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The big girls disappear every year


mixermarkb

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About the time the male smallies all show up on the gravel spawning areas, I seem to lose track of the bigger bass I've been catching all pre-spawn. Sometimes I find a few of them again, and the sight fishing guys for sure can catch a few, but it's typically well into post spawn topwater before I get into big fish again.

Tourney weights dropped off big this weekend, and usually do, so I'm guessing it's not just me.

They aren't on beds yet, so I'm asking you guys- where are they, and why are the so hard to catch the week or so before the first big wave of spawning? 

 

Btw, I'm a Bull Shoals guy for those who don't know me, and I've seen this at LOZ too, so it's not just a TR thing.

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Mark:

 Don't know where you heard that weights dropped off big at Bull this past weekend, but our tourney out of Theodosia took 21.13 to win with a 6.13 for big 10 sacks over 16 lbs out of 17 Boats, the Vern Cubbage out of Pontiac too over 19 lbs to win. been that way for awhile now.

 

 

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Don, I was talking about the weights at TR. I had 17 pounds in about three hours on Monday, and a couple big smallies mixed in with great numbers in Tuesday. I'm just going by what I've been reading in the forum on Table Rock and what Wenners and Quill have posted in their reports, along with personal experience over the years of big bass in March, and numbers in April...

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Bigger fish have to eat more often, so during less than ideal conditions you are more likely to catch bigger (but fewer) fish.  As conditions get better there are more smallish fish competing for your bait, and they can move pretty quick, so they beat the bigguns to your lure quite often. Have you ever caught a dink and had a 3-5 pounder follow it to the boat? I bet you have. And for every time you see that happen you gotta know that it happens 20+ times....You just don't see the pig.

It might be possible to upsize your bait to the point that only the bigger fish can eat it, but I don't have the confidence in that theory to try it, mostly because I still enjoy catching 2 pounders and don't wanna pass up 10 of those in order to catch one 5 pounder.

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I always thought the females (and males to some extent) stop feeding just before the spawn, and don't feed again until well after.

During the actual act of laying and fertilizing the eggs the fish (both male and female) do not actively feed.  This amounts to one or maybe two days.  

Assuming you have children....Do you remember how long it was after giving birth that your bride started hollering for a double cheeseburger, strawberry shake, and super size fry's ?  

She probably ate pretty good the day her water broke to, didn't she?

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I do see the same thing at Bull, but I don't think it's happened yet. Always just seems like the big females vanish for me just before they show up on beds. I have gotten a little better at catching bigger smallies with jerkbaits once the little guys show up on the gravel, but it's something I have to have wind for. 

 

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