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Jan 23rd, 2013
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During trolling season you don't have to troll - cast a #2 Mepps instead #13641059 07/23/20 12:44 PM
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Dennis Christian Offline OP
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Beginning about late July it gets hard to catch white bass by slabbing or jigging vertically, so many folks including guides turn to trolling the hell-pet rig. This is very effective for putting fish in the boat but is not as much fun even too the point of being boring for some of us. Years ago I discovered you can still catch lots (just as many or more) of these hard-to-catch fish without trolling. Here is how I do it:

1. First, I usually have to find fish in shallower (10 to 18 fow) water, which is not hard - there are fish at these structures in different areas of the lake.
2. As Chris Richardson mentioned in a different thread, these hard-to-catch fish want more of a horizontal presentation, so set up a medium casting distance away from where you marked fish - not right on top of them.
3. The rig: Use smaller line because lakes are clearer during these months and too big a line can spook the fish (no kidding - I experienced this myself). I use 10 lb Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon. I think the main problem this time of year is that there is a smaller hatch of shad that the fish are feeding on. Where I had been catching tons of fish on a #4 Mepps, now they will not touch it. So, I switch to a #2 silver Mepps aglia plain spinner. Now this is a very light-weight bait, so to be able to cast it and to make it sink faster I add a 3/16 to 1/4 oz mash-on weight up the line from the Mepps 12 to 15 inches.
4. The presentation: Assuming you remember where you marked fish relative to where you set up your boat (I usually throw over a marker just to one side of the fish so my guests and I can easily know where the fish are), then make a cast to the other side of the fish. Let the bait go to the bottom. Leaving just a bit of slack in the line use the rod to jerk-start the retrieve horizontally keeping the Mepps moving by retrieving without hesitation following the jerk start (i.e. keep your hand on the reel handle when you jerk-start and start reeling immediately) Don't be too subtle - give it a good jerk-start. Keep reeling for 3 to 7 turns of the reel. If no bite, then stop, let bait fall back to bottom and repeat. You may need to try different retrieval speeds to see what they want.

Those on the forum who have fished with me can vouch for the effectiveness of this technique. Give it a try and good luck!

Last edited by Dennis Christian; 07/23/20 12:54 PM.
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Re: During trolling season you don't have to troll - cast a #2 Mepps instead [Re: Dennis Christian] #13641349 07/23/20 03:54 PM
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agreed! I will also downsize to a 1/2oz, slab/spoon that is a shorter/thinner (imitate smaller shad). Position to the side of the school of fish, cast out to them, reel a few cranks with rod tip low, then let it settle back to bottom and repeat.

Re: During trolling season you don't have to troll - cast a #2 Mepps instead [Re: Dennis Christian] #13641662 07/23/20 06:46 PM
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Where is the best place to order? Can you provide a link to the plain silver #2?

Thanks!

Re: During trolling season you don't have to troll - cast a #2 Mepps instead [Re: Dennis Christian] #13641799 07/23/20 08:08 PM
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Re: During trolling season you don't have to troll - cast a #2 Mepps instead [Re: Dennis Christian] #13641856 07/23/20 08:54 PM
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We use #2 Mepps silver blade white tail, works great


call it what you will...he is not definitely not anywhere near the top of the list for QB's that I would choose needing a FG or touchdown drive late in the game.
Re: During trolling season you don't have to troll - cast a #2 Mepps instead [Re: Dennis Christian] #13641899 07/23/20 09:26 PM
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thumb

Re: During trolling season you don't have to troll - cast a #2 Mepps instead [Re: Dennis Christian] #13642024 07/23/20 11:07 PM
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I like this technique, it has produced for me numerous times.

Re: During trolling season you don't have to troll - cast a #2 Mepps instead [Re: Dennis Christian] #13642025 07/23/20 11:09 PM
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cheers


Clay


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Re: During trolling season you don't have to troll - cast a #2 Mepps instead [Re: schanz] #13642086 07/24/20 12:10 AM
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Amazon,,https://www.amazon.com/Sheldons-Inc-B2S-Treble-6-Ounce/dp/B001447L26/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&keywords=%232+Mepps&qid=1595549152&sr=8-10

Re: During trolling season you don't have to troll - cast a #2 Mepps instead [Re: Dennis Christian] #13642493 07/24/20 01:19 PM
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Headed that way in about 2 hours and will be trying this for 3 days. Should be there early enough to try it this evening. Thanks Dennis for all the heads up information.

Re: During trolling season you don't have to troll - cast a #2 Mepps instead [Re: Dennis Christian] #13642538 07/24/20 01:52 PM
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Oh no trolling season has begun! Dam! grin
Very well written, DC, i understood and visualized everything you said. On windy days, make sure to cast with the wind cuz #2 is ultra light and waiting for it to sink requires patient, especially for me since like many, i grew up in a fast food drive thru window gotta have our now culture? Lol. I tried rigging three #2 's on my ARig one summer and caught 3 fish. But removing the fish fishes with 3 trebble hooks flopping is hazardous. Trying to locate that pic but cant find it. Doh.

Cant tell ya how many "good" conversations i had with passerby trollers while i am spot lock and catching. grin

Re: During trolling season you don't have to troll - cast a #2 Mepps instead [Re: Dennis Christian] #13642548 07/24/20 01:59 PM
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I'm new to white bass and hybrid fishing this year (long time largemouth guy) and I've been using Dennis' mepps technique for the last month on Cedar Creek. I caught 21 fish yesterday morning before work on #4 white/chartreuse (I couldn't find silver in stock at the time) -- including one 22" hybrid.

I've never tried trolling but I think it's safe to say I like this technique much better. In fact, I don't like the vertical jigging with spoon technique that much either. I guess after 40 years of casting, the other techniques just don't feel as much like fishing to me -- but that's a personal thing.

Dennis, have you had to move shallow and resort to #2 yet ? The #4 in 25 fow seems to still be working well for me on CC.

I have to once again say thanks for Dennis. Without everything he has shared about his techniques and his Cedar Creek map, I'd probably still be lost and frustrated as a new white bass/hybrid fisherman.

Re: During trolling season you don't have to troll - cast a #2 Mepps instead [Re: Dennis Christian] #13642561 07/24/20 02:09 PM
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Absolutely true Dennis!

Trolling just doesn't do it for me.

The same thing can be done with a small flatter profile slab that flutters more, but the mepps is king in August/Sept no doubt. The little things you mentioned a true difference makers.

You certainly have them dialed in, and have help so many others do the same!

Re: During trolling season you don't have to troll - cast a #2 Mepps instead [Re: Dennis Christian] #13642583 07/24/20 02:28 PM
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Will this technique work at night?


Lowe Roughneck 1860 CC on Eagle Mountain Lake

Catching fish never gets old.
Re: During trolling season you don't have to troll - cast a #2 Mepps instead [Re: FishAdmirer] #13642709 07/24/20 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by FishAdmirer
Will this technique work at night?


Yes sir it will. Used it last night on RC.

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