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Eddles

Beginner at bass fishing from a boat

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#1
Hi guys so I have recently modified our bowrider boat to be more bass friendly with a deck upfront and a foot controlled trolling motor, yesterday was my first time on the water fishing for bass from a boat. Fishing from boat compared to the bank feels like worlds apart. My question is at what depts do you fish and what stucture do you fish relative to conditions? I managed a few fish but feel “unproductive” Just a few pointers in the right direction would help. Smile
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BFSA
#2
(01-07-2018, 04:20 PM)BassRoux Wrote: Hi guys so I have recently modified our bowrider boat to be more bass friendly with a deck upfront and a foot controlled trolling motor, yesterday was my first time on the water fishing for bass from a boat. Fishing from boat compared to the bank feels like worlds apart. My question is at what depts do you fish and what stucture do you fish relative to conditions? I managed a few fish but feel “unproductive” Just a few pointers in the right direction would help. Smile

Welcome BR. 

Firstly, what area are you from? And which dam did you fish? 

Your question is as broad as a stroke of a paint brush.... Meaning it depends on the time of the month, day, moon phase, water temp etc etc etc. 

Typical structure for fish to hold on would be tree's, laydowns, rocky points, rock piles off shore, man made structure etc. Basically you need to think like a bait fish - in otherwords, where would they hide/congregate which in turn will hold bass? 

In some dams/rivers you can fish anything from 1ft or less, and right down to 50ft to 60ft depths. But generally this is dam/river dependant.
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#3
I fully agree with JFZ.

Another rule of thumb is to try reaction baits like top-waters early morning and late afternoon and when it is overcast or cloudy with low light conditions.

You have to by trial and error and taking note of what you did let the fish tell you what they want.

Keep things simple in the beginning with a few baits like senkos, flukes, grubs, top-water popper, lipless crank baits, hard jerkbait (or stickbait) and shallow, medium and deep diver crank baits. Also  get a spinnerbait or two as well as a buzzbait or two

Natural colours for cleaner water and darker/brighter colours for stained water.

Look for visible structure or cover such as rocks, grass, trees, lay-downs, stumps. Try and get your baits as close to the structure and cover as you can as fish sometimes hold very tight to cover. Don't be scared to pitch right into a tree's branches but always try and have an exit strategy if you do get bit.

Line type and thickness aka breaking strain also play a part. Also try and match you baits and application to the correct rods like a set of gold clubs. Stiffer rods for plastics and parabolic bend rods for baits with triple hooks.

Old cliche is to "match the hatch". Try to identify what bass eat and try to imitate that with you baits in terms of looks and action.

Hope this helps but nothing beats time on the water to figure it all out and remember bass don't read book, magazines or forum!
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#4
(01-08-2018, 12:01 PM)Navrik Wrote: I fully agree with JFZ.

Another rule of thumb is to try reaction baits like top-waters early morning and late afternoon and when it is overcast or cloudy with low light conditions. Not for beginners Nav, and certainly not for every piece of water. The vaal river, for example, does not have a top water bite at all - any time of the year...
My suggestion for a beginner to throw top water is to rather post a weightless fluke first. Get used to this then progress onto hard baits.


You have to go by trial and error and taking note of what you did let the fish tell you what they want. Agree

Keep thinks things simple in the beginning with a few baits like senkos, flukes, grubs, top-water popper, lipless crank baits, hard jerkbait (or stickbait) and shallow, medium and deep diver crank baits. Also  get a spinnerbait or two as well as a buzzbait or two

Natural colours for cleaner water and darker/brighter colours for stained water.

Look for visible structure or cover such as rocks, grass, trees, lay-downs, stumps. Try and get your baits as close to the structure and cover as you can as fish sometimes hold very tight to cover. Don't be scared to pitch right into a tree's branches but always try and have an exit strategy if you do get bet  bit... :-)

Line type and thickness aka breaking strain also play a part. Also try and match you baits and application to the correct rods like a set of gold golf clubs. Stiffer rods for plastics and parabolic bend rods for baits with triple hooks.

Old cliche is to "match the hatch". Try to identify what bass eat and try to imitate that with you baits in terms of looks and action. My version of "match the hatch" is the colour of the ground is what determines the same colour bait to throw. Am I wrong in this thought?

