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How do you fish lakes now and why

Discussion in 'Bass Discussions' started by atrkyhntr, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. At this early point in the fishing season I am wondering how many of you target your bass... I watched 6-7 boats the other day all beating the shorline to death and I couldn't help but think they really know nothing but flipping and spinner bait fishing shorelines and were hoping to luck into a fish here and there... Many tourny fisherman simply beat the banks knowing 3-4 fish will many times put them in the money but is that really the best way to fish? I have my thoughts and experiences but will look for other answers here...
    How do you fish lakes now and why?
    THANKS in advance
  2. I pretty much just fish the banks, oh wait I dont have a boat yet so I dont have much choice.:p

  3. I guess my first question that comes to mind is if 6-7 boats were running the same technique were they perhaps onto something and catching them?;) I have not targeted the bass nearly as much the last several years as I used to so I am not real in tune with when the bass move from deep to shallow. It would seem to me that many waters should be warming to where the bass are moving up onto the spawning flats. I too like to work a shoreline structure pretty thoroughly with spinnerbaits and worms often times. If the fish do not seem to be in there then I will back off a bit and toss tubes, cranks, or slow roll spinnerbaits. I have never worked much with the carolina rig worm technique but I am wanting to because I know guys who swear by that. I guess that does not narrow it down much. But I pretty much let the fish dictate what I am going to do. I try not to stick with a technique if it ain't producing.

    Last summer my buddy and I were out on a local lake and we were doing fairly decent by tossing tubes in the 8-12' area. We saw a couple or three bass boats pass by us hammering the docks by pitching. We did not see them catch any fish on their way through. I tried at times tossing tubes up in the docks and did not yield any fish right on the dock. So like you I was wondering to myself are they really catching fish or are they just fishing?;)
  4. I guess I could add does anyone study lake maps and use them to find bass fishing areas before even hitting the water? I seem to be able to fish a lake faster/better with a map and ALMOST miss the days I fished tourney's and headed to a lake I never fished before then I'd mark the map where I caught fish and then sit down to figure out why they were there...
  5. Talked to most and they said "not a hit"...

    Prob tourney guys trying for that one or two fish to get in the money...
  6. The way I look at is that there are always resident fish shallow and there are always resident fish deep. I'm suspecting the reason you saw people beating the banks and flipping was due to the high bright sun! The sun will either push them into the cover or push them into deeper water depending on the area. The fish depending on the lake right now will be starting to migrate shallow to spawning areas or staging next to shallow areas. Early days in the spring sometimes the fish will come up just to get that warm sun also....

    I might add that sometimes I think it is better to play to your strengths rather than fish something your not as confident on fishing. Sometimes this works sometimes it doesn't but atleast you'll feel right about it.

    I try to be versatile and am able to do different things but I still have my favorite ways to catch fish.

    Just me .02
  7. I am sure they were tourney guys but as I said we were getting a few fish throughout the 8-12' water. None of the ones we were getting were very big so if they were culling at the time I would doubt that these would have gone in the livewell. I think perhaps it comes down to what TritonBill said. People play to their strengths and many bassers like to key on visible structure.
  8. shore structure to me is boring and 90% of the bass would be behind me...
    I like fishing deeper water but there are times when you can really hammer them in close and I am not against it at all...
    For me its easier to find better fish away from shore that have not been pounded to death already...
    I don't consider beating the shore anyones strength I tend to see it more as its pretty much all they know... I am prob wrong in many cases but fished enough tourney's with diff guys to have a pretty good opinion...
  9. Bass_Hawg

    Bass_Hawg Certified Hawg Master

    At this point in the season it would all depend on the water temp. I know at some of the smaller lakes it is getting up in the upper 50's lower 60's, so there I would be targeting flats and shallow points with cranks and rattle traps looking for active fish. Once I find them I might switch to top water or maybe evan soft plastics. If the temp in the water was still in lower 50's upper 40's I would be carolina riggen or jiggen deep water points and drop offs. I would also pitch and flipp some of the docks and such.
  10. I don't disagree with you Clyde! Sounds reasonable to me and that approach does work many days! I've done well in tourneys staying off the banks when most people were beating them.

    I think everyone can beat a bank but not everyone has good boat control, knows how to efficiently and quietly flip and pitch, etc. That separates the skilled bank beater from the not so skilled!
  11. Mr.Bass.

