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Thread: lots of follows no bites

  1. #1
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    lots of follows no bites

    I was just curious if any one could help me out on this I'm getting a ton of follows lately but no hits whatsoever is there anything I can try to turn the followers into hitters or is that just the way it is I'm also wondering there is a particular color that was working well that everyone was using could they be getting used to people throwing this color maybe a little change is needed I don't know thanks in advance guys

  2. #2
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    Hey josht, heh. This is what happens to a lot of us musky fishing :-) First question would be are you doing figure 8s? If you watch the Musky Hunter TV guys you'll see they catch a lot of fish boatside on figure 8s. If you're doing 8s and not getting strikes, there are a few things you can do that might help--speed up, wider or tighter turns, etc.

    When I am getting a lot of follows but no takers I will often change baits. I have the advantage of fishing with my Dad who fishes bucktails and spinnerbaits all the time, so I can change to jerkbaits or twitchbaits and see if that helps, and all the while he keeps throwing high-percentage baits. Often when there are a lot of follows eventually we'll just stumble into an aggressive fish.

    Don't be afraid to change speed on your retrieve too, or add a little action as you are bringing the lures in.

    Lastly, if you're raising fish, this means you're doing something right. Keep at it. If you raise a big fish, try it several times during a day including around sunset or moonrise/moonset.

    Keep at it! And good luck

    Tim




    Quote Originally Posted by josht View Post
    I was just curious if any one could help me out on this I'm getting a ton of follows lately but no hits whatsoever is there anything I can try to turn the followers into hitters or is that just the way it is I'm also wondering there is a particular color that was working well that everyone was using could they be getting used to people throwing this color maybe a little change is needed I don't know thanks in advance guys

  3. #3
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    Follows (just like no follows) often indicate fish that are curious but not ready to eat. This is a good time to try something a bit more enticing like a glider (hellhound, twisted sucker, phantom etc.) that is more likely to get a bite away from the boat. A small soft plastic, jig w/trailer, or even a bass bait might also be in order. I tried all these things last weekend in the PMTT and still had a zero. That happens. Now I have found the solution. I'm having a special tube designed to step-down the diameter of my exhaust pipe to the size of my mouth. One more bad outing....just put my mouth on the tube, start the truck and....goodbye to these stinking, miserable, heart-breaking, seldom cooperative, bony, not-much-better than a stinking pike anyway!!!

  4. #4
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    I had the same problem last week on lake of the woods and then caught two 5 minutes apart casting the second only about twenty feet off to the side of the first, I think it was right around the moon set.

  5. #5
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    I would switch to your throw back lure. To quote Jim "you have to let the fish tell you what the want." Either fish faster or slower and definitely add a figure 8 in and the end off every cast.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Steve Heiting's Avatar
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    Follows are great because they show you where the fish are holding, but they can also be frustrating. There are a number of ways to catch these fish.

    1. Figure-8, and keep doing it for several laps after the fish is no longer visible. Often they position under the boat or off to the side and come back. Many anglers simply give lip-service to the figure-8, but if you get good with it you may catch 10-50% of your muskies over the course of the season on the 8.
    2. Quick cast with the same lure. Burn it back to the boat or rip it hard back to the boat (depending on the type of lure) and figure-8. You want it to get noticed with this retrieve because sometimes the musky loses track of the bait in the 8 or when they reposition.
    3. Throw-back lure. Usually a topwater or soft plastic. One cast, then leave because you don't want to overpressure the fish. Before you go, make note of the fish's exact location (use a waypoint if there is nothing specific) and time when you saw it.
    4. Return an hour later with a bait that's similar but different. If it followed one type of bucktail, come back with another type (larger, smaller, different blades, different colors, different tail material). If it followed a prop topwater, come back with a walk-the-dog topwater. Make a few casts specifically to where it was located, then leave.
    5. Return on a sky or wind change, a moon event (rise, set, overhead, underfoot), at first-dark and after dark. Sometimes returning at the exact time a day later can work.
    6. Keep coming back to the fish. We once got a big one a full two weeks after we first saw it. Muskies don't live in specific spots all season but instead have home ranges, but if you know of one of its regular spots it's worth revisiting that spot all season long.

    Sometimes it pays to camp on a spot if there's extreme pressure, as in a tournament, and you have a bunch of fish located. Just keep going back and forth trying different baits and wait for a window to open.
    Steve Heiting

    www.steveheiting.com

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    In addition to the above excellent advice, I would add the following:

    - Bring the lure to the boat at a 45 degree angle instead of a 90. I think the fish are more willing to go into the turn on the eight if they are not preoccupied with hitting the boat.

    - Make sure the rod tip is submerged during the second half of the retrieve. Otherwise, the rod tip appears to dart out at the fish (from its perspective) when it breaks the plane of the water.

    - On the eight, speed up in the straight away, and slow way down and "hang" on the turns.

    Brian
    Last edited by lelekb; 07-08-2015 at 08:53 PM.

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    All good stuff. I just spent two weeks on Sabaskong Bay, and had many hot follows with not many going all the way around on the figure 8. I got a couple on the figure 8, but most of the fish I caught bit away from the boat. I had a monster follow a double cowgirl, and I threw back a top raider out of desperation. I didn't see the fish follow but submerged the top raider and did two figure 8's. As I was lifting the bait from the water, the muskie launched herself out of the water and went for it. I was so freaked out that I yanked the top raider out of her mouth. I almost threw my Long Ranger after her. That's the stuff that keeps me coming back.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the great advice you guys are the best I'll give the above a try and see what happens I like the idea of the pole in the water before getting to the boat as the water is crystal clear and prong it in the water seems to spook them

  10. #10
    Senior Member Steve Heiting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by josht View Post
    Thanks for all the great advice you guys are the best I'll give the above a try and see what happens I like the idea of the pole in the water before getting to the boat as the water is crystal clear and prong it in the water seems to spook them
    Regardless of water color, it's important to make a figure-8 on every cast. While you may not see a follower behind your bait in clear water, the fish that you'll catch will seemingly come from nowhere and eat your bait. Often, these fish are following whatever edge your boat is over and see the bait above them and attack.

    Also, the every-cast-8 develops muscle memory so when you're suddenly surprised by a hard-charger at the boat, your movements are smooth. If you're not used to making an 8 or are startled, your movements may be sudden and jerky, and end up spooking the fish.

    Finally, here's a diagram of the "hang move" Brian discusses above. Slowing the bait down in the outside turns gives the musky an easy target, and it will often shortcut the 8 to T-bone the bait. Another advantage is the fish is eating while going away from the boat -- it's looking solely at the lure and not possibly at the boat and you, and going away usually results in a better hookset.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Steve Heiting

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