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LD483

Power plant lakes in General?

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Hi everyone this is my second post, will try to make as short as possible.

A friend and I went to Newton Lake in Illinois which is a power plant lake 03-06-05 as we are going to be fishing in our first tournement there this Sunday 03-13-05.  I went there with the plan of motoring up the warm water arm until I saw temps between 70-75 then fishing any visable cover that was available. The warmest I had access to was 74. Long story short I thru, Zara spook which pretty much got nill except for a 2 pounder that got away over a log, I also fished a Minnow bait, a dropshot with a worm, and jig n pig and a Rattle trap on and off most of the day with no %100 sure bites. My friend caught a 2-3 pounder off of a submerged tree directly off the main channel in about 4 feet using a tube with on a drop shot rig. Until the last 2 hours of the day he caught nothing until he switched to a Chomper creature bait with a 1/4 oz jig head. once he switched to this he started getting bites. caught 2 more small ones had quite a few bites and missed a 5 pounder which thru it in the air. Most of the people there were throwing spinnerbaits and I hate to throw the same thing everyone else is using. some of the posts I saw suggested using a carolina rigged tube or lizard or crankbait.    

My Question is do you think I should have found cooler water to fish shallow visable structure where the fish would be in more of a prespawn pattern using baits I suggested and I am used to or should I go with a carolina rig that I am not very familiar with and try to fish cooler points and submerged structure in 10-20 feet depts.  

TO add

what temp should I be looking for to fish topwater in a powerplant lake in winter should it be the warmest water I have access to? What temp usually do fish start hitting topwater before the spawn?

whew........

 

hopefully someone has a little insight I would sure appreciate not getting skunked again.

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My advice, find water in 60-65 degree range and slow roll spinnerbaits for pre-spawn fish. These fish will be full of eggs, therefore a little heavier and feeding up for the spawn ahead. Fish rocks if possible.

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I fish Braidwood, which is a power plant lake just south of Joilet, every year about 15-20 times in March and early April. The key thing I usually look for is which way the wind is blowing. Most power plant lakes are windy whether it's windy out or not. I will key off the windy points or wind blow coves, the more wind the better in my opinion. I use a Cordell Big O in firetiger or craw color. Most of the fish seem to be tight to the rip-rap and facing it. At Braidwood and a few other lakes I fish knowing the fish are facing the shore line is a big key. I will keep my crankbait very tight to the shoreline rocks. Most of the fish I catch tend to trap the bait against the rocks when they hit it. I didn't get as many bites if I kept my bait a few feet of of shore because I believe the bait was behind the fish. The best spots seem to be windy banks that have a point the wind is blowing across. I put my boat facing the windy and fish the point. Most of the time the wind will be heavy so I crank with spinning gear.

I would key off the wind and the current produced by the plant drawing water. Anytime you have current going across a point in a power palnt lake the fish seem to be there.  In the slackwater or eddies we c-rig Senkos or baby brush hogs.

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thanks for the tips but if I am fishing water that is 60-65 degrees for post spawn fish what pattern do you thing would work best? fishing a creek channel that runs close to a cove? how about a breakline in front of a cove that breaks off of the main creek channel that runs thru the lake. I guess my question here is what would be my best bet for trying to catch these prespawn bass? topwater, crankbaits, slow rolled spinners/ and where should I fish them?

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If your fishing post spawn fish in that temp some may already be up close to bedding. I would fish the shallow coves, or shallow flats close to the creek channels.The fish should be shallow and maybe really shallow depending on water color. Any shallow rip-rap or wood I would also fish with a buzzbait early then crank both prefurably a big balsa bait thru the wood. Any cat-tails? If there is I would pitch them with a jig after the sun comes up. Rattle traps, shallow crankbaits and buzzbaits would be my lures of choice. That cove with the breaks off into the main creek channel should hold some fish.

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For a simple plan, Id start in the warm water, and work your way to the cold water.  This time of yr bass tend to move alot.  Fishing from warm to cold should help you locate where the bass seem to be on that given day.  Once youve got some hook up, then you know what water temp to fish for the rest of the day.

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