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Weld's Largemouth

Calling All Who Are Good At Deciphering Topo Maps!

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Hey!

 

I'm looking to fish this lake here on Long Island, NY. Its the biggest lake on the island, and its a super deep kettle hole with not a lot of structure.

 

What are your thoughts?

 

Here is the map: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/fish_marine_pdf/lkronkmap.pdf

 

And here is the info about the lake:

 

 

Lake Ronkonkoma Fishing Information

Formed by ancient glaciers, Lake Ronkonkoma is the largest and perhaps best known of Long Island's freshwater lakes. Portions of its irregular basin are unusually deep for Long Island (65 feet), but most of the lake is less than 15 feet deep.

As a rule of thumb, it is unproductive to fish deeper than 15 feet in Lake Ronkonkoma because there is seldom enough dissolved oxygen to sustain fish beyond this depth. The primary gamefish are largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. Lake Ronkonkoma holds large bass, but locating them is a challenge due to the scarcity of natural structure to attract these fish. Stumps have been placed into the lake for habitat enhancement (see below). Chain pickerel are extremely rare.

In the last two decades, white perch and yellow perch populations have increased to the point of upsetting the ecological balance of the lake. To control these species, the DEC began stocking walleye in 1994. Walleye over 27 inches long can be caught and provide a good targeted fishery. For more information on this species see the walleye fact sheet. (* 118 KB pdf file) Lake Ronkonkoma also contains sunfish and crappie though large specimens are not common.

Lake Ronkonkoma Bass Habitat Enhancement Project

On a frosty December 2002 morning, a crowd of anglers, conservation professionals and curious onlookers cheered as a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter from the New York Army National Guard airlifted over 150 weighted hardwood tree stumps and dropped them into Lake Ronkonkoma. This seemingly odd activity was part of a project to construct submerged reefs. The stumps sink to the bottom of the lake, where they provide fish with places to feed, rest and hide. The project was completed via a partnership among DEC, DOT, the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs, the Long Island Bassmasters and the Suffolk County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation.

Fishing is an important recreational activity at Lake Ronkonkoma. A DEC study conducted during the summer of 2000 estimated that anglers spent more than 13,000 hours fishing at the lake between May and October. For several years, DEC fisheries staff and members of the Bassmasters wanted to supplement scarce fish habitat and improve fishing in the lake but had no practical means of moving the extremely heavy stumps.

The solution was GuardHELP, the New York National Guard's community support program, which links the Guard's training requirements to community needs across New York State. The Lake Ronkonkoma project provided an opportunity for troops based at MacArthur Airport to train in slingload operations--a necessary skill for Blackhawk aviators and crews. Instead of merely moving objects around at a military installation, crews received training while simultaneously providing a service to the people of Long Island.

Physical Features:

Area: 243 acres
Maximum depth: 65 feet

Species Present (naturally reproducing):

Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Chain Pickerel
Bluegill
Pumpkinseed
Black Crappie
Yellow Perch
White Perch
Carp
Brown Bullhead

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I like the steep breaks on the south/southwest side. But its just speculation better to get on- the- water experience with it.

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I like the steep breaks on the south/southwest side. But its just speculation better to get on- the- water experience with it.

True, I haven't caught anything there before so I'll have to do some exploring

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Those 26 and 30' holes on the north end look interesting too. If I were a pre spawn bass run off the flats by a cold front that's where I'd go.

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Topo maps may not be up to date but they will give you an idea of the contour above and below the water.

 

Please use the topo map as a guide with the understanding that things do change and what was there last year may not be there this year.

 

Regarding your query I would think it is important to add to your equation the water temperature and water clarity.

 

If the bass are in prespawn they act differently than in post spawn or in the summer months.

 

With the big blizzard heading your way I would think water temperatures will be dropping into the 30 degree area so you need to prepare for cold water starting with a jerkbait.

 

Hope you are ready for the storm that will hit you tomorrow, Monday, January 26th and into Tuesday.

 

Be safe and stay home and watch bass fishing DVD's.

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On 1/25/2015 at 4:37 PM, Crappiebasser said:

Those 26 and 30' holes on the north end look interesting too. If I were a pre spawn bass run off the flats by a cold front that's where I'd go.

The only issue with these deep spots is: "...there is seldom enough dissolved oxygen to sustain fish beyond this depth"

 

But who knows if this is actually true? It could be, there is literally no structure or anything down there...

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Topo maps may not be up to date but they will give you an idea of the contour above and below the water.

 

Please use the topo map as a guide with the understanding that things do change and what was there last year may not be there this year.

 

Regarding your query I would think it is important to add to your equation the water temperature and water clarity.

 

If the bass are in prespawn they act differently than in post spawn or in the summer months.

 

With the big blizzard heading your way I would think water temperatures will be dropping into the 30 degree area so you need to prepare for cold water starting with a jerkbait.

