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Chasing the bait

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Mike Sweeney sports fishing

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By Mike Sweeney
Columnist

Friday, October 13, 2017

This time of year the water is beginning to cool and the fish are moving every day.

One day you find them in the creeks then the next they are back out on the main river but one thing that is common is if you find the bait the fish will be close at hand.

The number one reason bass move is to feed and the baitfish move around a lot this time of year with all the cold fronts and winds that blow the plankton around the fish will follow the bait so if you find the bait you will usually find the fish.

You look for wind blown banks and creeks with lots of baitfish popping the surface then start there.

Once you find the bait it then becomes a game of matching the hatch which includes spinner baits, crank baits and rattle baits.

My favorite is a spinner bait which I throw in white or chartreuse and white with willow leaf blades.

I love to wake the spinner bait which is a fast retrieve with the lure just below the surface moving the water and occasionally breaking the surface.

If you have ever seen baitfish pop on the surface you know exactly what it looks like and you want to mimic that with the spinner bait.

The next bait I try is a rattle bait which will draw the fish from a distance with its sound.

This is a great search bait that allows you to move down the bank rapidly and find the active fish.

Be careful though because if there is a stump you will get hooked up and have to go get it.

The next bait is a square bill crank bait that can bounce off the stumps and logs with minimum hang ups.

This bait tends to rebound off the structure and when it does that is the time to pause the bait because chances are the fish will be nearby.

All of these lure work when chasing bait so make sure your arsenal has all of them for this fall fishing season.

What’s biting, where...

The offshore guys had some action this week in between the wind gust with some yellowfin, mahi and the occasional billfish flag flying.

Wrap that up with a wahoo here and there and it looks promising for this weekend.

On the beaches and piers it is still all about the bull reds with the piers slowing some but the point is picking up.

Reports are coming in that Shelly Island is the hot spot for drum on the beach but puppy drum are active almost everywhere.

We are also seeing a good run of spot on almost every pier at one time of the day or another but especially on Avalon.

Every day seems to have a good run come through for the guys to fill their cooler and it is a good thing because that seems to be the go to bait for the big reds.

Here locally we had a slow start to this year’s striper season but it is so warm I could see why.

Everyone is still largemouth fishing and the quality of fish will keep every angler there till the temperature cools.

Early morning top water action has claimed a lot of fish but once the sun comes out it is still a soft plastic worm with a pegged weight that brings the fish to the boat.

If we get a couple of cold fronts to come in that will all change so stay tuned to my Facebook page at Fishing with Mike and I will let you know day to day what is happening.

If you do get out send me a report and some pics to fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com and I will be glad to brag for you.

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