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How To Bass Fish Bigger Lakes?

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This will sound dumb but it's a simple concept to fish lakes and ponds I canals from the bank. Ya work the cover ya can and walk the bank. I recently got a canoe and have some very large lakes in my area. I wana try improving my catches. But aside from fishing the banks from a boat how do ya fish large lakes?

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This will sound dumb but it's a simple concept to fish lakes and ponds I canals from the bank. Ya work the cover ya can and walk the bank. I recently got a canoe and have some very large lakes in my area. I wana try improving my catches. But aside from fishing the banks from a boat how do ya fish large lakes?

For very large lakes on my Yak I study the maps and try to find hidden coves or isolated areas.  The number 1 reason is because of the recreational water sports guys or people with no common sense and go full speed right next to ya.  :eyebrows:  In general this is what I would do when fishing from a canoe/kayak on bigger lakes.

 

Question though, I see you live in Florida.  You must be brave fishing in a canoe with all them gators no?  I wouldn't feel so safe.  :laugh5:

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A lot of our large lakes are no wake or no gas engines. The large one like Kissimmee an tarpon and such are speed racer zones lol. Yeah the gators never bother me. I leave them alone they leave me alone. Ok I'll have to look for maps. It just didn't seem productive to fish the deep centers of the lake I guess

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I was going to give you a short simple answer, there isn't. It takes practice. Find large underwater structures, ledges, creek channels adjacent to shallows, ledges, brush piles, docks. That's a start. Then learn the lake, the colors the fish like (can start by looking at water clarity) and which colors to use on bright days vs cloudy. When learning a lake I stick to my confidence baits: jigs, cranks, senkos, tubes; then I fine tune and try to locate numbers and size. This is such a loaded question...I could write 3,000 words and would still only scratch the surface. Keep fishing and more importantly keep learning from the fish and other anglers. Once you think you know it all, you'll stop getting better...don't do that.

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For very large lakes on my Yak I study the maps and try to find hidden coves or isolated areas. The number 1 reason is because of the recreational water sports guys or people with no common sense and go full speed right next to ya. :eyebrows: In general this is what I would do when fishing from a canoe/kayak on bigger lakes.

Question though, I see you live in Florida. You must be brave fishing in a canoe with all them gators no? I wouldn't feel so safe. :laugh5:

Have you ever watched Chad Hoover's show Knot Right Kayak Fishing? He was so close to a gator it scared even me!

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Yeah there everywhere her lol. I stumbled on one bank fishing this weekend. Ok I'll just have to give it a go. I just wasn't sure how to go about a big lake

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Yeah there everywhere her lol. I stumbled on one bank fishing this weekend.

Was he catching anything?

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Carolina rig fishing can tell you a lot about the contour of the lake if you do not have the means to get a depth finder.  

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Depth finder isn't a problem I could fin a cheap one. Never thougt about that on a canoe

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Depth finder isn't a problem I could fin a cheap one. Never thougt about that on a canoe

I have one on my Kayak.  It's great to have. 

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Divide & conquer! ;)

Take a section, learn it complety, then move to the next section!

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The outside weed line can be a productive zone in nearly any lake and fishing any outside weed line from the bank is a challenge.  This weed line is much easier fished from a boat, any kind of boat.  This is where I'd start.  Should there be a spot where current intersects an outside weed line, I'd check there.   Wind blowing into an outside weed line beats wind blowing away from an outside weed line, but I'd check both, giving the wind blowing in a priority..   Where I fish, there are many sunken trees an bushes, mostly thorn bushes, that were left when the lake was constructed.   I don't think that there would be a lot of that in canals.  However, debris and woody vegetation does get thrown into canals from time to time, I'm sure of that.  The outside edge of any debris and woody vegetation is always worth a few casts.

