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Matt_3479

Super tough bite. Help needed

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I’ve been coming to a cottage in northern Ontario for 12 years now. Its on a beauty little lake that is super clear, and perfect for swimming but locating and picking up fish has always been tougher but still successful. This year we’ve located schools of smallies off an island that’s a rock ledge that goes from 20-60ft. They seem to be hanging around in the 33-45’ range and for the life of me I can’t seem to get them to bite!

Water temps are pretty high, last couple years we found them again in the 40-50’ range and were smoking them on weightless t-rig senko’s. sure it took a while but anything with weight and they just didn’t seem to bite.

This year I’ve tried everything from tubes, drop shot (worms live and plastic, keitechs), Ned rig, senkos both wacky and t-rig, Neko rig and still can’t find the bite. Had 1 3.75lber grab a tube but that’s it!

Some help would be great!!

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I don't have any experience for fish that deep but a Carolina Rig is a great way to present that "weightless" Senko deep and cover that ledge quickly with a heavy weight.

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23 minutes ago, Matt_3479 said:

I’ve been coming to a cottage in northern Ontario for 12 years now. Its on a beauty little lake that is super clear, and perfect for swimming but locating and picking up fish has always been tougher but still successful. This year we’ve located schools of smallies off an island that’s a rock ledge that goes from 20-60ft. They seem to be hanging around in the 33-45’ range and for the life of me I can’t seem to get them to bite!

Water temps are pretty high, last couple years we found them again in the 40-50’ range and were smoking them on weightless t-rig senko’s. sure it took a while but anything with weight and they just didn’t seem to bite.

This year I’ve tried everything from tubes, drop shot (worms live and plastic, keitechs), Ned rig, senkos both wacky and t-rig, Neko rig and still can’t find the bite. Had 1 3.75lber grab a tube but that’s it!

Some help would be great!!

A weightless stick bait in 50 ft ????  

Wow - you must be a patient man - I'd lose my mind on that deal.

IME it can be tough sledding trying to turn on neutral or negative mood fish, especially brown bass.

And when they are that deep, often time they may not be too inclined to bite.

I'd recommend rather than trying to force feed these fish, look for another place with different & perhaps shallower and hopefully more active biters.

You can catch nothing anywhere and doing anything.

So if these fish have lock jaw, I'd move on. 

Finally, something I didn't see listed in the bait's you've tried, and one that I've had some minor success with (and I'd like to emphasize the minor part) when trying to feed deep, suspended summer time smallies - is a spybait. 

Duo Realis G-Fix Spinbait 80 Spybait is a little heavier, sinks a little fast but still possess the small profile and shimmy that makes this super finesse bait effective. 

Spinning gear, Light line, long casts - allow the bait to sink to a level a few feet ABOVE the fish, and go with a slow steady retrieve. 

Not magic, but might get you a few and it's slightly less mind numbing than dead sticking that Senko into the abyss.

Good Luck 

:smiley:

A-Jay

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If you caught one on the tube, I would keep toobin'!!!

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I would also try a blade bait at that depth.

I would cast from deep to shallow and let it fall down the ledge.

Dont let it get all the way to them, keep it above them and use small movements to allow the blade to vibrate and then let it drop some > rinse and repeat.

 

When throwing a blade bait, I have found if they are suspended its better to keep it above them

dropping it into the school can spook them

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58 minutes ago, Todd2 said:

I don't have any experience for fish that deep but a Carolina Rig is a great way to present that "weightless" Senko deep and cover that ledge quickly with a heavy weight.

I will give it a shot, I’ve never thrown a Carolina rig, never even crossed my mind. Got onerigged up and will try it. 

 

25 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

A weightless stick bait in 50 ft ????  

Wow - you must be a patient man - I'd lose my mind on that deal.

IME it can be tough sledding trying to turn on neutral or negative mood fish, especially brown bass.

And when they are that deep, often time they may not be too inclined to bite.

I'd recommend rather than trying to force feed these fish, look for another place with different & perhaps shallower and hopefully more active biters.

You can catch nothing anywhere and doing anything.

So if these fish have lock jaw, I'd move on. 

Finally, something I didn't see listed in the bait's you've tried, and one that I've had some minor success with (and I'd like to emphasize the minor part) when trying to feed deep, suspended summer time smallies - is a spybait. 

Duo Realis G-Fix Spinbait 80 Spybait is a little heavier, sinks a little fast but still possess the small profile and shimmy that makes this super finesse bait effective. 

Spinning gear, Light line, long casts - allow the bait to sink to a level a few feet ABOVE the fish, and go with a slow steady retrieve. 

Not magic, but might get you a few and it's slightly less mind numbing than dead sticking that Senko into the abyss.

Good Luck 

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

Tell me about it but when we caught for 4 days non stop smallies in and around 3-5.5lbs range it was awesome!! Took some serious patience but it worked wonders! 

 

I tied on a spybait and havent thrown it in thay depth, was tossing in in 10-20ft with success but small fish

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Keep in mind that smallies can be anywhere. Normally, at this time of year, I get the vast majority of my fish drop shotting in 10-20 fow. In the past two weeks, I haven't caught one deeper than 6 fow.

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How deep is the thermocline?

I would not target fish below that....and remember not all fish are deep.

Every fish caught from my boat over the last 2 weeks have been in less than 20 ft of water, most in 10.

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Try a deep diving jerkbait like a pointer 100DD or a husky jerk DD. Use long casts or long line the bait & drift with the wind or use your trolling motor. 

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6 hours ago, NHBull said:

How deep is the thermocline?

I would not target fish below that....and remember not all fish are deep.

Every fish caught from my boat over the last 2 weeks have been in less than 20 ft of water, most in 10.

Many years back I was guilty of this. I'd read reports at other lakes and thought it applied. The other thermoclines were 16-18, my main lake is rarely more than 10 - 12. I fished a lot of fishless water for a few summers when I was dragging out to 20 feet.

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I’ve never fished the Damiki Rig; but this sounds like a scenario where it could work . 

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Keep topwater baits in mind too. It may sound funny but smallies are notorious for coming from long distances to smash a topwater bait. 

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well finished off the week pretty tough! We tried out another lake local to the area and picked up a few decent fish. Mainly on squarebill cranks or whopper ploppers. 

 

Back at our lake though bite was still tough. We happened to get a couple all week that were decent but mainly small and few and fair between. 

 

I tried the carolina rig for the first time with multiple trailers and finally hooked into a couple again with a tube trailer. 

 

Tried everything from finesse to heavy jigs and t-rigs! Tough tough week!

 

B688929C-85EC-46CB-9AC1-D696F4DBE5C8.jpeg

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