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#12347211 - 07/18/17 10:47 PM I am trying to stick to artificial...but it's not easy
jbuell Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/05/12
Posts: 25
Loc: Port O'Connor Texas
I used to catch my own live bait with a cast net and fish with natural bait exclusively. Then one day an older man threw in his kayak with me. We talked a little and decided to fish together. This old man limited out on trout and flounder in 2 hours. I caught 3 trout and 1 flounder. At that point I knew I had to give in and learn to fish artificial.

Since that day, about 16 days ago, I have not touched my cast net or bait bucket. IT HAS NOT BEEN EASY! Eventually I will use natural bait again, but for now, while I learn, I am only using artificial.

I did not anticipate it taking so much practice. So far it is not going well. I live in POC so I fish 3-4x a week, normally only 2-3 hours a day. I have caught 5 fish total since switching.

I have read a ton of articles and think I have a good understanding of color and bait selection. But, I am still not catching fish. For soft plasrics I have been using either a Carolina rig, just a jig head, and sometimes a popping cork over a jighead. I have used imitation shrimp (vudu shrimp), Trout Killer grubs, minows paddle tail and straight tail, flats eels, and flats worms. I have used Gulp baits, but they tend to get alot of strikes from [censored] fish and crabs.

As for lures, I have used spoons, spiners, top water, and swim baits of all colors.

If anyone has any sugestions I would love to hear them. I interested to know what types of soft plastic rigs people are using? What type action do people put on different lure types? What people have been using in general for the Port O'Connor area?

I am commited to artificial! I have given up learning artificial a few times over the years, but this time will be different. I know it works when done right.


Edited by J.P. Greeson (07/19/17 12:24 AM)

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#12347257 - 07/18/17 11:27 PM Re: I am trying to stick to artificial...but it's not easy [Re: jbuell]
Pat Goff Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/29/05
Posts: 5262
Loc: Marble Falls/Seadrift
It's really not that complicated.
The reason you're not getting bit? You're not on fish.
In spite of the advertising there is no magic lure, there's just lures. They are nothing more than tools designed to work in particular types of water.

My next door neighbor catches a lot of fish. He throws one bait in one color. That's it, norton bull minnow in plum/chartreuse. What could possibly be the reason he's at the cleaning table and you aren't? He's in the areas holding and you're not.

Not at all ragging you, just giving honest answer to your frustration.

I might spend ten minutes at a spot if there's something is there they'll let you know, if not move on. A hundred yards can be the difference between success and skunks.
_________________________
Pat Goff
Marble Falls/Seadrift TX



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#12347309 - 07/19/17 03:29 AM Re: I am trying to stick to artificial...but it's not easy [Re: jbuell]
Flippin-Out Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/25/15
Posts: 2012
Loc: Magnolia, TX
Pat is correct. For any species, it is just like real estate - the most important thing is location, and then location, followed by location.

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#12347354 - 07/19/17 06:16 AM Re: I am trying to stick to artificial...but it's not easy [Re: jbuell]
kickingback Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 08/13/13
Posts: 898
Loc: Texas
Buy the Trout Support DVD's and you will understand the way to find and catch them easier. It is a great investment and you will watch them MORE THAN ONCE I can guarantee. They will show you what you are missing and how to find them.
Using artificials is easy as long as you know there are fish in the area. To find fish use live bait but if you can see bait action or tails then you know the fish are there and can cast to them with arties.
_________________________
USAF Retired and Fishing!

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#12347462 - 07/19/17 07:48 AM Re: I am trying to stick to artificial...but it's not easy [Re: jbuell]
karstopo Offline
Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 310
Loc: Brazoria County
You have to be on fish and you need to be presenting the artificial whatever correctly. I remember many many years ago fishing pretty close to you at Greens Bayou. My fishing partners were seasoned fisherman that had been tossing artificial lures for years in the salt. I was new to inshore saltwater. They caught 3,4,5 fish to every one fish I caught. We were fishing the exact same water with the exact same lures.

Since then I've really tried to watch and mimic people who have learned how to "work" a tail, suspending plug, spoon, or topwater. You could actually be on fish but working too high in the water column, too fast, too slow, etc. Seldom, in my experience, is it just chunk and retrieve.

