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Spankey

Transition Year....A lot of work

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I'm a river rat. My heart is on the river and Smallies are in my blood and in my heart. Will always be. 

 

My local home on the river has been on a decline the last few years. Rains have had big affects on it. Environmentally it has changed. Fish species have changed. Boat ramp conditions let go to hell. There are still smallies there. But there has been a serious change. With water conditions the way they have been, I've transitioned this year to a big local lake. I feel now that I should have done this a couple of year ago. It's been there (lake) my whole life but I became a river rat young and stayed there. You become a creature of habit I guess.

 

It's two big different worlds. It's been a breath of fresh air to a degree. A lot of pressure there. There are some nice bass there and when you've caught them and seen them it not too hard to make this your new home.

 

I'm struggling to be consistent. That will be the hard work to become consistent. Learning it more and more everytime out. Weeding out the unproductive areas. 

 

I don't know what I'm asking or not really looking for advise but this was a move I had to make because a frustration level had been setting in to what my norm was. Fishing and frustration do not go well together. It's not suppose to be like that. I'm an old dog trying to learn a few new tricks to keep my fishing alive and fresh. 

 

Thanks and sorry for being so long winded. 

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Learning something new is what keeps it interesting. I try to learn something every time I'm out, no matter how small. 

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I find lakes to be more difficult than rivers. In rivers if you find the current, you find the bass. In lakes, they seem to either chase baitfish (which always is moving) or they're holding tight to some type of structure. Problem is, structure is everywhere. So how do you know which piece holds fish? I haven't figured it out much. 

I've been on lakes my whole life and some times I nail em, sometimes I don't catch a one. My best luck has just been trying to follow seasonal patterns and try to figure out where the majority of them hold pertaining to the time of year. 

Right now on my lake it appears the fish are still rather deep. Being pretty lethargic. I can always find a few on points and stick some on a drop shot or carolina rig. But it never seems consistent enough to be confident it's a pattern. 

But anytime I hit the river, I know they're gonna be in deep pools right next to current. Don't think I've ever been skunked on the river I fish occasionally. 

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49 minutes ago, Spankey said:

I'm a river rat. My heart is on the river and Smallies are in my blood and in my heart. Will always be. 

 

My local home on the river has been on a decline the last few years. Rains have had big affects on it. Environmentally it has changed. Fish species have changed. Boat ramp conditions let go to hell. There are still smallies there. But there has been a serious change. With water conditions the way they have been, I've transitioned this year to a big local lake. I feel now that I should have done this a couple of year ago. It's been there (lake) my whole life but I became a river rat young and stayed there. You become a creature of habit I guess.

 

It's two big different worlds. It's been a breath of fresh air to a degree. A lot of pressure there. There are some nice bass there and when you've caught them and seen them it not too hard to make this your new home.

 

I'm struggling to be consistent. That will be the hard work to become consistent. Learning it more and more everytime out. Weeding out the unproductive areas. 

 

I don't know what I'm asking or not really looking for advise but this was a move I had to make because a frustration level had been setting in to what my norm was. Fishing and frustration do not go well together. It's not suppose to be like that. I'm an old dog trying to learn a few new tricks to keep my fishing alive and fresh. 

 

Thanks and sorry for being so long winded. 

That is an understandable sentiment. The fishery and infrastructure that you frequented and enjoyed have taken a turn to the worse, to the point where you are looking elsewhere. Once the mourning period is over, try to look at the big picture. Bodies of water go through these sort of changes all the time. Sometimes it's a catastrophic sudden event, and sometimes it's a steady slow decline. In either case, it is what it is. Look back and be thankful for all the good outings, and go and look for the next favorite hole. I'm sure once you put in your time at the new lake, you'll be all good. I have a couple of local spots that aren't nearly as good as they were, but also a couple that are on fire too.

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42 minutes ago, reason said:

That is an understandable sentiment. The fishery and infrastructure that you frequented and enjoyed have taken a turn to the worse, to the point where you are looking elsewhere. Once the mourning period is over, try to look at the big picture. Bodies of water go through these sort of changes all the time. Sometimes it's a catastrophic sudden event, and sometimes it's a steady slow decline. In either case, it is what it is. Look back and be thankful for all the good outings, and go and look for the next favorite hole. I'm sure once you put in your time at the new lake, you'll be all good. I have a couple of local spots that aren't nearly as good as they were, but also a couple that are on fire too.

Thanks man. That is it exactly. All will be good in time. If I live long enough I may see a rebirth on my old home, but in the mean time I'm not gonna roll over or cry. No plans to learn golf. Too many other places. I have too many rods and lures to not get them wet. Hey I'm not whining about my new home. I'm going to have fun there. 

