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Old 06-07-10, 10:17 AM   #1
Bender
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Default Need help, reservoirs

I got out and fished a couple of reservoirs last weekend. This is the first time fishing south of Indiana except one time from shore in Florida. I caught some fish but the lakes are not at all what I expected.

First there is little to no vegetation. There's no weeds and I only found pads in one little spot. I believe that the bottom is mainly clay. About the only structure I found were some stumps but they were pretty shallow (<3') and didn't seem to have fish on them. There were also very few laydowns or anything near shore in the water. Both lakes were only about 20 feet deep or so at the deepest. Both had a creek channel in them but I didn't see anything outstanding in the channels that would hold fish.

I felt really lost out there! On top of this it was really the first time of the year that I was "bass" fishing since the season is still closed in NY where I came from. Any help or tips would be appreciated since I know these lakes have good bass populations in them. It is full summer down here in Mississippi too with water temps 82-84*.
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Old 06-07-10, 11:20 AM   #2
MississippiBoy
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Which reservoirs were you in? I'll see if I can dig up any info on them.
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Old 06-07-10, 12:25 PM   #3
Bender
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I went on Okatibbee and then Claude Bennett. Okatibbee is 4,000 acres and the other is 72 acres. I only fished the lower part of Okatibbee so there was a lot of the lake that I didn't see. I don't have a map chip for down here yet so I was afraid to drive all over the lake to check it out.

Maybe I will try dragging a c-rig or tube around out there. It's just a big change since most of the fishing I have done is targeting a spot or even the "spot on the spot" and I haven't really seen anything that I would consider a "spot". It will probably just take some time to figure out what I am looking for.
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Old 06-07-10, 01:24 PM   #4
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Sounds a lot like my home lake. There is no veg whatsoever and very little structure. If the bottom is mainly clay, you should start looking for rock. Any kind of transition from that clay to rock should hold some fish. The 72 acre lake you can just pick apart in time. That's not a whole lot of water to fish and if the old saying "90% of the fish are in 10% of the water" holds true, you'll have them figured out in no time. The carolina rig would be great to cover a lot of water and find what depth they're at.
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Old 06-07-10, 03:47 PM   #5
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For the smaller lake, use those small barely noticeable channels for a few lures varying from 2-5ft cranks, 3-6 ft spinners, 5-15 ft texas rig worms and swim baits to deep carolina rigs.find out the path ways and where they hide out. This deep south sun and heat keeps them in the cooler deep water during the day, then they start working their way back to the shallows during the evening using those same channels as their roadways.
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Old 06-07-10, 09:31 PM   #6
66KingFisher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bender View Post
I got out and fished a couple of reservoirs last weekend. This is the first time fishing south of Indiana except one time from shore in Florida. I caught some fish but the lakes are not at all what I expected.

First there is little to no vegetation. There's no weeds and I only found pads in one little spot. I believe that the bottom is mainly clay. About the only structure I found were some stumps but they were pretty shallow (<3') and didn't seem to have fish on them. There were also very few laydowns or anything near shore in the water. Both lakes were only about 20 feet deep or so at the deepest. Both had a creek channel in them but I didn't see anything outstanding in the channels that would hold fish.

I felt really lost out there! On top of this it was really the first time of the year that I was "bass" fishing since the season is still closed in NY where I came from. Any help or tips would be appreciated since I know these lakes have good bass populations in them. It is full summer down here in Mississippi too with water temps 82-84*.
Welcome to my world....lol. Both of the lakes I fish regularly are 200-300 acres respectively. The smaller lake is a stumpfield that averages 7' deep with the area near the dam dropping to over 20'. There is one main creek channel with 2 feeder creeks....none of the channels are more then 3' deeper then the surrounding bottom. You'd think there would be a bass holding on every stump but unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case. The other lake is a conciderably deeper with the dam area in the 45' range, but not much in the way of stumps.....does have one cove with grass and pads but the rest seems almost baron....I never seem to know what to do when i'm there...lol

So far I'd say my best bass catching lures on these two lakes have been jigs and craws #1, followed by texas rigged senkos or tubes, then spinnerbaits, and shallow runnin cranks. I tend to always beat the banks, but when thats not working i'll fish the area along the edges of the main creek channel. In the past couple of years that i've been fishin them, I'd venture to say that 70% of my bass come from fishin the banks while the rest come from the channel areas.

I'm still looking for those areas that have good underwater structure like the bend in the creek channel next to some other odd feature like maybe a rock pile with a few stumps thrown in.....That should be one of those 10% spots that hold all the fish, right?....They're just stacked up like cord wood right?

I've talked to a few of the local tournament anglers about these two small lakes, and they all pretty much agreed on one thing......They are tough little bodies of water to bass fish, and they are small enough that they are constantly under a lot of fishing pressure.

I also think the day to day weather patterns have a much more drastic effect on these smaller impoundments....especially the shallower they are. I read the local fishing reports from the larger "deeper" lakes nearby, but it always seems that whatever is working on those lakes, ain't whats been working for me on these smaller lakes. I catch a bass almost every time I go, but never any numbers.

