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Well I am from southern Illinois  and fish mostly these strip pits which are a few miles from my house.  There are close to 25 pits and most are fishable by boat, they are almost all very clear with little to no visible brush around the bank, with very steep drop off banks.  I have been fishing these pits for the last year and have just about fished everyone one accesible by boat. 

 

The problem is that almost everytime we can go out and catch 30 bass less than a pound in a few hours but that is it, all the same size.  Occasionally we will pull out a decent one, as my dad caught a 5lber one day and I hear stories from alot of people who have fished there that have caught bass in excess of 5lb.

 

Generally we fish t-rig worms/lizards or jigs around weed edges and the banks, as these pits as it gets closer to summer will start to have the shore near the bank covered to the surface with these thick weeds.  I have also had good success with wacky rigged senkos and we usually catch alot of lipless cranks.  On the majority of the pits we have caught atleast 1 bass 2lb plus, with the exception of one pit that is shallower than most of the others and one day me and my dad using t-rigged worms caught 10 bass 2-4lb without any small ones.  The other day though me and my buddy fished the exact same pit, caught 1 2.5lber and close to 30 dinks less than a lb.  I feel like I am going on and on, but I am trying to get the point that I know that almost all of these pits have some good bass, but I need your advice on what to do specifically to target those larger bass.

 

I figured a larger jig might up my odds, but I ended up catching around 15 dinks on it without a single decent bass out of a pit that is very clear with some thorn bushes that are in 3-6 ft of water, and one day a couple weeds ago while trolling to a very small cannal at the end of the pit that gets very shallow I looked down to see 4-5 bass that appeared 3lb plus in a very tight group in water around a foot deep.  So I have seen some decent fish in there.

 

I have my first fish finder coming in tomorow, so hopefully that will help me locate some deep structure, but other than that what kind of techniques should I try?  I have tried alot of different things this past year, but nothing that has produced consistently bigger fish.

 

Thanks

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It may not be what you are doing wrong as much as it is the pit. I have seen many ponds/pits that seem to be what you are encountering. The problem could be as simple as stunted fish growth. This means the level of competition for food is much higher than the amount of food/prey available, resulting in fish not reaching their full growth potential. In other words the body of water lacks food sources for the bass.

A few friends I know manage ponds locally with different strategies. Fewer bass numbers in a small body of water generally will allowed the fish to grow as they should. Less competition for food means more meals and bigger fish.

As to how to fish your pits for larger fish there may not be much you can do to keep the dinks from getting the bait first. You may just need to put in time and just wait it out. If you increase the size of the lure it might help somewhat as well. One last thing don't rule out fishing during low light periods as bigger fish may let their guard down more and also move shallower... a surface bait would be a good place to start when your water temps are upper 50s to lower 60s.

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These pits with stunted fish are perfect for meat fishing.   I think that the little bass are the best size for eating.   You would be doing the pit a favor by taking a couple of hundred 9 to 12 inch bass out of the pit. I'd throw a 4" Brewer slider worm on a 3/16 or 1/4 Slider head on 6 lb line.  Go total finesse.  Take advantage of this unique opportunity to practice selective harvest.  Get a good sharp fillet knife.  Line up some gardener you know, so that you've got some place to compost the fish heads and bones.

 

Ahh - old time hippie meat fishing - brings back memories.

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Kickerfish hit it on the head.

 

Too many smaller bass in the pits fighting for whatever they can find to eat.

 

You may want to harvest some of the smaller bass you catch.

 

And upsize your baits. By doing this you increase the probability of catching the larger bass.

 

When you hear stories of people catching five-pounders remember they caught hundreds of dinks before they nailed the big lady.

 

Have fun and be safe.

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Haha alright guys thanks for tips.  Atleast every other time we go out I take home a good mess of fish and either add some to my pond or have a big fish fry. Last year I had probably taken out close to 300 dinks from a couple pits.

 

I will keep after them

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