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Hello everyone, I recently fished a new lake that proved to be quite the challenge.  This lake is about 800 surface areas of tannin stained black water cypress swamp.  The lake averages about 5 feet deep and the deepest area I found was in the channel at about 8-9 feet.  This lake is littered with hundreds upon hundreds of cypress trees and 90% of the lake is covered in either coontail or hydrilla, 100 year old cut cypress stumps litter the area, as well as other stumps, logs and the likes.  The lake has a million things to cast to and little to no contour. 

 

I fished for about 4 hours and managed 4 fish.  The first came on a senko, and the next three were all caught on a spinnerbait just above the grass.  I caught all of these fish with a 75x75 yd stretch and that was it.  I fished maybe 1/4 of the lake and never found another bite.

 

So where do I start?  Everything looks the same, there are 2.3 million (Joking, but there probably is closer to a thousand) cypress trees, basically the entire lake buried in thick grass, bordered by fields and fields of lillies.  I looked for those "different" areas but found 0.  Apparently the gators have the best spots to themselves.  I know there are good fish here but this lake is tough.  However I feel that living where I do, in south Ga.  learning to fish these swamp lakes would benefit me.  Most of the lakes around me are similiar to this one, however I am not comfortable fishing these types of lakes.

 

Help, tips, pointers?

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Hey man Im in South GA too! I love the blackwater with cypress trees. Huge fan of fishing in swamps! Personally I use to do the same and I recently found out throwing square bills and reeling in towards stumps gets a huge reaction bite! I wasnt a fan of cranking until I used the square bill its my personal favorite to throw right now!

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I grow up fishing the same kind of stuff, a big ribben tail worm Texas rigged is your best freind in that stuff down here.

 

Also you said lots of lilly pads and mentioned gators, there is your something diffrent right there gators will make path's throw thick grass and the bass will stage in those lil channels and at the mouth of them.

 

Also look along the edges of where two types of grass meet up bass will stage there as well.

 

It's summer time throw some frogs around that thick grass even more so if you see a log in the grass.

 

It's a shallow lake so in the mid day heat you might try that channel you said was like 8-9 feet with a crank or trap or a Texas rig.

 

Take a few days to go perch fishing and learn where the bream and bluegills live the bass won't be far from them.

 

Does the lake have a good size crawfish population? If so try fishing with a crawfish imitation bait on bottom  along the grass and around logs and stumps.

 

Hope this helps sir.

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Ive fished a lot of those kind of lakes.I always did well with a moccasin or red shad culprit worm.But you really have to slow down.We all know that fish don't bite all the time but when they slow down,we have a tendency to speed up,which usually produces less fish,at least with plastic worms.

I would try to get ahold of the lake contour map and study it, if there is one.

Look for close together lines near shore and fish that area. This characteristic shows a steep drop off which bass like,especially with cover nearby. Also look for floating ,isolated patches of weeds,lone cypresses farther out in the lake, and docks.Althogh I haven't fished these lakes much with spinnerbaits,I would try them around grass edges,cypresses etc. And rattletraps sometimes work well in deep holes in open water.

Keep us posted.I love fishing those kind of lakes.

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Thanks for the info guys.  I also would like to find a contour map but my searches yielded no results, however I did find some interesting shocking data provided by the GADNR.  Does anyone know where I can find a contour map? 

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I googled it and found a lot of Florida lakes that had been surveyed.I don't have the sites anymore but there were a couple different sources and they were easily found.Dont know about Georgia.

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Thanks for the info.  This lake was actually dammed up over 100 years ago so hopefully someone along the way decided to do some mapping and provide it to the public.  I'll have to do some more digging.

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The cypress swamp you described reminds me of Banks Lake in south Georgia  (cypress knees, lotus pads & coontail).

Everything may look the same 'above' the waterline, but the contour of the bottom usually calls the shots.

There are topographic maps for nearly every square mile of earth. I should preface by saying

that many erroneously refer to "hydro maps" as "topo maps", but a TRUE 'topo map' is a land survey

expressed in elevation (elevation has to be converted to water depth). Topo maps are indispensable

for manmade reservoirs before their impoundment, and for uncharted waters.

I would surf the Georgia USGS for the topo section of interest, which they refer to as 'quadrangles'.

Swampland is normally flatland with indistinct contour, but small nuances can make a 'big' difference.

 

Roger

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9 minutes ago, RoLo said:

 

The cypress swamp you described reminds me of Banks Lake in south Georgia  (cypress knees, lotus pads & coontail).

Everything may look the same 'above' the waterline, but the contour of the bottom usually calls the shots.

There are topographic maps for nearly every square mile of earth. I should preface by saying

that many erroneously refer to "hydro maps" as "topo maps", but a TRUE 'topo map' is a land survey expressed in elevation (elevation has to be converted to water depth). Topo maps are indispensable

for manmade reservoirs before their impoundment, and for uncharted waters.

I would surf the Georgia USGS for the topo section of interest, which they refer to as 'quadrangles'.

Swampland is normally flatland with indistinct contour, but small nuances can make a 'big' difference.