 

Hope you are ready for the storm that will hit you tomorrow, Monday, January 26th and into Tuesday.

 

Be safe and stay home and watch bass fishing DVD's.

I shall, and yes this blizzard is going to be awful but It would cancel my midterms :)

Also, I'm not fishing anytime soon, the lake is frozen until spring, but then jerkbaits will have their time to shine!

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That area where it is 3' then 7' then 13' and 16' looks interesting. It may provide a good shallow feeding area for bass, w/the ability to escape to deeper water. That's where I would concentrate my efforts at first. If I'm fishing a foreign lake im gonna cover water, and im gonna start shallow. That's my thinking.

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The only issue with these deep spots is: "...there is seldom enough dissolved oxygen to sustain fish beyond this depth"

 

But who knows if this is actually true? It could be, there is literally no structure or anything down there...

The breaklines from the 26ft deep water  all the way up to the 3 ft water are your structure.    

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I'm sure you can speak on Carters Lake GA more than I can but I have caught fish there in the summer suspended in 80-100'. Those fish don't seem to care about the rule of thumb.

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Funny how my eyes went directly to that point .  That area of the lake should be a producer year round the south-east side should hold fish duing the colder months with the sharp drop off and the north west side has a 'cove' at the end that gives access to both points for pre and post spawners.  Summertime would likely find a good concentration of fish using the deep water off the east end as their summer home. Depending on bottom composition, the smallies could be attracted to the hump just south east of it.  All this is assuming that there is forage and some form of cover in the area.

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its possible to catch them deeper than that yet. it has to do with the water clarity and Carters is very clear. If your water is clear you can support more algea and photoplankton at deeper depths and they are responsible for most of the Dissolved Oxygen(DO) in the water columns.

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Doing the research on Lake Ronkonkoma it tends to be of good clarity so this will allow for photosynthesis to occur at greater depths, which allows an increase in Oxygen production and permits this lake to maintain good Dissolved Oxygen (DO) levels past the Thermocline. Another property of the lake that helps it maintain a good DO level is the fact the water turns solid in the winter. Although this decreases photosynthesis during the winter it permits the water to fully turn twice a year driving DO into deeper portions of the lake making it actually quite plausible to fish those deep holes early spring due to the DO from the surface water rolling down deep. As the year continues, however, and heat rises the lake will stratify again with a Thermocline and a Chemocline. Depending on clarity this lake should be good to fish a little below the Thermocline but fishing will die out at the Chemocline. Based on what I have read during the research I would “guess” that during the summer months the Chemocline will form at around 17’ to 20’ ultimately killing the fishing at any depth past that. So as far as Oxygen levels and depths I hope that kind of answers your question.

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Weld when the ice goes out and Spring comes to Long Island, I would concentrate my efforts in the Northern and Northeastern areas of the lake. The prevailing warm weather direction there is from the SW , so the NE section of the lake warms up first. I would forsake the deeper areas of the lake and concentrate my efforts in the shallows (a shallow fish is an active fish). I would concentrate my efforts around anything that changes - edges of weeds, sandy bottom to gravel, lily pads, docks, fallen trees, limbs in the water, shallow dropoffs, etc. I'd use reaction baits as search baits and a worm or jig for high probability areas. If you are shore bound it may be difficult because of houses and trespassing issues. Good luck - have fun and stay warm this winter.

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Portion Road area where it runs 8-10', forget anything beyond 15' according to DEC fisheries.

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  On the northeast side of the 65 foot holes are some flats with interesting contours , that is most appealing to me . That 13 foot mark makes some good " zags " there .

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Portion Road area 

I dont know what this means.

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Doing the research on Lake Ronkonkoma it tends to be of good clarity so this will allow for photosynthesis to occur at greater depths, which allows an increase in Oxygen production and permits this lake to maintain good Dissolved Oxygen (DO) levels past the Thermocline. Another property of the lake that helps it maintain a good DO level is the fact the water turns solid in the winter. Although this decreases photosynthesis during the winter it permits the water to fully turn twice a year driving DO into deeper portions of the lake making it actually quite plausible to fish those deep holes early spring due to the DO from the surface water rolling down deep. As the year continues, however, and heat rises the lake will stratify again with a Thermocline and a Chemocline. Depending on clarity this lake should be good to fish a little below the Thermocline but fishing will die out at the Chemocline. Based on what I have read during the research I would “guess” that during the summer months the Chemocline will form at around 17’ to 20’ ultimately killing the fishing at any depth past that. So as far as Oxygen levels and depths I hope that kind of answers your question.

Thank you! Very useful info!

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Weld when the ice goes out and Spring comes to Long Island, I would concentrate my efforts in the Northern and Northeastern areas of the lake. The prevailing warm weather direction there is from the SW , so the NE section of the lake warms up first. I would forsake the deeper areas of the lake and concentrate my efforts in the shallows (a shallow fish is an active fish). I would concentrate my efforts around anything that changes - edges of weeds, sandy bottom to gravel, lily pads, docks, fallen trees, limbs in the water, shallow dropoffs, etc. I'd use reaction baits as search baits and a worm or jig for high probability areas. If you are shore bound it may be difficult because of houses and trespassing issues. Good luck - have fun and stay warm this winter.

