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I've scouted 32 bodies of water to fish next summer, some in person, some by watching YouTube videos, and some via Google Earth. Here are four that really excite me:

 

Two are close to the ocean and used by alewives for spawning. Thousands or millions of alewives swim into these ponds and schools of bass congregate to eat them(I've seen the footage). I don't know if I can compete with the alewives themselves for the bass, but I'm thinking the bass must be fattened when the alewives are gone. However, even if the alewives are there, a surface lure that simulates a wounded alewife might do the trick.

 

One pond is approached by a road that's been closed to cars by the landowner, but canoeists are welcome to slip under the barrier. That pond has a mile-long stream/swamp connecting it to another pond. I love the approach to the pond, which I walked, and I love the chance to fish two ponds with a swamp in-between.

 

The third body of water that has me super-excited is a nearly 500-acre bog with zero houses. I could fish that for days and still not cast everywhere.

 

Which one would you like to fish and why?

 

And do you have any bodies of waters you've scouted for 2023?

 

I realize that so many of you are still fishing and not dreaming and planning like me, but you can still play. 

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Tough call for me, from a strictly catching POV, I'm going with those ocean lakes with a known large amount of baitfish.   On the other hand the 500acre lake might be just as loaded with good forage and the only thing more important than catching in my book, is not seeing other people......call me selfish, but I cannot plug into nature properly even while fishing with a friend.    That's fun too, but again totally different than night fishing, dawn fishing, fishing a 500acre lake by yourself, etc.  

 

 

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That 500 acre bog sounds very intriguing. No houses usually means less recreational activity and that usually means less pressured or educated fish. 
 

I also have a list of waters I want to try next year. 
 

One of them is a lake pretty close to home, and is known as a big bass factory. It’s relative small, only 15 minutes from

my house and I’ve never tried it, for one reason or another. It’s a shallow bowl type lake, with minimal or no structure but lots of weedy cover. Summertime will probably be a punching and frogging type deal. 
 

Another one is a small, deep rocky reservoir that is supposed to have very abundant smallmouth populations. I love fishing deep rocky clear waters and this reservoir seems perfect. Probably won’t hold any true lunkers, but seems like a really fun lake to fish. 
 

The one I’m most excited for is one that’s been on my radar for years now but it’s a 2 hour haul into the Adirondack High Peaks Region. 2023 will be the year I finally try it. The lake is about 1000 acres, only a few camps, and absolutely loaded with downed timber, boulders, shoals, islands, points, humps, drop offs and lily pads. Has healthy populations of largemouth and smallmouth and a smallish launch off a dirt road that may deter a lot of people. Will be looking into staying at a cabin close to the lake sometime this summer so i can have a few days to pick it apart. 
 

Gonna scout a few more places before winter is over. Spring can’t come soon enough. 

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Bog to means mosquitos decaying timber, muck bottom, not for me.

Prism The Alewives spawning lake sound better. Hard to compete with predominate pre fish populations but surface pencil poppers like Gun Fish or 110 Yo-Zuri can work.

The is always a crawdad bite!

Tom

 

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2 hours ago, ol'crickety said:

Which one would you like to fish and why?

Both. Why? Because you never know. What you do know about the alewife spot is that they're well fed. Alewives feed into freshwater bodies from the salt in massive numbers. Being there to witness the shorelines erupting with them is something to see. The places here that have natural feeder steams allowing them access in and out tend to grow whopper Bass and Pickerel.

 

That said, my luck throwing a slew of dead nutz alewife imitators, including anything Lucky Craft in American Shad, has been pathetic. They'll gobble perch pattern baits though. They'll gobble big ribbon tail worms as eels use the same route from the sea the alewives do. I knock 'em dead with a Dark Shad 3" Dark Sleeper. Catfish imitator? Perch pattern spinnerbaits work. A green pumpkin football jig with a blue trailer feels like cheating. I've caught solid bass there with alewife tails sticking out of their throats, but no dice trying to trick them with anything Alewife-esque. Just bought a 6" 6th Sense Trace to try out. I'll never give up.