Droppin the bass tackle and tossin a Roadrunner on spinning tackle last week, caught me more fish, then i'd ever caught on either of these lakes to date, if that tells ya anything....lol. My only real advice is "Stick with it"....you'll find'em.
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Old 06-07-10, 11:33 PM   #7
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I might try a different lake tomorrow if I can get out, but I'm sure it is similar. On Saturday I didn't get out until 7:30 and it was starting to warm up so Sunday morning I went out early and got there around 6. It was cool and there was some fog. I threw different topwaters for almost 2 hours without a single blowup. That blew me away! Anytime I have ever encountered those conditions topwater worked. I will keep at it.
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Old 06-07-10, 11:48 PM   #8
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Remember those pictures I just posted showing the fog on the water and all that grass and pads?.....I threw topwaters all morning and the only blowup I got was from a Pickeral....lol. It stumped me to.....But I hear other guys talking about taking 5-6 pounders outta that area so i'll keep chunkin lures into that mess.
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Old 06-08-10, 07:53 AM   #9
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I've learned a ton of respect for the southern fishermen since leaving michigan for tennessee. It's really a different world for sure. Did find a little mountain lake that actually had weeds in numbers, coves, weed edges and the like. Felt like home. Did notice one difference though, the bass may be dormant for several hours up to and including dark, and then may turn on for 20 minutes or so and then stop hitting once again. I wouldn't mention this but for the fact that it happens on this little lake fairly often. At other times we've actually been able to fish a pattern in what we think is a normal pattern. Good advice from a baitshop proprietor....."Don't lose contact with the bottom when fishing....." The above post stating jigs and craws goes well with our situation here, especially concerning the reservoirs.

Laydowns........sometimes they are in the laydowns, but at other times they seem to migrate to woody areas but not necessarily laydowns in particular......sometimes we've done much better in stump and limb and branch areas where the wood has broken off and fallen in near the banks.......other times, in the laydowns themselves.

Bass relating to points......I've spent time c rigging points but not going deep or far enough....other day a friend caught several nice ones that were somewhat suspended some 40 feet out from where the point flattened out. They fished this as a pattern and did well.

I can't see this post will help any, but just wanted you to know we're pluggin along and learning too. Good fishing, Mac
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Old 06-08-10, 09:34 PM   #10
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bender is you are close enough, go to calling panther.
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Old 06-08-10, 11:07 PM   #11
Bender
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I've heard of Calling Panther but I don't think that it is very close. It's just funny since I had it in my head that "down south" fishing would be all frogs and flipping but there not much of that around here.

I made it to Clarkco for a short time today and tried different thing like dragging the c-rig a lot. Same result, two little bass on the wacky rig up shallow. Nothing on topwater and nothing on cranks. The bushes in that lake hang way out into the water and I'm sure there are bass under them but I could only skip to certain spots. I need to try to skip something heavy in there or punch the bushes with a big jig maybe. I have been mainly sticking to deeper water or shallow near deep water, maybe next time I'll try the top of the lakes where it is shallow. Unfortunately it will be a while since I have back to back work trips starting tomorrow and will be gone for a while.
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Old 06-09-10, 10:19 AM   #12
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bendage
old man you need to get zen with da crankbait and learn to USE a troller.. veggie-less lakes are known with out a dout as cranking lakes all over the south. leave the shakey head home. rarely do they work well in 85+ degree water.. go into a creek and fish it ALL troller on 2 and don't let off..

wait till the summer lock jaw sets in....bender will be doing the "WHAT THE....??" dance in the front deck of his boat...lol..it normally happens in august btw..

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Old 06-09-10, 11:32 AM   #13
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Hmm on the shakey head have to disagree,here on ky lake grass will be late again due to high water except coves and shallow bays,and the shakeyhead along with an unweighted senko work great as many fish are suspended.As for grass or pads ky lake west tn does have it main lake not till aug but pads have been up since march.Most of the lakes in a line from nashville on south have grass,and in east tn guntersville isnt that far a drive.Frog fishing we do have,sometimes one uses alternate veggies,pondweed,reeds,cattails,pads but its all there .I toss frogs 9 months a year.
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Old 06-09-10, 01:02 PM   #14
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We have a ton of lakes like you describe up here.

Here is exactly what I do to locate fish.


Start at 3-5 range, and TROLL, just like you would do for Walleye or any other fish. Move out a little deeper on each pass. You'll be surprised at how many bass you can locate this way. Shoot...I just gave away one of my secrets.......
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Old 06-14-10, 03:48 PM   #15
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I am less than an hour south of Enterprise.

Down here the bass tend to run deeper most of the time, especially since they are either northern bass or hybrid northern+florida strains. The heat of the day heats up the top 3-4 ft quickly and stays that way until after midnight. Usually just before or during dawn you can get them along the shallow areas or beside/under shallow weed areas. the rest of the time try a bit deeper, usually 6-12'. The few that stay shallow during the day under the vegetation tend to not move much for anything... very warm water works the same as very cold water down here, just shuts them down.
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Old 06-21-10, 01:08 AM   #16
Bender
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I spent 10 hours on Okatibbee today and I agree with you screwball, once the water got hot they shut down. I managed a few in the morning and then a some more throughout the day but never got a good pattern going. I tried following Zooker's advice and cranking but had trouble locating them later in the day, got a couple earlier. Biggest thing I learned is to follow the shad. It took me too long to do that today but next time I will do it.

Had one decent fish this morning on a frog:



from here:



but the rest were runts. There are tons of bass boats in this area but I didn't see any on that lake today. Maybe I should take the hint and go somewhere else.
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Old 06-21-10, 11:09 PM   #17
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That is fantastic bender. very nice fish. now if it were me and i were at the spot oyu posted the pic of............BUZZBAIT, FROG,SPOOK (no wtl, not your boat,hehe). or any topwater bait. then if a little wind comes along, spinnerbait. then crank bait, jerkbait. just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 06-23-10, 02:49 PM   #18
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Find the shad, & you'll find the Bass. The shad are much more sensitive to water temp than Bass are. I wouldn't disregard the shakey head either, there should be crawfish in that clay/rock. I would slow the presentation way down, though.
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