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Glaucus

First Tournament

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This Sunday is my first tournament. It's a 4 mile long lake, semi-clear, averaging 19ft deep, with Crappie and Muskie being the predominant fish. The bass population is up and coming. Some vegetation, some sand and rocks. Supposed to be warm and sunny. In Illinois.

 

How would you approach this? By no means a trophy lake. It's up and coming for bass fishermen. They did a shock a couple of years back and a 7 pound LMB came up. That was the talk of the land. So obviously, no monsters.

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A 7lber for Illinois seems like a monster to me! Biggest I've ever caught here (Milwaukee) is a 5lber, but I've seen fish closer to 7. I'd scream like a school girl if I caught a 7. 

No real advice for the tourney, I'm just a fun-fisher. Any tournaments I have done were $20 three hour tourneys between 10-15 guys. Fun, but not really a money on the line type gig. 

I'd definitely think about drop-shotting that lake though! 

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Drop shot, shakey head, jig. They should be setting up on deep flats, humps, and drop offs. Throw a frog early in the vegetation then find a good deep piece of structure and catch em big!

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I don't care where you live a 7lb LMB is nothing to discount. 

 

Bring a little of everything you have from plastics to hard baits to frogs. 

Not knowing anything about what it looks like, I'd start with a frog over and through the grass and work it throughly. 

After a while work a jig, ribbon tail, speed craw, swim bait  or spinnerbait through it and see what you get, paying attention to the depth, speed of retrieve,  rof etc etc. 

After you work your way out try a catterbait or start pitching into and around the edges of the weed lines, isolated clumps and laydowns, not forgetting the shade of any overhanging trees..

From there you can try the hard baits and drop shot in deeper water. Or any combination there of. 

 

Point is, you're gonna have to try different techniques with different baits until they tell you what they want and how.  

Just focus and listen.

 

Good Luck

 

 

 

 

 

Mike 

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5 hours ago, Mike L said:

Point is, you're gonna have to try different techniques with different baits until they tell you what they want and how.  

Just focus and listen.

 

Good Luck

 

 

Pretty solid to me! 😉

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Use what presentation you are confident with. Tournaments are not a good time and place to learn new lures and presentations.

Musky is a top predator, crappie are not. If the lake has a good crappie population and it's now summer this years crappie spawn are 2"-3" baitfish bass, along with baby bass so lures with specks or dots in lieu of verticle bars or baby bass would be a good color to use.

If the lake is a natural, not man made, then shore weed line breaks with any soil changes are good. Reservior the most obvious areas like points and around dam are good and any channel breaks or added brush pile by the crappie fisherman are good places to start.

Good luck, slow down and enjoy your days fishing.

Tom

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Illinoian here, if it’s midday and very hot, I’d go with the Ned rig, a ribbon tailed worm, or top water. If it’s not midday you could still use the Ned rig or a Senko. Stay cool. 😎 

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Good luck, let us know how you did. 

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