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  #1  
Old 03-12-2017, 05:45 PM
MT523 MT523 is offline
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Default Shore Fishing and Minnow Questions

So I went to a pond/small lake last week and fished from the shore/rocks. I will be doing the same thing tomorrow and wondering if anyone has tips for jigging from the shore? Should I cast as far as I can to avoid rocks?

Also regardless of what you are fishing for do you always bring live bait with you?
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2017, 08:41 AM
agress15's Avatar
agress15 agress15 is offline
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For me i generally don't like to carry live bait with me if I'm fishing off rocks, it creates too much of a hassle dealing with that and balancing on the rocks, I like to carry a small tackle box with some jigs, raps and gulp crawlers and minnows, those seem to work just as good for me as live bait and they are easier to carry and store on the rocks
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:49 AM
REW REW is offline
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Mt,
A really good way to fish with bait is to use a bobber on your line. Figure out how deep the bottom will be, when you cast and adjust your slip bobber length to keep the bait 6 inches to 1 foot off of the bottom.

Many fish including walleyes tend to cruise near the bottom looking for food.

Also, if you are fishing an area with a rocky bottom, the slip bobber will keep your hook and or lure from getting caught in the rocks.

But, you have to fish in an area where you have fish. Only by casting and working various areas and various depths can you discover where the fish are located.

Often, one can fish the face of a reservoir or river that has rip rap on it and find the fish just laying in the rocks at various depths waiting for bait to float to them.

If you do have rip rap and you have fish laying in the rip rap, you will want to cast parallel to the shore so that you can work a section of rip rap by using a lure or your slip bobber to move the bait along the productive fish zone.


Take care
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  #4  
Old 03-13-2017, 08:55 AM
Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish is offline
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Pulling a jig up into the rocky shoreline is going to cost you a lot of jigs if you cast very far out and let it hit bottom. You will end up dragging your line over rocks and inevitably into the rocks. I would go as small and light as you can on the jigs, which should reduce hang ups.

We used to fish the cooling lakes (LaSalle, Heidecke, Braidwood) pretty often when I lived in IL, and didn't have a boat. Most of the shore fishing areas are rubble. We usually brought golden shiners, big ones, and mostly hung them below slip bobbers, not far out from shore. We caught a lot of large and smallmouth bass that way. I would say 99% of the fish we caught were within 5-10' of the bank. Casting spinner baits, rattle traps, and topwaters down the shoreline was productive, too.
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:16 PM
MT523 MT523 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agress15 View Post
For me i generally don't like to carry live bait with me if I'm fishing off rocks, it creates too much of a hassle dealing with that and balancing on the rocks, I like to carry a small tackle box with some jigs, raps and gulp crawlers and minnows, those seem to work just as good for me as live bait and they are easier to carry and store on the rocks
Glad to hear you say that as just I picked up some packs of gulp minnows but unfortunately those and everything else I tried today didn't catch anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by REW View Post
Mt,
A really good way to fish with bait is to use a bobber on your line. Figure out how deep the bottom will be, when you cast and adjust your slip bobber length to keep the bait 6 inches to 1 foot off of the bottom.

Many fish including walleyes tend to cruise near the bottom looking for food.

Also, if you are fishing an area with a rocky bottom, the slip bobber will keep your hook and or lure from getting caught in the rocks.

But, you have to fish in an area where you have fish. Only by casting and working various areas and various depths can you discover where the fish are located.

Often, one can fish the face of a reservoir or river that has rip rap on it and find the fish just laying in the rocks at various depths waiting for bait to float to them.

If you do have rip rap and you have fish laying in the rip rap, you will want to cast parallel to the shore so that you can work a section of rip rap by using a lure or your slip bobber to move the bait along the productive fish zone.


Take care
Nice. So I went fishing at the same small lake today and didn't have any luck with jigs but my cousin caught a big crappie on a slip bobber. I continued to jig and set my other rod up with a slip bobber but he had the only catch of the day. What is the best way to know if your bait is 6 inches to 1 foot off the bottom?

Thanks for the tip on casting parallel. We thought we found the fish today but ended up getting just one, but felt very promising after that one

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky Spanish View Post
Pulling a jig up into the rocky shoreline is going to cost you a lot of jigs if you cast very far out and let it hit bottom. You will end up dragging your line over rocks and inevitably into the rocks. I would go as small and light as you can on the jigs, which should reduce hang ups.

We used to fish the cooling lakes (LaSalle, Heidecke, Braidwood) pretty often when I lived in IL, and didn't have a boat. Most of the shore fishing areas are rubble. We usually brought golden shiners, big ones, and mostly hung them below slip bobbers, not far out from shore. We caught a lot of large and smallmouth bass that way. I would say 99% of the fish we caught were within 5-10' of the bank. Casting spinner baits, rattle traps, and topwaters down the shoreline was productive, too.
I didn't read this before we went out today but quickly learned the jig I was using was too heavy. I went from 3/8 to 1/16. Keep what I'm saying in context because I'm new to this. With 1/16 I was casting maybe 10-12 feet in front of me and I'm pretty sure I was on the bottom and if not I was close to it. Once I reeled in a couple feet I was on the bottom and had to shake my the jig loose multiple times. 1/32 seems so small but would that have been the correct weight to use?

