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Josh Smith

Fishing in Indiana Makes You Better?

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Hi Guys,

This could go in a couple forums, but I'm putting it here because I think it will bring a later cross section of members who have experience in several states.

I have read it opined that if you can catch bass in Indiana, you can catch 'em anywhere. While I understand this to be a slight derision against this state's fishery, I'm wondering if there's any truth to this.

Do you who have fished many states feel like you work harder to catch bass in Indiana waters than elsewhere?

Why or why not?

Thank you,

Josh

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A few ago I had a conversation with Don Iovino regarding which state has the best bass anglers based on his experience fishing, guiding and doing seminars all over the country and in Mexico.

Don stated without a doubt Texas. I thought he would say California based on where he lives and guides more often. He said California bass anglers tend to be more specific presentation anglers and have limited all around bass fishing skills compared to Texans.

I have bass fished in nearly every state and tend to group bass by species as to how difficult they are to catch everywhere. The most aggressive bass are Spotted bass followed by Smallmouth bass, both are easier to catch than largemouth bass. Northern strain LMB are more aggressive then Florida strain LMB. Indiana doesn't have a FLMB population that I am aware of don't consider it a difficult state to catch bass.

Tom

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Mostly BS in my opinion. Simply look at the number of big name professional bass anglers that have come out of Indiana and made a career out of the sport :) We've had some really good anglers over the years, but our limited and exceedingly tough fisheries do more damage to creating pros than it does helps. Wheeler is the exception, but he was "trained" differently.

-T9

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I haven't personally fished many other states, but anglers I know say that Indiana is pretty difficult. Our fish don't achieve very large size quickly, if ever. Our fisheries aren't effectively maintained by our DNR, and the pressure the "good lakes" get make the fishing very tough. A couple weeks ago Morse had 4 boat tournaments and a kayak tournament all on the same Saturday - on a 1800 acre lake! 

Like I said I've not personally fished all over the country, but the tournament guys I talk to say Indiana's tough and makes it just a bit better when you get someplace with large and high quality fisheries

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Someone needs to look at the map, Indiana is a Midwest state!

Jose you might need to re title this topic do it doesn't get moved, interesting general bass fishing question.

Tom

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4 hours ago, Team9nine said:

. Wheeler is the exception, but he was "trained" differently.

-T9

If you don't mind me asking, How was he "trained"?

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24 minutes ago, IndianaFinesse said:

If you don't mind me asking, How was he "trained"?

Jacob never fished the large state tourneys (BFL, IBF) like most Indiana guys do for years and years. Due to their size, the larger state circuits can pretty much only fish Monroe, Patoka and the Ohio R., all very difficult and inconsistent lakes.  Instead, he practiced and fished most all his tourneys on Waveland (in it's prime), Geist, Morse, the White R. and Eagle Creek -all lakes where you can catch limits with amazing regularity and thereby fish multiple patterns and multiple techniques. He also had access to a few private lakes with really good bass fisheries (HL included). When he first fished the BFL, he went to the Ohio Div. so he wouldn't have any preconceived ideas by fishing his home division. He only had to do that for 1 year before moving to the national level.

-T9

24 minutes ago, WRB said:

Someone needs to look at the map, Indiana is a Midwest state!

Jose you might need to re title this topic do it doesn't get moved, interesting general bass fishing question.

Tom

Yeah, I agree, but there is no Midwest subgroup in this forum section. They have placed Indiana in the NE subforum. The question was specifically an Indiana question (you hear bass tourney guys say it around around here all the time), so this seems like the appropriate subforum for it.

-T9

 

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6 hours ago, WRB said:

I have bass fished in nearly every state and tend to group bass by species as to how difficult they are to catch everywhere. The most aggressive bass are Spotted bass followed by Smallmouth bass, both are easier to catch than largemouth bass. Northern strain LMB are more aggressive then Florida strain LMB.

Interesting perspective - in lakes in this area (NW WI) I find that in lakes that have both largemouth and smallmouth that I catch largemouth far more often than smallmouth.  Sunday afternoon's outing on a lake known for smallies produced 5 smallies and over 20 largemouth.

It could easily be how I'm fishing...even though I tend to target smallies...or maybe it has to do with the more aggressive northern strain LMB?

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I'd agree that Fishing in Indiana probably does make you Better - in Indiana.

A-Jay

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15 hours ago, Further North said:

Interesting perspective - in lakes in this area (NW WI) I find that in lakes that have both largemouth and smallmouth that I catch largemouth far more often than smallmouth.  Sunday afternoon's outing on a lake known for smallies produced 5 smallies and over 20 largemouth.

It could easily be how I'm fishing...even though I tend to target smallies...or maybe it has to do with the more aggressive northern strain LMB?

Most likely largemouth are the dominant species in that lake, but it could also be where you are fishing and what you are using.

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23 hours ago, Team9nine said:

Mostly BS in my opinion. Simply look at the number of big name professional bass anglers that have come out of Indiana and made a career out of the sport :) We've had some really good anglers over the years, but our limited and exceedingly tough fisheries do more damage to creating pros than it does helps. Wheeler is the exception, but he was "trained" differently.