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@roadwarrior went through then same thing in that his rivers went through server flooding a few years ago.

 

Maybe he can shed some light on how it affected his rivers & what to expect. 

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Rivers recover VERY quickly. I had my best day after receiving 18" of water in one day!

Big O and two of our warriors caught 144 smallmouth during the storm.

 

:fishing-026:

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3 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

Learning something new is what keeps it interesting. I try to learn something every time I'm out, no matter how small. 

I'm not a river fisherman, but I can see where your coming from. I'm an old dog- always trying to learn new tricks too. If you can focus on this being a learning experience it will be good.Good luck, and have fun learning new things.

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I had a fantastic smallmouth river to fish then  three years of severe flooding . It has not recovered . I went there  recently   and caught two when I use to catch dozens .I'm doubtful it will ever return to   like  it was .

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3 hours ago, Spankey said:

I'm a river rat. My heart is on the river and Smallies are in my blood and in my heart. Will always be. 

 

My local home on the river has been on a decline the last few years. Rains have had big affects on it. Environmentally it has changed. Fish species have changed. Boat ramp conditions let go to hell. There are still smallies there. But there has been a serious change. With water conditions the way they have been, I've transitioned this year to a big local lake. I feel now that I should have done this a couple of year ago. It's been there (lake) my whole life but I became a river rat young and stayed there. You become a creature of habit I guess.

 

It's two big different worlds. It's been a breath of fresh air to a degree. A lot of pressure there. There are some nice bass there and when you've caught them and seen them it not too hard to make this your new home.

 

I'm struggling to be consistent. That will be the hard work to become consistent. Learning it more and more everytime out. Weeding out the unproductive areas. 

 

I don't know what I'm asking or not really looking for advise but this was a move I had to make because a frustration level had been setting in to what my norm was. Fishing and frustration do not go well together. It's not suppose to be like that. I'm an old dog trying to learn a few new tricks to keep my fishing alive and fresh. 

 

Thanks and sorry for being so long winded. 

 Well, right off the bat - "struggling to be consistent" is the very thread that binds us. 

 And realizing you're not looking for advice I will not offer any. 

 Instead I'm going to just write stuff below.

You could read it if you want . . .:)

 Beginning to explore & fish a whole new deal during the warmest months can be a little tricky & somewhat unproductive.  May be caused by may factors - we can pick any number of them. So cut yourself some slack.

There's a reason BASS doesn't hold many (if any) dead of summer Derbies.

  When I'm looking to recon new water, (especially big water) I know going into it that it's going to be a marathon.  

I prefer to start looking at the maps during the off season (hard water).  Pick some potential pre-spawn areas and once the water opens up I 'start my search'.  The over all plan is to find pre-spawn fish, then spawning areas, and the post spawn deals.  If I'm able to be on the water enough, I hope to be able to follow the basses movements and stay with then through the summer.  Seems a bit easier (relative term) with green bass than brown bass as the later are serious roamers that are quite good at hide & seek.  

 

  As summer ends and the fall deal takes over, often times what I've already located (hopefully), comes back into play only in reverse order.  Instead of starting deeper and coming shallow to spawn, Bass will come shallow and move deep as the days get shorted, the weeds die back, the bait moves out and the water cools.  None of this is breaking news.

 

When I retired & moved to Northern MI, I fished small water from a canoe for 10 years.  Not being from here I learned to do what I listed above on a much smaller scale but still basically the same deal. Worked out OK.

Then a few years back I moved into the Lund Pro-V which allowed access to several big waters that I'd not ventured on in the Old Town.  The above mentioned process has again worked for me many times over.

What was beneficial was to think 'small'.  Big water can be intimidating but instead of trying to fish the whole lake all at once, selecting areas I can cover & fish effectively seems like a better plan.  Then I either duplicate or eliminate similar areas productive or not.  

Not that I'm offering any advice or anything . . . 

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

 

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2 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

 Well, right off the bat - "struggling to be consistent" is the very thread that binds us. 

 And realizing you're not looking for advice I will not offer any. 

 Instead I'm going to just write stuff below.

You could read it if you want . . .:)

 Beginning to explore & fish a whole new deal during the warmest months can be a little tricky & somewhat unproductive.  May be caused by may factors - we can pick any number of them. So cut yourself some slack.

There's a reason BASS doesn't hold many (if any) dead of summer Derbies.

  When I'm looking to recon new water, (especially big water) I know going into it that it's going to be a marathon.  

I prefer to start looking at the maps during the off season (hard water).  Pick some potential pre-spawn areas and once the water opens up I 'start my search'.  The over all plan is to find pre-spawn fish, then spawning areas, and the post spawn deals.  If I'm able to be on the water enough, I hope to be able to follow the basses movements and stay with then through the summer.  Seems a bit easier (relative term) with green bass than brown bass as the later are serious roamers that are quite good at hide & seek.  