Thank you! Ill definitely target those areas! And ill be in a boat so that helps a ton. Ill be sure to be bundled up.. Looks like were getting at minimum 20" of snow here on long island in the next day.

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You did ask for thoughts, here's mine.

Forget about the lake contours unless you have some good electronics and are well versed at reading deep water, otherwise, you're wasting your time. Forget about the dissolved oxygen, plankton, thermocline, gamma rays, sun spots or anything else. Get a good copy of the lake map, then fold it up and put it somewhere where you can't find it.

Tie on a spinnerbait a crankbait or a jig, put your trolling motor in the water & just go around the lake & use your eyes. It's only a couple hundred acres. That will tell you more about the lake than any map ever could. My first instinct would to be to find out what the forage base is in the lake. That shouldn't be too difficult.

I'd start in the north end where the feeder creek comes in, and it looks like there's several hundred feet of an old abandoned pier with rubble in the water.

In the northeast corner, looks like there are plenty of downed trees along the bank. I'd spend a whole day just in the northeast corner.

And even though I wouldn't even bother fishing more than 10-12' deep, I'd certainly keep my eyes open for bird / fish activity out in the open water. Some of these bowl shaped lakes with little or no shoreline cover can be sleeper lakes for offshore schoolies.

good luck with it

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You did ask for thoughts, here's mine.

Forget about the lake contours unless you have some good electronics and are well versed at reading deep water, otherwise, you're wasting your time. Forget about the dissolved oxygen, plankton, thermocline, gamma rays, sun spots or anything else. Get a good copy of the lake map, then fold it up and put it somewhere where you can't find it.

Tie on a spinnerbait a crankbait or a jig, put your trolling motor in the water & just go around the lake & use your eyes. It's only a couple hundred acres. That will tell you more about the lake than any map ever could. My first instinct would to be to find out what the forage base is in the lake. That shouldn't be too difficult.

I'd start in the north end where the feeder creek comes in, and it looks like there's several hundred feet of an old abandoned pier with rubble in the water.

In the northeast corner, looks like there are plenty of downed trees along the bank. I'd spend a whole day just in the northeast corner.

And even though I wouldn't even bother fishing more than 10-12' deep, I'd certainly keep my eyes open for bird / fish activity out in the open water. Some of these bowl shaped lakes with little or no shoreline cover can be sleeper lakes for offshore schoolies.

good luck with it

thanks! I won't have any electronics, but i will be on a boat with my search baits at the ready.. 

The lake has:

Bluegill

Pumpkinseed

Black Crappie

Yellow Perch

White Perch

 

Lipless crankbaits in perch colors are going to be key i think.

 

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I cant decipher any roads , piers or rubble on the map. I am missing something .

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I cant decipher any roads , piers or rubble on the map. I am missing something .

I looked @ Acme Mapper ;)

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Looks like a fun little pond to explore . It Shouldn't take long to learn. Without Electronics its hard to pin point or creap up on places without GPS.  You can use the map and land marks and count your bait down is about it to find drops.  Electronics and gps make life way better. Without them , just fish what you can see because you can't find what you can't see without them without spending a lot of time with primitive methods . GO have fun.

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 I won't have any electronics

 

imo that answers the most important question and dictates your entire plan of attack.

a 3/4 jig and/or C-rig will be ur eye's and let you know when ur on/around rocks and weeds. make sure you have several marker buoys in the boat.  kick a buoy overboard as soon as you catch a fish.  you'll be amazed how fast you drift/get blown off a spot. buoys are cheap so i even let them in the water and come back to fish the spot an hour or two later. i've yet to have someone steal one.  plus i don't mind if other boats fish them b/c they don't know the correct angle and either part their boat on top of the buoy or drop their lure right on top of it. i drop a buoy to mark deep weed beds and most guys scratch their heads wondering why a buoy is floating in the middle of 'nowhere'.

structure fishing is a whole new world so when the fish are beating me up I head for weeds. shallow weeds that break the surface are easiest but have smaller fish. after you get bored with the shallow weeds head to deeper weeds, eventually finding the deepest weeds in the lake. this is a good place to start looking for adult bass. ur heavy jig will bring back weeds from the depths.  drag the jig from sediment until you feel the first snag of weeds and just let it sit there. someone will poke their nose out for a snack.  deep weeds produce some of my best fish and provide a nice cross over from deep cover to structure type fishing. true topo map/structure fishing can often kick ur @s$ so it's nice to have a plan and be able to pick off the low hanging fruit.  use the same drag method to go from sediment to rock.  I work extremely fast as long as I'm feeling muddy/sediment but slow WAY down once i feel rocky heaven.

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