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Willzx225

Locating Shell Beds

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With the last two Elite events being largely influenced by the fishing of "shell beds" I am looking for information on locating these beds.  Are they typically found in the same general areas? IE Inside channel bends, outside channel bends, etc.  Or is it something that you have to fish and find at random?  Other than having consecutive casts come back with shells on your baits, is there any other way to know you have located one?  ( I have heard that if you are fishing bottom baits you can feel it getting rougher than the surrounding bottom composition)  Any information on these shell beds is greatly appreciated!  I would really like to hear from the guys around the Kentucky Lake area (hint hint CJ)  ;D

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Not trying to Hi-jack the thread, but I too would like to see the answer to your question.  Also, maybe someone could explain why shell beds are so productive?  Is it just cause they are hard bottom around the submerged grass or what??

Thanks guys

Thomas

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Mussel beds usually are a random find, for me. I haven't been able to pattern a depth or structure that they relate to. I would think a softer bottom contour would help but that wouldn't be the bottom I look for. Bass seem to like a hard bottom when available. Yet it seems Ky.Lake's population is increasing. We no longer see the brail boats, thank god, that we used to. Brail boats were very rough on cover of all types. Bass do feed on these mussels. You can feel them if you know what your feeling for, with the right rod, lure, and line. Dragging a t-rigged worm I occasionally set the hook on a mussel that closes on my lure. I have a lot of them this year especially. I still feel that the structure is the dominate factor of the locating fish. I have found fish on drops that I didn't find mussels. That doesn't mean there aren't any mussels there. But if it is, it's a bonus. But I don't think it dictates. We see mussel meat floating around more this year. I also witnessed a nice bass come up in open water right by the boat and eat a piece. Now you got me thinking, wonder how I could duplicate a piece of mussel meat for a lure?

Maybe some of the more scientific members could shed some light on mussels beds? When I was learning more about jig fishing, I took time to study crawfish. Maybe some mollusk studies are in order. :-?

I think you should have posted this in the general thread. It would have gotten more attention. Nice thread though. :)

CJ

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Thats a good idea on the muscle study.  

Also, what is a brail boat?  I am not very familiar with the TVA chain or other bodies of water used for transport.

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I don't know if I spelled it right but a brail boat is what they use to run brails which they drag on the bottom. They run several at a time and the mussels close on the brails, it's how they catch them. The kickback is that the brails tear up alot of cover, it's like bushogging the lake bottom, maybe not that harsh. Anyway the reason for the mussel comeback this year on Ky. Lake is due to the drought last year. See, mussels reproduce similiar to trees and plants. They send off their seed, so to speak, into the open water with hopes of it reaching a female. With light current all last summer, reproduction was more successful for the mussels. Most of them I have dragged up from fishing the lake this year have been about the size of a golfball in diameter. I'm guessing those might be just the right eating size for bass?

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Thank you for your responses.  They have been enlightening.  Structure fishing is my biggest weakness (aside from the good ol' ball and chain carolina rig of course) and I am trying to develop that part of my game.

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