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Beetlebz

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So I was out on my local reservoir this past week... had been storming and raining for days at this was the first real break. I thought the fish would be going to town with the break in the weather but nada... not a single bite for the first few hours. Then I paddled over to a shallower sloping bank that doesnt normally hold many fish in the summer time. It's good for the occasional cruiser but that's about it. I noticed a patch on the water, about a 3 foot diameter circle. It was almost like it was boiling... or as if there was an invisible shower head raining down in one little spot. I ran a squarebill near it and caught my first bass of the day. I found several more of these spots, caught one or two fish on the 6th sense MVMT80 on everyone. Caught a small perch and a pickerel too. 

 

I assume this is some sort of baitfish activity, but what? And what are they doing? This is in connecticut and in water with no shad. Everytime I paddled ro where they were they would disappear and reappear 20 feet away. This was in only a few feet of water, maybe 5 tops.

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Yeah, most likely a school of shad or other baitfish. The lake I fish the most has gizzard shad and I see that type of surface activity often.

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18 minutes ago, Beetlebz said:

Had been storming and raining for days at this was the first real break. I thought the fish would be going to town with the break in the weather.

A tip for the future, the weather that we humans enjoy being on the water and the weather that the fish become most active in are rarely one in the same. That storming and raining was probably a front moving through and you chose the first day once the front cleared, which is at least in theory, one of the toughest times to fish. My biggest fish this year came literally 30 minutes before a massive line of thunderstorms rolled through as I was getting rained on (you might remember it actually since you are pretty close to me, it was the afternoon of July 17th). That being said you obviously made the best of some tough fishing so props to you! What you described seems like it might be a school of bluegill. At least at the places I fish here in MA they will sometimes get in these tight groups on the surface and it looks like the water is boiling but it's just them swimming across the lake. I have never really targeted under them but after hearing your story (if it really is the same thing we are both seeing) I might have to! I've never understood why they grouped up like that (I always assumed it was a "safety in numbers, let's all cross the lake at the same time" thing).  

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Had the same thing happen to me a couple of weeks ago. Water started boiling ( like heavy rain) Threw a paddle tail into it and caught yellow perch after yellow perch. Looks like a school of yellow perch had a school of minnows surrounded and were having a feeding frenzy.

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Welcome to the world of schooling bass, friends.  This time of the year, oxygen gets used up in deep water and bass/predatory fish push shad/minnows into shallow water and can be easy to catch.  When you see the fish come up, get a shad/minnow shaped lure in there asap and have fun! 

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3 hours ago, MassYak85 said:

A tip for the future, the weather that we humans enjoy being on the water and the weather that the fish become most active in are rarely one in the same. That storming and raining was probably a front moving through and you chose the first day once the front cleared, which is at least in theory, one of the toughest times to fish. My biggest fish this year came literally 30 minutes before a massive line of thunderstorms rolled through as I was getting rained on (you might remember it actually since you are pretty close to me, it was the afternoon of July 17th). That being said you obviously made the best of some tough fishing so props to you! What you described seems like it might be a school of bluegill. At least at the places I fish here in MA they will sometimes get in these tight groups on the surface and it looks like the water is boiling but it's just them swimming across the lake. I have never really targeted under them but after hearing your story (if it really is the same thing we are both seeing) I might have to! I've never understood why they grouped up like that (I always assumed it was a "safety in numbers, let's all cross the lake at the same time" thing).  

Yeah I normally try to get out and fish pre-front and do pretty well, but my work schedule isnt the most predictable thing in the world. Plus, with a kayak I try to get off the water before the downpour starts or its miserable packing up (and my tackle backpack gets soaked).

 

Funny enough @jbmaine I caught a perch the size of my crankbait on my crankbait during this time. Determined little bugger. 

 

@BoatSquirrel I'm going to have to keep a roadrunner or inline spinner or something on hand in case I see this again. I've been pretty serious about fishing for a couple years now but only 1 year or so, maybe a little less, with a kayak and the ability to explore the water some. Its a whole new world for sure. 