For a couple of years, I fished top waters, skitterwalks mainly, day and night, winter, summer, fall, spring, shallow, deep. You would probably be surprised how much difference the retrieve and cadence made. Some folks fish them at one speed with no pauses. That might work some days. Other days, it may take a 15 or 20 second pause to get the strike.

My friends and I like to throw mainly paddle tails like Assassins, bull minnows, DSL, Now days, I throw weighted flies in the same water they are using the tails. No cork for them, 1/8 or 1/16 oz heads. Bringing it over structure in a jigging retrieve. Fish tend to hit the jig on the fall. Same story on the weighted flies.

We can usually tell from bait sign that we are on some fish. Sometimes, it takes a bit to figure out the presentation the fish are after. But anything that helps you identify when you are on or in fish is a good thing. That's the first and biggest hurdle. Then you have to figure out what they want and how they want it.

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#12347511 - 07/19/17 08:17 AM Re: I am trying to stick to artificial...but it's not easy [Re: jbuell]
karstopo Offline
Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 310
Loc: Brazoria County
I'd say the very best fishermen I've been around are really adept at locating fishing holding structure and spotting subtle fish sign AND knowing just how to present the offering the fish are looking for.

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#12347589 - 07/19/17 08:58 AM Re: I am trying to stick to artificial...but it's not easy [Re: jbuell]
jackmason Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/04/06
Posts: 1970
Loc: Plano
It's where and when. I have a certain area I fish exclusively because I learned the topography very well. I did this by map study and just time on the water. After learning the area I got really good at understanding what areas fish relate to and when they feed. The areas I concentrate are all based on what the tides are for that day.
Incoming tide I'm back in the marsh looking for baitfish activity. Once I find that I begin fishing that area thoroughly. Rarely do I not have success with this method. I'm usually in my spot an hour or so before high tide. On a outgoing tide, I back out and position myself in drain areas outside of the marsh where I know there's good current and a little deeper. I'm looking for channels, pot holes, grass and structure. Really any area that I feel would be a good spot for target fish to ambush prey as they are pulled out with the outgoing tide. Outgoing tide is really my favorite time. That's my two cents! Keep at it, you'll find success at some point.

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#12347596 - 07/19/17 09:00 AM Re: I am trying to stick to artificial...but it's not easy [Re: jackmason]
jackmason Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/04/06
Posts: 1970
Loc: Plano
Originally Posted By: jackmason
It's where and when. I have a certain area I fish exclusively because I learned the topography very well. I did this by map study and just time on the water. After learning the area I got really good at understanding what areas fish relate to and when they feed. The areas I concentrate are all based on what the tides are for that day.
Incoming tide I'm back in the marsh looking for baitfish activity. Once I find that I begin fishing that area thoroughly. Rarely do I not have success with this method. I'm usually in my spot an hour or so before high tide. On a outgoing tide, I back out and position myself in drain areas outside of the marsh where I know there's good current and a little deeper. I'm looking for channels, pot holes, grass and structure. Really any area that I feel would be a good spot for target fish to ambush prey as they are pulled out with the outgoing tide. Outgoing tide is really my favorite time. I'm also only fishing when there's a moving tide. That's my two cents! Keep at it, you'll find success at some point.


BTW... I'm artificial all the way. Mostly plastics with paddle tails. Off color water I use darker colors and clearer water I go to lighter colors. Mostly weedless or light jig head weighing 1/8 oz or 1/16 oz. Really depending on the wind speed for me.


Edited by jackmason (07/19/17 09:17 AM)

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#12349052 - 07/19/17 09:02 PM Re: I am trying to stick to artificial...but it's not easy [Re: Pat Goff]
jbuell Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/05/12
Posts: 25
Loc: Port O'Connor Texas
Originally Posted By: Pat Goff
It's really not that complicated.
The reason you're not getting bit? You're not on fish.
In spite of the advertising there is no magic lure, there's just lures. They are nothing more than tools designed to work in particular types of water.

My next door neighbor catches a lot of fish. He throws one bait in one color. That's it, norton bull minnow in plum/chartreuse. What could possibly be the reason he's at the cleaning table and you aren't? He's in the areas holding and you're not.

Not at all ragging you, just giving honest answer to your frustration.

I might spend ten minutes at a spot if there's something is there they'll let you know, if not move on. A hundred yards can be the difference between success and skunks.


I didn't think you were ragging on me at all.

