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#12518550 - 11/27/17 10:29 PM Hunting Big Fish
Brent S Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/04/13
Posts: 2943
Loc: Eagle Mountain Lake
What lures, depths, cover, structure, do you like to use and target to catch fish in the 5 pound and up category?
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Brent Shimanek

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#12518581 - 11/27/17 11:54 PM Re: Hunting Big Fish [Re: Brent S]
Jake Shannon(Skeet4Life) Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 10/31/10
Posts: 7918
Loc: Tyler, Tx/Arlington, Tx
Best thing for this time of year is a jig with a craw trailer, black and blue or green pumpkin color. Also you need to focus on areas that these larger female bass like to hang out. Creek channel bends 10-20ft, drains and ditches leading into spawning areas are good starting places. Look for the sweet spots around these depth changes like brush, timber, rocks or grass. One reason the jig is such a good big fish Bait is because you need to fish it slow on the bottom and can be fished through a variety of cover.

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#12518589 - 11/28/17 01:26 AM Re: Hunting Big Fish [Re: Brent S]
EastTexasBassin Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 07/15/09
Posts: 944
Loc: Lake Ray Hubbard
Lures: completely agree with the above, a jig will catch big fish. Other lures that I use to target big fish are big cranks (like 8xd and 10xd), big swimbaits, a spook, and a buzzbait.
Depths: Right now, I'm finding big fish in 22ft up to 1ft, so they're all over. Generally I'm looking at mid to shallow in the spring and deeper water the rest of year.
Cover: Lilly pads, grass, docks, and rocks will hold big fish, but a ridge or hump in deeper water will be where they spend more of their time.
Structure: Main lake points and humps are the obvious places but I've also caught nice fish on roadbeds and old pond dams.

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#12518595 - 11/28/17 05:26 AM Re: Hunting Big Fish [Re: Jake Shannon(Skeet4Life)]
GIG'EM AGGIES Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 05/14/14
Posts: 2152
Loc: texas
Originally Posted By: Jake Shannon(Skeet4Life)
Best thing for this time of year is a jig with a craw trailer, black and blue or green pumpkin color. Also you need to focus on areas that these larger female bass like to hang out. Creek channel bends 10-20ft, drains and ditches leading into spawning areas are good starting places. Look for the sweet spots around these depth changes like brush, timber, rocks or grass. One reason the jig is such a good big fish Bait is because you need to fish it slow on the bottom and can be fished through a variety of cover.


Everything he said, only thing I would ad would be a swim bait early.
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"Sometimes there just aren't enough rocks"
Forest Gump

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#12518657 - 11/28/17 07:33 AM Re: Hunting Big Fish [Re: Brent S]
Jaret Latta Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/06/07
Posts: 6939
Loc: Austin, Tx/Nacogdoches, Tx
First you have to be on a lake with a known population of bigger fish. You can target them all day but if the lake doesn't have a decent number of big ones it greatly reduces your odds if catching one. Some lakes like fork bigger fish will group up moreso than a lake like Rayburn. Regardless both lakes fish similar for big ones depending on time if year. Imo it's more about location and presentation than the actual lure. Once you figure out the sweet spot or cast, the bait is sometimes secondary. Except for spring and fall typically big ones are deeper. As stated above, creek swings on points, ridges, deep brush piles are all good spots.

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#12518721 - 11/28/17 08:28 AM Re: Hunting Big Fish [Re: Brent S]
B.Hollingshead Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1922
Loc: ft.worth
I don't believe it has to do with the lure, depth, or cover as has so much to do with being in the right location. I have caught a lot of big fish on about any technique available from shacky head to 10XDs.
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Branden Hollingshead

30-DD's and counting

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#12518734 - 11/28/17 08:40 AM Re: Hunting Big Fish [Re: Brent S]
GROD Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/12/10
Posts: 1315
Loc: Eagle Mountain
Time on the water and having an understanding of big fish migration from season to season.. which I have neither.. haha


Edited by GROD (11/28/17 08:41 AM)

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#12518762 - 11/28/17 09:04 AM Re: Hunting Big Fish [Re: Brent S]
daddystog Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/27/09
Posts: 1007
Loc: Cisco,Tx
I agree with all the above, only thing that wasn't mentioned was mind set, most everyone that starts trying to target larger fish will get discouraged because of the number of bites , you have to set your mind to fishing for 1 or 2 bites a day
If you can do that and have confidence in the spots your fishing and the baits your using that 1 bite can be worth a full day of fishing and then once in a blue moon you can have those days where your thumbs are RAW from lipping big bass
Pick a couple of Big Fish baits that you have confidence in, study your area lakes and fish the sweet spots mentioned above slow and methodically picking every little pick of cover apart, use good Equipment and fishing line don't go out and buy a $ 100 swimbait and throw it on cheap line , check your line every cast for any nicks or abrasion retie frequently ( nothing will break your heart like fishing so hard for that big fish and then lose it because you got lazy and didn't retie ) stay focused, TREAT EVERY CAST LIKE THIS IS THE ONE I'LL CATCH THAT 14LBER
Good Luck and Tight lines
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#12518795 - 11/28/17 09:22 AM Re: Hunting Big Fish [Re: Brent S]
Doug R. Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 06/11/12
Posts: 9008
Loc: On the lam
Funnel points and transition areas to and from "spawning areas" where big fsh live most of their lives (aka shallow water with immediate access to deeper water). Creek channels, "ditches and drains". IMO, true big fish do not migrate far once they reach a bigger size, they are much like larger people or animals, they really cannot move as freely as their smaller counterparts. I think they will live in area with everything they need very close by (spawning areas, deeper water for security and areas to feed).

