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Old 11-24-12, 02:52 PM   #1
bwhite
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Default Schooling bass ... how to approach it?

OK ... I fish a 731 acre lake (Mill Creek Illinois) and the bass there seem to school up A LOT. When they do it seems as though the banks are bare of any fish and there can be twenty or more schools of bass chasing shad in the middle of the lake at any time. I can catch some on buzzbaits and things but they seem to be smaller fish. The banks are covered in (moss,grass,scum) and most wood (besides a few laydowns that stick out beyond the moss is covered. My question is how should one approach this? Am I a fool for chasing small schooling bass even though they are everywhere? And where are the LARGE bass? AND whats a good technique to find the BIG bite?
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Old 11-24-12, 04:57 PM   #2
Dave63
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I just so happens I have fished a certain 731 acre lake and have seen what you have witnessed. Tip #1. The schoolies are not always small. Use a crankbait or rattle trap and get down a little deeper under the school. Occasionally, you will pick up a few nicer ones. Tip #2. Not all laydowns are they same. I try to hit some of the old favorites until I'm sure that's not the deal. Sometimes better fish are on wood when the schoolies are busy chasing. Tip #3. Often creek channels can be your friend. Learn where they are.

Know this about Mill Creek. There are some toads in there but there are a TON of slots. Some days, it's just a matter of doing what's working and wading through the slots until you hit a couple of big ones. Hope that helps!
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Old 11-24-12, 05:12 PM   #3
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I agree with everything Dave said. I'll add a couple thoughts. When working schooling bass chasing shad I have always done well with 2 surface baits. A 3 inch popper worked agressivly so it spits and slashes on the surface, and a Rattlin Zara Spook in a shad color. Like Dave said, have a lipless crank rigged for working through and below the school where bigger bass might be hanging. Tip, be ready for bigger bass on a 5 inch Spook. They really DO attract bigger bass. Also, when fishing around woody cover, look for wood located near or in weeds/grass and nearby deep water breaks.
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Old 11-25-12, 02:07 AM   #4
pig n jig
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The only other thing to add is whatever bait your throwing you want that bait to appear that it is messed up and a whole lot easier to catch than the ball of bait that they're chasing.I like to use the spro prime chug minnow topwater bait.
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Old 11-25-12, 02:13 AM   #5
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Just looked it up, the lake I normally fish is an 11,584 acre lake.
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Old 12-02-12, 01:00 AM   #6
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Great advice. Another good bait is a jigging spoon. Throw it over the school-easy to do with a spoon-and rip it through the school as soon as it hits the water, let it sink and then rip it off the bottom-you get the idea. Experiment with different retrieves.
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Old 12-02-12, 09:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebbasser View Post
Great advice. Another good bait is a jigging spoon. Throw it over the school-easy to do with a spoon-and rip it through the school as soon as it hits the water, let it sink and then rip it off the bottom-you get the idea. Experiment with different retrieves.

I was thinking about that or an old fashioned sonic. Easy pickins' below the activity is what the older wiser bass are after.
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Old 12-02-12, 02:09 PM   #8
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Great call, Fred! A blade bait is a great schooling bait. It just occurred to me an A-rig could be awesome. Going to try that when I get the opportunity.
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