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#11510038 - 03/29/16 09:52 PM Help me understand how to "fish for 5 bites"
JoshJones1984 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/24/15
Posts: 132
Loc: Sanger, TX
I've fished my whole life, but I didn't start paying attention/studying things until recently. I'm doing some really light club tournament stuff this year, and we've been fortunate enough to catch fish every trip. What we haven't been able to do is get up around that 14-15lb mark. I hear a lot of guys talking about "fishing for 5 bites,"but I have no idea how to put a strategy like that together. The only thing I know how to do is just go fishing and hope to catch a biggun.

So, my question is this:

How should I approach putting together a "5 bite" strategy? Is it as simple as fishing bigger baits?

Side note: Being from SW Arkansas, I've never laid eyes on most of these lakes before. I'm lucky to get 1 maybe 2 pre-fishing trips in.


Edited by JoshJones1984 (03/29/16 09:54 PM)
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#11510054 - 03/29/16 09:59 PM Re: Help me understand how to "fish for 5 bites" [Re: JoshJones1984]
Statton48 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 72
Loc: Gilmer, Tx
Honestly you have to do your homework. Key in on big fish territory and KNOW the fish are there. 5 quality bites are tough to come by in a 7-8hr tourney some times. This time of year will either make you or break you. Just keep piecing the puzzles together and study more than fish. You will eventually find that magical spawning flat or school of fatties and you will be in the 25lb range

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#11510067 - 03/29/16 10:05 PM Re: Help me understand how to "fish for 5 bites" [Re: JoshJones1984]
Im RICK JAMES Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 02/13/09
Posts: 734
Loc: Alvord,tx
Cover a lot of water
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#11510207 - 03/29/16 11:10 PM Re: Help me understand how to "fish for 5 bites" [Re: JoshJones1984]
RoughHuff Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/17/04
Posts: 150
Loc: Mesquite
Fishing your 5 bites is generally just a built in excuse for people who fail to weigh in a fish during a tournament. They will also use the term "swing for the fences."

"Yes, Mark and I didn't do to well today, we knew going in that the conditions would be tough, so we slowed down and fished for five bites and swung for the fences."

Translated to "we suck and didn't get a bite." See the difference?

You just need to keep fishing and pay attention to your surroundings. You can pick up a few pointers on here, but you will learn the most on the water. More than anything, make your bites counts. Some days you might only get 5, other days you might get 20. It sounds like you are probably hitting 10-13 lbs on your better days, which is good considering you are new to the Texas lakes. Most clubs like to fish the same set of lakes so build on past years. You are also probably throwing smaller spinnerbaits, senkos, shaky heads, etc. Those baits can catch fish, but you at likely to stay in that 10-15 lb range unless you know where the big ones lurk. Just keep fishing, that 12 lb bag will turn into 15 lbs when you catch a 5 lber, and 18 when you catch two 5 lbers. Be patient with yourself. Most those guys winning your club tournaments have been fishing for awhile and those old codgers like to use those overused cliches.

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#11510215 - 03/29/16 11:17 PM Re: Help me understand how to "fish for 5 bites" [Re: JoshJones1984]
Andrew Y'Barbo Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/25/12
Posts: 1111
Loc: Lufkin Texas
Depends on the lake. Some lakes you fish for 15-20#. It's a lot easier to go for this but it's hard to turn a 15# bag into a 30# bag. The guys on Rayburn/Toledo go out to catch a 20-30# bag. Or 30-35#. This is supper tough, and very stressful on you mentally. I have yet to figure out how this is done. It's a true still of execution.

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#11510264 - 03/30/16 12:19 AM Re: Help me understand how to "fish for 5 bites" [Re: JoshJones1984]
BigBassJake Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 07/13/13
Posts: 220
Loc: Vidor , TX
I think it's one of the many things people say... fish a pattern not a spot blah blah blah. If you fish a lake long enough you'll start seeing what will work at what time. I hear people all the time talking like every years the same but it's not just keep building on what you've already got and then one day it'll all come together hopefully. Another thing I try to do is get comfortable with different techniques.

Don't get stuck in a Rut. If conditions change or something isn't working don't be afraid to scrap a plan. Simplest things I see people forget on tourney day. Just my thoughts. Good luck

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#11510288 - 03/30/16 01:34 AM Re: Help me understand how to "fish for 5 bites" [Re: JoshJones1984]
Bradshuflin aka hunter'sdad Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 9133
Loc: Sanger, Tx/ Chatham, La
Josh, just keep putting your time in bud. Filling a limit each tournament is my primary objective each tournament it's a lot easier to cash a check with 5 fish than 3 of corse. After you get some time in on each lake in your series you will start learning the areas the bigger fish frequently are at.


Edited by Bradshuflin aka hunter'sdad (03/30/16 01:34 AM)
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#11510302 - 03/30/16 03:18 AM Re: Help me understand how to "fish for 5 bites" [Re: JoshJones1984]
Ol Man River Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 1226
Loc: Orange, Texas
Josh, back when I used to fish tournaments on Toledo and Rayburn, I always fished for a limit of keepers and then tried to cull with bigger fish. What worked for me most times was to start fishing a jig and that usually culled a fish or two. Sometimes I caught 4-5 fish on a jig and culled my original keepers. In a big fish tournament I always started with a big buzz bait and Zara Spook early, then Carolina rig lizard and a jig/trailer deeper in grass after sun was up good.

