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WiscoBassman

How To Catch Warm Weather Smallies?

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I fish 2 lakes in Northern Wisconsin in early July. One is moderately clear, with mostly a sand bottom and an average depth of 22 feet. The other is murky, with a mostly sand bottom, an average depth of 8 feet, and a fair amount of weeds. I'm targeting smallies and I would like to know what would seem to be my best bet on catching them on these lakes (like what lures would probably work best, and presentations). Thanks for any replies.

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Smallies are smallies, so for the deeper clearer lake find rocky points or possibly find deeper water transitions of the bottom composition. I'd have a popper / walkin bait, dropshot, and lastly a jig and swimbait /twister tail for targeting the entire water column. I don't particularly have much luck with jerkbaits in the summer, but others do, I'm sure

The weedy lake will probably have weed smallies. Try look for hard cover, but if you can't find it, start looking for weed smallies. T-rigs all day, unless you can get a topwater bite.

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On the weedy lake there are a lot of docks and boat houses in certain areas.

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My ideal situation for your weedy lake would be to find a few large boulders mixed in among the weeds. In Canada, you'll often find an entire back bay filled with lily pads, coontail, milfoil, and whatever weeds with a boulder near the back of it. There will usually be a smallie or two sitting on it practically everyday.

If not, I would just call it a day of "bass fishing" and pitch at clumps of weeds, weed edges, docks with sand, and whatever good stuff you can find.

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Well I find in small lakes / ponds, the fish get more selective about the noise of trebels banging around & biting them. Then they get hungry & bite trebles.

 

I have found schools of 12" to 14" bass feeding on worms or bottom insects. They would not bite or move as I motored over them.  Happens.

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If were talking the warmest months of the year just fish the areas you usually do, but go out deeper and fish much slower. I've had my best luck in 20-30 feet of water dragging a football head with a twin tail grub or SK rage craw. Look for steep banks along the shoreline and then follow the ledges out into the water. Drag that bait down the ledge, and when you determine what depth they are holding in concentrate on that. Once in a while the swim bait bite heats up. Take a 1-1.5 ounce sinking swim bait and let it drop. Creep and crawl it just above bottom in those same areas.

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I have tried some rather bizarre methods over the years one last year worked pretty well.  Use a dropshot with a weight as far away from the hook to suspend the bait just over the weeds.If the weeds are 5' tall put the dropshot hook at 5'6" use a bright senko such as fluorescent yellow,red,pink but smaller 3-4" . You can't throw this so rig just lower it over the weed bed or run parallel of the weed bed fish it in the weeds but right on the edge. The bite almost consistantly was a hard hit ,no doubt you had a bite. This worked well on frontal days as well as when the sun was up bright. Try it with green pumpkin senko's as well.   Almost forgot use a heavier than usual weight preferably a long slender weight versus a regular round weight. This will allow the weight to get to the bottom in the weeds  I use 10-12# fluorcarbon. Good luck

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My ideal situation for your weedy lake would be to find a few large boulders mixed in among the weeds. In Canada, you'll often find an entire back bay filled with lily pads, coontail, milfoil, and whatever weeds with a boulder near the back of it. There will usually be a smallie or two sitting on it practically everyday.

If not, I would just call it a day of "bass fishing" and pitch at clumps of weeds, weed edges, docks with sand, and whatever good stuff you can find.

Man do I miss Canada. Haven't been back to Eagle Lake since 2010. Most amazing place I've personally been too. Huge musky, giant football smallies, and enough pike to make you hate them. 

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