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Summer Movement in Borrow Pits & Clear Lakes


AJ Hauser

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Hey fellas,

Been working some nearby borrow pits a LOT this year. I was out again yesterday in one that has been very productive - and I was surprised to find nothing but dinks along the entire shoreline. I caught 14, but they were all runts. Let me paint you a picture:

 

1. We had rain the night before

2. Water clarity was down slightly (probably from runoff), but still at least 6 to 8 feet

3. Water temps were between 74° - 75°

4. Banks are steep, and covered in Chara Algae with some Curlyleaf Pondweed out a bit deeper

5. Slight cloud cover, air temps from 64° up to 76° over the 5 hours on the water (started at 8:00 a.m.) 

 

 

I fished a Neko Rig, skipped a plastic up under bushes along the shoreline, threw a wakebait, a small swimbait, and they all caught fish, but again - everything was small. Over the past month most days have been high activity, peppered with good fish between 1 and 3 pounds. Back bays and shoreline fishing have been very productive. Today was different. So I'm wondering two things:

 

1. Is it likely the bigger bass moved out of the bays and off the shoreline into deeper water, and is this because weather, temperature or time of year?

2. If the bass have in fact moved deeper - how would you target them in clear water with his kind of cover? 

 

Any insight would be appreciated, especially before my next trip. Thanks! 

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Are these borrow pits big enough for ramps/roads for the excavators/trucks?  If they are, maybe time to work a jig, big worm, flutter spoon, preacher jig, or soft swimbait in the 15-30’ depth on those ramps. You can also throw larger swim baits, hair jigs, and spoons at the color line, where the water turns from lighter to darker.  You can get suspended fish that ambush up there and in my experience they tend to be bigger.  Then nighttime, low light, or bad weather might bring extra bigguns in shallow. These ideas would be where I’d start and I would throw larger profiles.  
 

scott
 

 

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11 minutes ago, softwateronly said:

Are these borrow pits big enough for ramps/roads for the excavators/trucks?  If they are, maybe time to work a jig, big worm, flutter spoon, preacher jig, or soft swimbait in the 15-30’ depth on those ramps. You can also throw larger swim baits, hair jigs, and spoons at the color line, where the water turns from lighter to darker.  You can get suspended fish that ambush up there and in my experience they tend to be bigger.  Then nighttime, low light, or bad weather might bring extra bigguns in shallow. These ideas would be where I’d start and I would throw larger profiles.  
 

scott
 

 

 

Thanks Scott! They're pretty wide, and they drop to 45 and even 60 feet at the max. Steep shorelines, some flats, and those areas had been productive so far but they have cooled off big time... any idea why that would be?

 

Sounds like I need to go bigger, and further down the depths...

 

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In  these smaller bodies of water, it literally only takes a bass a matter of seconds to swim into or out of a feeding area. Timing can be everything in regards to getting a shot at a bigger fish. My guess is that the big bass simply moved out into open water and suspended. Why? Anybody's guess…I don’t try and understand the whys near as much as simply understanding the fact they do. 
 

As for targeting them (suspended bass), short of having a boat and Livescope, I’d either throw big topwaters/glides/swimbaits that might get their attention in the clear water, or something slow sinking like a Senko, or wacky worm that might drop slowly enough in front of them to trigger a bite - or just focus on the shallower flats and breaklines and just hope the timing falls into place. The night bite is historically a great big bass window of time in quarry lakes.

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12 hours ago, Team9nine said:

Timing can be everything in regards to getting a shot at a bigger fish. My guess is that the big bass simply moved out into open water and suspended.

 

Interesting... and thank you for the info! When they suspend, do they tent to relate to... anything? I'm either in a kayak or a jon boat without livescope or super-fancy radar ;)

 

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1 hour ago, AJ Hauser said:

 

When they suspend, do they tend to relate to... anything? 


My first answer would be ‘No,’ I don’t think they do. Technically, if they swam off the flat or over the breakline, they would be holding at about the same depth, so the suspension would be in relation to that feature, but how far out and over anything specific is likely just random occurrence. In smaller waters that don’t have the depth of quarries and pits, its likely they go to or near the bottom which makes them a bit easier to target, but overall, studies show bass don’t make big depth changes on a daily basis. 

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29 minutes ago, Team9nine said:


In smaller waters that don’t have the depth of quarries and pits, its likely they go to or near the bottom which makes them a bit easier to target, but overall, studies show bass don’t make big depth changes on a daily basis. 

 

So in ponds that max out at say, 12 feet or so, they tend to hug bottom in the summer months?

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37 minutes ago, AJ Hauser said:

 

So in ponds that max out at say, 12 feet or so, they tend to hug bottom in the summer months?


I would say its more likely they are within 2-3 feet of the bottom based on my catches and techniques, especially if there is something to relate to.

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