-T9

Gonna ditto Brian.

Sheer catch rate, and diversity of water types, -a range and intensity of experience- is what offers the best shot at developing well-honed and versatile anglers. This doesn't mean good anglers can't come from more meager backgrounds; Just that if the opportunities aren't there, it'll take more time and likely more traveling within that state or area. In the latter case, one must be willing to search out diverse waters and conditions. Making up those catch rates though may require more than just work, it may require a more observant and quicker learner as well. 

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I think that our DNR could probably do better at maintaining high quality fisheries. It seems like every year their stocking schedule heavily includes trout. Does anyone know where or if they're stocking LMB? I just know it seems a bit backwards that my own and several other anglers I know have caught their PB's (6+ lbs) out of neighborhood retention ponds and rarely break a couple lbs in larger bodies of water. The pressure, poor water quality, and lack of maintenance seems to make catch quality go down as the year progresses. I know the past 3 tournaments the winning weight is in the park of 11lbs.

I would say though we have some great smallmouth fishing in our river systems. I'll be heading out there in the morning! :)

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1 hour ago, Preytorien said:

I think that our DNR could probably do better at maintaining high quality fisheries. It seems like every year their stocking schedule heavily includes trout. Does anyone know where or if they're stocking LMB? 

IDNR does not routinely stock any largemouth bass in our waters unless there is a specific reason for doing so (renovation, shad reduction, fish kill, etc). We are in their native range and they readily reproduce on their own in most of our waters, so they spend the money stocking things that usually won't reproduce naturally such as musky, trout, walleye and wipers.

-T9

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Yeah man.  I heard it too.  I heard just outside Indianapolis there's a Grand Master Sensei bass who will declare you an infinity-level black belt of fishing and then you just karate chop the water and they all swim up to the boat- you just choose.  

 

Or it could just be a wives' tale that guys from Indiana tell themselves to feel better about being in Indana :lol:

 

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5 hours ago, IndianaFinesse said:

Most likely largemouth are the dominant species in that lake, but it could also be where you are fishing and what you are using.

They appear to be...though it used to be better balanced.  There are some big smallies in there - I have caught several over 6 lbs. - have never touched a largemouth that size in the lake.

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I can say this just moved here from Virginia 3 months ago, and been out 6 times with only 2 fish landed. Now this could be learning new the area around Indianapolis and only fishing select areas, but struggling to nail them down here is an understatement.

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5 hours ago, Master Bait'r said:

Or it could just be a wives' tale that guys from Indiana tell themselves to feel better about being in Indana :lol:

Definitely.

4 hours ago, Further North said:

They appear to be...though it used to be better balanced.  There are some big smallies in there - I have caught several over 6 lbs. - have never touched a largemouth that size in the lake.

Yep, that's kind of the way it is in my lake.  I have only caught four smallies this year, but none where under two pounds and my pb smallmouth weighed 5.4 pounds (for Indy that's huge).

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i moved from IN to OH last year....and i can without a doubt say that IN is much better than OH...i moved from Bloomington, IN to Cincy area... this is my 2nd year fishing in the OH club after 8 years in 2 different clubs in IN

give me Patoka, Geist, OH river(Rocky Point), White River, even Monroe over OH's Rocky Fork, East Fork, Grand Lake (St Mary's) or Indian

i am not saying IN is easy/great by any means....i also thought that IN was tough but...in my experience, OH is much tougher...

i think that whereever we live, we think the grass is greener elsewhere.

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DNR only stocks catfish and trout. When I'm fishing Geist I can only pull out largemouths no bigger than 2 pounds. I caught and broke all of my PBs in retention ponds. 

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On ‎8‎/‎11‎/‎2016 at 4:43 PM, Preytorien said:

I think that our DNR could probably do better at maintaining high quality fisheries. It seems like every year their stocking schedule heavily includes trout. Does anyone know where or if they're stocking LMB? I just know it seems a bit backwards that my own and several other anglers I know have caught their PB's (6+ lbs) out of neighborhood retention ponds and rarely break a couple lbs in larger bodies of water. The pressure, poor water quality, and lack of maintenance seems to make catch quality go down as the year progresses. I know the past 3 tournaments the winning weight is in the park of 11lbs.

I would say though we have some great smallmouth fishing in our river systems. I'll be heading out there in the morning! :)

agree dnr could do a better job the bigger lakes can be challenging and are usually fished pretty hard

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I can say that some of the larger Indiana lakes do not have stellar bass fishing from what I've seen. Eagle Creek has been marginally lately, and I've only fished Racoon a few times, mostly due to a lack of fish and size. I have caught much better fish at small lakes or farm ponds in my area. Both numbers and size. I'm not convinced this would make one a better angler though. If the fishery and the conditions are tough, then maybe having grown up in a indiana would serve you well if it's the kind of tournament where everyone is struggling to scrap out 5 fish, but other than that, I would think seeing a variety of situations would make you a more versatile and "better" overall angler and give you an edge on large tournament trails.... then again I don't Fish tournaments, so I may be completely misguided. 

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