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basslovr

Crooked Lake, Florida

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  I know you guys probably get tired of folks asking whether anyone has fished this lake or that lake and what is good and where the fish are at and all but...

  First question....do those questions say anything about the quality of fisherman that person is? Does a "seasoned veteran" ask these questions, or is he able to go to any lake and be able to "figure it out" on his own?  

  I mean, I am a "member" of b.a.s.s. and I get the bassmaster magazine, and read all the articles about cover and structure and all, but it seems to me that those lakes that they talk about are all north of Florida. We don't have "creek beds" running through most of our lakes, or points, or road beds, and etc.  Where can an "up and comer" find information on how to fish Florida lakes?  

 Of course, being a "non-boater" in our club also puts me at a slight disadvantage I guess, since I have no say so as to where I fish in a tournament. And I don't get the opportunity very often to fish other than in our tournaments.

  I've got a tackle box full of every kind, size, and color of crankbait (both lipped and lipless), topwater this, spinnerbait that, and a bag with every size, shape, and color (each of which is a dilemma all its own) of plastic whatchamacallits there is. I don't want to carry both bags with me as this "clutters up" the back of the boat and sends a wave of chuckles through the ranks of boaters. How do I decide on what to take and what to leave behind?    

  Does is just come down to changing your lure every 20 to 25 minutes until you "get lucky" and tie the right one on? Or does it take spending hours and hours and $$$ and $$$ (neither of which I have been blessed with) til you learn it by process of elimination?      

  That being said (or asked)....., has anybody fished Crooked Lake lately.......?

  Thank you in advance to all you guys who are willing to take the time to share your knowledge and expertise with us novices. ;)

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I'm with you. To answer one of the questions....it does take hours and hours and hours and hours and hours (you get the point) to get this stuff down. Very few people are just naturals. I would be willing to bet that most of these guys have been fishing since they could walk, and therefore probably have at least 20+ years of experience on me and you. With that being said, being a non boater can be a huge advantage.  Soak in all the knowledge you can from these guys. Seeing someone effectively fish a point is much more effective than trying to read about it!

The other thing...all these creeks and roadbeds and submerged timber and all that stuff that everyone talks about...most lakes have them, they just aren't visible unless you have a good map and some good electronics. Again...hopefully you will be in the back of the boat with a boater who is willing to share his knowledge and experience with you. If so, don't hesitate to pick their brain on how they develop patterns and why they choose certain lures.

As far as lure selection, it depends on how many combos you have.

In order-I would go rattletrap/crankbait, texas rigged something or other (it will be easy to switch between worms and creatures), and then, you choose based on what your fishing around, either a jig or spinnerbait-just my opinion, but I'm only a couple years into this thing...check out the articles on this site as well

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Lake county or Polk count?  The map below might give you some head start for you and your boater.  i have never fished either one.  And very few lakes in Florida have roads, bridges, or creek beds underwater.  Rodman reserve and stick farm are the only two I can think of with any structure like that.  

As for what tackle to bring, after a little time on the water I found myself only using 5% of the tackle I brought.  I had developed favorites.  So I took about 60% of the tackle, stuff I had never even thought about using although I had it with me, and left it in the garage.  I don't ever miss it.

Lake county crooked lake map

http://lakewatch.ifas.ufl.edu/RevisedMaps05/LakeMaps/CrookedLakeMap.pdf

Polk county crooked lake map

http://lakewatch.ifas.ufl.edu/RevisedMaps05/PolkMaps/CrookedPolkMap.pdf

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polk county's crooked lake does have some stumps... careful you dont find them the wrong way!

what a lake though.  lot of great cover.  right now i would say get up near the bank and look look look.

if i were looking for fish in that lake right now i would spend 90% of my time w/ 3 rods.  worm (casting to isolated stuff and in pockets and holes in the grass), flipping (pitching in grass and around thicker cover) and toad.  cast and cast and cast.  youll find them.

my colors would be dark black, blue, pumpkin... whatever.

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thanks again for all the tips guys....warmer, you said fllippin.....does it matter what I flip? Got the other two covered no problem. I use zoom trick worms with pretty good success rates, and like to throw gambler frogs, also with pretty decent success. I usually don't use those colors but am always open to trying something new.

thanx again!!!

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If the cold fronts ever stop coming and the wind will lay down just a bit the big girls will start moving up into the grass beds along US 27.  Pitching and flipping black and blue worms and jigs work well as do frogs buzzed over and through the grass.  Early this month I caught 7 between 2.5 and 4.5 lbs but the next day I could not buy one - just depends on the day.

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I  agree crooked lake is a great lake, lots of cover, structure, deep water, shallow banks.  

I tend to use a Rage tail craw in a blue green color.  have had a lot of success w/ that bait.  rigged with a 3/8 oz. bullet weight and a 4/0 offset worm hook.  sometimes i use a insertion rattle.

do be careful of the stumps though,  there are a few areas that you would have no idea that they are there, but ive lost a few props on that lake!

Tight Lines

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My dad lives on a lake in central Florida that at best is 10' deep in a few places. 90% of the time he fishes in 3' of water or less. The water is tea stained from decaying vegitation which makes spotting beds tough. Lipless cranks along the K-grass edge and pitching to isolated pads and brush with senkos or light jigs gets most of his fish. Keep your eyes for bait fish out in the open water as schooling bass can be a great chance to get into some fast and furious fishing.

Good Luck

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I agree crooked lake is a great lake, lots of cover, structure, deep water, shallow banks.

I tend to use a Rage tail craw in a blue green color. have had a lot of success w/ that bait. rigged with a 3/8 oz. bullet weight and a 4/0 offset worm hook. sometimes i use a insertion rattle.

do be careful of the stumps though, there are a few areas that you would have no idea that they are there, but ive lost a few props on that lake!

Tight Lines

Sarcastically speaking.....you couldn't have made this post a few days earlier.....my tournament was on the 21st.....you posted on the 22nd

The winning weight at our tournament was 11 lbs 7 oz......He caught ALL 5 of his fish on a "rage tail craw in blue green color". So you were right on that one......Just wish I had had that suggestion before I went, then maybe that would have been me instead of him.

I will definitely keep that in mind for the next time we fish that lake....knowing florida bass though, by the time we do, they will be on to something else (just my luck).

Thanks again for all the tips guys

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