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Bass Fishing A Lake With Very Little To No Cover?

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How should I approach a small to medium size lake with very little to no cover? Some shallow points, but yet the only cover is medium heavy moss on the bottom. No downed trees, no trees leaning over the water, no reeds, no tulies, no hydrilla, no cover at all. I don't quite know how to approach this lake especially with it being the middle of spawn season. What would you suggest?

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If there is really that little cover, the bass will just be on smaller pieces of structure or cover. Try the shallow points. Look for a topo map and try fishing any secondary points, drop offs (even one or two feet), underwater humps or anything else you see. If there are docks definitely try and fish those.

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My experience with bodies of water that have little or no cover is limited to strip mine lakes or quarries. What I've found is that fish will follow the forage, in my case they were schools of minnows and although they wouldn't feed 24/7 they could be caught with a vertical presentation that imitated a wounded or dying minnow.  The other thing fish in these types of water do is suspend a lot and that will occur the majority of time at the same level of the first major drop off.  They may be tight to the drop, or as far off as you can cast.  A good suspending crank that will get to just above these fish can sometimes get the school excited and your livewell full.

Also, with the lack of traditional types of cover, bass will migrate to areas of shade and transition areas where the bottom content changes, or the color of the bottom does.  Just like normal cover, any change in shape or location can be a holding spot.

If the water has any color, a change in water clarity can be an area of fish concentration. 

Don't give up, find the little differences and the bait and you'll be on your way to solving that lake.

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The above ^ was excellent advice by Papa Joe. You will have to find whatever little differences in STRUCTURE you can find. For instance, if there is no cover, true cover, like logs, vegetation, etc, you will have to pay even more attention to points, dropoffs, ledges, and other physical differences in the topography of the lake floor. 

My neighborhood lake is pretty much what you describe. It is completely devoid of cover. It is also pretty much featureless and is by and large one giant flat. So, the bass will indeed follow the shad a lot as the above poster mentioned. Try to find them, and you should improve your chances at finding fish. 

I think the most important part to fishing a lake like the one you described is to either paddle a lot or put the trolling motor on high and use a lot of baits which cover a lot of water. You might have to use these searchbaits more than you otherwise would. When you think you have found fish holding on to some form of structure or cover, you can then slow down. 

I would focus on finding baitfish. I would also fish a lot of fast moving baits that cover a lot of water, focus on finding structure, and targeting what little cover there is. Once you find the fish, slow dow, but be prepared to cover a LOT of water....
 

---Carlos

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a lake i fish is like this and usually i get them in deeper water with a crank bait mid day and closer to the edges at dawn and dusk

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if there is no structure then the fish have nothing to hold to and ambush prey. In a lake like this you are probabily best off throwing moving baits and covering a lot of water, spinnerbaits cranks, swimbaits, a-rigs, something like this. the bass will follow the food so they may even suspend over some of the deeper parts of the lake durring the sumer following the forage. Honestly a lake like this can be very frusterating many times durring the year, if you have other lakes in the area that are more diverse on cover, i would sugest fishing one of those instead, if not good luck...

 

Mitch

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Right now in New Hampshire from a vegetation stand point there is pretty much zero cover. Try to find bass with spinnerbaits, cranks, etc. Baits that cover lots of water.... When the time comes I will throw topwaster baits to locate fish. If you locate a fish than you should slow doen your fishing and focus on the spot close to where you located a fish...

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Find the forage.  Does the lake have any type of shad or pelagic bait?  If so, use the depth finder to locate bait, then drop-shot, crank, swimbait, A-Rig, etc.  You can also find this information by watching the water early in the morning.  Look for fish out away from shore dimpling or popping the surface.  Unfortunately, this usually means suspended fish and that sucks royally.

 

The other approach I would try is (of course) finesse presentations that allow you to follow the contour of the bottom.  Shakey head, split-shot rig and drop shot.  Just start with your bait about 3' deep and drift out to deeper water.

 

Lastly....football jigs and c-rigs.  Cover a lot of water and follow the bottom very well.  It seems slow to do this.  You just have to realize how much real estate you are covering on each cast.  Those things reach out and touch em.  I didn't see if you were fishing from a boat or not.  If you aren't, The C-rig would still be a great choice.

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Should be easy to see the bed sites in a lake with little cover, go sight fishing.

Tom

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