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We recently had a new fishing spot open up in our area. The city bought a very old sand pit and is making a really nice park out of it. It is around 40-50 acres. The water is extremely clear. I have been told it is up to 60 feet deep in places. Most of the shoreline seems to either drop off straight down or it has a ankle deep shelf and then drops off. There is a very shallow area on one end, shallow enough for me wade out a pretty good distance. The vast majority is deeper water. 

 

I have fished from the bank 3 times and caught 3 total fish. I plan to take the boat and fish it soon. What is my best strategy for fishing this kind of pond/lake - from the bank and boat? I am a longtime bass fisherman but I have never fished anything like this before and it has me befuddled. All three of the fish I caught were on a chartreuse weightless 3" senko. I tried it out of pure curiosity since nothing else was working. All 3 were also caught wading in shallow water. What is the key to the deeper water?

 

By the way, the photo of the plants was taken at a wetland pond behind the sand pit. 

Sand Pit 1 Sarah Rice.JPG

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Split or slip shot rig, drop shot, darter head jig/finesse worm  and and rig.

Think finesse spinning using 5-7 lb line. Soft plastics in natural colors like Roboworms in oxblood w/light red flake should work good.

Another option is fish during low light periods.

Tom

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1 minute ago, WRB said:

Split or slip shot rig, drop shot, darter head jig/finesse worm  and and rig.

Think finesse spinning using 5-7 lb line. Soft plastics in natural colors like Roboworms in oxblood w/light red flake should work good.

Another option is fish during low light periods.

Tom

Thanks Tom!That is a big help. I will try that out next time. I normally have on 10-14 pound line. I'll change one out to 6 or 8 and give it a try. 

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Yes, think finesse. However, don't overlook deeply overcast days, or night time, with heavier gear and bigger baits. I like the sound of that shallow end, or where it meets deeper water. As usual, cover, and/or objects, will be important.

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2 hours ago, Paul Roberts said:

Yes, think finesse. However, don't overlook deeply overcast days, or night time, with heavier gear and bigger baits. I like the sound of that shallow end, or where it meets deeper water. As usual, cover, and/or objects, will be important.

Paul, I CANNOT WAIT to get my Humminbird in there see what's down there. I will probably create a map of it. 

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I didnt see where you are located, but if you get ice on that lake, I would be sure to drop a Christmas tree or two on the ice...check local regulations first.

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Years ago I had access to a private sand plant that had 3 separate ponds. Most of them sound the same as you described, except only about 30-35 ft deep. I used to throw small slider worms and kill them. Working the drop offs, any points and the one pond had a drainage ditch that ran into it, if the water was running than the fish would be stacked up on it. Most of the bass were small in there. I assume it was because of lack of forage. 70-100 fish days were not uncommon. Mostly dink’s but I Managed to pull a few 6+er out of there. I sure do miss that place.

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1 hour ago, Don Harris said:

Paul, I CANNOT WAIT to get my Humminbird in there see what's down there. I will probably create a map of it. 

Yes! That'll sure be fun. Years ago, a buddy and I carried his little car-topper back into a deep quarry. We had a flasher unit back then, but it gave us depths, substrate hardness, and marked suspended fish -lots of them. Turned out to be so little vegetative cover that much of the food chain was pelagic -produced in the water column via plankton. And there were rubble-topped humps and bars out there that held good fish. I caught my then PB largemouth off one (and my buddy caught it the following year on the same week on a similar crankbait). I also caught a 36" pike, many good smallies, found 12"-14" crappies spawning on them, and caught a few good brown trout off those humps too. Sure is fun mapping waters.

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I fished pits exclusively in my early days of bassin' and making the adjustment to natural bodies of water was difficult for me because they didn't have that sharp drop to deep water that I was used to fishing.  With pits, other than during the spawn, it's all about the drop-off and how the fish are relating to it at any given time.  Bright, cloudless days they'll tend to suspend 30-50ft. from the drop. Overcast days will find them roaming close to the drop and windy cloudy days will be the ones you'll remember because they'll be up high and close to or on the shelves. 

Depth is the key, not only for their location, but for you to be able to control your presentation to a specific depth.  A great rule of thumb is to start out at the depth of light penetration and work from there up or down depending on the conditions.  Cover is all but nonexistent, but when you find some, especially at that magic depth, it'll hold numbers.

The presentation I started with most of the time was a hair jig suspended under a slip bobber. No doubt about whether or not I was targeting the same depth with each cast. If you love top-water (who doesn't?), a Spook will draw them up from down under like no other.

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I’ve fished plenty of deep clear rock quarries and a few of them went from 1 foot to 20 feet with a short ledge and then drop down again into 40 feet of water or more. They can be very difficult to fish in summer, with so many steep drops and very little cover; but I’ve always had good success throwing Walk the Dog topwaters and Hula Poppers on late summer nights. During the day , weighted wacky rigs on 6lb or 8lb line , down to 20 feet or more. I would also think a Damiki rig would work, in these types of situations , but I haven’t tried that yet .

