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#12739273 - 05/02/18 12:48 AM Just getting back into bass fishing after a 12 plus year layoff. Have questions on lures and live bait.
ChristopherWayne Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 04/30/18
Posts: 4
Hello Everyone,

My first post here!


Back in the nineties and early 2000's, I used to fish on private tanks where I grew up and a few public ones (Gibbons Creek & Somerville) in the College Station area with my college roommates.

I was always a "cast and reel" fisherman unless fishing with grasshoppers.

My biggest to date is a 7 pounder caught from the pier at Gibbons Creek in April of 1996 on a 7.5" AC Plug.
That lure landed fish not much bigger than it as well. It was a special lure.

I started losing interest in fishing when I was introduced to golf in '98.

Relocated back this summer after a 3yr overseas assignment.

We have a tank on the family property that is around 15 - 18 acres (surface area).
Deepest area is where main body & the creek portion meet (roughly 25 feet deep).
Lots of area in the 10 - 15 ft range.
Tank has a soft muddy bottom.

The vegetation growth was unreal in years past covering a majority of the surface area.
My nephews gave up fishing there due to the vegetation.

Two years ago my dad put some Tilapia in to deal with the vegetation.

Present time:
Very little vegetation compared to the same time 4 years ago.
There is baitfish everywhere bluegill, tilapia and frogs.
Large tilapia seen swimming in the shallows.
Been out twice in 3 weeks and had no problem catching lots of 1 - 2lb bass while
fishing in no more than 5 feet of water using 7 inch flukes on a 5/0 hook.

My dad's buddy caught a couple of 5 pounders there in the fall. He only uses artificial lures.

My plan is to soley focus on fishing for big bass.
Basically to see what is actually lurking in the deeper water.
No one I know has really focused on that in the past.
Plan to fish at night as well.
There are also channel cats in there.

May purchase a Lowrance to aid in this endeavor while fishing from an old jon boat.



Choice of lures for big bass:

Swimbaits/Glidebaits - AC Plug??
Flukes (soft plastics) - Zoom brand?
Worms - Berkley 10inch??
Crankbaits - Preferred brands?
Spinnerbaits - Deepwater running versions?
Topwaters - Buzzbait?
Jig - Have never fished with one but would give it a try.


Live bait:

Anyone ever use tilapia, bluegill, or live frogs?
Is there such a thing as a frog trap?

Lowrance - How much to spend? $200?

All feedback is appreciated.


Thanks!

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#12739332 - 05/02/18 06:26 AM Re: Just getting back into bass fishing after a 12 plus year layoff. Have questions on lures and live bait. [Re: ChristopherWayne]
Scoundrel Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/05/13
Posts: 946
Loc: Bedrock.
If there are small tilapia (or bluegill) in there like around the size of a baseball you can probably get them easy with a cast net. For the next month or so hook them through the tail with no weight about 18 inches below a large bobber and let the drift/swim around freely. You could set out s couple of these while casting around large size Senko worked really really slow. Good luck.
_________________________

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#12739426 - 05/02/18 07:41 AM Re: Just getting back into bass fishing after a 12 plus year layoff. Have questions on lures and live bait. [Re: ChristopherWayne]
TBassYates Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 12/21/01
Posts: 6530
Loc: Scurry, Tx - S/E of Dallas
When I used to fish Fairfield back in it's heyday and it was stocked with Tilapia me and my buddy used to use Rainbow Trout colored RatLTraps to match the looks of the Tilapia and used to catch a ton of bass on them. There were also Redfish stocked and every once in a while we would hang one of those fish also which was a real bonus.
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#12739432 - 05/02/18 07:43 AM Re: Just getting back into bass fishing after a 12 plus year layoff. Have questions on lures and live bait. [Re: ChristopherWayne]
Chris_K Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/14/15
Posts: 1338
Loc: TX
Sounds like s plan...Just remember that when you catch a 8+ pounder to call it a ShareLunker. Everyone loves that.

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#12739448 - 05/02/18 07:58 AM Re: Just getting back into bass fishing after a 12 plus year layoff. Have questions on lures and live bait. [Re: ChristopherWayne]
SteezMacQueen Online   sleepy
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 11/02/14
Posts: 5495
Loc: Red Oak, Galveston, and Pagosa...
Welcome to the forum and back to fishing.

I don't have much to add to the above. Just wanted to say hey.
_________________________
Eat. Sleep. Fish.

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#12739494 - 05/02/18 08:32 AM Re: Just getting back into bass fishing after a 12 plus year layoff. Have questions on lures and live bait. [Re: ChristopherWayne]
collincountytx Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 14865
Loc: Dallas, TX
Originally Posted By: ChristopherWayne

My plan is to soley focus on fishing for big bass.
Basically to see what is actually lurking in the deeper water.
No one I know has really focused on that in the past.
Plan to fish at night as well.
There are also channel cats in there.

May purchase a Lowrance to aid in this endeavor while fishing from an old jon boat.



Choice of lures for big bass:

Swimbaits/Glidebaits - AC Plug??
Flukes (soft plastics) - Zoom brand?
Worms - Berkley 10inch??
Crankbaits - Preferred brands?
Spinnerbaits - Deepwater running versions?
Topwaters - Buzzbait?
Jig - Have never fished with one but would give it a try.


Live bait:

Anyone ever use tilapia, bluegill, or live frogs?
Is there such a thing as a frog trap?

Lowrance - How much to spend? $200?

All feedback is appreciated.


Thanks!



-could hire professionals to do an electroshock survey.

What I would do.

