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scaleface

Finding bass on flats

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 A lake i frequent is a trolling motor only lake , so I pretty much fish my way from spot  to spot . In between two creek arms is a large flat . Other than the drop-offs where at the junction of the creek arms there is no obvious structure changes . I usually find the depth most of the bait-fish are at and follow that contour quickly using either a crankbait or Carolina rig . I have caught two large bass , one on both mentioned baits but those came several years back .Recent years I just pick up a few small ones .   Who has some good techniques for fishing featureless flats ? I have to troll over it any way , might as well fish it .

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In that situation I like to cover water, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, squarebills.  Once the water gets colder I go from squarebills to jerkbaits. 

There are a couple of flats in the place I fish quite frequently.  Ultimately what I use is based on vegetation. 

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 Not every flat holds fish.

If you're set on 'fishing' on your way to your next 'spot",

perhaps, simply troll a crank or jerkbait on the way.

If you find an area within the flat that is holding a few, mark it and 'fish' it with another maybe more effective presentation.

:smiley:

A-Jay

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Sometimes those "featureless" flats have structure/cover next to structure/cover. Could be a rock next to a log or milfoil adjacent to name another aquatic plant in your lake. Could just as well be a clear water line to stained water. I'd set my sites on something like that than just chunking and winding....Which ends up happening with me anyway...:D

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If it has a lot of submerged vegetation:

I have had a lot of success on topwaters, especially in lower light conditions/wind. Walking baits and “Ploppers” have been especially productive. In brighter conditions jerkbaits that run above the weeds work great. 

 

If it has had a hard bottom: 

Toowaters still are great in the mornings/evenings/lower light but otherwise I would favor a crankbait that digs on the bottom. 

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fwiw, i like depressions, however subtle, on places like that. there may only be a foot depth change. sometimes they would be right on the “break” (slope, incline), sometimes in the middle of the “hole”. 

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A lake I fish has a large, weedy flat that I often fish on windy days. I start a drift and let the wind carry me across while fan casting spinner baits, swim jigs, or lipless crank baits. When I get to the end, I motor back and make another pass covering a different part of the flat. 

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3 hours ago, Dens228 said:

In that situation I like to cover water, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, squarebills.  Once the water gets colder I go from squarebills to jerkbaits. 

Depending on the day I sometimes fish it shallow

 

3 hours ago, A-Jay said:

perhaps, simply troll a crank or jerkbait on the way.

I have trolled it before and I catch a lot of channel cats LOL.

2 hours ago, Jigfishn10 said:

Sometimes those "featureless" flats have structure/cover next to structure/cover

 There are a few stumps and I usually find one while trolling .  If i do see one I toss a buoy and fish it . They are usualy good for one fish .

 

2 hours ago, FCPhil said:

If it has a lot of submerged vegetation

 Year to year . Last year was a weedy year and I fished it shallow a lot.

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last year during the first tournament in april I caught my limit with a bunch of cull's on a fairly large flat with submerged vegetation in about 11ft. of water. Every single fish was caught on a 3/8oz. chatterbait. my boater had a similar day to mine with swim jigs and chatterbaits.

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Submerged vegetation on a flat says lipless crankbait to me. 

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6 hours ago, A-Jay said:

 Not every flat holds fish.

If you're set on 'fishing' on your way to your next 'spot",

perhaps, simply troll a crank or jerkbait on the way.

If you find an area within the flat that is holding a few, mark it and 'fish' it with another maybe more effective presentation.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

This ^^^^^

 

One can troll any lure!

 

I've great success dragging a Texas Rig 😉

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Little to no weeds, drag a splitshot rig with a worm or fluke. With weeds, a bait that will run over the top of them

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Agree with the lipless crankbait suggestion.  Keep in mind there are different types of vibrations from small BB sounds, to knocking sounds, to silent lipless baits. Cover water with lipless baits and then slow down when you find fish.

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1 hour ago, slonezp said:

Little to no weeds, drag a splitshot rig with a worm or fluke. With weeds, a bait that will run over the top of them

Why is it that sometimes a T-rig or C-rig, done with 3 splitshots outfishes a real T-rig or C-rig of the same weight some days???

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I fish a lake with similar characteristics and have had success with soft bodied swimbaits moving just fast enough to tick the grass tops with the occasional drop in a little deeper.  Doesn't get bit a lot but when they do, it seems to just about rip the rod out of my hands.

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32 minutes ago, CrankFate said:

Why is it that sometimes a T-rig or C-rig, done with 3 splitshots outfishes a real T-rig or C-rig of the same weight some days???

Image result for I don't know

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I use to troll spot to spot when I was fishing out of a 2 man. Shad raps in various sizes were my bait of choice to pull because they caught everything. Now if I'm focusing just on bass, it's usually a lipless bait, bladed jig, or plopper depending on cover, depth, and time of year. The lipless I can fish any depth and any time of year so it gets used the most. 

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14 hours ago, Bankbeater said:

Submerged vegetation on a flat says lipless crankbait to me. 

Absolutely, 100%!

 

If there's vegetation I'm tying a lipless crank on till I get a bite then I'd probably soak a soft plastic and saturate the area.

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The vegetation  along in the shallows is what  is commonly known as skunk weed and impossible to fish with any lure that has dangling trebels . I fish it mainly with buzzbaits or spinnerbaits and catch small bass . The bigger fish have come deeper . I'm probably fishing it correctly . Thanks for all the replies .  

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18 hours ago, scaleface said:

There are a few stumps and I usually find one while trolling .  If i do see one I toss a buoy and fish it . They are usualy good for one fish .

This is exactly what I'd be looking far. I'd drag heavy jig,Texas rig or use bigger crankbait to locate the laydowns and mark them with your graph or use a app on phone if needed. Then you can fish them anyway you choose. Another thing is to concentrate fishing the edge of flat along those creek channels. 

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1 minute ago, stratoliner92 said:

 mark them with your graph or use a app on phone if needed. Then you can fish them anyway you choose.  

I would do that but   my depth finder is an old Eagle Fishmark  that I converted to a portable unit and I do not own a smart phone . I   do give the edges   more attention but the flat itself , I try to fish it quickly unless a fish is caught or a stump is found . Then I fish that area more thoroughly . 

 

 Everybody made  good suggestions .

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I fish a lake that has 2 shallow rock flats, there is little depth change with no vegetation and just scattered rock. It is tailor made for a Ned rig but I have a bait and technique that really works. I use a 1/4oz finesse jig that I make, it is basically a light Eakins jig and I pair it up with a Conquistador finesse pro craw. I make a cast and let it hit bottom and give the reel handle 3 quick turn and stop for a second or two and repeat. If that doesn't get a strike I'll work it slow by letting it hit bottom and then use the rod to slow drag it a couple of feet and then let it sit for a few seconds before beginning another drag. Believe it or not those two techniques have accounted for some good fish and decent numbers on flats that didn't look like a single fish was on them. I think it works because the fish that are up on the flats are actively looking for prey and will really hit a small craw.

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5 hours ago, scaleface said:

The vegetation  along in the shallows is what  is commonly known as skunk weed and impossible to fish with any lure that has dangling trebels . I fish it mainly with buzzbaits or spinnerbaits and catch small bass . The bigger fish have come deeper . I'm probably fishing it correctly . Thanks for all the replies .  

Another bait that I did really well fishing a flat in a tournament was an underspin. 

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