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Old 06-07-15, 11:30 AM   #1
keithdog
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Default Post spawn/early summer

What is your go to techniques for post spawn/early summer? My wife and I were fishing one of our favorite lakes yesterday. It was very hard going putting it mildly. We landed 3 total, two bass and one wiper. Wife took her bass on a lizard fished in shallow weeds. I got a bass on a floating lipless crank ripping weed tops, and a wiper on a medium diving crank. I only saw one other fish caught by another angler, of which there were several out there giving it their best. At one point, I over heard a conversation between 4 guys in their boats having a pow wow. They were all agreed, the bass were in the weeds but wouldn't hit anything. We tried, spinner baits, soft stick baits "zoomies", square bill and deeper cranks, shakey rigs, jerk baits, jigs, lizards, small finesse jigs with plastic trailers you can catch anything from a blue gill upward. The only thing I really didn't try was a top water, and I chose not to try that because we got a late start at 9:45 AM and the sun was already shining brightly and the wind had put a fair chop on the surface. We fished everywhere from shallow up near the bank to deeper weed edges. I was pitching into pockets in the weed beds with various baits. The bass were simply not taking anything it seemed. I was talking to my wife today, and realized, if I went back today, I would be lost as to where to start and what technique to use. I have a few ideas of what I might try, but thought I would bring this up to you guys just to see where you would start off in this type of situation? I would probably keep a spinner bait, and lipless crank tied on, and a rod rigged to pitch soft plastics into weed beds, and a medium diving crank as well. I didn't try using a frog yesterday, so I might give that a try. And I might try a Carolina rig since I didn't try that either. What would you try?
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Old 06-07-15, 12:07 PM   #2
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Makes me smile to see you tried a zoomie, even if it didn't land you any. Are there any docks on the lake? I'm assuming not since you didn't mention fishing around those. I almost always start with a zoomie, but one of my favorite things to do when there is a decent chop is to use a jig & pig, usually a football head jig. Also, we have really good luck with the dropshot on our lake, almost always with a wacky-rigged 5" senko on it. One other thing I have done well with in weedbeds is a swim jig with a trailer on it. Sometimes when the bite is really tough, I have had good luck just deadsticking a zoomie, but I usually have to do that when I'm fishing solo because everyone else thinks that is boring.

For whatever it's worth, the lake I fish all the time is just under 1500 acres. When it was last surveyed in 2011 the water clarity was 12.5' - 16'. I'd estimate we catch 98% (or more) of our fish in 8' or less. There is very little rock or wood in the lake. It's mostly weedbeds, sandy areas, lily pads, lots of docks (mostly solo, but sometimes two or more together), and reed-filled shorelines. Just wanted to give a few more details of the lake itself since that can factor in to lure choice also.

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Old 06-07-15, 01:36 PM   #3
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Well Dean, this lake is very off colored. You can slip onto a stump or burry your trolling motor head into the bottom and not even realize your that shallow. My other problem with fishing a zoomie is fishing weeds. I like to t-rig my stick baits most often. But when they are fished around our weed beds, they tend to just sink down and lay on top of the weeds. They often don't make it to the bottom unless I wacky rig them and pitch them into weed pockets. There are no docks on this lake, Worster Lake, which is located inside Potato Creek State Park here in Indiana. It has no developments on the lake, which allows it to keep it's natural beauty. It is 327 acres of untouched water. You can look it up on line. Trolling motor only is allowed, no gas powered motors. The west end is deeper and has more rock, while the east end is shallower with lots of standing timber. Yesterday was the first time I have fished the east end. That is the end that my brother in law and his wife scored fairly well last weekend. Myself, I think I prefer the west end of the lake which seems to offer more variety of structure and cover. My local lakes near my home for the most part are much clearer waters and weedier by far, often forming matts of cabbage weeds and lots of lily pads.
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Old 06-07-15, 03:04 PM   #4
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keith don't really know if this helps as i fish much larger lakes on major water ways. but the fish have moved to the ledges [watch bassfest on ky lake] i find them on main and secondary points where the main creek channel swings by it. main points going into bays. or ledges. on main river channel. i will throw dd8 and 10s shallow to deep . t try to stay at the 16ft to 18ft depth range. also carlionia rig creature baits. texas rig big worms . drop shots. mostly all green pumkin colors. i fish top water early in day over grass. or laydowns. really like the sammies ,wake baits and splash baits for this i know this sounds like something out of a fishing artical but around here thats what works
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Old 06-07-15, 06:41 PM   #5
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Thanks Don. No river channel on this lake. Just a very small creak bed that pretty much disappeared long ago. No ledges that I know of either. I can't think of any reservoir in my immediate area. Mostly natural made lakes less than a thousand acres.
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Old 06-07-15, 06:43 PM   #6
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Here is a map of Worster Lake, the one I fished yesterday.
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Old 06-07-15, 06:46 PM   #7
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Fishing Florida lakes is different than deeper, northern lakes. However, there are several similarities to LMB no matter where they are. Post spawn, bass are hungry, but weak. They've been without food for several days and are looking for food, but they don't want to expend a lot of energy chasing shiners, etc.
The main mistake I see people making down here is fishing too fast. I've caught fish, following another boat and hitting the same spots they'd just blown through. Spinner baits, jerk baits and crank baits might be moving through the strike zone too fast. Even a jig-n-pig or Texas rigged worm might be pulled through too fast.

When I am fishing water I KNOW holds bass, but I am not getting hits, I stop. I don't stop fishing, I stop moving the lure. You can time my retrieve in minutes, not seconds. My favorite is a Texas rigged soft plastic stick bait with no weight. Once I cast it to the spot I want to fish, I let it sit. And sit etc ... until I can't stand it ... THEN count to 30 before I move it. When I move it, I only move it about a foot, then start the process all over.

I figure the bass are hungry, but they are drifting ... expending as little energy as possible and looking for big crayfish. They drift up to it and inhale it almost without moving a fin. I use braided line ... and usually, the only indicator of a strike it the slightest of ticks. Many times, I don't know I've got a fish on until I try to move it, and there's weight.

Good luck.
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Old 06-07-15, 07:09 PM   #8
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Mike, you must have a ton of patience. But that makes a lot of sense. I'm not sure a stick bait in this particular lake will generate much as it is so off colored. But in clearer waters near my home it's a great lure.
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Old 06-07-15, 09:18 PM   #9
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I do have one friend, a guide, that I've fish with many times. We have a good time, because he controls the pace. He always has his customers slow down ... it just works better 99% of the time.
But he's passed me on the water, when he's had customers. He always tells them, "There's the only guy who fishes too slow for me." With a few exceptions, he says, they don't believe him.

That map of your lake, looks like the deepest spot is 25 feet. I'd stay away from that, as it will probably be mostly devoid of oxygen. But I'd fish the rest of it with the weightless "Sticko." I've let them sink in 20 feet of water, watching the line during the sink.
I've read that bass can see about 4 times farther in murky water than we can. If you can see a foot into the water, they can see 4 feet. But they detect vibrations to a level we can't understand. The bumping and thrum of gentle taking up slack is enough to draw attention. Use a dark colored stick bait. With the lure sitting still, just "tapping" the rod tip against slack line will draw fish from several feet away. I've used this technique in the coffee colored water we have down here with good success.
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Old 06-07-15, 11:11 PM   #10
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Thanks Mike. I'll try that for sure!
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Old 06-15-15, 07:25 PM   #11
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Add me to the wacky worm list in this scenario
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