Accidental Bass

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species' started by SpokaneFisherman, May 28, 2004.

  1. SpokaneFisherman

    SpokaneFisherman Member

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    One of my goals for this summer is to "learn" to fish for bass. So far I've hooked up and landed a handfulf of largemouth. I've been working the weedlines with a Bugger or a Carey special on a sinktip. And while I feel like I'm gaining some knowledge I'm left with more questions I feel like the next step is to start using poppers. So here are my questions:

    1) I have a 5wt and an 8wt (both with Weight forward floating lines) which is better suited to throwing a popper?

    2) (This is really just an extension of question 1) What is the best leader set up (length/lb test). I'm assuming i need something fairly stout to turn over the poppers? Do you use a tapered leader or a level leader?

    I'm sure I'll have more questions later. But that should do me for now. Thanks in advance for your imput.
     
  2. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    I guess if it were me, I'd start with the 5 and see how I liked casting the poppers (especially in the wind) and see if I had trouble horsing the bigger bass back out of the weeds. Maybe the 5 will do just fine in the end...
     
  3. packrat

    packrat New Member

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    For popper fishing I use a 9wt. w/ fighting butt, a weight forward line, 12# maxima leader (short) and a popper with weed guard at least the size of my hand. Those bass are large fight like a tractor pull and will go directly into cover when hooked. I do not bother fishing for them subsurface because they will take surface offerings! Have caught some 6-8lb ones with a 6wt. but found that it just did not have the back bone to keep the large ones out of cover let alone turn over the hardware to get the bigger ones. Mouse patterns work well but in the south Puget Sound where I live have found large chartreuse and red popper to get the big ones to take. Not sure how to get them in eastern part of the state. I start targeting them in late June thru October if the steelhead fishing is slow. Catch most of the large ones in thick cover just before dark. Defiantly fun to pursue a predatory fish like that. I am no pro on the matter but have caught some comically large ones and this is what has worked for me. Pound for pound good luck! PR
     
  4. Gabriel Burgi

    Gabriel Burgi doesn't live in WA anymore :(

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    Just a quick note:

    I was attempting to fish a popper with a 6wt/WF6F and it was pretty difficult. Normal leader...might be easier with a heaftier line/rod. If you think seeing a trout crash a surface fly is cool, wait till you get a largemouth or smallie to do it...very exciting.

    - Gabe:professor
     
  5. ceviche

    ceviche Active Member

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    A couple of summers ago I used my 6wt (TFO 2-piece moderate to fast action) with a wt fwd line, a leader of "whatever length" and a froggy-looking popper (purchased at Tacoma's Morning Hatch) at Pierce County's Bay Lake (look for the town of... you guessed it: Lakebay). Well, maybe I was using a DT flyline, but whatever. Anyway, so long as I was able to flick the fly under July branches, the bass were willing. It was less than a second after touchdown that the bass struck. As a matter of fact, it was so easy that I gave up on the poppers and went to experimental patterns. That's why I prefer trout. They're far more selective. Still, with the overpopulation of fish in that lake (though shy on trout), those fishies made for an awesome fish fry. :eek Just joking! :professor I C&R'd them all, though I found that a brown tungsten bead-head mini-bugger tied on a scud hook drove the pan fish nuts. At the end of the day, I still don't know if I caught more of a sunburn than fish. No trout, though. :dunno
     
  6. D3Smartie

    D3Smartie Active Member

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    if you are having trouble casting the poppers, i would suggest shortening your leader and using a heavier tippet. Most bass are not too leader shy and especially at dusk when the bigger fish are feeding.

    If you get hooked on the bass, you should try the smallies on the John Day in OR or Banks Lake.
     
  7. wrench

    wrench Member

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    Throwing a popper of any size with a 5wt is gonna be a chore. And, as has been said already, using a short stout leader, say five or six feet, will make a big difference. I have never bought into that bit about needing a heavy rod to deal with the fish, a big pike of bass gets hung up in the weeds I am just as likely to grab my line with my hands and pull em out, as long as you are using a good heavy leader you will be fine.
     
  8. Gabriel Burgi

    Gabriel Burgi doesn't live in WA anymore :(

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    Thanks, I'll try that!! Those poppers, especially the heavily dressed ones act pretty much like a parachute. I was useing a pretty long leader, and 3x tippet.

    - Gabe:professor
     
  9. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

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    Since you already have the 8wt you should probably go with that. A 4-6# bass on a 5wt in any kind of cover is going to leave you at a real disadvantage. I like bass taper lines and feel that they are a real improvement over standard WF lines for throwing big bass bugs. Ten pound test tapered leaders in about a 7 1/2' length should work out ok, twelve pound in the wind or real heavy cover.
    Where are you going to catch these bass? :) Need any help? Ive
     
  10. SpokaneFisherman

    SpokaneFisherman Member

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    "Where are you going to catch these bass? :) Need any help?"

    Ive,

    I have been fishing Liberty Lake and Newman Lake just out of convenience (both are within a 10 min drive for me). Also been contemplating Eloika or Long. I really just want some action to keep me busy when the summer trout duldrums hit. Also I figure I'll stick with the WF for a while (since I already have it) and depending how things go I may pick up a bass taper later on. And yes I'll gladly accept any help that you have to offer. Besides, A little midweek bass action will give us something to do while we wait for the St Joe to come into shape.
     

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