Get a depth finder/fish finder that has 2D, DI, GPS and does sonar logging ($300 is about right) and sonar log the entire lake. Upload the data to CMAP social map or Navionics sonar chart (two options that will convert your sonar log data into a lake map for free). If you don't want to share your map with the rest of the world, you can use a program called Reefmaster to make your own maps (it works best with Lowrance, but will work with Humminbird also, will work with Garmin if you are computer savy).
There are fishfinders that perform their own mapping automatically, but you'll spend a little more than $200 up front and might have to purchase additional software, annual fees, and memory cards to get the full benefit.

With the Reefmaster software, you can also review the entire swath of recorded sonar images in a movie like fashion and mark waypoints, etc. Once the map is generated from the software, you can export it to google earth and/or a regular SD (or micro) card. You can then place the SD card into your fishfinder; and if the fishfinder has GPS, you can travel directly to your waypoints/brush piles. That way, you don't have to mark your brushpiles with pvc or other visible marker.

I'd get a Lowrance with a 5 inch screen. Right now fish finders are at their peak prices. November to March, the previous year models go on clearance. My second choice would be a G2 Helix 5 that does autochart live.

Sink 4-5 brush piles (preferably Bois d'arc trees) in the deepest areas where there is significant structure (end of a point, humps, rapid changes in depth, areas where the deeper water is closest to the bank/funnel points.

Sinking the brush piles will concentrate bait fish and then the larger bass.
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#12739526 - 05/02/18 08:51 AM Re: Just getting back into bass fishing after a 12 plus year layoff. Have questions on lures and live bait. [Re: ChristopherWayne]
Donald Harper Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 14417
Loc: Justin, TX.
Your night fishing will be the key with your larger baits. It will be very frustrating during daylight hours to do so. Down size, because big fish will destroy those baits also.

When using live bait; use a species that is not in the lake. Some of the small sun perch are good as well as live Salamanders. Those are my two best choices.

Here is another trick that will work. Using a large bobber drift a weightless 4.5 plastic Swim Bait across the lake. Set the bait at about 4 ft. deep and just let it drift with the wind down the shoreline. Position yourself so it drifts parallel with the shore. Good things will happen.

Hopefully the deep grass will come back; but that is doubtful with the Tilapia in the lake. Try your best to take all of those out that you can to give the grass a chance. Grass is the most important cover for huge bass. You can PM me for the techniques to fish deep grass that is 10 ft. tall or more. It will begin to grow in veins and drains first and the big fish will flock to it.
_________________________
Each person you work with holds some promise to your future success.
www.eletewater.com - Staying Hydrated
www.lakeoviachic.com - Booking Mexico Trips
Shallow Water Mapping - Custom Spinner Baits - Jigs -Spooks
Pure Extracts - Minnow-Night Crawler-Crayfish-Craylic



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#12740923 - 05/03/18 05:31 AM Re: Just getting back into bass fishing after a 12 plus year layoff. Have questions on lures and live bait. [Re: Donald Harper]
ChristopherWayne Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 04/30/18
Posts: 4

Vegetation:
The big issue was "kera" and "milfoil" (moss) vegetation - those were identified in the late nineties.
We do have cattails in the tank as well.
I may need a waterproof go-pro to see what deep vegetation there is.

Livebait:

No experience with salamanders so I will have to find out where to get them.


Thanks for the info.

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#12740926 - 05/03/18 05:33 AM Re: Just getting back into bass fishing after a 12 plus year layoff. Have questions on lures and live bait. [Re: collincountytx]
ChristopherWayne Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 04/30/18
Posts: 4

collincountytx,

Thanks for the info regarding the fish finders.

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#12740927 - 05/03/18 05:34 AM Re: Just getting back into bass fishing after a 12 plus year layoff. Have questions on lures and live bait. [Re: Scoundrel]
ChristopherWayne Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 04/30/18
Posts: 4
Does anyone know if Tilapia will eat catfish food?

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#12741066 - 05/03/18 07:57 AM Re: Just getting back into bass fishing after a 12 plus year layoff. Have questions on lures and live bait. [Re: ChristopherWayne]
collincountytx Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 14865
Loc: Dallas, TX
Tilapia are mostly vegetarian (why it's difficult to catch them on artificial lures)

Ideas on how to thin out the Tilapia population

--Introduce a couple of 6lb LMB into the pond

--Netting

--Fish traps baited with lettuce

--professionals electroshock and remove the Tilapia that come to the surface

--host a Tilapia catch and keep tournament for high school kids
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#12741081 - 05/03/18 08:04 AM Re: Just getting back into bass fishing after a 12 plus year layoff. Have questions on lures and live bait. [Re: ChristopherWayne]
collincountytx Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 14865
Loc: Dallas, TX
Other thoughts
--conservatively introduce some plants the Tilapia would have a tough time eradicating (Lily pads)
--in shallow areas, maybe chicken wire off some of the vegetation.
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#12741103 - 05/03/18 08:12 AM Re: Just getting back into bass fishing after a 12 plus year layoff. Have questions on lures and live bait. [Re: ChristopherWayne]
361V Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/21/08
Posts: 4927
Loc: somervell county
Originally Posted By: ChristopherWayne
Does anyone know if Tilapia will eat catfish food?

Lots of Tilapia fishermen on my neighborhood lake Squaw Creek because, well there are ridicules amounts of Tilapia in the lake. The method/bait of choice is kinda a heavy drop shot rig. 1/4-1/2 ounce(or larger) weight on the end of your line and a hook about a foot up the line so it’s off the bottom. Bait of choice is hands down earthworms. Bank or boat earthworms catch more Tilipia from Squaw than any other bait.....except cast nets!
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