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4 hours ago, Beetlebz said:

So I was out on my local reservoir this past week... had been storming and raining for days at this was the first real break. I thought the fish would be going to town with the break in the weather but nada... not a single bite for the first few hours. Then I paddled over to a shallower sloping bank that doesnt normally hold many fish in the summer time. It's good for the occasional cruiser but that's about it. I noticed a patch on the water, about a 3 foot diameter circle. It was almost like it was boiling... or as if there was an invisible shower head raining down in one little spot. I ran a squarebill near it and caught my first bass of the day. I found several more of these spots, caught one or two fish on the 6th sense MVMT80 on everyone. Caught a small perch and a pickerel too. 

 

I assume this is some sort of baitfish activity, but what? And what are they doing? This is in connecticut and in water with no shad. Everytime I paddled ro where they were they would disappear and reappear 20 feet away. This was in only a few feet of water, maybe 5 tops.

 

 

We call this HAPPY WATER and it can be just a shimmer on the surface.  You know there is fish activity in the area and usually hungry bass 5 or 6 feet under the commotion.   Sometimes birds may tune in to the activity from above.  I always look for happy water within casting distance.  I don't chase it with either the T/M or big motor, they exit the area quickly when you do.  When your within casting distance success is possible with a weightless fluke or rattle trap depending on weeds.

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The small lake I fish here has a lot of those boils but they are usually in deeper water. In fact, early this evening when we fished the pier you could see four or five going on at the same time in our vicinity. Occasionally you'd see a small shad break the surface.

 

The birds here are great at spotting those boils. As soon as they spot one they start dive bombing the water.

 

When the boils are in reach I'll cast beyond them and drag a lure through them, but no matter what I throw I've never had a bass bite at that time.

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Sounds like what the schools of young of the year shad look like around here right now. 

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Schoolies can be feast or famine.  Its all about matching your presentation to the bait the fish are after.  Get it right and catch 2 fish on the same cast-or not and pull your hair out throwing everything in your box.

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I saw more of this activity today. Water was dead calm so i investigated. As best I can tell they're schools of 2-4" large mouth. Today the little pods of activity did not bring any bites, but the fishing was a total grind everywhere else too.

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Probably a school of alewives. Many CT lakes have good populations of them. I have seen this quite a few times in Saugatuck Reservoir and I’ve heard of it happening on other lakes like Candlewood, and Squantz. 

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Alewives seem to be all over CT. East Twin is loaded with them. They mysteriously showed up in the late 90’s and destroyed CT’s best Kokanee fishery but the Trout have thrive on them. And East Twin is now a premier CT Trout Fishery. You can see the Alewives boiling in 20 foot circles all over the lake.

 Couple rumors on how they have gotten into East Twin. One is that the D.E.P stocked them because they didn’t want to deal with the Kokanee salmon. The other is that a couple local fisherman released them. Either way it was done illegally. I had an interesting article from the Hartford Courant printed up somewhere about them in East Twin. probably just an easy google search away.

 

B

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I've been doing some reading since I started this thread, about alewives. I have to admit that I'm not convinced that that's what it is as for all of my time spent out there I have never actually seen, with my own two eyes, a species that I couldn't identify. I have seen LMB, crappie, yellow perch, and sunfish (that are all the same, but I'm not sure which one) in all life stages from fry to adult. A shad that gets reportedly up to 16 inches I feel like I would have to have seen HOWEVER... after years of fishing this body of water and never having seen a crawfish before, I caught a bass a couple months ago with pincers sticking out of its throat. I suppose anything is possible!

 

Funny enough last year I had a guy tell me he catches smallies in there and didn't believe me when I told him that there weren't any. He started yelling about 30 minutes later that he got one! I paddled over to him and his smallie catch to find him holding a 10" largie 😂 anyway, I think I'm now inspired to start taking alot more photographs when I'm fishing.... for SCIENCE!

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