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Old 04-17-12, 07:58 AM   #1
keithdog
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Default What would be your strategy?

Spring arrived big time about 4 weeks early here in northern Indiana. Nearly 3 weeks of 70 degree weather when it should have been in the upper 30's to low 40's brought on good early bassin in shallow and mid depths. The last 3 weekends however I havn't been able to get out due to bad weather conditions. After the early warmup, the weather has turned colder for the past few weeks with nightly temps often close to freezing or below. The water temps no doubt are cooler too. That leaves me wondering what to expect this comming saturday morning if I get out as planned. It will be in the mid 30's again if the forecasters are correct. The lakes I fish are smaller natural lakes of under 100 acres, except for a couple larger ones. I'm planing to start out with jigs pitched around piers and brush to start with a smattering of lipless cranks and jerk baits. I'll also have a chatterbait or spinnerbait tied on along with a shallow squarebill crank and a medium depth crankbait. That should cover the bases. Just not sure where the bass will be after this sudden cool off.
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Old 04-17-12, 08:34 AM   #2
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Fish here were in spawn mode,most slowed down and or pulled back off the bank,but not all.
Just slowed it down rest have yet to come in,most suspend when they pull out so no deeper or much deeper than prior,and yes im still getting bit topwater providing I toss in the right stuff.
Long points at bay mouths then lead in lead out out banks,virtual roadbeds of fish in migration to and from.Bandit 200 on those.
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Old 04-17-12, 09:06 AM   #3
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Keithdog

Sunday at Dewart lake the water temp was 55-57 degrees thunderstorms all around most of the fish were suspended in deeper water off of points and ledges but they were realy tight lip.
cought fish on wacky worm and crank bait. Good lucky
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Old 04-17-12, 11:02 AM   #4
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The only thing I would add to your list would be a senko (wacky or t-rigged) or zoomie. After trying the zoomie for the first time ever last year, I *never* go out without using it at some point, and I almost always start off with it. I don't fish it quite as slowly as Mac and his wife do (see details in link above), but I still have great luck with it.
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Old 04-17-12, 04:46 PM   #5
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Water temp Sunday was 58-59 degrees not to far from you. We caught fish over shallow weed off of wood with spinnerbaits. Not much else going. We tried cranks (1), TX rig (1), shakey head (0), C-rig (0), Buzzbaits and frogs (0).
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Old 04-17-12, 05:09 PM   #6
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Keith, the water temps are not as cold as you may think. The water temps for us are right around 53-55 degrees and that is in Lake Erie marinas. Smaller bodies of waters are much warmer around here. Heck, we were in the river wading in our swim trunks and tennis shoes yesterday!

There should no doubt be some fish shallow still, but the majority of the ones we have been catching have been in that 6-10 foot of water, and not up super shallow yet. Some fish do move up shallow on to the rip rap during the afternoons but for the most part everything is a little deeper around that 6-10 foot mark.

Ryan
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Old 04-17-12, 06:22 PM   #7
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Keithdog

Sunday at Dewart lake the water temp was 55-57 degrees thunderstorms all around most of the fish were suspended in deeper water off of points and ledges but they were realy tight lip.
cought fish on wacky worm and crank bait. Good lucky
Dewart Lake??? I fished that lake last summer for the first time. Was a slow day and no one was catching much of anything. I caught 2 bass that day. But Dewart looks like a beautiful lake and I can't wait to get back on it again! Thanks for the info! Is that the tourny you posted about?
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Old 04-17-12, 06:32 PM   #8
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I really appreciate the water temp info guys. I don't have a depth finder with a temp reading so it's guesswork for me. The water is a little warmer than I expected. That helps me fine tune my approach. Last time I was out it seemed everything was catching fish depending on the time of day and the structure I was fishing.
As for using a wacky rigged senko style bait, what depth range are we talking? Shallow on the banks and near cover or mid depths? Thanks again guys!
By the way, Here is a shout out to my Hoosier members. We should get together some day!
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Old 04-17-12, 09:03 PM   #9
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Don't know about the others, but I fish both 5" and 7" wacky-rigged senkos anywhere up to 10' depths.
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Old 04-17-12, 10:05 PM   #10
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Keith, I went thru the same thing just earlier in the season
Remember when the bass begin to come up shallow 48*-63* they can be caught on reaction type baits. I love the Red Eyed Shad in 3/4 oz. and Alabama RIg.. when they move out in to deeper water(1st and 2nd drop offs) we caught them silver buddies and football jigs.
ALL these bass were caught this spring on the Red Eyed Shad or a rattle trap type bait in water that was 48*-63* in water 4-12 ft. deep.




