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Drain on Lake


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  • Super User

Hey y’all,
 

More questions for today. One of the lakes here has a drain off the bank in some deep water. Roughly the deepest in the lake. It’s a covered drain where water flows into with some concrete walls going down. The drain is situated on the dam of the lake. When I first started fishing this lake, it was November or December sometime, can’t really remember. But I was most attracted to the dam right off the bat and spent most of my time there. For all that time, I only caught one dink. For all the cover and deep water there, including rocks, some light submerged vegetation, and steep drop off from the bank, I really thought it was going to be productive, especially as the water cooled and the fish could go down into the deep water as needed or up to the rocks in some bright sunshine and warm temps. However, I saw more activity in other parts of the lake and observed people catching mostly away from the dam. So then I started questioning that drain and its influence on the lake. Does the drain create some current? How does it affect small (2-4in) baitfish? Does it cool the water down? Why do you think this area was not producing for me? 

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If there is a  creek flowing in one side and water going out the other there is some form of current however little it may be. I do not think it would have much effect on bait fish with how little the current could possible be. I could see an area producing like this on days it is wind blown.

 

 Most times I think there would be better success fishing other places.  I think Dams matter more on the down sides of them. Also I think they matter much more in rivers. Now a pinch point on the lake instead of a dam I think would be a better option. 

 

It won’t cool the water down. As the lake has a natural cool down as it gets deeper. Now the cool water coming in from the creek may be cooler than the body of water itself. 

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  • Super User

A lot of dams around here have that type of drain, it's usually a cast from shore with stone or riprap. It's usually just an ok spot, nothing special. The area where that deep water away from the dam into shallower water works better for me. There is an early and late bite in the rocks up to about 5' in the warmer months, but mostly dinks for me. YMMV. Check out the outflow, fish sometimes get washed down and get trapped in a small pool, and they will bite pretty much anything near their face. A lot of snakeheads in such places around here, but I get at least a couple of bass each year.

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  • Super User

Use your sonar to locate bass and bait in deeper water.

Fish where they are not where you think they are.

Tom

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Depending on the lake, dams can be good or bad.  I don't think the drain would change that much.  

 

One thing I believe is the depth and clarity of the water mater as to whether the dam is worth your time or not.  I don't have much experience with clear water, but in heavily stained water, a dam that sits next to 100ft. of water won't be a good spot to fish.  But a dam that sits next to 25ft of water probably will be.  My theory is that if the water is too deep for the bass to reach bottom without everything going pitch black on them, then they won't feel safe there.  

 

In any case, I'm not a huge fan of dams for bass fishing.  They're better spots for crappie and catfish, in my opinion.  I tend to look for points, flats, creek channels, or other structure that's not so large in scale.  

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  • Super User
6 minutes ago, WRB said:

Use your sonar to locate bass and bait in deeper water.

Fish where they are not where you think they are.

Tom

Bank fishing that lake

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  • Super User
6 minutes ago, LrgmouthShad said:

Bank fishing that lake

Makes it tough!

 Uphill in rip rap is the bait monkey’s friend.

Try the 1st major point, usually winter bass are located there.

Tom

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4 minutes ago, WRB said:

Uphill in rip rap is the bait monkey’s friend.

Sure is 😄

 

Donated an awful lot of jigs to the water bank fishing a reservoir in NY. I had to tolerate it because bluegill colored jigs were often the best thing to throw on that reservoir

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  • Super User

it might just be an outflow.  up over the berm there should be a water gate.  a huge wheel you turn to release water if needed.  if it is closed, i dont see it as anything but a home for fish.  

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Some of the small lakes I fish have those drains in the dam.  Fishing from the dam on some lakes is good and on some lakes it is terrible.  I think a lot of it depends on what other structure is around in that given lake. 

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I thought I would update this thread. 4 of my five fish that I caught this past weekend were in fact on the dam, but they were on the corner of it where it starts to merge with shallower water. There is a similar corner on the other side, but that area did not produce for me. I did not bother with water close to the drain, except for trying super shallow around cover
 

I wouldn’t say the fish I caught are the ones I’m really looking for, but that one area does seem to hold fish

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36 minutes ago, LrgmouthShad said:

I thought I would update this thread. 4 of my five fish that I caught this past weekend were in fact on the dam, but they were on the corner of it where it starts to merge with shallower water. There is a similar corner on the other side, but that area did not produce for me. I did not bother with water close to the drain, except for trying super shallow around cover
 

I wouldn’t say the fish I caught are the ones I’m really looking for, but that one area does seem to hold fish

That’s all part of putting the puzzle pieces together! Sounds like you’re figuring out your lake. 

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1 hour ago, Darnold335 said:

That’s all part of putting the puzzle pieces together! Sounds like you’re figuring out your lake. 

Yup, learning. There is a popular area on the lake that I could not touch this weekend because of logistical constraints fishing in the wind from the bank. Some organization dropped cover in the water… I believe it is either PVC or timber…. in a broad area. I’m told that’s where more of the big fish on the lake are caught. Should be able to explore it some this coming weekend. It is super snaggy in there. 
 

Beyond these two places, I don’t have good areas on the lake pinpointed yet

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29 minutes ago, LrgmouthShad said:

Yup, learning. There is a popular area on the lake that I could not touch this weekend because of logistical constraints fishing in the wind from the bank. Some organization dropped cover in the water… I believe it is either PVC or timber…. in a broad area. I’m told that’s where more of the big fish on the lake are caught. Should be able to explore it some this coming weekend. It is super snaggy in there. 
 

Beyond these two places, I don’t have good areas on the lake pinpointed yet

It’s all trial and error. everyone catches the fish there because the most people fish there. Not saying it’s not a good area just don’t believe the hype and only fish there. I don’t know how big the lake is but if it’s your home body learn every nook and cranny. Sometimes though knowing too much can get you stuck. Always look fresh.

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19 hours ago, LrgmouthShad said:

I thought I would update this thread. 4 of my five fish that I caught this past weekend were in fact on the dam, but they were on the corner of it where it starts to merge with shallower water.

 

Was going to tell you this. 2 lakes over by charlotte have basically the same setup you describe, rip rap dam with a drain at center line about a cast's length off shore. I've caught 1 or 2 dinks at the drain and some OK ones along the rip rap but the corners where it transitions are the best. Like you, one corner produces better than the other and despite one looking like it would hold more fish (laydowns, weeds, etc) the sandy corner that transitioned to shallow faster was the better producer. 

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