    Mr.Bass. Banned

    Before I go to a lake that I am not familliar with I do study the map. I also look at the map before I go out to see where the fish are going to be at that particular time of the year. For example the bass in pre-spawn mode will be locating to points with some depth and a route they can travel to a shallow flat where they will lay their beds and spawn. This is the type of area I will fish. When the fish are spawning they are usually going to be shallow so I will fish the banks or flats where i can sight fish.

    To answer your question, yes, some fish always stay shallow throughout the year but most tournament fisherman have to think like a fish in order to be consistent, they cant always rely on beating the bank because there are always going to be many others who dont use the mental aspect of bass fishing. Sure you can catch a few fish or so beating the bank but you cant rely on a limit unless the time of year and situation calls for that presentation. Hope this helps.
  12. Your right Bill...
    Man I can recall flipping the same spot over and over till I picked a bass up... I'd flip away from my target and ease my way in hoping to pickup more then one and this would be after watching a boat blow through the area flipping every other 3 pieces of cover and not really fishing the area...
    I know if I pick an area to fish may as well fish it the right way while I am there... I'd watch for shadows, wave direction...nooks crannie anythign to get a small advantage...
    gezzz I am getting the itch to get out LOL... But my tourney days are over sold all my gear years ago... Now it is for pure enjoyment...
  13. I agree with all
    its one of those times that reading all the little things and putting it together.
    I like to find the areas that get the good sun that have deep water close to a flat with wood and new weed growth
    fish the deep early in the day and flats in the afternoon.
    Another thing is wind
    a good windy day after a few warming days can push warm water to areas that don't warm up as quick which will bring fish up from the depths
    good topic
  14. ...warming water means the fish digest their food quicker and tend to hit more aggressive... that couple of degree diff in water temp can make all the diff...
    one end of the lake can have a diff bite then the other even shorelines can make a HUGE diff in fishing techniques to me...
  15. The north end of the lake often holds the warmest water, this area gets the most direct sun light during the day and a few degees can make a hugh diffrence in fish activity. But one must also think about if there is structure for the fish in the north end for the fish to hold, many fish will start to move into the shallows and spawning as the water temps go up. Me personally, I'll start on the north end but normally 10-15 feet deep, and move closer to the bank depending on the bit. fish will go to the food more than they will go to warmer water. If it's a lake you've fished before fish were you have caught them before, some reason they were there before and odds are they still are, if you get nothing look for structure, something diffrent, logs, stoney banks, ect. dont forget to look for bait fish activity and keep and eye on the bird, birds will hang around where there is food, baitfish and so does the fish. like they say fish to your strenght but dont be afraid to try something diffent to intice a strike.
  16. As with any species, shallow water is usually easier to fish quickly looking for biters. Shallow fish are generally biters. Unless I know something different going into the outing, I generally fish shallow (relatively--not necessarily "bank beating", though) FIRST. I feel I can find fish faster in shallow water if that's where they are. An hour spent beating the bank will often clue you in on where the fish are or aren't. Fishing "deeper" water generally requires more time for the same technique, so it's good averages to start shallow. One more thing, if I'm not catching fish, not catching large enough fish, or need a "kicker" [typically referring to tournament fishing], I also fish shallow before ending the outing.

    My shallow here may refer to 1-2 FOW, not 5-8. This might be an expansive mud flat in the upper end of a creek or reservoir that most folks find too difficult to navigate and/or fish (without spooking fish). Fishing ultra-shallow is about the same as fishing "deep" as it relates to fishing pressure. I've been on both ends of the scale when fish were in 1 foot of water in December...or July for that matter.

    I don't discount the sea gull effect (to borrow the term from Lake Erie guides). Sometimes the blind do lead the blind, but I don't think "bank beaters" can all be lumped into the same category as insinuated by the original post. Besides, everyone likes to pick on bass fisherman. This is too easy of a target--kind of like beating the bank :D
  17. Reel Man

    Reel Man Member

    Bass relate to structure. Shallow structure can be seen with the eye and is much easier to spot then deep-water structure. If you are in a tourney situation you may not have time to cruise the lake watching your depth finder to locate that deep stuff. I personally love pitching at logs, brush, and grass. It's my favorite way to fish. It gets even better at night when you have that black light on the side of your boat to illuminate the bank. The fish in the deeper water get hammered a lot less and you will more then likely catch your bigger fish there for the better part of the year. The best anglers are versatile and employ a number of methods to fish.
  18. EDD


    when bass want to feed a good number go to shore (no matter how bright or hot or cold) then there are those that feed in open water depending on what there feeding on -------- so you are hoping your hitting them on the feed