I was fishing points and paralleling shorelines close to points... worked very well in wind
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Last edited by SaminVa; 04-17-12 at 10:09 PM. Reason: wrong temp
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Old 04-17-12, 10:19 PM   #11
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My friend Chris that fishes with me likes to fish the submergent lily pad stalks and new primrose stems that grow in the lake we fish... he targets the cove shoreline areas that have this feature with flat A's and bandit style crankbaits....
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Old 04-17-12, 10:28 PM   #12
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Hey Sam, those are great photos! I'll have a Red Eye shad tied on for sure. The Xcaliber lipless cranks have also produced well for me.
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Old 04-17-12, 10:36 PM   #13
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We had some rain a month ago and the upper creek was stained and I caught one 4# on the xcaliber XR 50 in a red crawdad color.

Gotta tell u tho.. I took my son one time and he caught 20+ on a red eyed shad and I threw the xcaliber in a similar color and never got bit.. when I got home i immediately got online and ordered 10 REyed Shads from tackle warehouse...lol
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Old 04-17-12, 10:48 PM   #14
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I'd suspect they've moved off back to deeper water, and backed out off the shallows. If the sun comes up, and it warms up after it's been cold for a while (as in a couple days), I'd expect the fish to move up in the water column, rather than up shallower. They're probably getting close to spawning, and I'd target structure near spawning areas.

Jerkbaits, lipless cranks, and slow moving sinkbaits (like a senko), oughta produce well!
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Old 04-18-12, 06:18 AM   #15
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Forgot to mention another good bait... large chatterbait.
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Old 04-18-12, 07:50 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Forgot to mention another good bait... large chatterbait.
Thats one of my go to lures for early spring!
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Old 04-18-12, 08:14 PM   #17
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Also just picked up some more shakey head stuff for this weekend.
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Old 04-19-12, 11:33 PM   #18
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AARRGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just saw the forcast for saturday morning and it looks awfull once again. Bright sunshine, temps in the low 30's and 30 mph winds. This pattern of beautiful days durring the work week and lousy weather on the weakends is really ticking me off. There is no way I can see myself out in that freezing weather.
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Old 04-20-12, 04:50 PM   #19
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Gotta tourney on Sunday. I'll have to, LOL. Be out in the AM, too.
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Old 04-20-12, 07:31 PM   #20
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Gotta tourney on Sunday. I'll have to, LOL. Be out in the AM, too.
Fishin for cash is about the only reason I would head out tomorrow. It's 6:30 PM here friday night and already cold as all get out. brrrrrrrrrr
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Old 04-20-12, 07:40 PM   #21
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48 on the Jeep thermometer an hour ago. It was 65 at lunchtime. Yea, if I wasn't the director, I'd be sleeping in. On the other hand a decent fish will win it.
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Old 04-21-12, 05:09 AM   #22
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I'll be out on the water for the first time this year Saturday and have a tournament next weekend! We've been having the same weather pattern - nice during the week with cooler weekends - this weekend is no exception and next weekend is suppose to be the same.

I will be curious to see what condition the water is tomorrow - temperature, clear or murky and if the weeds have started to grow. Typically this time of year there aren't many weeds, but I suspect this year will be different. Last week we had June-Bugs - very unusual of for Iowa in April.
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Old 04-21-12, 04:18 PM   #23
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Water temp was 59-61 degrees. Clarity still good. Fished about 4 hours and caught 16. Several slots, but plenty of unders and a couple of nice overs. Several males up on the beds but no big girls spotted. A few on cranks, a few on spinner baits and the rest punching the slop.
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Old 04-21-12, 04:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
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Water temp was 59-61 degrees. Clarity still good. Fished about 4 hours and caught 16. Several slots, but plenty of unders and a couple of nice overs. Several males up on the beds but no big girls spotted. A few on cranks, a few on spinner baits and the rest punching the slop.
Thanks for the update Dave. Where exactly in Indiana is Farmersburg? I'm up a stones throw from lake Michigan. I have the boat and gear loaded for tomorrow. I'm determined to get out even if it means freezing my casting thumb off.
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Old 04-21-12, 07:33 PM   #25
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About 12 miles South of Terre Haute on 41, so a few hours South of you. It was a cold ride this morning!
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