 

Roger

Good Info.  I actually fished Banks with my Dad when I was very young.  I may go down again one day.  Do you fish there often?

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On 6/18/2017 at 7:44 PM, spencer12 said:

Good Info.  I actually fished Banks with my Dad when I was very young.  I may go down again one day.  Do you fish there often?

 

I only fished there a couple times, when I was living in Rico, GA (Fulton Co Greenbelt).

Today we live in central Florida which is out of the area, but Banks Lake has great charm & mystique,

I can't help but think that Montgomery Lake once looked like that (home of the former world-record).

 

Roger

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u said all 4 of the fish u caught were in the same small area use your graph to figure out what is under the water making that fish hold there then find similar places.

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Cypress trees generally have a doughnut-shaped root system underwater all the way around them. The bass will be suspended up above the roots or stage out in front of the trees on limbs, branches, logs, stumps or debris.

 

The extensive root system of a cypress tree holds a food source year round. 

Shad, bream, minnows and other baitfish as well crawfish offer a variety of food.

 

Find the depth changes and spend all you time fishing the trees on the edges of the change. Go to the shoreline trees that are out in the water and fish the grass or moss beds at individual point trees or weed lines. Throw fast movers til you locate the right structure and then slow down and pick them off one by one. Remember your successful locations and go back to them again if needed. Change, change, change, look for change. Cypress stands are great if you find change.

 

Dark water

Baits that move a lot of water 

10 Rage Tail Anaconda, Gene Larew 11" Salty Snake, Lunker Lure Triple Rattle Back Jigs & pictured below

Go-Getter.jpg

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I used to fish a much smaller body of water that sounds very similar, although it had a limited amount of cypress trees on the northern end. It also was covered up in grass and lily pads. We actually had are best success fishing the edges of the lillies in the corners and turns. Best baits were weedless senkos, super flukes, hollow bodied frogs, etc. But our best technique was using weedless Zoom ultra vibe speed worms as finesse buzz baits. We'd buzz them right thru the lily pads and along edges. 

 

That was some good fishing, and it had some big gators too. IMG_2749.JPG.62daa6cf97af51eeaefd9cccf6c4cca1.JPGIMG_2729.JPG.6cc58b2efff11e6bf904ba376f3937da.JPG

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I fish a lot of water like you describe, and although I am in the northeast...bass are bass.

 

Instead of cypress trees we have locust and willow trees, but they fish similar.

 

In places like this subtle depth changes are important, just a small change from say 1' to 1.5" of water is a  key thing. 

 

Overhead cover is king in this area. Matted grass, windblown "crap" that's up against the shore that they can get under, laydowns or tree root systems that they can get under, scrub bushes/brush that grow out into the water, etc.... 

 

The deeper "holes" in the places like this I fish, usually 6-8' deep, and not very large, will at times have them stacked up heavy. Especially along the edges or break of these holes that lead into the vast shallows. And if these deeper spots have any good piece of cover in them, you have just found the "spot on  the spot"

 

There is also no such thing as "too shallow" in places like this. If there is enough water to cover them AND food. There will be bass in it. I have caught them (and good ones) in water so shallow, they often "shark wake" to get my bait with there backs out of the water. I am talking water so shallow my outboard has to be trimmed up, my trolling motor stowed, and I have to move around with a push pole.

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Sounds like the Dead Lakes in Florida, which I fished once .  It was tough fishing and everything looked the same .I caught two bass about three lbs each using  Texas rigged worm on Cyress tree roots . This would have been over thirty years ago.I read about it in Bass Master magazine from an article titled " You can get your line broke here . "   Next day we fished another swampy area and did no better .

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On 6/24/2017 at 9:18 AM, scaleface said:

Sounds like the Dead Lakes in Florida, which I fished once .  It was tough fishing and everything looked the same .I caught two bass about three lbs each using  Texas rigged worm on Cyress tree roots . This would have been over thirty years ago.I read about it in Bass Master magazine from an article titled " You can get your line broke here . "   Next day we fished another swampy area and did no better .

That's how this lake is.  Although, I have seen a few 10+ pounders caught here it's just brutal to fish.

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I fish a lake with tons of cypress. A few things I've noticed is that on most days the fish will hold on one side of the trees...either the sunny side, or the shade side. Pay attention to which side of the trees you get bit on, and focus your efforts on that side. And like someone mentioned, the roots extend out further than you think, and often times the fish will be near the top and against the trunk, and sometimes they may be near the bottom and 6' away from the tree, as you see it on the surface.

 

I don't have much luck with moving baits on the trees. I do well with senkos (obviously), t-rigged craws with a pegged weight, and sometimes a jig when the weeds aren't too bad. With the craws and jigs, I make my pitch and let it fall. I'll move it or hop once or twice and then pick it up and pitch again to another part of the tree. I think if I were you, since there are so many targets, I would want to cover water. Maybe a spinner bait, and a craw.

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Now that we're in the dead of summer I'm hesitant to return to this lake. I feel as if these shallow cypress lakes peak around March and April and begin to get tougher and tougher as the water warms. 

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