 

Hard to say what your 500 acre bog holds. Is it in balance or, is it a stunted bass factory? Who knows? I'd fish it hard for several months until I had an answer. If it has long runs of reeds, lily pads, and dense weeds, it's probably not a dink factory. Plenty of hide-y places for baitfish. With its lack of traffic it could be a gem if you're willing to put the time in. Around here some of the toughest nuts to crack hold the biggest fish, so don't give up if you're not slinging them over the rail like bluefish on day one.

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I’d say fish them all! Each area might have their own time they turn on. They are each going to fish different as well. 
 

what made you eliminate other bodies? I don’t think any body should be eliminated before fishing it unless it’s to dangerous for you to be on. Don’t forget one persons “tough lake” is another’s “ honey hole”. 
 

I am looking to  continue learning Harrisburg to Duncannon on the susky. This will take years to learn it as  I can only go out on it above a certain water level or I’m just asking to not have a boat left. Then I need to learn at what water levels is what area good. It’s also pretty wide there for most the stretch I’d say around a mile.  I’d say it’s also about 20 miles of river long. 
 

I also wouldn’t mind learning blue marsh or long level for when the river gets dangerously low to run a boat on.  Again all places I’ve already been to I just want to learn. I’ve been to most bodies of water within an hour and a half of me.
 

I will be going to little pine lake which I have never been to. It’s more of my wife, dog and I will just be unplugging for a weekend. The boat is just coming for the ride it’s not a serious fishing trip. 

 

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Between Christmas and New Years I got on google earth and found about a dozen or so public fishing spots that were an hour and a half to two hours away from my house. They are small lakes only 10 to 50 acres in size, but they are new places to fish. 

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I plan on fishing over 100 new lakes, as soon as I win the lotto.  Until then, I am going to fish the same 4 I did last year, and I hope to get a chance to explore a couple, that I am not sure have bass,( rumors of giants) but I wont know for sure until I try.

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8 hours ago, PhishLI said:

so don't give up if you're not slinging them over the rail like bluefish on day one.

 

^This^ line made me laugh!

 

The big bog holds big bass, at least big bass for me, i.e. four-pounders and up. I know this because I saw a guy on YouTube catching a couple there. I have only fished one body of water in Maine where I only caught small bass and that pond bugs me because I'm thinking I simply failed to fish where the thicker, longer fish were. It's a pretty pond with only one camp, so I might return to it this summer.

 

Phish, I really appreciate your posts. You are so specific. I just bought three of the lures you suggested.

 

I'm not surprised that an alewife-imitating lure wouldn't work, not when they have a million of the real thing right beside it. 

@Darnold335

 

Oh, I'll fish them all for sure, and many others. It's just that those four of the 32 bodies I've water I've scouted seem the most promising to me, thus they have me the most excited. I'm even going to fish a swamp that's downtown in a nearby town. I've never seen anyone fish it, but I've walked down to its banks and it sure looks deep enough and bassy. I've had good luck in the past catching bass from water that others overlook. I also scouted below a waterfall behind a fire station. That spot looks perfect because the slope is steep and the bounders on the bank would spook the less committed. 

59 minutes ago, Bankbeater said:

Between Christmas and New Years I got on google earth and found about a dozen or so public fishing spots that were an hour and a half to two hours away from my house. They are small lakes only 10 to 50 acres in size, but they are new places to fish. 

 

Google Earth is the best, isn't it? If I'm unsure of the approach, I drive to the water, which is easier to scout in the winter when you can see the best approach better with fewer leaves.

4 hours ago, Darnold335 said:

It’s also pretty wide there for most the stretch I’d say around a mile.  I’d say it’s also about 20 miles of river long. 

 

That's a LOT of water to learn. I'm excited for you. I love exploring. Sounds like you do too!

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11 hours ago, Jar11591 said:

The one I’m most excited for is one that’s been on my radar for years now but it’s a 2 hour haul into the Adirondack High Peaks Region. 2023 will be the year I finally try it. The lake is about 1000 acres, only a few camps, and absolutely loaded with downed timber, boulders, shoals, islands, points, humps, drop offs and lily pads. Has healthy populations of largemouth and smallmouth and a smallish launch off a dirt road that may deter a lot of people.

 

So, you've found Heaven and it's on Earth. Gosh, I hope you do fish it. I love all its features: few camps, literal tons of structure, and a lousy launch at the end of the dirt road. Please, oh, please fish it and let us know how it goes. And PICS, please. So many PICS!