Hope this helps but nothing beats time on the water to figure it all out and remember bass don't read book, magazines or forum! Agree 100%

As above in red :-), with a few edits...

Happy new year Nav :-)
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#5
Haaibo Jim........very sharp for this time of the year boet! Big Grin Big Grin
But all good advice.

When in doubt, put a fluke out........
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BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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#6
(01-08-2018, 01:41 PM)Riprap Wrote: Haaibo Jim........very sharp for this time of the year boet! Big Grin Big Grin
But all good advice.

When in doubt, put a fluke out........

Eish... Whats a new year going to be without me taking a dig at someone? 

Sorry Nav, but i couldnt resist  Cool
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BFSA
#7
Thanks so much guys, I fished rietspruit, small dam but I think its a good learning place. Thanks for all the info, I think I just need to go out and get more comfortable fishing from the boat and getting confidence. Thinking about it Im actually intimidated by the amount of new fishing spots compared to the bank Big Grin guess I cant fish them all at once, need to get my priorities straight Huh
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#8
(01-08-2018, 06:59 PM)BassRoux Wrote: Thanks so much guys, I fished rietspruit, small dam but I think its a good learning place. Thanks for all the info, I think I just need to go out and get more comfortable fishing from the boat and getting confidence. Thinking about it Im actually intimidated by the amount of new fishing spots compared to the bank Big Grin guess I cant fish them all at once, need to get my priorities straight Huh

Yup, you're correct. 

But if you live out in that neck of the bush, then you can also go to Boskop dam as well as Potch dam. 

Just be careful - it only gets more expensive from here   Undecided
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#9
Jup, maybe one day a decent bass boat with all the gear, got to start somewhere! Rietspruit close to Ogies Jim, witbank is also close for me and middelburg. Do someone maby know how the bite is at those two dams?
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#10
Oh that Rietspruit... My bad

In that case, yes, Witbank and Middleburg dam fish well. Witbank - being bigger - might be a tad more difficult. But if you have fish finders then you should be able to get some fish on the structure. 

You could also head out to Grootdraai, but again a big dam so might be intimidating. 

Middleburg will be your best bet for initial fishing. 

Your other alternative is to try find a local bass club in your area. I have a friend that lives in Witbank that is a member of a club out there, will try get the club details for you. 
Normally a club environment will help you with local waters, tips, tactics etc. (and how to drink  Cool )
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#11
Big Grin 
JFZ...thanks for the grammer and spelling check  Big Grin

Admins I think we need to make Jim a moderator so he can edit my posts directly... Idea

When I am on a roll typing the fingers sometimes cannot keep up with the thoughts... Cool
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BFSA
#12
(01-09-2018, 09:49 AM)Navrik Wrote: Admins I think we need to make Jim a moderator so he can edit my posts directly... Idea

Hell no.... please dont 

My perception of other people's idea's and opinions is not the best and therefore I cant always see the impartial side of things. That, and I'm hot headed sometimes  Cool

Besides, its more fun trying to get banned/blocked/warned than doing the banning/blocking/warning  Angel
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#13
Tkanks jim I actually have been to grootdraai not fishinh for bass though but some knowledge of the dam, never actually heard of that dam been famous for bass fishing? Have you fished it?  Big Grin Im sure the drinking part I would know a thing or two Smile
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#14
(01-09-2018, 10:16 AM)BassRoux Wrote: Tkanks jim I actually have been to grootdraai not fishinh for bass though but some knowledge of the dam, never actually heard of that dam been famous for bass fishing? Have you fished it?  Big Grin Im sure the drinking part I would know a thing or two Smile

Grootdraai can be very good, especially when the dam has dropped in level, the new grass has grown on the edges and it fills up. So typically around the beginning of the rainy season. 

The local club in your area is Topwater Bassmasters. I'm still waiting for details on how to contact them.

And its because of the latter as to how I got my user name... Blush
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#15
Looks like my new years resolution would be to fish all the dams within 100km from me! Jim if you ever need a friendly person to keep you company on one of these dams please PM me, I would like to crack a cold one and learn some tricks from someone as knowledgeable as you Cool
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