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53 minutes ago, papajoe222 said:

I fished pits exclusively in my early days of bassin' and making the adjustment to natural bodies of water was difficult for me because they didn't have that sharp drop to deep water that I was used to fishing.  With pits, other than during the spawn, it's all about the drop-off and how the fish are relating to it at any given time.  Bright, cloudless days they'll tend to suspend 30-50ft. from the drop. Overcast days will find them roaming close to the drop and windy cloudy days will be the ones you'll remember because they'll be up high and close to or on the shelves. 

Depth is the key, not only for their location, but for you to be able to control your presentation to a specific depth.  A great rule of thumb is to start out at the depth of light penetration and work from there up or down depending on the conditions.  Cover is all but nonexistent, but when you find some, especially at that magic depth, it'll hold numbers.

The presentation I started with most of the time was a hair jig suspended under a slip bobber. No doubt about whether or not I was targeting the same depth with each cast. If you love top-water (who doesn't?), a Spook will draw them up from down under like no other.

This is a treasure trove of information. Thank you for commenting.

26 minutes ago, J.Vincent said:

I’ve fished plenty of deep clear rock quarries and a few of them went from 1 foot to 20 feet with a short ledge and then drop down again into 40 feet of water or more. They can be very difficult to fish in summer, with so many steep drops and very little cover; but I’ve always had good success throwing Walk the Dog topwaters and Hula Poppers on late summer nights. During the day , weighted wacky rigs on 6lb or 8lb line , down to 20 feet or more. I would also think a Damiki rig would work, in these types of situations , but I haven’t tried that yet .

Thank you for the info. I look forward to trying this out.

2 hours ago, Armtx77 said:

I didnt see where you are located, but if you get ice on that lake, I would be sure to drop a Christmas tree or two on the ice...check local regulations first.

I'm in West Tennessee. Not much ice here. However, I know the people running the project. I will certainly suggest dropping Christmas trees and fish attractors.

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Hey, just noticed... Those shoreline trees could act as objects/cover too.

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8 hours ago, Paul Roberts said:

Hey, just noticed... Those shoreline trees could act as objects/cover too.

I agree, especially when it creates shade.

 

When I was a kid I fished a few sand pits and there were ledges created as they zig zagged equipment down to the bottom. For what ever reason on many of the turns where they zig zagged they would pile rocks. I couldn't reach a lot of these areas in the summer from shore. However, my dad taught me how to read a flasher there while ice fishing and those areas always held all types of fish. I would have loved to get out there on a boat to graph the bottom.

 

Good luck and cant wait to hear some reports!!

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Lots of good info and suggestions above.  I cut my bass fishing teeth at gravel pits.  I've found that the clear water and lack of obvious cover/structure can make them tough to fish, especially mid-day in bright conditions.  In those cases, as suggested, finesse worms on light line can save the day.  Downsizing to small bass baits can be beneficial, as you may get into a surprise group of other species along with bass.  These come to mind: 2.5" paddle tail, 1/4 oz lipless crank, or inline spinner.

 

Evenings, early mornings, cloudy days, and/or windy days can really be the ticket at these places.  If it's on the calm side, aggressively working a weightless fluke over top of the weeds or through/around emergent weeds is a great option.  If there is some chop, spinnerbaits seem to be the best option for me.  Purists may scoff at this, but I have had a TON of success trolling spinnerbaits for numbers of medium sized fish.

 

My biggest bites have come from LC Sammy's, Storm Chug Bugs, Whopper Ploppers & burned/waked spinnerbaits.  See the theme?  I think a pattern sets up where postspawn bluegills ride relatively high in the water column over deep water off that initial steep break, and bass hang below them waiting to pick off a straggler.

 

Someone with advanced electronics could certainly pick these places apart in a much more methodical way, but that's never been a luxury I've had.  So, most of the time, I've opted for baits that allow for covering water quickly, and finding the aggressive fish.

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Popper at daylight/dusk. This clear water allows fish to see much farther and a popper can pull them up from greater distances. From daybreak to sunup will be prime topwater action. 

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8 hours ago, Pickle_Power said:

Lots of good info and suggestions above.  I cut my bass fishing teeth at gravel pits.  I've found that the clear water and lack of obvious cover/structure can make them tough to fish, especially mid-day in bright conditions.  In those cases, as suggested, finesse worms on light line can save the day.  Downsizing to small bass baits can be beneficial, as you may get into a surprise group of other species along with bass.  These come to mind: 2.5" paddle tail, 1/4 oz lipless crank, or inline spinner.

 

Evenings, early mornings, cloudy days, and/or windy days can really be the ticket at these places.  If it's on the calm side, aggressively working a weightless fluke over top of the weeds or through/around emergent weeds is a great option.  If there is some chop, spinnerbaits seem to be the best option for me.  Purists may scoff at this, but I have had a TON of success trolling spinnerbaits for numbers of medium sized fish.

 

My biggest bites have come from LC Sammy's, Storm Chug Bugs, Whopper Ploppers & burned/waked spinnerbaits.  See the theme?  I think a pattern sets up where postspawn bluegills ride relatively high in the water column over deep water off that initial steep break, and bass hang below them waiting to pick off a straggler.

 

Someone with advanced electronics could certainly pick these places apart in a much more methodical way, but that's never been a luxury I've had.  So, most of the time, I've opted for baits that allow for covering water quickly, and finding the aggressive fish.

Great info Pickle_Power. And I love me some popper fishing!

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