Fishing Forum
Skip to Content


Fishing Forum > Introductions : Fishing Beginners Board >

Which stage is most important?

Report Post | Register to Reply
Which stage is most important?
I'm not sure if I'm able to ask this in a way that makes enough sense, but here goes.

If I'm bank fishing on the river (it's pretty small, shady, shallow with deeper spots), and I cast and let my bobber and bait float downstream to where I think might be a good shady fishing spot,which stage of the cast / retrieve cycle is when fish normally bite?

I consider the stages to be these:

1. Initial plop-in
2. Floating down-stream open-bail
3. Bail stopped, bait sits in one place, possibly moving sideways with the current, but essentially stationary
4. Reel-back
5. Retrieval (that stage where you're about to take the bait out of the water).

Along with that question, how long would you leave your bait at stage 3 before reeling it in, if you have no hits on it, and there is no sign the tackle is in trouble?

Also, how does this apply for different baits and species? today I tried for catfish with chicken liver/blood dough from Wally World and didn't get a single bite. The bait stayed on the hook fairly well, but I never had a nibble. It smelled bad enough!
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [Jimoutside] Which stage is most important? In reply to
 There isn't one correct answer for your 1-5 stages because it depends on so many factors. At any of those stages you might catch fish and it might work one day but not the next. So the best advice I can give you is to try different things, until you find something that works. You can leave your bait is one spot for as long as you want, sometime you can get a bite in a few minutes, sometimes it takes hours. My advise is to use two poles, one that you leave in one spot and move it every hour or so. With your second pole you can cast around trying different things, like your 1-5 stages. Did you try fishing the bait on the bottom or just using a bobber? Another thing you should try is live minnows, if it is legal in your area. If that isn't possible, dead minnows are also worth trying. There are so many things you could try, like lures or plastics. Have you tried crickets or grass hoppers?


BFT administrator and moderator

Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [Jimoutside] Which stage is most important? In reply to
It all depends upon the fish you're trying to catch. I use a fly rod on occasion and sometimes the fish hit just after the fly lands other times after it floats a bit. With the catfish bait try something that the fish actually eat such as other fish. You will have better success with the kitties.

Albinotrout
Fishing and trains...what else is there? BASEBALL.......
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [albinotrout] Which stage is most important? In reply to
Yeah, I'm just trying different things, but I don't have a very big budget, so if I get something, like the chicken bait for $3.50, I feel like I have to go through it all before I get something else.

A lot of my fishing time is caught half an hour or an hour at a time between work, errands, etc. so I don't have all day to devote to it. I could get some of the cut fish they sell, or possibly buy some live minnows or crickets. Live bait becomes dead bait after a day or so, and that's why I rarely use live bait because fishing an hour or so at a time, live bait gets wasted. Unsure
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [Jimoutside] Which stage is most important? In reply to
If no one in your family is bothered by bait in the fridge, that is where you could store it between trips. That won't work for live minnows but for worms, crickets or shrimp it works and as long as it is in a container of some type, it isn't like it is going to escape. Dead minnows can be kept in the freezer and if your time is short, just take out, what you can use on the short trip. As Albinotrout said, using spinners or small lures, even plastics is another thing that will work and works great in certain locations, when time is short.


BFT administrator and moderator

Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [wiperhunter2] Which stage is most important? In reply to
Good advice. I have tried using some of the rubber Zoom-type worms, but can't imagine a catfish biting one of them if they work primarily on smell. Right out of the package they smell like rubber to me.
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [Jimoutside] Which stage is most important? In reply to
Yea, they would not work so good for catfish, mainly for bass. If cats are mainly what you're trying to catch, bait is your best option and minnows, night crawlers and shrimp are your best choices.


BFT administrator and moderator

Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [Jimoutside] Which stage is most important? In reply to
Yeah like what WH2 said for cats. I bought a package of frozen shrimp this spring and keep it in the freezer and take a few in a small ziplock bag with me when I go. Same with the minnows. I have 4 white bass in the freezer right now driving my wife nuts that I will be using here soon cut up and chasing kitties.Laugh My plans here soon probably in about a week is to purchase one of those small fridges with a small freezer attached and stick in the garage. My wife will be happy that the bait will have a new home.Wink

For cats since I am doing still water I use no weight and leave the bail on the reel open. When the line starts flying off the spool I set the hook. For moving water take a couple small split shot or an egg sinker and attach to the line then do the same thing with the line. May help your catch rate.

Albinotrout
Fishing and trains...what else is there? BASEBALL.......
(This post was edited by albinotrout on Jul 3, 2015, 9:51 AM)
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [albinotrout] Which stage is most important? In reply to
Sounds like good advice-- will inland cats hit that shrimp, even though they don't know what it is? I guess it doesn't really matter--

I haven't had any trouble getting the bait to sink so far-- I've taken the lead weights off the line to reduce snarls in the river. This river is full of tree debris, so the fewer snags, and the less it bumps along the bottom the better--

So far I've had good luck with salmon eggs for the sunfish not snagging the hook too much, and the catfish dough has held up surprisingly well pressed around a hook. Making a streamlined bait that doesn't snag real easilly. Worms tend to snag something awful. I may have to try the shrimp, but I have a feeling they could snag up pretty bad too.