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Paulywalnutz

Michigan Tackle, colors and shapes advice

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Relocated from PA to MI and need some advice on what lures and colors to use in different lakes in the state.

 

currently have lots of sexy shad, white, and green because that’s what worked best in PA not having as good of luck here and want to be steered in the right direction.

 

 

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Match the hatch. 

I'm in Milwaukee, so we're fishing very similar waters. I use a lot of natural colors, because our lakes up here tend to be so clear. 

Sexy shad works great at mimicking some of the baitfish up here, but I believe (could be wrong) the healthy diet of most Midwest bass are going to be bluegill, perch, craws and bugs. 

So what does that mean? It means blacks and blues, greens and reds, light oranges mixed in. If your lakes have trout, throw trout imitations, it's guaranteed the bass are gorging themselves on em. My staples are green pumpkin, watermelon flake, and black and blue. Everything else comes after. I throw all the whack crazy colors if I'm not getting bit. So that covers colors. 

Now lets talk about specific baits. The 5 lures I always have tied on-deck are Jig with craw trailer, Double Willow Spinnerbait, Paddle tail swimbait, Swim jig, and the fifth is a toss up between a frog or a dropshot rig, depending on the season. Can you catch fish with different baits? Of course! But I've found these to be extremely effective for our finicky clear water bucketmouths and bronzebacks. 

If I'm specifically targeting smallies, I'll have a lipless, tube jig, twist tail grub, drop shot, and popper for topwater. Those get me consistently bit every year. 

Bottom line though, bass are opportunistic feeders. If they're hungry or ticked off, they'll eat just about anything in front of them. I've seen bass strike at garbage floating in the lake. I've seen bass go after bass the same size as them. They don't really think, they just act. Natural instinct. So I'd personally worry more about fishing the right method at the right time in the right place than worry about fishing the right lures. Focusing on Midwest bass patterns, seasonal movements, and where they're likely to be in your lake will get you much further than just worrying about which lure to toss. I could probably go out tonight and catch a bass on a Texas rigged hot-dog if I tried, but that's only because I know where to put it and when. 

Long post, I know, but lastly, watch videos man. There's a never ending library of every technique, bait, rod, reel, method somewhere on youtube. I learned from youtube myself, and that's a lot better than some guy like me on a forum telling you what to throw. 

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I watch a lot of videos and read articles but sometimes people will post what works best on specific lakes and these posts are more recent.

 

Thanks don't mind the long posts either

19 minutes ago, Brew City Bass said:

Match the hatch. 

I'm in Milwaukee, so we're fishing very similar waters. I use a lot of natural colors, because our lakes up here tend to be so clear. 

Sexy shad works great at mimicking some of the baitfish up here, but I believe (could be wrong) the healthy diet of most Midwest bass are going to be bluegill, perch, craws and bugs. 

So what does that mean? It means blacks and blues, greens and reds, light oranges mixed in. If your lakes have trout, throw trout imitations, it's guaranteed the bass are gorging themselves on em. My staples are green pumpkin, watermelon flake, and black and blue. Everything else comes after. I throw all the whack crazy colors if I'm not getting bit. So that covers colors. 

Now lets talk about specific baits. The 5 lures I always have tied on-deck are Jig with craw trailer, Double Willow Spinnerbait, Paddle tail swimbait, Swim jig, and the fifth is a toss up between a frog or a dropshot rig, depending on the season. Can you catch fish with different baits? Of course! But I've found these to be extremely effective for our finicky clear water bucketmouths and bronzebacks. 

If I'm specifically targeting smallies, I'll have a lipless, tube jig, twist tail grub, drop shot, and popper for topwater. Those get me consistently bit every year. 

Bottom line though, bass are opportunistic feeders. If they're hungry or ticked off, they'll eat just about anything in front of them. I've seen bass strike at garbage floating in the lake. I've seen bass go after bass the same size as them. They don't really think, they just act. Natural instinct. So I'd personally worry more about fishing the right method at the right time in the right place than worry about fishing the right lures. Focusing on Midwest bass patterns, seasonal movements, and where they're likely to be in your lake will get you much further than just worrying about which lure to toss. I could probably go out tonight and catch a bass on a Texas rigged hot-dog if I tried, but that's only because I know where to put it and when. 

Long post, I know, but lastly, watch videos man. There's a never ending library of every technique, bait, rod, reel, method somewhere on youtube. I learned from youtube myself, and that's a lot better than some guy like me on a forum telling you what to throw. 

 

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2 hours ago, Paulywalnutz said:

Relocated from PA to MI and need some advice on what lures and colors to use in different lakes in the state.

 

currently have lots of sexy shad, white, and green because that’s what worked best in PA not having as good of luck here and want to be steered in the right direction.

 

 

I'm moving from williamsport pa to grand rapids in two weeks. 

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Brew city nailed it. I’m in Green Bay Area. For me, always tied on is a 1/4oz mini flip jig(think sk bitsy flip) with a small chunk trailer. I can fish this bait nearly everywhere in every way possible, I’ve even drug it across pads like a frog and caught em. It’s just consistent for both LM and SM.

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1 hour ago, r83srock said:

1/4oz mini flip jig(think sk bitsy flip) with a small chunk trailer.

For me the 1/4oz Bitsy Flip and Yum Wooly Bug is the deal. Also try the tiny size Paca Chunk. The small profile

catches 1lbers up to 6lbers. I love the Bitsy Flip jigs.

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I’d pick up more bluegill and craw colors, but I lived in Michigan almost my entire life until a half a year ago, they’ll definitely eat shad colors. Idk what the hell looks naturally bright chartreuse, but they eat eat, too.  And smallies for some reason love pink. 

