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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Help a fellow beginner to beat the skunk #14188879 11/12/21 08:54 PM
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PGR Offline OP
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Hey guys,

Please help a fellow beginner bass fisherman to beat the skunk. I'm kinda lost on what to do and I'm slowly losing my motivation.

Here a few facts:

- fishing out of a Native Watercraft kayak (pedal drive)
- fishing North Texas lakes
- Mainly murky water
- Windy to slight breeze (pretty much all the time)
- Trying to stay in coves


I feel like I have tried everything but I keep getting skunked. Whenever I go fishing I stay out on the water for at least 4-5 hours, most of the times without a single bite.
Since I haven't quite figured it out yet, I try to stay close to the shore in shallower water, which might be the first mistake, especially during summer:

- How do you guys stay on top of the fish in deeper water? Do you anchor down? Is it even worth it to anchor down before you hit the next spot?
- I feel like before my lure even hits the bottom, I am already drifting off and I start dragging my lure through the water.

- How do I fish finesse in a kayak? Same problem, I keep dragging the lure along the bottom because I'm drifting off. Even in a pedal kayak.
- However, if I give it enough slack I won't feel the bite, I guess. I learned to always keep the line tight.

I have a fish finder, but since I don't fish much in deeper water, I don't think there is a huge advantage to it since I'm casting along the shore line.

- How often am I supposed to change lures and/or colors to figure the fish out? I don't think I'm really familiar with any lure because I can't catch anything lol

How did you get better in bass fishing, other than trying to hit the water as much as you can? My time is kinda limited.
I've heard people say try to fish the same lure until you're comfortable with it. But if I don't catch anything for 5 hours, it's getting a little boring and I assume they are not going to take it for the rest of the day either.
But then I also heard people say, if you don't feel a bite after 15 minutes, switch to a different lure.


Any pointers, tips, tricks or whatever else you wanna throw at me is much appreciated!!

Re: Help a fellow beginner to beat the skunk [Re: PGR] #14189139 11/13/21 02:07 AM
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porta Offline
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Low light conditions are usually the best, within 1 hour of Dawn or dusk, overcast days, shady areas. Work the areas around structure. Trolling 2 lures on your way to your chosen spot and back can point out areas where fish might be holding. Timing according to spawning runs. May not work for everyone...

Re: Help a fellow beginner to beat the skunk [Re: PGR] #14189202 11/13/21 03:44 AM
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For murky water I like high contras colors. Black/blue/purple for plastic worms and jigs. Flashier colors like chartreuse or fire tiger for crankbaits, swimbaits, and spinnerbaits.

Read the TPW fishing reports. They should at least give you an indication of what techniques and colors to try.

If shad or other baitfish are prevalent, try using the wind to your advantage. Try wind blown points, coves, humps, or cliff walls. anywhere bait fish can get blown into or up on or where bass can ambush them.

Also, maybe try heavier weights on windy days. I was out Thursday and it was windier than I usually like it and everything I was using was 1/4 to 1/2 oz on jigheads where I might only use 1/8th on calmer days and when I’m fishing shallower.

Re: Help a fellow beginner to beat the skunk [Re: PGR] #14189296 11/13/21 01:05 PM
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christian myrick Offline
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First off,,,leave that bass alone and go for big fish. Hahababaha. Cast net get some shad and hook up with cats and gar. Hahahaha. Im just razing ya. Find the shad, all the fish are near them.


Re: Help a fellow beginner to beat the skunk [Re: PGR] #14189382 11/13/21 02:34 PM
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Rig two rods with a Texas Rigged worm. Find a point that comes out to about 15 feet. Go up wind of the point and face into the wind. Let the wind drift you over the point while simply dragging those two worms on the bottom. You will get bit. You will gain confidence in the bait, you will not get as frustrated with the wind and you will eventually learn how to use that fish finder because while you are drifting you will see a lot of new water you would have never fished before.


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Re: Help a fellow beginner to beat the skunk [Re: PGR] #14189436 11/13/21 03:28 PM
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I always anchor down at every spot I want to fish. For me, kayak fishing is about controlling the variables. Get yourself stable and then start casting to your target

As for not getting any bites, could be several issues. My advice would be to downsize your bait. Use something like a shakey head in 1/8th with a Zoom finesse worm. Or a baby brush hog on a Texas rig. For moving baits try the Mr. Crappie 2 inch paddle tail or a Yum pulse minnow. Maybe even some Bobby Garlands on small jig heads. Look up a double jig rig. All of that fails, throw a hellgramite or go to the dropshot with a Roboworm. The idea is a smaller profile to appeal to the greatest number of fish. Using these presentations you should get a lot of bites, catch a lot of smaller fish, and a few larger fish. You'll miss the hookset on a bunch too but at least you'll know there are fish in your area.

