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RHuff

Breaking down a lake

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My goal this off-season is to become more proficient when it comes to eliminating water when trying to figure out where to locate bass. I've really been studying on how to analyze maps, seasonal patters, and water temperate. I decided to test all of my knowledge in order to draw a sample map of a lake and to break down a good starting point of bass location based on the yearly season and of the water temperature. I broke down the lake into four "zones" if you will based on where I think the bass may be along with a description of what to look for based on the temperature of the lake. 

 

For you veterans out there, would you mind to take a second and observe my map and see if I'm headed down the right path for locating fish? 

 

I welcome any input you guys feel like giving me. I'm here to learn lol. 

Sample Lake Breakdown.pdf

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For those that can't get pdf I also included it as a photo below..... 

 

Lake Breakdown.jpg

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I would add fishing the banks, too.

 

Any way you can show anything on the bottom, like rocks, wood, blowdowns, humps, tires, trees, etc.?

 

Can you add a measurement scale by the mile so we will understand how long and wide the area is?

 

Thanks.

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They might want to spawn inbetween zone 3&4 also if there are smallmouth. They like to make their nest up against a random log out in the wide open flats

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Search: breaking down lake maps with josh Douglas and seth feider.  Its a great webinar on the subject 

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Thanks dropshot I will do that

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I think it is unnecessarily complicated .  Id have two zones the main lake and the creek arm .

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I can really appreciate the time and thought you put into your 2018 season.  most of us have been in your exact shoes.  I can tell you from experience there are two very different roads to take which leads me to the million dollar question:  are you using sonar or not?  if not i'll introduce a secondary question:  are you fishing from bank, kayak or boat?  many will argue that a bass is a bass regardless of these answers.  however spend enough time on BR, seminars or out on the water and you'll hear experienced anglers all say the same thing:  catching bass is easy, finding them is the hard part.  answering your questions and the road you take become extremely focused once you answer the above.

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15 hours ago, RHuff said:

For those that can't get pdf I also included it as a photo below..... 

 

Lake Breakdown.jpg

Did you get this idea from Rick Clunn the other night on The Bass Pro's?

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I did lol. I got the zone idea from him but I tried to go in to a little more detail and apply it into a full year instead of just the fall transition. Some of it came from KVD's 6-season bass strategy too. Also been reading in-fisherman's book on bass location, series 2. Tried to take parts from each and make my own thing into something I can use and understand. 

11 hours ago, ClackerBuzz said:

I can really appreciate the time and thought you put into your 2018 season.  most of us have been in your exact shoes.  I can tell you from experience there are two very different roads to take which leads me to the million dollar question:  are you using sonar or not?  if not i'll introduce a secondary question:  are you fishing from bank, kayak or boat?  many will argue that a bass is a bass regardless of these answers.  however spend enough time on BR, seminars or out on the water and you'll hear experienced anglers all say the same thing:  catching bass is easy, finding them is the hard part.  answering your questions and the road you take become extremely focused once you answer the above.

 

 

I bought my first bass boat two years ago, but the electronics on it are out-dated. I am going to upgrade this spring so the answer is No I currently do not use much electronics other than to read the water temperature and very vague details about the bottom contour. 

 

I absolutely love Bass U and have watched as many seminars on there as I can. I have caught a lot of fish over the last two years, but that's with spending two, sometimes three days a week fishing. I have never been in a situation where I have a time constraint on locating fish like tournament fishing will present. 

 

 

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13 hours ago, scaleface said:

I think it is unnecessarily complicated .  Id have two zones the main lake and the creek arm .

 

Where do the creeks run through these two is #1 in my opinion.

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Back in the 80's  Bassmaster magazine had an article by Rick Clunn that broke down a lake in similar fashion .  I tried his system and it just didnt work for me .

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Without knowing more detail and the size of this creek arm can't help you.