 

  As summer ends and the fall deal takes over, often times what I've already located (hopefully), comes back into play only in reverse order.  Instead of starting deeper and coming shallow to spawn, Bass will come shallow and move deep as the days get shorted, the weeds die back, the bait moves out and the water cools.  None of this is breaking news.

 

When I retired & moved to Northern MI, I fished small water from a canoe for 10 years.  Not being from here I learned to do what I listed above on a much smaller scale but still basically the same deal. Worked out OK.

Then a few years back I moved into the Lund Pro-V which allowed access to several big waters that I'd not ventured on in the Old Town.  The above mentioned process has again worked for me many times over.

What was beneficial was to think 'small'.  Big water can be intimidating but instead of trying to fish the whole lake all at once, selecting areas I can cover & fish effectively seems like a better plan.  Then I either duplicate or eliminate similar areas productive or not.  

Not that I'm offering any advice or anything . . . 

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

 

Very much appreciated. Thank you. 

6 minutes ago, scaleface said:

I had a fantastic smallmouth river to fish then  three years of severe flooding . It has not recovered . I went there  recently   and caught two when I use to catch dozens .I'm doubtful it will ever return to   like  it was .

This will be my senerio also. Pretty sure. I may go back in October to a few spots. Basically in my backyard. I'm not going near it anytime soon. Sort of have my train of thought working a different direction now. 

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1 hour ago, Catt said:

@roadwarrior went through then same thing in that his rivers went through server flooding a few years ago.

 

Maybe he can shed some light on how it affected his rivers & what to expect. 

These flooding conditions add up after time. Smallies and silting don't go together. Things compound from one storm to another. Hence taking a couple of years for things to lead up to a certain point. You can lose year classes of bass do to this. Lakers may not be as suseptable to this. 

 

Catt, in that post last night is what or where I was coming from about putting time in on a piece of water. Maybe I should of been more clear about it being some what new. Sorry. And again I respect your opinion and knowledge. And all others on here. 

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44 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

Seems a bit easier (relative term) with green bass than brown bass as the later are serious roamers that are quite good at hide & seek.  

Hi A-Jay,

 

From your experience, do you have lake locations that allow you to catch brown bass all summer or are you continually finding and catching them in new water as they continue to move?

 

What is the average size of the lake(s)?

 

I hope I am not hi-jacking the thread ... if so, truly sorry.

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@Spankey I completely understand what you saying but @roadwarrior fishes the Tennessee River systems for Smallmouth. When I mentioned flooding it was historical flooding & if I aint mistaken more than once.

 

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2 hours ago, mattkenzer said:

Hi A-Jay,

 

From your experience, do you have lake locations that allow you to catch brown bass all summer or are you continually finding and catching them in new water as they continue to move?

 

What is the average size of the lake(s)?

 

I hope I am not hi-jacking the thread ... if so, truly sorry.

Not to hi-Jack

Check the reports thread for the summer months.

My personal smb success is limited at best.

Granted this year I didn't get out as much as in the past.

The 'bigger' waters for me are 15,000 to 20,000 acres.

Deep & super clear. 

20 miles long and a few wide leaves plenty of places to hide. 

Early & late season I'm fishing spots.

Mid season I'm fishing areas. 

Once they start to suspend - I'm usually hosed. 

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

:smiley:

A-Jay

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I come from a land of good size rivers for smallies (Willamette and Columbia)  It was amazing to say the least....amazing.  Also was learning the rivers before the popularity of mapping so was using houses and tree's for my GPS coordinates.  A few years before I moved to Tennessee I fished a state BASS tourney on the upper Columbia and so wanted to win that tourney with smallmouth as I loved the river and felt it needed to be won with smallmouth and not the largemouth of the sloughs.  (silly I know)  But I won the three day tourney by one ounce I believe.....was fortunate.

Those rivers changed a lot....with flooding and people in some areas .... so I feel and felt your pain.  Enjoy your adventure on the lakes....it's all good.

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From what I have read, rivers are generally in decline, reservoirs are generally holding their own.  There are more Bass than ever, because there is more holding water.  You can get depressed about the effects of development on river systems.  

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I moved from SE PA down to VA and i have done the opposite of you...up there i was all about he rivers and streams (mainly because i had no boat) and then got into reservoir/lake fishing down here.  The past year I have been fishing the rivers and creeks a lot more and i have found them to be doing better than when i first moved here almost 15 years ago...so i guess the moral of the story is, who knows but just keep going out there and you'll figure something out :)

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