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  • how to deal with micro-shad EVERYWHERE???

    Posted by simplecircuit on July 22, 2014 at 3:53 am

    hey guys.
    does anyone have any ideas how to catch the bass that are relating to the seemingly endless schools of 1/2-3/4 inch shad on Old Hickory?
    every year, we are presented with this problem, but I’ve never found a really solid way to crack them.

    i fished from 12:30-8:00 today and never caught any fish on the ledges or drops, but saw them on the surface and on my graph slashing through the shad schools. the hydrowave would pull them towards the boat, but they wouldn’t commit to any lures [small japanese popper, 5xd, 6xd, 10″ worm, small squarebill, swim jig, etc…] i even threw a spy bait on 5lb line with not a look. once the sun started to set, I was able to pick up 4 fish quickly on a swim jig relating to laydowns. i’m left thinking that the offshore fish are so keyed on the tiny bait, that nothing i was throwing would catch their eye. i do have a deep diving livetarget bait ball crankbait, but couldn’t find it today while on the water – oops.

    any ideas welcome!
    thanks. j.

    simplecircuit replied 9 years, 11 months ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • blockel

    July 22, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I had the EXACT same experience Saturday evening. I launched up by the dam at Rockland and fished several of the humps and ledges in that vicinity with not even as much as a sniff. However, much like your experience, I don’t know if I have ever marked as much bait and/or fish on offshore structure. I would of loved to crack the code…

  • hook1

    August 4, 2014 at 1:30 am

    Try a spinnerbait with two or three #3 nickel willowleaf blades. Look at (a.) Taylor Man’s Custom Lures Scattershad Spinnerbait (seven blades and a split-ring mounted Gamakatsu worm hook) or Scattershad FH Spinnerbait (five spinner blades and a fixed hook), or (b.) any Secret Weapon Quickstrike (just clip on a few #3 willowleaf blade attachments). Or retrofit any other quarter- to half-ounce spinnerbait with a couple of small white or nickel willow blades.

    Bass are starting to round up the shad into compact balls and blast through them. Look for surface action, then cast past the shad school. Reel to the center and kill your retrieve so the bait drops with fluttering spinner blades. Bass are below the schools, so count down at least 8 seconds. Stroke the bait up one time and let it drop again. If no takers, reel in and try again.

    I found 1-2# bass in the jumps about halfway out Bluegrass cove on Old Hickory this past Thursday night. They ignored topwater baits, but the spinnerbait trick was good for three hook-ups.

  • simplecircuit

    August 4, 2014 at 3:13 am

    thanks Hook1.
    i’ll definitely give that a shot. we ran into the same thing today on Priest [fish rounding up balls of micro-shad] and my 5yo caught his first smallmouth [the skinniest keeper I’ve ever seen] and first hybrid on a boo-rig with a small swimbait on the trailer. meanwhile, i got stuck catching a 5lb drum with all 3 points of a treble book in it’s mouth on a deep diving crankbait. I think I’ll try his rig tomorrow at OH. otherwise, i’ll definitely give the small spinnerbait a try. I’ve got a couple extra war eagle finesse spinnerbaits that I can modify to add blades to.

    BTW, are you fishing out of a kayak?


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