I will say however, there have been many times I have been on the fish. Yesterday I waded out around Boggy, to the second cut. I could see the trout hitting bait and cast right into them....I caught 1. Haha.

If I would have had a finger mullet on a popping cork I would have hit my bag limit in 20 mins.

I may just be trying to hard...I have a reputation as a bit of a perfectionist so it's a distinct possibility.

I look forward to hearing many criticisms and jokes at my expenses when you show me the ropes around West Matagora.

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#12349068 - 07/19/17 09:07 PM Re: I am trying to stick to artificial...but it's not easy [Re: karstopo]
jbuell Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/05/12
Posts: 25
Loc: Port O'Connor Texas
Originally Posted By: karstopo
You have to be on fish and you need to be presenting the artificial whatever correctly. I remember many many years ago fishing pretty close to you at Greens Bayou. My fishing partners were seasoned fisherman that had been tossing artificial lures for years in the salt. I was new to inshore saltwater. They caught 3,4,5 fish to every one fish I caught. We were fishing the exact same water with the exact same lures.

Since then I've really tried to watch and mimic people who have learned how to "work" a tail, suspending plug, spoon, or topwater. You could actually be on fish but working too high in the water column, too fast, too slow, etc. Seldom, in my experience, is it just chunk and retrieve.

For a couple of years, I fished top waters, skitterwalks mainly, day and night, winter, summer, fall, spring, shallow, deep. You would probably be surprised how much difference the retrieve and cadence made. Some folks fish them at one speed with no pauses. That might work some days. Other days, it may take a 15 or 20 second pause to get the strike.

My friends and I like to throw mainly paddle tails like Assassins, bull minnows, DSL, Now days, I throw weighted flies in the same water they are using the tails. No cork for them, 1/8 or 1/16 oz heads. Bringing it over structure in a jigging retrieve. Fish tend to hit the jig on the fall. Same story on the weighted flies.

We can usually tell from bait sign that we are on some fish. Sometimes, it takes a bit to figure out the presentation the fish are after. But anything that helps you identify when you are on or in fish is a good thing. That's the first and biggest hurdle. Then you have to figure out what they want and how they want it.


That's some good advice

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#12352385 - 07/21/17 07:23 PM Re: I am trying to stick to artificial...but it's not easy [Re: jbuell]
V-Bottom Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/18/16
Posts: 1612
Loc: Galv. Cnty
All of the above are very good points. I have been fishing all my life, from here in Galveston, the Mediterranean Sea to the East China Sea. I'm no pro for sure. I was brought up on using live bait, mainly shrimp at $1.25 a qt., and under a popping cork. I seldom threw plastics but over the last 20 years here, I have been collecting more arti's of various shapes,sizes, and colors...hard stuff and soft plastics. But...I don't use them. To me it seems like too much work!! My shoulder began to hurt from working that rod and that's it...back to shrimp.
A month ago I had a total left knee replacement. BTW, it's coming along fine. I knew I was going to be confined to the house and that's not my cup of tea. What was I gonna do? I'm on the PC everyday. It wasn't long before someone came to the rescue. Tobin Strickland, the man behind TroutSupport.com. I am the proud owner of a set of his 4 DVD's."Trout and Redfish Intensive Training". These DVD's cover (TROUT) Catching a Limit and Big Speckled Trout, next two DVD's are on Redfish.."Marsh and Grass Flats" and "Bays and Shorelines". There are a lot of fishing dvd's out there but this set is awesome. They are so jam packed with feechin' info, you'll watch these over and over. I thought I knew a lot. BS Tobin and crew are top shelf people and there for you to give you the knowledge you need, and we all need it from time to time. As soon as I can, I am getting back in the water (boat) and you can believe me I will apply this knowledge to the best of my ability. And, I intend to bring some arti's this trip. Keep chunking, learn the water, the tides,the birds,structure, drop off's, shorelines and bait fish....Learn how to read "Slicks" and how to approach them.. Check out Tobins video's...You will never go wrong. Good Luck, be safe out there.... and Remember, "Take a Kid Fishin'"

Trout Support.com check it out today
_________________________
Texas Anglers Recognition Program
TPWD Official Weigh Station,77563
Coastal Bend Weigh Team, Cert. Weigh Master
USMC66'- Trout Support.com






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