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#11510385 - 03/30/16 06:40 AM Re: Help me understand how to "fish for 5 bites" [Re: JoshJones1984]
SteezMacQueen Online   happy
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/02/14
Posts: 3048
Loc: Red Oak, Galveston, and Pagosa...
^^^^^

Yes sir. Catch five FIRST! Then "swing for the fences"! Lol.
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#11510404 - 03/30/16 06:56 AM Re: Help me understand how to "fish for 5 bites" [Re: JoshJones1984]
Rudy Lackey Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 03/03/02
Posts: 8106
Loc: N. Richland Hills Texas USA
Use little lures,catch 5 then fish normal.
I hate that !
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#11510418 - 03/30/16 07:02 AM Re: Help me understand how to "fish for 5 bites" [Re: JoshJones1984]
921 Phoenix Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/21/11
Posts: 1819
Loc: Lake Fork
Originally Posted By: JoshJones1984
I've fished my whole life, but I didn't start paying attention/studying things until recently. I'm doing some really light club tournament stuff this year, and we've been fortunate enough to catch fish every trip. What we haven't been able to do is get up around that 14-15lb mark. I hear a lot of guys talking about "fishing for 5 bites,"but I have no idea how to put a strategy like that together. The only thing I know how to do is just go fishing and hope to catch a biggun.

So, my question is this:

How should I approach putting together a "5 bite" strategy? Is it as simple as fishing bigger baits?

Side note: Being from SW Arkansas, I've never laid eyes on most of these lakes before. I'm lucky to get 1 maybe 2 pre-fishing trips in.


Think about going to lake Erling or Millwood and getting on a creek channel and fishing a jig. You won't get many bites but the ones you do will be good ones. This is the concept of fishing for five bites its talking about going after nothing but the big ones and being willing to not catch anything if they don't bite. just my .02

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#11510541 - 03/30/16 07:55 AM Re: Help me understand how to "fish for 5 bites" [Re: JoshJones1984]
patriot07 Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 04/20/10
Posts: 16837
Loc: chateau d'if
The key to tournaments is time on the water. The guys who fish all the time win them. The guys who can't or don't fish all the time are lucky to cash a small check every now and then.

I agree that sometimes the "fishing for 5 bites" line is used as an excuse after the fact, but typically folks are talking about slowing down and fishing bigger fish baits in bigger fish areas as opposed to trying to catch the first 5 keepers you think you can get a bite from regardless of size.
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#11510625 - 03/30/16 08:29 AM Re: Help me understand how to "fish for 5 bites" [Re: JoshJones1984]
Donald Harper Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 12261
Loc: Justin, TX.
Just fish as hard and as often as you can concentrating on just one lake until you learn where those 5 BIG bites are going to come from and what time of the day to be there is also a factor in getting them. I mention this in my Mapping work to be successful and find those 5 big bites each day:
- Fish 60 spots to find the best 3 early morning shallow water areas.
- Then follow these fish on their way back to their comfort zone. Fish every piece of cover you can locate from the shore to that comfort zone. I call this the second drop. You are again looking for the best 3 areas you can find out of those 60 spots. The best ones are not always adjacent to the best shallow water spots.
- Finally locate the best 3 ledges in 15 ft. or shallower that house these fish. This is were they live and feel secure while at rest. You are looking for the steepest drop and if it has cover on it they will also feed there. Now you have the best of all 3 worlds.

You now have 9 places to fish each day. Moving from shallow water after the early morning bite, to the second drop cover then following them to deep water. Each of these places has that potential of producing one of your 5 bites. Also one of these will be your top producer for that day. I never burn them out by hammering them. Go through all 9 spots and take what you get. It takes many, many trips to fish 60 spots. If I wanted 5 big bites it is just something I did on every lake that I tournament fished and that was only 3 lakes.
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#11510658 - 03/30/16 08:37 AM Re: Help me understand how to "fish for 5 bites" [Re: patriot07]
Ken A. Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 10/02/06
Posts: 7751
Loc: Trophy Club, TX
Originally Posted By: patriot07
The key to tournaments is time on the water. The guys who fish all the time win them. The guys who can't or don't fish all the time are lucky to cash a small check every now and then.

I agree that sometimes the "fishing for 5 bites" line is used as an excuse after the fact, but typically folks are talking about slowing down and fishing bigger fish baits in bigger fish areas as opposed to trying to catch the first 5 keepers you think you can get a bite from regardless of size.


+1

IMO, if you just show up to a lake you have never laid eyes on, like the OP said, you are basically going to be donating your $$ to the pot unless you get lucky.

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#11510665 - 03/30/16 08:39 AM Re: Help me understand how to "fish for 5 bites" [Re: JoshJones1984]
kyleguest Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 12/03/10
Posts: 160
Loc: Katy, TX
I think when people use the term "fishing for 5 bites", I feel they are using the lures that may not get a lot of bites, but when they do its usually a quality fish. A few examples I can think of is a hollow body frog and the jig mentioned above. Of course every fisherman is still looking for that one bait that will produce numbers and size. That would certainly take the guesswork and time out of the equation.....

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