Jump to content
Cak920

How to fish big shallow lakes?

Recommended Posts

So where I live in Wisconsin I have 2 kinds of lakes nearby. The bowl lakes that have a shallow rim and quickly drop to 40-50ft in the middle and only 20-30 acres. And then Lake Michigan. The little lakes I fish are fairly straightforward fishing the weed lines along the outside of the lake with little to no discernible structure in the rest of the lake. I’ve been intrigued for a while by a lake about 40 min away from me that is quite different than anything I have fished. It’s a 8,800 acre lake with a max depth of 10 ft and seems most of the lake is a consistent 6 ft. What would your approach be to finding fish In a lake like that?

side note: I fish from a kayak.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do your research, a natural lake (?) that big should have a map that shows navigation hazards like reefs for example. You need to locate hard bottom, sandy areas with contour line changes. The break lines will be suttle but important, any isolated structure will hold bass.

Tom

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Learn to fish a jig.

A-Jay

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this lake heavily weeded? The reason I ask is I fish a few lakes that are similar, but not as big. They usually get choked out pretty good. I focus on spots where two types of vegetation meet. Frogs or heavy jigs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, WRB said:

Do your research, a natural lake (?) that big should have a map that shows navigation hazards like reefs for example. You need to locate hard bottom, sandy areas with contour line changes. The break lines will be suttle but important, any isolated structure will hold bass.

Tom

I haven’t found anything other than a basic topo map of it. It is a natural lake

2 hours ago, A-Jay said:

Learn to fish a jig.

A-Jay

 

 

I have some but I haven’t tried them yet. I will try them sometime this year.

 

2 hours ago, BuzzHudson19c said:

Is this lake heavily weeded? The reason I ask is I fish a few lakes that are similar, but not as big. They usually get choked out pretty good. I focus on spots where two types of vegetation meet. Frogs or heavy jigs.

From what I’ve heard it gets heavily weeded. I planned on trying topwaters. I’ll have to give jigs a try to but never fished a jig yet. Is there anything in particular you look for where different vegetation meet? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can, idle around the lake afterice out and and look for any structure or irregularities before the weeds come up.

 

 

Side imagineing makes this easier but can be done with 2d sonar

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lake that size in WI is probably mapped in Navionics. Look here. If you can, enable the sonar charts for the highest possible level of detail. That'd be the first place I'd look.

 

The second thing I'd do is some internet research to check if it's a smallmouth or largemouth lake.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, portiabrat said:

A lake that size in WI is probably mapped in Navionics. Look here. If you can, enable the sonar charts for the highest possible level of detail. That'd be the first place I'd look.

 

The second thing I'd do is some internet research to check if it's a smallmouth or largemouth lake.

It has both largemouth and smallmouth. As well as musky, catfish, and sturgeon. Lot of diversity as it’s one of 3 big lakes that connect a river system to a huge lake. I will check out  Navionics

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ultimate Big, shallow, weedy, lake in the country is Okeechobee, a lot different then your lake just in the fish available to catch.  One thing I will tell you is, it's not an easy lake to fish for the occasional bass fisherman.  What is good today often changes quickly with weather patterns.  Depth changes often occur with blowing wind.  Floating Vegetation often shifts with blowing wind.  Water clarity will often change over night with wind.  Finally fish often shift big time, with all these other changes.  Guys that fish it often will have develop a knowledge of where the bass have gone, with the condition that day.  The average Joe has not a clue!  One constant over the years is, if you find clean water, you'll eventually find fish.  Don't count on what you have done before, this often becomes the down fall of even the professionals.  

 

Water levels, wind, water clairity, and fish cycles are the biggest factors, on a big, southern, shallow, weedy, Lake.  I'm sure yours will be far different.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Cak920 said:

It has both largemouth and smallmouth. As well as musky, catfish, and sturgeon. Lot of diversity as it’s one of 3 big lakes that connect a river system to a huge lake. I will check out  Navionics

I know the lake you are asking about. It also has walleye and lots of pike. Not much in the way of depth changes, all you can do is stay by the weeds which are everywhere and cover water.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had good luck with paddletail swimbaits with an underspin or spinnerbaits depending on the cloudiness of the water in shallow lakes when fish are active. Also you can kill it on topwater.

 

When they're not, try something with a more vertical presentation like a jig or a Texas rig. If there's not a lot of cover in the lake, that's a hint that you may want to try a drop shot in the deeper areas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The wind can turn these big shallow round lakes into monster swells pretty quick and I can't imagine a kayak does well in that so use caution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/7/2018 at 4:35 PM, Cak920 said:

Is there anything in particular you look for where different vegetation meet? 

I usually find the seem where lily pads meet milfoil. Every lake is different in regards to types vegetation but that is a pretty common one. Otherwise you're just looking for anything different. A small opening, a breakup in the weeds, or some type of cover (rock or log) protruding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I might have to take a trip there in the summer. That is perfect for all of my strengths, I shore and dock fished for the longest time growing up. Shakey heads, soft jerks(or hard), senkos, spinnerbaits, squarebills and lipless cranks will tear up that lake. I hate 40ft drop offs so forget that noise. I always look for shallow flats when trying to outfish my friends and 9/10 I do. You just gotta experiment for what colors work and the local shad, craw and baitfish. 

For locations look where you can see a visable current and then a rock or very thick grass because they will hide there and ambush squarebills and jerks if you can get it in the middle where the current most likely carried the grass away making a narrow gap. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing forum

    fishing

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing forum

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×