Tom

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7 minutes ago, scaleface said:

Back in the 80's  Bassmaster magazine had an article by Rick Clunn that broke down a lake in similar fashion .  I tried his system and it just didnt work for me .

 

I already know where the shallow water is...it's on the bank!

 

Now I wanna know where the deepest water is & then what structure connects the two.

 

At least that's where I'm gonna start, y'all can do what y'all want 😉

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If you look at any Buck Perry diagrams for lakes he analyzed they always had a lot of detail.  I don't think you can make it too detailed when you are talking about the bottom of the lake as there are specific tiny structure features that you may not be aware of that could be very important to bass. 

 

Your diagram is one way to begin breaking down a lake and I don't find fault with whatever method suits you.  However, I would carry your analysis further as it currently does not provide enough detail for me, though I could work from your diagram to add those details.  Your lake breakdown should eventually show you where the bass are likely to hangout in each season, or as @Catt stated the structure that connects shallow spawning flats to the deepest water.  Bass will be found somewhere along this path, depending on the season.

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Most spawning flats will be located near feeding areas, pre-spawn bass are not gonna feed in an area & then swim long distances to spawn. 

 

Those feeding areas will hold bait throughout the year 😉

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You guys are awesome. I made this entire thing from my head so lets pretend the closer you get to the main lake the deeper the water is.. the closer the creek arm the shallower with the spawning areas really shallow

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39 minutes ago, RHuff said:

You guys are awesome. I made this entire thing from my head so lets pretend the closer you get to the main lake the deeper the water is.. the closer the creek arm the shallower with the spawning areas really shallow

In your head how long a distance is this creek arm; 1 mile or 5 miles? and add a hypothical creek channel unless it doesn't exist.

Tom

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5 hours ago, Catt said:

 

I already know where the shallow water is...it's on the bank!

 

Now I wanna know where the deepest water is & then what structure connects the two.

 

At least that's where I'm gonna start, y'all can do what y'all want 😉

I would go to Toledo Bend!!!!!

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16 hours ago, WRB said:

In your head how long a distance is this creek arm; 1 mile or 5 miles? and add a hypothical creek channel unless it doesn't exist.

Tom

 

 Let's say the creek arm is no more than 1/2 a mile

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6 hours ago, RHuff said:

 

 Let's say the creek arm is no more than 1/2 a mile

If thecsketch is the 1/2 mile longit's too small to break down into segments other than understanding seasonal periods; the spawn cycles of pre-spawn, spawning and post spawn, summer, fall and winter.

Tom

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1 hour ago, RHuff said:

 

 Let's say the creek arm is no more than 1/2 a mile

 

More than enough to breakdown!

 

Where's the creek channel?

 

Is it straight down the middle?

 

Is there turns?

 

Does it swing close to shore?

 

How deep is the mouth?

 

How deep is the middle?

 

How deep is the back?

 

What kind of cover?

 

Plenty to work with if ya know what look for 😉

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If the water levels go up and down a lot, you might want to check Google Earth.  Sometimes it will have a timeline photo that shows the structure when the water is down.

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My guess is this is the OP's favorite lake Plum Orchard. He hasn't been willing to define a creek channel, he did define basic depths for each zone. The shore line cover in Plum Orchard appears to be Lilly pads in the shallow coves.

The coves would only be pockets or coves less then 100' back or a casting distance. Bass can spawn anywhere there is some cover or wind protected areas, not always the back of pockets.

Start at the points with pocket or cove located in zone 1 entry point, meter your way across to the opposite entry point looking for the non-existing channel, zig zag up the creek arm middle through zones 2 and 3 to map the non-existing creek channel, stop and fish the pockets or coves with multiple points. By now you should have a good idea what the bottom looks like and where any bait fish may be located and what depth the bass are at. Check out zone 4 to determine if a break line exist and work the thick cover if it has any signs of life.

Tom 

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It isn’t Plum but your right that Plum is one of my favorite little lakes. I truely did just sketch this up from the top of my head. 

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