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SenkoSlayer

Fishing Strip Pits

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Late last summer my father and I joined a hunting/fishing club in Missouri and gained access to over 4000 acers of land that has 9 or 10 strip pits. I caught a 5lb 15oz late last summer out of the pits, that could have been about 6.5lbs if it wasnt so lean.

I would love to hear everyone's opinions, experiences, and tips to fishing strip mines/pits. I have searched a lot on the internet, and there just isn't a whole lot of good info on pit fishing.

I know these pits host big, big bass in them, and I am shooting for an 8, 9, or 10 lber this year.

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Because of the way they are made, strip pits are harder to read than most lakes. You can't look at a bank and visualize what's underwater most of the time. It has taken several years for me to begin to find the prime spots in lakes I fish. I don't have side imaging sonar, so finding shelves and subtle drops near deep water takes time.

Pits are not that different than other lakes. Like most lakes, transition spots where grass, rock, wood, etc meet, esp close to relativity deep water, and bottom irregularities are always gold. Fishing your strengths is most often a good plan IMO. I primarily use jigs and plastics and I tend to fish off the bank more than some. It works for me, but a friend has taught over the last couple of years that pitching tight to isolated cover, even in very shallow water can kill. Wacky rigged Senkos/knock-offs pitched to cover is my secret weapon. Moving baits can be effective, though I prefer something slower when conditions allow.

While I have caught a few in the 5-6 lb range, I have not yet connected with any thing over 6 lb in my So. IL. pits. I know they're in there. :yes: Maybe this year. Good luck. :thumbsup:

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I catch most of my big fish out of pits on jigs, spinnerbaits, and topwaters like buzzbaits. A swimbait like a 6-8 inch Hudd is a good option to target big fish also. Early in the spring I catch a lot of fish on jerkbaits and wacky worms account for a lot of numbers but not many bigger fish.

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Thanks for all the input guys. The pits I fish are just SW of Amsterdam, MO.

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go at night...

we fish old coal strip mine pits in southern ohio. some are very secluded and not readily accessed which of course makes the fishin better. Ya got it covered with a jitterbug, spinner bait & 8 or 10 inch plastic worm. The most fun is to cast a jitterbug along the highwalls. the freaks come out at night...

In the daytime of course it is a different game because of the clear water fish live minnows or crawdads.

Good luck!

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We used to fish strip mine lakes quite a few years ago. Plastic Worms were alway the goto bait for me. If I were to fish them today I would use a senko-type bait or a paddle tail swimbait both of which I feel would be deadly. We fished them from shore and wading. Very important to watch your shadow with the gin clear water we fished. Good luck. Bobcat Lake, one of my favorite lakes, is a strip mine lake, great memories.

Mike

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My main body of water i wish is a strip mine with water clarity up to 30 feet. I look for any structure or bottom irregularity and i work it over relentlessly. I once watched 2 boats cast at a tree sticking out of 25 foot of water. They just casted at it and reeled in. I went behind them with a 6 inch shadalicious in blue glimmer shad (this bait is a killer in clear water). I casted at that tree and worked my bait at all depths. Started at the bottom and worked my way up. Ended up catching a 7 lber while working the swimbait at about 13 feet. That taught me to work a piece of structure relentlessly.

If i spot a little shelf that sits in deep water, ill throw the kitchen sink at it. I have found it fun to look for structure,shelves, and bottom irregularities. I can cast jigs and rage craws all day long at the bank an catch dinks. But theres no better feeling than finding a little spot and throwing at it for 20 minutes and then you catch a 5 lber.

I was fishing a members tourney at the pits im a member at and everyone was bank beating. I headed out to a little shelf flat that sits in 35 feet of water, but the shelf tops out at 22 feet. Its only about 20 sq ft. In 12 casts i had a 3 fish limit that weighed 12 lbs 4 ounces. To the other guys it looked like i was fishing in the middle of nowhere. Its all about finding a spot you think holds fish, and working it until there is no doubts. Then work it again the next outing, and the next, and the next. Sorry for ranting, cabin fever has gotten the best of me.

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We fish out of a 14ft jon boat with an electric trolling motor. We are thinking of purchasing a cheap fish finder so we can locate structure because it has been difficult to find the fish in the past.

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When i first started fishing the strip mines i had trouble finding structure. I found that when i panfished it helped me find bass. When we panfished we would face the wind and have the boat horizontal so we drift with our lines out in front. Everytime i would get a snag i would mentally make a note. Then when i would go back and bass fish, id cast around the general area looking for the snag.

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Those Hummingbird (formerly Bottom Line) Fishing Buddy depth/side finders work well and they are totally portable. That could be very handy in a strip pit situation.

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