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Well, we are going to a “new” body,of water for us at the end of the month.  We go to Florida every year on a fishing trip.  We have done Kissimmee, and Okeechobee a couple of times so at the end of this month we are heading to Headwaters for a week.  Always fun to fish new areas.  In May it will be our 20th year going to Lake St Clair, renting a cottage on Harsens Island and spending a week in smallmouth heaven. The rest of the year is just a bonus. ?

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26 minutes ago, TOXIC said:

Well, we are going to a “new” body,of water for us at the end of the month.  We go to Florida every year on a fishing trip.  We have done Kissimmee, and Okeechobee a couple of times so at the end of this month we are heading to Headwaters for a week.  Always fun to fish new areas.  In May it will be our 20th year going to Lake St Clair, renting a cottage on Harsens Island and spending a week in smallmouth heaven. The rest of the year is just a bonus. ?

 

I want to be your stowaway! 

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10 hours ago, PhishLI said:

so don't give up if you're not slinging them over the rail like bluefish on day one.

LMAO, used to work on and hustle pools on the Sheepshead Bay bluefish boats, and every so often "that guy" would show up, and as fish were being slung everywhere, I'd slide one down the back of his spotless new set of Grundens and down inside one leg, by accident of course....

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11 minutes ago, Deleted account said:

LMAO, used to work on and hustle pools on the Sheepshead Bay bluefish boats,

If there's anything that made me love freshwater bass fishing even more than I do, it was my hate for that type of chaos. Rude, mouth breathing thick skulls being their worst selves who I'm not allowed to beat up 'cause I'm a guest combined with huffing in huge hits of diesel exhaust...Nah.  It's like volunteering to jump into a cement mixer.

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@ol'crickety

 

I do enjoy exploring. I try to have the fish it small mentality when exploring. It doesn’t always work though. I always have the devil on my shoulder saying go fish over there. Two of them when I’m not producing. I just keep telling myself I can’t catch fish if I don’t have a line in the water to try and help to win out. Fishing with a partner does help speed up the process of moving on if we aren’t getting anything doing different things.

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1 hour ago, PhishLI said:

If there's anything that made me love freshwater bass fishing even more than I do, it was my hate for that type of chaos. Rude, mouth breathing thick skulls being their worst selves who I'm not allowed to beat up 'cause I'm a guest combined with huffing in huge hits of diesel exhaust...Nah.  It's like volunteering to jump into a cement mixer.

LOL, any interest in hoping the fence at LILCO?

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Just a question to define a bog lake? Know what a bog is and bog pools but unfamiliar with a bog lake.

Tom

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That one with the swamp in the middle sounds interesting to me.

Ive been trying to go back to some of the old natural lakes I fished years ago. The next one in our sights is Sante Fe lake. It’s a big body of water with everything I love to fish, grass , docks, cypress trees, and deep holes.   2 Lakes in one , joined by a big cut, really 3 if the black lake canal is open…To me  it’s a special, beautiful lake. The bass fishing isn’t easy there traditionally , but it’ll be fun to fish it again.

That’s if we don’t get sidetracked and go to George’s lake again first. We know that lake well, and it’s our top producing lake besides my little home lake.

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4 hours ago, N Florida Mike said:

That one with the swamp in the middle sounds interesting to me.

Ive been trying to go back to some of the old natural lakes I fished years ago. The next one in our sights is Sante Fe lake. It’s a big body of water with everything I love to fish, grass , docks, cypress trees, and deep holes.   2 Lakes in one , joined by a big cut, really 3 if the black lake canal is open…To me  it’s a special, beautiful lake. The bass fishing isn’t easy there traditionally , but it’ll be fun to fish it again.

That’s if we don’t get sidetracked and go to George’s lake again first. We know that lake well, and it’s our top producing lake besides my little home lake.

 

I know! The second one is two-fer with a side of salad. 

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I rarely scout out early.  I’ll mostly bring my kayak and go for it. The one time did scout without my kayak, I have yet to fish. It does require lifting my kayak over a fence. 

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1 minute ago, ol'crickety said:

@Darth-Baiter

 

Living in sunny CA, you aren't driven to scouting out of winter's desperation. 

 

They'll never understand!

 

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