For a beginner I would concentrate on fishing shallow cover near the bank. Any sticks or trees, rocks, reeds, etc... Cast mostly parallel to the bank, not just perpendicular to it. Points and dropoffs are pretty high percentage areas so look for those.

Stick with lighter line until you build some skills. Some light braid or straight flouro. Keep it simple.

Try to find a more experienced kayaker to go out with.

Re: Help a fellow beginner to beat the skunk [Re: David Newton] #14189461 11/13/21 04:08 PM
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^^^he pretty much nailed it. I've been fishing for many years and I sometimes get skunked so do not give up. Start simple and try focusing on one lake. Everyone has a different style, technique, and go to lure but develop your own. Once you catch your first fish, it will get easier. Good luck and be patient.

Re: Help a fellow beginner to beat the skunk [Re: PGR] #14189604 11/13/21 07:12 PM
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Mudshark’s advice is solid. My technique advice is lacking, as I just started fishing out of a kayak. I’ve been chasing bass my whole life but kayak fishing is a different game. But something I have come to understand, fishing is more of a mental game. If you find yourself losing patience quickly while dragging a worm over a point, first thing I do is stop for just a minute and look around and remember how nice it is to just be out there. Not harping on you for getting frustrated, I have actually had to do it quite a bit lately. Seeing the signs the fish, the water, and the weather are giving and making a good decision on what to do is pretty much impossible if all I can think about is going home and selling all my gear because I’ve had enough. roflmao

Second thing you can try if you think you might be more of a power fishing guy, grab a squarebill and pedal down the bank chunking to trees, rocks, and everything in between. Cover water and explore until you find a productive area. That crankbait will get smacked soon enough. Drop a waypoint on your graph in the spot if you’re able to. If you develop a pattern that the few fish you catch all came off similar structure or cover, pick up the pace and only stop and focus on areas with similar features.

Lastly, take more time to learn your electronics if beating the bank gets too frustrating. The last two times I’ve been out, it’s been tough. I put my poles down and started graphing areas I’ve never fished before and practiced using my electronics. I got my first fishfinder a few months ago so I figured I could use the practice. I ended up finding a roadbed in an area I always pedaled straight through on my way to more familiar areas. I never knew it was there and probably never would have if I hadn’t taken the time to look. I ended up catching a decent fish off the shallow end of the spot that day. It was the only fish I caught, but it felt good because I finally put a few pieces of the puzzle together using new tools.

Good luck out there. If you’re ever fishing around Ellis County, shoot me a message and I’ll pedal out with you.

Re: Help a fellow beginner to beat the skunk [Re: PGR] #14189814 11/14/21 12:09 AM
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Tough time of year bass fishing in cold, murky water.

When you say “murky” is this 1ft visibility?

From now until mid December fishing cooling murky water; I’d throw a 3/8th oz white chatterbait with a white fluke trailer all day next to shallow cover (shallow grass, shallow rock, shallow gravel, etc) in creeks. When we get to mid December then through Valentine’s Day; bass fishing can be very slow unless you find a warm spring fed creek or similar.

Going forward; I’d put the odds in your favor and find a healthy bass lake with aquatic grass/ submerged vegetation and at least 3ft of visibility. These lakes will be easier to locate and catch the bass. Success will breed confidence as you learn more about bass seasonal patterns and feeding behavior (lots of good YouTube videos on this)


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Re: Help a fellow beginner to beat the skunk [Re: PGR] #14190799 11/15/21 02:40 AM
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Thanks for all the tips guys. I really appreciate it.
I went out today for about 7 hours at Joe Pool Lake and tried several things that have been mentioned here. But unfortunately I still got nothing. Not even a nibble.
Only when I started targeting Bluegill in the last hour with a tiny piece of plastic worm I got a dink bass. But that's like extreme downsizing haha

I think I'm gonna retire from bass fishing and start taking out my catfish gear more. Even though I had a good time on the water, it can be pretty frustrating so I think from now on I'm gonna grab my cast net, catfish gear and rig up for drifting catfish.

I appreciate your help and tight lines

Re: Help a fellow beginner to beat the skunk [Re: PGR] #14190831 11/15/21 07:47 AM
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I've been out 6 times in the last two weeks... Monticello, Murvaul twice, Martin Creek, Striker, and today, Palestine. I don't even try to fish deep any more unless there is a bridge nearby. I prefer to fish shallow... more to see, and don't have to carry an anchor, and I get a lot more exercise. Its tough fishing for the most part... but will usually find something they will nibble on. Have had very few hard strikes in that same time frame. Most bites are so subtle I'm not even sure when I set the hook. Downsizing the bait and slow rolling it have been the most successful thing that has been working for me, regardless of the bait. If I could only fish three baits right now, I'd have a Berkely Frittside in honey shad color, Owner 3/0 flashy swimmer with willow leaf blade/ with 3.8 Keitech impact shad, and a War Eagle 5/16 finesse spinner bait. I fish them all like a worm.. pull the bait with rod, reel in slack, just barely ticking bottom.. repeat. Fish them in the heaviest cover you can get them through in water less than 4 feet...The Frittside has treble hooks so that's better around rock embankments around bridges or near stickups and stumps. Go find a lake with vegetation... its worth the drive, if its got lily pads, you'll get bit throwing the spinner bait or flashy swimmer with plastic swimbait. Good Luck.