I will definitely be picking up more slip bobbers so I can set up one rod for jigging and one with a bobber. I'd prefer to catch walleye and crappie but I'm 100% ok with catching anything that will bite.
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Old 03-14-2017, 07:41 AM
Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish is offline
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10-12' might be good enough to get it where the fish are. How far out did that crappie hit? What pound test are you using? Are you spooled up completely? A 1/16oz jig won't go very far on much more than #6 test and a pretty full spool. The lighter the bait, the lighter the line.

Try to keep the line straight when you cast jigs, so that you have contact with it as soon as it lands. Take up the slack when your jig hits the water by lifting your rod tip. Don't let the line lay on the surface. By doing this, the jig will swim towards you while it sinks down. It takes some getting used to, but you lift slowly, reel a little when you get some slack, while lowering the rod tip, then lift again, reel a little while lowering the rod tip, and so on. You don't actually reel in a jig, like you would a spinner or crankbait. You lift it up on a tight line and it swims toward you like a pendulum. This way you feel a bump when it hits bottom, wood, weeds and especially when a fish hits it.
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Old 03-14-2017, 01:38 PM
MT523 MT523 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky Spanish View Post
10-12' might be good enough to get it where the fish are. How far out did that crappie hit? What pound test are you using? Are you spooled up completely? A 1/16oz jig won't go very far on much more than #6 test and a pretty full spool. The lighter the bait, the lighter the line.

Try to keep the line straight when you cast jigs, so that you have contact with it as soon as it lands. Take up the slack when your jig hits the water by lifting your rod tip. Don't let the line lay on the surface. By doing this, the jig will swim towards you while it sinks down. It takes some getting used to, but you lift slowly, reel a little when you get some slack, while lowering the rod tip, then lift again, reel a little while lowering the rod tip, and so on. You don't actually reel in a jig, like you would a spinner or crankbait. You lift it up on a tight line and it swims toward you like a pendulum. This way you feel a bump when it hits bottom, wood, weeds and especially when a fish hits it.
Sorry I mean't 10-12'(maybe less) was the furthest I could cast. The crappie hit about 4' from the rocks we were standing on. One rod is 6lb mono that has little line left, and the other rod is 8lb fluoro that is spooled completely but want to change to mono. I will keep in mind lighter weight and lighter line.

That is very good advice. I'd like to think I kind of did this for jigging yesterday but now that I see it explained I will work on the stuff you described the next time I go.
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  #8  
Old 03-14-2017, 02:45 PM
Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish is offline
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That's what I thought you meant. It can be plenty deep really close to the shoreline, depending on how steep the bank slopes. The rocks you're standing on might be the primary "cover" that the fish are relating to. I bet whatever they are eating is crawling/swimming around those rocks. Also, it will be a bit warmer water there, due to the rocks getting warmed by the sun. One or two degrees can make a difference if you're cold blooded like a fish.

This time of year, something pretty slow moving is going to be your best bet. After it warms up a little, they will be more inclined to chase down a moving bait.

Have fun. I hope you keep trying until you dial it in.
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  #9  
Old 03-14-2017, 09:52 PM
MT523 MT523 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky Spanish View Post
That's what I thought you meant. It can be plenty deep really close to the shoreline, depending on how steep the bank slopes. The rocks you're standing on might be the primary "cover" that the fish are relating to. I bet whatever they are eating is crawling/swimming around those rocks. Also, it will be a bit warmer water there, due to the rocks getting warmed by the sun. One or two degrees can make a difference if you're cold blooded like a fish.

This time of year, something pretty slow moving is going to be your best bet. After it warms up a little, they will be more inclined to chase down a moving bait.

Have fun. I hope you keep trying until you dial it in.
Thank you I really appreciate the help. I reread your post on jigging technique and makes even more sense now. It is definitely NOT what I was doing yesterday haha. Can't wait to try it out. I will 100% keep trying till I figure it out.

I plan to setup up one rod for a slip bobber and practice jigging with the other. I guess my cousin is getting a "smart fish finder" so that will help a lot with what depth I should set the slip bobber at.
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  #10  
Old 03-16-2017, 03:27 PM
Morton Morton is offline
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If it is legal in your area try using a "Crappie Rig" baited with live minnows for your dead stick.
Add a round bobber above the rig about 18".
Cast it out and after it settles on the bottom reel it in until you begin feeling rocks ... this will put you right at the transition and cruising fish.

Then practice jigging as described with small jigs and plastics of your choice.

Morton
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