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Backwoodsbasser

Lake, Pond, Or River

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I've been fishing the Merrimack river this past week without much luck. I get confused with the pre spawn movement. What is everyone else fishing for water an if a river what key points should I be looking for. I love te river smallies

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The ponds will be ready first

The rivers second

Lakes last

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Why ponds first?  Water temp, I'd wager.  The smaller, shallower bodies of water are going to warm up faster than deeper, larger ones (lakes) or moving water (rivers).

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Correct, the water temps will come up much faster in the ponds in a hurry. Rivers get snow run off which keeps them cool but that can end abruptly, the creeks/rivers feed into the lakes which then add depth and keep it cooler even longer.

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In a round pond... search for a shallow spot, its usually not a bowl even though it appears that way, one end will be more shallow.

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One of my fav ponds has a small shallow and sandy inlet and at the opposite end a caged Dam that is its only outlet the ponds max depth is only about 6-8 ft an it's mostly mud and muck bottom. Because this pond is so small it does not have a map made and a topi map shows it as a puddle no contours for it. Should I be targetin the inlet area?

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Backwood , what state or area are you from?   I would target both inlet and outlet.  and any drops you can find.  If you can find a drop , I like to go almost weightless cast past the drop and very slowly bouncing it toward the drop till it drops.  First you have to find the drops. Many times i find those drop is only 2 or 3 feet. Up here in NH a lot of water still has ice except in the southern part, except for the rivers.  but the water is still very cold.   I was up at Turtle pond in Concord NH with the boat on Wed and all the ice is gone. No fish but nice and relaxing and quiet.  was just me and my beverage.  I am far from an expert fisherguy these are just my experiences , most of which i learned from other guys here at this site.   Before 2 summers ago i had never fished with rubber worms , i threw jitterbugs , poprs and cranked different sized and colored flatfish. i literally had 10 colors and sizes of 3 lures and pretty much that was all i used.  I have gained so much knowledge thru this site and these guys here.

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One of my fav ponds has a small shallow and sandy inlet and at the opposite end a caged Dam that is its only outlet the ponds max depth is only about 6-8 ft an it's mostly mud and muck bottom. Because this pond is so small it does not have a map made and a topi map shows it as a puddle no contours for it. Should I be targetin the inlet area?

 

Sounds sorta, kinda, a teeny bit like a pond I fish here in VT... While there may not be topo maps, try looking at the body of water or Google Maps/Earth.  You might be able to discern where the original 'channel' was before the pond was dammed up.  That will give you some idea as to the contours of the bottom (where the 'deeper' water lies closer to the bank, etc).

 

I'm assuming you're bank fishing.  If so, I would try to guess where the deep part of the pond lies and where you can cast to hit that close to some of the flat, shallow areas. I also agree with Nashua re: targeting the inlet and outlet.

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I'm from southern nh not far from concord. Yeah I've tried looki at google maps and I believe I can sort of make out the original channel but it has been dammed for decades and most of the original creek banks have been washed away. If I remember correctly when they drained the entire pond to install fire hydrant system there was many holes and hills

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if you are fishing from a boat you can make a simple depth finder with a thin rope and a couple 3/4 inch nuts tied to the end.  it wil take time but you can make your own map. obviously an electronic  depth finder would make it faster and easier.   there are several portable ones available on th market.  check crigslist or pawnshops for a used one, or borrow one.  I live in Nashua but travel to Concord weekly.   I made mine into a portable you coud borrow it ,  it only does depth.  you would just have to spend the time.  another thing i woud do if i had a boat and an electric motor is troll the pondi use 2 rods when i troll,  1 top water and 1 a shallow diver.  I would do that a few times then i would troll with something a little deeper this time of year,  troll very very slow as they are still cold and larthergic.     as it warms up in the next week try trolling a spinner bait also.   i prefer a double spinner with colorado blades.    Also rage rigged craw, dragged really really really really slow , an then slow down a little more.    all depends on how much time you want to spend figuring it out.  Nutts pond in Manchester has some good size bass IF you take the time to try to find them.

