work all the time, but more than many other tactics. This is really important in current.

On a lake like St. Clair, especially with smallmouths, the prime spots can be very subtle. More and more writers say that smallmouths are less likely to hold tight to structure/cover than largemouths and that is true at times, but those roaming smallies can be harder to find than ones using cover/structure.

I think it's more accurate to say smallies relate looser to cover/structure at times such as when they're on flats using weeds or hard bottom patches. Sometimes, they move a lot chasing schools of bait, but it still helps to start around structure/cover first.

It's pretty hard to predict those days when everyone can catch bass everywhere because of the complex variables. You're better off figuring out how to catch bass more consistently in all conditions on various waters. That will make more maximized days then trying to work around Mother Nature.
 

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What a great question and a great bunch of responses!

It's posts like this one that make LSCN.net a terrific site and a real resource for those of us who love to get on the water and wet a line.
 

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Boatmonkey: U GOT THAT RIGHT

h2o<---says count me in on a ditto.
 
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