Last edited by lconn4; 11/15/21 08:03 AM.

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Re: Help a fellow beginner to beat the skunk [Re: PGR] #14190879 11/15/21 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by PGR
Thanks for all the tips guys. I really appreciate it.
I went out today for about 7 hours at Joe Pool Lake and tried several things that have been mentioned here. But unfortunately I still got nothing. Not even a nibble.
Only when I started targeting Bluegill in the last hour with a tiny piece of plastic worm I got a dink bass. But that's like extreme downsizing haha

I think I'm gonna retire from bass fishing and start taking out my catfish gear more. Even though I had a good time on the water, it can be pretty frustrating so I think from now on I'm gonna grab my cast net, catfish gear and rig up for drifting catfish.

I appreciate your help and tight lines


Since that's the case...cats are around 5-10ft deep. The shad are about 7ish ft in the mid day sun. Went to lake lewisville yesterday and caught 5 with one of them being a 26 lb blue. We didn't drift but we shouldve.


Re: Help a fellow beginner to beat the skunk [Re: christian myrick] #14190949 11/15/21 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by christian myrick
Originally Posted by PGR
Thanks for all the tips guys. I really appreciate it.
I went out today for about 7 hours at Joe Pool Lake and tried several things that have been mentioned here. But unfortunately I still got nothing. Not even a nibble.
Only when I started targeting Bluegill in the last hour with a tiny piece of plastic worm I got a dink bass. But that's like extreme downsizing haha

I think I'm gonna retire from bass fishing and start taking out my catfish gear more. Even though I had a good time on the water, it can be pretty frustrating so I think from now on I'm gonna grab my cast net, catfish gear and rig up for drifting catfish.

I appreciate your help and tight lines


Since that's the case...cats are around 5-10ft deep. The shad are about 7ish ft in the mid day sun. Went to lake lewisville yesterday and caught 5 with one of them being a 26 lb blue. We didn't drift but we shouldve.


Appreciate it kind sir. I believe I marked quite a few yesterday in a river channel about 10ft deep. Looks like a great spot to drift across.
I'll try my luck some time this week and will report back.
Not sure how good Joe Pool is for catfishing, but I guess I'll find out

Re: Help a fellow beginner to beat the skunk [Re: PGR] #14191516 11/15/21 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by PGR
Originally Posted by christian myrick
Originally Posted by PGR
Thanks for all the tips guys. I really appreciate it.
I went out today for about 7 hours at Joe Pool Lake and tried several things that have been mentioned here. But unfortunately I still got nothing. Not even a nibble.
Only when I started targeting Bluegill in the last hour with a tiny piece of plastic worm I got a dink bass. But that's like extreme downsizing haha

I think I'm gonna retire from bass fishing and start taking out my catfish gear more. Even though I had a good time on the water, it can be pretty frustrating so I think from now on I'm gonna grab my cast net, catfish gear and rig up for drifting catfish.

I appreciate your help and tight lines


Since that's the case...cats are around 5-10ft deep. The shad are about 7ish ft in the mid day sun. Went to lake lewisville yesterday and caught 5 with one of them being a 26 lb blue. We didn't drift but we shouldve.


Appreciate it kind sir. I believe I marked quite a few yesterday in a river channel about 10ft deep. Looks like a great spot to drift across.
I'll try my luck some time this week and will report back.
Not sure how good Joe Pool is for catfishing, but I guess I'll find out



Joe Pool seems like it should fish better than it does. Finding different water may change your outlook on life. Waxahachie, Eagle Mountain, Lake Worth, Grapevine, all within that area may be a better fit for you. Keep on digging. You will get there.


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Re: Help a fellow beginner to beat the skunk [Re: PGR] #14192153 11/16/21 01:59 PM
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If you are fishing Joe Pool; I’d switch it up to the two smaller lakes in Ennis, the old City Lake and the small 150 acre lake by the airport. Start fishing the outside grass edges with a 1/2oz red rattle trap and a 3/8oz green pumpkin chatterbait through the grass starting around Valentine’s Day. This pattern should work from now till mid December and then again starting Valentines Day. A little farther south, similar patterns on Lake Fairfield.


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