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I made my first trip to nutts pond last fall and only caught one on a laydown over by the park. I sold my bass boat in November to fix my car I do have access to a jonboat and I have an electric trolling motor but I gonna be gettin a couple kayaks this summer before I head to winnipesaukee In July. So after that ill have those to search nutts pond better with. Nev where do u fish in Nashua I used to do a ton of fishing there behind margarita still one of my favorite spots. Do you ever fish the Merrimack

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john boat or kayak is all you need,  i have a 1 person kayak , a 2 person 12 ft canoe with troller motor and a 12 ft jon boat with a small gas and a troller on a small trailer that i can throw in my truck instead of the trailer.  The jon boat is the easiest to fish from but the most work.   if i could have only 1 it would be the canoe.  The jon boat gets me where i want to go and is more stable than the others.  It is still slow compared to big boats but except for Massabassic , or Bow lake or other big water it gets me to most places.  I fish just about any water down in the Nashua area early mornings.   Hollis , Nashua , Hudson,  Milford , Merrimack mostly the small places.  I fish the Merrimack a bunch of times and the Nashua a lot.   I bought a Clarkes fishing book last year that lists tons of places to fish. I try new places when i can. Its a time thing for me. On the water by 5:30 am to work for 8:30 AM ...  i rarely fish any other time than morning except for wed afternoons up in the Concord / Loudon / Manchester area. I travel to Loudon every wed and depending on how time presents itself Tells me where i try and how long i get. I have caught some nice fish in Rollins pond up past Loudon, Turtle pond , Nutts , and a few of the others up there. For some reason i cannot sleep past 5 am ,so i either head to a hockey rink for a game (sometimes 5 mornings a week during winter) or i fish.  Tomorrow morning depend on the wind i will be out there.  Some people fish or only want to catch bass,   I enjoy fishing and dont mind catching other stuff.  Including pickerel and black crappie.   This yr i want to catch walleye, although i heard they dont fight and a big pike is on the agenda of wants also. most of the Merrimack river i fish is btween the launch behind greeley park and down to the Hudson Nashua bridge. I have fished behind Margaritas but normally i fish above the falls in that stretch and back to the big parking lot behind the Mill yard in Nashua where the boat launch is. I will gladly answer any questions you have about any place i know. and i am 100% catch and release.  Tomorrow i will be out on the water but not sure where yet.   Maybe horseshoe pond in Merrimack.  Lots of sunlight and not huge so the water may be 1 or 2 degrees warmer than other places.

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Hey, I fished Horseshoe in Merrimack for the first time last year because I got a friend who lives right up the road, and we went to check it out. Not many big fish there, but there's at least 2 six pounders!

 

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Ps- did someone say there was open water in Concord?!?!

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The ponds will be ready first

The rivers second

Lakes last

Agreed with the exception of rivers with warm water discharges. My lake/ reservoir turns on later than everything else around here! But boy-o-boy when she turns on you better make sure your drag is set!

Jay

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you grabbed some 6+ out of there good bet theres atleast a few others atleast that size.,,, yes, turtle is wide open   was in the canoe last wed afternoon,   had the place all to myself

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I'm on my way! The rest won't be far behind, either! Oh, and one other thing about Horseshoe. We saw some MONSTER carp in that place if you're into that kinda thing. I'm talkin' good 20-30 pound fish! My buddy almost lost his mind when he saw one stroll on by. He tried to catch a couple on the plastics we were throwing, but no takers.  

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a good way to see a lot of water is to catch a 30 lber in the river while in a kayak.   They can take for for a long ride before they tire out. catching them is way different than a bass.   The big girls at Turtle are waiting for you.

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Yessir! I'll be there Monday!

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Shane do you have a gps tracker on your phone? i want to hack into it and track your every movement on that water.  when you sit in 1 spot for more than 5 minutes or when you take a pic of a big um it will text me your exact gps location. Obviously i am joking, but in todays electronic world it is probably very easy to do.

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Haha! Don't worry, I'll just tell ya!

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Yeah I do some carp fishing I have one set up for them and use a pre mixed carp bait with a bell. Ill have to try horseshoe for them I didn't think of that. I caught a ton of them t salmon falls pond in Nashua. Someone threw bread in the water and they all started swarming I'm talking 100 of them. I also so a huge bald eagle there picking then off like a sniper

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Sweet! That's gotta be cool to see! Have fun, man!

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