 

If you are new to canoe fishing, in due time you are going to learn all about wind, and how to fish in it.   That'll be fun - be mindful that there is a learning curve to fishing in the wind and it can get real frustrating at time, especially in a canoe.  Carry an anchor of some sort.  Learn how to park and let the wind swing you into casting distance of promising areas.  A drag chain helps also.   It lets the wind blow you along, but slower.   Good luck and have fun.

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Thanks for all the advice everyone. The canoe came with a mushroom anchor and I have a regular anchor also. The lakes near me should have tons of structure.

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Thanks for all the advice everyone. The canoe came with a mushroom anchor and I have a regular anchor also. The lakes near me should have tons of structure.

Just a word of caution using anchors for canoes or kayaks.  You have to make sure you have something that you can break away/unfasten in an emergency, like a clip just in case your canoe tries to flip.  Also, do not anchor yourself in heavy current or heavy winds.  I'd especially worry in your neck of the woods if you tipped.  YIPES! 

 

Personally I'm not a fan of "anchoring", but there are times I'll do it when I'm deep water 10' or more but very rarely will I do that.  If there is somewhere shallow or bed of weeds I can rest on it will slow the wind from taking you out.  Also a make shift mini power pole is a better idea than using an anchor in shallow water, since you can anchor right next to your canoe and since there won't be much slack (ie an anchor line) then it should be much safer in regards to tipping.  Also resting up against submerged or emerged stumps and trees is a great way too.  Oh and another thought to add, you can make your own ties/clips so you can clip yourself to a tree.  It's great when I am fishing in standing timber or any thing I can clip too.  I'd advise using two clips to balance the canoe though. 

 

If you can get a kayak, I find it much better/stable platform.  Especially a sit on top.  My kayak is a Wilderness Ride 135, it's a beast I don't really worry too much about tipping.  Fishing from a canoe in general was more unstable for me, because frankly I'm not that balanced.   :eyebrows: Of course you can mod the canoe to get it stable though.  

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Oh wow awesome idea! A push pole might be good too. I gotta look in the other section. But has anyone put a depth ad fish finder in a canoe

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Learn what is the primary structure and cover in the lake, get a general idea about seasonal patterns but don't live and die by them, figure out what people are catching bass on, get a topo map, and do lots of research.

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Oh wow awesome idea! A push pole might be good too. I gotta look in the other section. But has anyone put a depth ad fish finder in a canoe

Tons of ideas on youtube.  Lots of DIY mods.

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I'm goin straight to YouTube when I get home lol. I know a ton of guys fish shiners in the lake by the house.

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The process of elimination begins at home by studying a contour map

There's no reason to be intimidated by size; the bigger the lake, the more area to be quickly eliminated.

 

As for alligators, they only target sissies   :smiley:

 

Roger

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In each section include shallow & deep water

Pick a section & fish it from now until this time next year. It'll take a few years but do you want to "learn" it or just fish it.

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http://webapp.navionics.com/?lang=en#@46.000000,12.000000,3z

 

Here's a website gives you any contour map you want I haven't figured out how to print them but at least you get an idea. If you click the bottom left hand symbol it will give you more detailed contours of the lake you want. Hope this helps

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http://webapp.navionics.com/?lang=en#@46.000000,12.000000,3z

Here's a website gives you any contour map you want I haven't figured out how to print them but at least you get an idea. If you click the bottom left hand symbol it will give you more detailed contours of the lake you want. Hope this helps

 

Nice contribution Mike!

 

I've seen this website before, but unless I'm missing something though I don't think it provides Lat/Lon coordinates.

I realize that's asking too much from a free website, but it prevents you from creating predefined waypoints.

Though it takes more effort, there's more than one way to skin a cat. Key trial sites can alternatively be fixed

using ranges & triangulation off chart features in combination with a bearing compass (What I've done for years).

 

If you go with commercial cartography, I'd take a close look at the Navionics+ SD card.

It allows the user to select any USA quadrangulars of his choosing up to 2 gigabytes,

and includes free bathymetric updates for one-year (nautical, sonar & community edits).

 

Roger

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