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Levi O'Steen

Struggling with deeper water

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Where I'm at in central Florida, there are two lakes I mostly fish. With both of them they max out around 13 feet but only go to about 8 feet in most places. There are TONS of Lilly pads and this time of year also lots of grass, some past the pads and it grows about 5 to 6 feet off the bottom. There are no really great drop offs to deeper water just long slopes, and no real great ways that I can find to fish the deeper water without catching grass every cast. I need help!

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Sorry Mr. O'Steen, we fish VERY different water and I'm no help whatsoever.  But...

 

Welcome to Bass Resource! I'm sure you will get some great suggestions from the members here.

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so you're saying that there is grass growing up from the bottom as well to about 6 feet?

what have you tried fishing deeper so far?

 

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Spinnerbaits, Rat-L-Traps  over grass, light weighted plastics swum through and over the grass, drop shot, wake baits, topwaters like frogs and poppers, buzzbaits, Whooper Plooper, floating stick baits, toads, and your favorite plastic, unweighted on light line, pulled through the grass and a shaky head along the grass line plus a wacky Senko fished on top of the pads, through the grass and on the edges and the list goes on.

 

Do you have any idea where the thermocline of the lake can be found?  Fish above the thermocline.

 

Now Levi, go out and hit those pads and grasses. Fish them on their edges and then throw into them with your Senkos, spinnerbaits, frogs, toads, unweighted trick worms, standard unweighted finesse worms, etc.

 

Let us know how you do.

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6 hours ago, Scarborough817 said:

so you're saying that there is grass growing up from the bottom as well to about 6 feet?

what have you tried fishing deeper so far?

 

Yes sir. For instance if off the edge of the pads it's 5 feet, grass will only be a foot under the water. It's like that to about 8 feet. I haven't tried deeper than that yet just because it's generally flat and no structure or anything to target

6 hours ago, Steveo-1969 said:

Sorry Mr. O'Steen, we fish VERY different water and I'm no help whatsoever.  But...

 

Welcome to Bass Resource! I'm sure you will get some great suggestions from the members here.

Thank you!

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When you say grass can you identify what type of aquatic plants make it up?

Is this a natural lake? Most central Florida lakes are natural, not man made and usually have various weed types and bottom soil types like muck, mud, clay, sand and gravel that make the bottom structure elements. Take some time and research the aquatic plants types and learn which types the bass are relating to. Very few plants can grow in sand, gravel and clay, those areas also tend to attract clams creating she'll beds. Where these soil type merge creates edges, pockets, that bass use to feed at.

Lots of weedless lures to select, swimming lures and top water lures that work good.

Tom

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frogs, spooks where you can - swimming worm - swim jigs - senkos - spinner baits on real windy days - furbits on breezy days - that's what we used - frogs were my search bait, covering water was important for me and in shallow (10' and less) weedy environments frogs are great search baits - they'll get fish to show themselves even if they don't eat.

Last couple of times on returning there weedless swimbaits (sebile soft swimmer for instance) caught some fish. 

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Sounds like a shallow lake overall. You may not have to fish "deeper water". Sounds like there is plenty of cover for bass and prey. This does not mean that there are no bass in the "deeper" open water. If there are open water prey like shad, or shoals of large sunfishes or tilapia, then mebbe. Either way, it all starts with observation, and it of course helps to know what to look for.

 

If you have sonar you would search out open water prey fish schools and, as WRB mentions, any changes that might serve to attract fish. If you don't have sonar then you could try trolling. I've done this to good effect through open water basin areas in some waters (failed in others). Hit a fish then anchor and cast; Bass are rarely alone.

 

There will be places that hold more prey than others, or where prey is more vulnerable to bass. I always cruise around and identify locations that hold noticeable numbers of prey fishes, and often find the best fishing at those places. Exactly why the prey, or aggressive bass, are there is not always apparent, but often it is: The right weed type, a diversity of change in weeds, hard cover mixed in, or other breaks in the cover that offer running room for bass to hunt effectively. Weed beds with ragged edges can be great. These are often associated with diversity changes, unseen bottom substrate or depth changes.

 

One other thought. If you have been doing well "shallow" until now, then suddenly having a tough time, it could be that water temps have become too high for efficient foraging for many bass. This seems to be esp so for bass in shallow densely vegetated waters. To check this out, try fishing after dark, or checking for a "first-light bite". Also, drops in bass body condition -they becoming thin- can be an indicator of heat stress.

 

Good luck in getting to know your waters.

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