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starkeer

Locating Fish From a Kayak, No Electronics

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I've been struggling to put together a consistent pattern the last few weeks. 5 days ago it seemed like the bass were starting to move shallow as the weather cooled off, now the past two days its been a lot of shallow casting for absolutely nothing. Any help on how to eliminate water from a kayak without electronics would be helpful. I am fishing smaller lakes (<500 acres), and they seem to mostly be lacking feeder creek mouths or easily identifiable staging areas. 

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Try using an IBobber I used it and helps a lot. It can show weeds and depth changes which can be very useful. I usually try and find green weeds or drop offs though if I don’t have the iBobber. Weed edges, drop offs , trees or docks.  

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Depends on weather and water temp. Hit the usual stuff, cover, drop offs, weed lines. Most of all, cover water. Buzzbaits, rattletraps, spinner baits etc until you find them.

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Friday and today on two different bodies of water I used spinnerbaits and crankbaits to cover the water until I found them. I keyed on areas with steep drops, or relatively steep and worked the water column from top to bottom until I found them. 

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Without electronics look at the shore and the features you see as they will continue into the water.  Then once you have an idea of what type of structure is available you can begin probing those areas with various baits to learn whats on the bottom or if there are drop offs etc...A big heavy jig is always good to figure out what the bottom contour and composition is like.  You can also throw a crankbait of various depths until you start hitting bottom.  

Another thing to do is to try and find topographical maps of the area you are fishing.  

And all while doing this, keep saving your pennies for some electronics :) I know for me getting side imaging on the kayak was a major help in eliminating areas and in reducing paddling time.

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20 hours ago, flyfisher said:

Without electronics look at the shore and the features you see as they will continue into the water.  Then once you have an idea of what type of structure is available you can begin probing those areas with various baits to learn whats on the bottom or if there are drop offs etc...A big heavy jig is always good to figure out what the bottom contour and composition is like.  You can also throw a crankbait of various depths until you start hitting bottom.  

Another thing to do is to try and find topographical maps of the area you are fishing.  

And all while doing this, keep saving your pennies for some electronics :) I know for me getting side imaging on the kayak was a major help in eliminating areas and in reducing paddling time.

This ^^^ when looking for shore features, look for points. Even slight points still extends into the water. I took this screenshot off of google maps. You don’t necessarily need a topo map. 

 

On this particular lake, I know the water generally moves from north to south (top to bottom in the pic). So I find the deeper water on the south side of these points. This is generally the side of the point where the fish hold. 

 

On a really calm day, take some time to paddle the lake and look for vegetation. If you’ve found vegetation, you’ve found an area that will likely hold fish. Most importantly, leave to read the water and pay close attention to the banks. If the bank is rocky, muddy, hard sand, you can guess what the bottom is under the water. 

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Have to try and eliminate as much water as possible.  I like to throw chatterbaits, spinners and lipless cranks.  These cover a lot of water.  There are always specific areas I see where I will throw a top water frog or senko as well.  Have to try shallow and deep.  If I'm still struggling after all that then it's time for me to call it a day.

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You're only option is to make an educated guess using a contour map, your eyes, and that thing between your ears.  Then start casting.  It's really not much different than with a graph.

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Thanks for all the info guys, I feel like I am doing the right things but I like the paying attention to what the bank consists of. I'll just keep casting, moving, and learning. Hopefully, I will run into some fish soon. 

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Try Google Earth on the small lakes.  Sometimes you can find stuff on the Google Earth images.  Especially smaller lakes like you are fishing.  

 

Lots of good ideas above, I would add troll two rods with different lures.  I would make one of them a DT 10 Rapala.

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