Every fish I have caught over 10 pounds (11 fish) have been caught between November and mid March in these types areas, except for a 10.5, that was caught in late May - early June, at Fork in about 18 feet of water.


I think here in Texas, it's much more about location than technique to target truly big fish. That being said Fall (post turnover) to pre-spawn, I like to throw a little bigger baits (jigs, swim baits, bigger bulky Texas rigs, and such). The two type of baits I believe will consistently produce bigger fish in Texas are a crawfish imitation type bait and a gizzard shad imitation type bait. The "one big meal" type baits.






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Originally Posted By: SteezMacQueen
It's like a Latin "deadliest catch".


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#12518906 - 11/28/17 10:55 AM Re: Hunting Big Fish [Re: Doug R.]
collincountytx Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 13465
Loc: Dallas, TX
Originally Posted By: Doug R.
Funnel points and transition areas to and from "spawning areas" where big fsh live most of their lives (aka shallow water with immediate access to deeper water). Creek channels, "ditches and drains". IMO, true big fish do not migrate far once they reach a bigger size, they are much like larger people or animals, they really cannot move as freely as their smaller counterparts. I think they will live in area with everything they need very close by (spawning areas, deeper water for security and areas to feed).



+1

I'll add that I've noticed territorial behavior from bigger bass--Once they have found their buffet location, they want it for themselves ("baby bass" colored swimbaits) Of course, these big/wise bass like to hold the bait in their mouths first to feel it instead of lashing out or immediately crushing down. (You can feel a heavy mushiness instead of a line tick or pulling) They can hold the bait in their mouths while swimming a little bit deeper before they commit. They also have very bony mouths, particularly the roof of the mouth (make sure those hooks are sharp, line is intact, knots tied well) Strong hook set.

Getting them to the top of the water column quickly is key or they will bull rush toward you and deeper with a strong surge swimming under your boat. With these obese bass, they can head shake at the surface, but are usually too fat to jump.

Agree with above; November to March. The cooler water gives you some advantages landing the big bass; they are more lethargic at these temperatures.
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#12518945 - 11/28/17 11:15 AM Re: Hunting Big Fish [Re: Brent S]
Jpurdue Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/28/14
Posts: 1465
Loc: NW Houston
All the advice above is solid. 80% of DD fish are caught in Texas between Feb-April. As other have said step one is to pick a lake that has a sizable population of big fish. From there focus on funnels in the 8-12 foot range. Throw plastics. Work them SLOW. Find a mentor for the lake if you can. It'll drastically shorten your learning curve.

The other strategy is to cover vast amounts of water during the spawn on a relatively clear lake and don't stop until you find a big fish.

On a side note. Fish 7lbs and below all behave in a pretty similar fashion. Fish 7lbs and above are totally different. You can catch a lot of 5lbers fishing shallow. You'll catch very few DD's that way on most lakes in Texas.

Lastly, probably the single best thing you can do to up your numbers of 5-7lb fish is to simply fish at night once the water temps get above 65 degrees.
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"Bragging may not bring happiness, but no man having caught a large fish goes home through an alley." -A.L.

www.LunkerLore.com


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#12519066 - 11/28/17 12:55 PM Re: Hunting Big Fish [Re: Brent S]
InTheClear Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/28/12
Posts: 1409
Loc: Southwest Texas
Fish depths that other anglers don't have the confidence to fish, usually areas like that are way-less pressured. Other than that, I think its a timing type of thing up shallow.

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#12519125 - 11/28/17 01:32 PM Re: Hunting Big Fish [Re: Brent S]
SteezMacQueen Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/02/14
Posts: 4620
Loc: Red Oak, Galveston, and Pagosa...
Collin county is dead on with regards to the big fish bite and how it feels. I honestly believe that less experienced anglers often lose big big fish before they ever knew that they had one on the line.

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RIP little Nitro




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#12519160 - 11/28/17 02:15 PM Re: Hunting Big Fish [Re: SteezMacQueen]
i-Fish Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/07/16
Posts: 548
Originally Posted By: SteezMacQueen
Collin county is dead on with regards to the big fish bite and how it feels. I honestly believe that less experienced anglers often lose big big fish before they ever knew that had one in the line.



Just the thought makes me queasy. barf
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If you can't find em wind em.

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#12519167 - 11/28/17 02:24 PM Re: Hunting Big Fish [Re: Brent S]
Thad Rains Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 10/09/01
Posts: 2876
Loc: Lubbock, Texas.
As stated above, LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION is the key to finding bigger fish. Not only the body of water, but also the structure/cover w/in the lake. Isolated is normally best and normally only 1 or 2 fish hang out on it. If you find a school of 5 lbers, put your topwater or rat-l-trap style bait on and have at them. Hope this helps. Tight lines, keep safe and good luck.

Thad Rains
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Tight lines, keep safe and good luck.

Thad Rains

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