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9 hours ago, Ryan Michael said:

I'm moving from williamsport pa to grand rapids in two weeks. 

 

11 hours ago, Paulywalnutz said:

Relocated from PA to MI and need some advice on what lures and colors to use in different lakes in the state.

 

currently have lots of sexy shad, white, and green because that’s what worked best in PA not having as good of luck here and want to be steered in the right direction.

 

 

I'm in grand rapids, and to be honest, things are a little different around here, because  we don't have any reservoirs within a couple hours. That means all your fishing is going to be in natural lakes, of which there are a decent amount, rivers, of which there are also a pretty decent amount. the rivers, as you might imagine can get pretty dirty during certain seasons, meaning lots of chartreuse, white, as well as black and blue. Natural lakes are generally pretty normal, with moderately clear, to clear water, but lots of weeds, meaning that most of the time, you can only fish t rigs, top water and spinnerbaits. color in these natural lakes is generally best when as close to natural as possible. if you are ever failing to catch fish, go someplace that you can throw a ned rig, and you will get bit. in other words, its probably alot like many others places in the country, so its not like you need special stuff to fish here, just drive hard with your favorite confidence lures and you'll start to figure things out pretty quick.

Good luck, and i hope this has helped at least a little bit

-Rod Snapper

 

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9 hours ago, Ryan Michael said:

I'm moving from williamsport pa to grand rapids in two weeks. 

What part of GR you moving to? I’m 45-50 minutes NE of GR and work the northern GR area all the time. 

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Green green green!  

 

Muskegon Lake is a great lake for just about everything.

 

For both LM and SMB the ned is very effective if the lake is suitable.  Also tubes for both species.  

 

In clear water bubblegum and white in super flukes and swim baits are good.  4 inch swim baits on a darter head jig snapped off the bottom will at times kill SMB.  And always the drop shot in colors that match the habitat.  The new Z man minnows on drop shot are proving effective at times.  

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I'm in Ohio on the MI boarder and do a lot of Michigan fishing. The lakes tend to be clearer than the lakes I fish in Ohio. Hard baits I lean toward the Gizzard Shad pattern or a natural shad pattern. I throw craws almost exclusively over beaver style baits and a lot of white and grey soft plastic baits. Those are all companion to Green Pumpkin because GP is still king.

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7 hours ago, rod snapper said:

 

I'm in grand rapids, and to be honest, things are a little different around here, because  we don't have any reservoirs within a couple hours. That means all your fishing is going to be in natural lakes, of which there are a decent amount, rivers, of which there are also a pretty decent amount. the rivers, as you might imagine can get pretty dirty during certain seasons, meaning lots of chartreuse, white, as well as black and blue. Natural lakes are generally pretty normal, with moderately clear, to clear water, but lots of weeds, meaning that most of the time, you can only fish t rigs, top water and spinnerbaits. color in these natural lakes is generally best when as close to natural as possible. if you are ever failing to catch fish, go someplace that you can throw a ned rig, and you will get bit. in other words, its probably alot like many others places in the country, so its not like you need special stuff to fish here, just drive hard with your favorite confidence lures and you'll start to figure things out pretty quick.

Good luck, and i hope this has helped at least a little bit

-Rod Snapper

 

I prefer natural lakes. I'm sick and tired of rivers that are constantly flooded. 

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image.png.a379221b2538fdc72a5cb856e5c1e209.pngjust today, i went to my favorite natural lake, and caught my first spinnerbait bass. sorry for the weird picture.image.png.a379221b2538fdc72a5cb856e5c1e209.png

 

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Not as much shad forage up here, but there are bluegill (and other sunfish) and crayfish everywhere, and lots of lakes have yellow perch. My tackle boxes are dominated by greens and browns, commonly with highlights of orange and chartreuse.  I especially like green flake in plastics.  But generally, whatever you have, if you catch bass on in it PA, you can catch bass on it in MI too.

 

I would not get too hung up on "Michigan" recommendations as a generalization. This is because, throughout much of the state, multiple nearby bodies of water --even within a small area -- may be wildly different. A deep, clear, sandy smallmouth-dominated lake may be 5 miles down the road one way from a shallow, marshy, murky largemouth bowl with acres of slop, and 5 miles the other way from a stretch of river that might be predominantly smallmouth, or largemouth, or trout. The water itself may be gin-clear, muddy, tannin-stained (brownish), or algae-stained (greenish), may have visibility of a few inches or 20+ feet, or anywhere in between. The only true generalization for the state is variety.

 

That said, if you want to see some baits and approaches for "typical" Lower Michigan inland lakes, check out these older episodes of Zona Live with KVD and Davy Hite:

 

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On 6/4/2019 at 6:49 AM, rod snapper said:

 

I'm in grand rapids, and to be honest, things are a little different around here, because  we don't have any reservoirs within a couple hours. 

Croton, Hardy, and Rogers Pond would like to have a word with you. There are some goliath sized smallmouth in all 3 of those reservoirs. The Muskegon River system is one of the most criminally underrated fisheries in Michigan.

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I live just south of grand rapids, so those three reservoirs are three hours away, and therefore out of range for me. Although that statement about the Muskegon is very accurate.

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9 minutes ago, rod snapper said:

I live just south of grand rapids, so those three reservoirs are three hours away, and therefore out of range for me. Although that statement about the Muskegon is very accurate.

They are all under an hour's drive from the center of GR. Kalamazoo is less than an hour south of GR. If you are three hours south of Croton, you live in Indiana.

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Green pumpkin tube for any lake or river connected to the Great Lakes and even lakes and rivers that arnt. The green pumpkin tube mimics a goby very well. Natural colors have worked well for me. I would fish them the same way you did in pa.  Only thing is northern Michigan has some really clear lakes where you can see 20 feet down

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