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Bassin101

Where to start...reservoirs full to max

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AZ reservoirs are the highest they have been in 10 yrs.  Trees sticking out of 6 feet of water, bushes underwater, floating debris everywhere, ie. many shoreline changes.

Water is brownish green, visibility to 2' max.

I'm thinking of pitching some soft plastics for a day.

I do not know this lake well, but I have a good map.

How would you approach this situation?

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You all ready stated where I would start. ;)  As the water recedes so would I.  I would hit the new water hard and go back to my favorite holes as it drops.

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MuddP, I have not fished this lake often so I have no favorite holes. :-[ Would you go into the many  coves, hit the points or flats and what would you use?  ??? There are also huge cliffs that go straight into the lake.

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I fished Bull Shoals under identical conditions. No one, including the guides could catch a fish, NOT ONE!

This was the first week of June, 2002. The water was being held back by the Corps of Engineers who had taken control of the lake (this is a contractual agreement which is determined by the pool level). The lake was at or near record pool and all the flooding occured AFTER the trees had leafed out.

Lots of fishermen had full week trips planned, all the guides were booked solid...and NOBODY could catch a fish. When I arrived Wednesday, three parties were leaving because the fishing was so bad. But guess what?

I had the best fishing trip of my life! My guide, Tim "Hot Dog" Curtis and I never went fifteen minutes without a fish. We had periods were we both caught a fish on every cast! Yet when we came back to the dock, not one other fish had been caught.

The secret to our success was not how we fished or what we fished, but WHERE we fished. Everyone else fished either in the flooded trees or cast up next to them. Dog and I fished 200-300 yards out, in the middle of the frigging lake. Well, actually we were fishing the "normal" shoreline. The smallmouth were absolutely stacked under thirty and forty foot sycamore trees that were fully or at least, mostly submerged. We cast 5-10 yards out from the tops, or where we imagined the fall line would be. It was the first time I ever fished a baby diaper yellow Gitzit, and I've been fishing them ever since.

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Never been close to that lake,but as a rule of thumb when the water rises-shallow and vice versa.I'm sure you already heard that one.

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Fish where you have always caught fish, maximum pool means little in those deep reservoirs.

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Sorry Bassin for the cheap answer. :-[ I guess I am still a little dingy from OP surgery yesterday. And didn't consider the difference in lake conditions when I posted. Around here lakes raise in acres more than levels. And the low laying areas are easily flooded. The newly flooded areas are smorgusboards for fish when they first flood. They are also easy to recognize. Then as the level begins to crest they slow, until it begins to drop. We have fished roadways after a lake level has raised only a few feet. The closest I have come to a deep water lake is Beavers Bend.

Is the lake higher then normal or has it been low for years? If the lake level has been normal level for 10 yrs. couldn't you estimate the newly claimed area by the abcence or sparciety of brush in the water? I would probably try the coves early and late in the day, and try to verticly fish the cliff walls to try to find overhangs during the day. Or try to find shelfs at the normal level on points maybe try something that can make contact with the bottom like slowrolling a spinner bait or T-rigged worm.

I know there is no good way for me to "save face" on this topic anymore so I guess I'll go back to licking my wounds. I would like to fish a lake with some natural structure to it one of these days. I love the sceanery.

Watch for birds, and active bait fish. Alot of times certain fish spieces can be targeted from a long distance by large amounts of bird formations and activity. Also the water can apear to be boiling when strippers are feeding on shad.

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You're forgiven MuddP, I'm just guessing its the medication talking. ;D  We also measure in acres as well as vertical feet.  This lake happens to be about 3000 acres now up, I would guess 25'.

Roosevelt Lake, once rated as one of the top ten Crappie lakes in the country went from 29% full in Nov 04  to 96% full today, 19,000+ acres.  Over 60 vertical foot change.  In 1995 Az added 75 feet to the dam, and new ramps. They were not under water until this Feb.  The shad are supposed to have a record year there, so the Bass should be banging.   Cheers ;)

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Thanks for the reprieve. :D But if your going to throw mathmatics into the equation I know I'm going back to bed. ;D If they raised the level of any of these lakes 25' I would be liveing on an island in the Tex-iana keys.

You are fishing a new lake in other words.  If it were around here it should be booming the next few years.  I guess I would start at the inlet end.

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It 's because you 're not used to fish deep reservoirs Mudpuppy, from all the lakes near my home town there 's only one "shallow" lake that I fish, the rest are deep lakes with steep sloping banks ( over 45° slope ) that 's why a rise of 25 ft in level doesn 't really mean much, all you need is to move a little closer to the bank which in those lakes isn 't also much, maybe 6-10 ft closer to the bank, the fish will continue to be pretty much holding to the same structure, only at a higher level because the water level has risen so if you fish the area that has always produced fish for you the only thing you should do is to move a little bit closer to the bank when the level rises and that 's it.

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Raul: I just checked some reports on that lake after my head cleared a little and that is supposed to be one hot place in the future. From what I read they are haveing trouble finding fish because there is so much new cover avaliable. And fishing for largemouths is difficult due to excessive floating debre. Bassin' it is a shame that you didn't get a chance to get out there when it was filling.  It really would have helped in knowing the lake.  I read that they are haveing the best luck with small mouths and crappie. But your right deep water is pretty much over my head  ;D

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Raul, you brought up a good point.  I was wondering if the bass would stick to their old areas or if they will explore into the newly filled canyons,coves and cover to stage and spawn.  Some of the coves alone go from 10' to 80' deep. :o

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Your lakes must look pretty much like this Bassin:

IM000512.JPG?dc=4675516839419366920

In this pic, taken about a month and half ago the level of the lake was 15 ft below maximum pool, I went there 2 weeks ago and the water dropped another 9 ft, that means 24 ft below maximum pool and it 's going to drop until it begins to rain again, but in that cove the depth is 45 ft at max pool, we caught a bunch of fish when the pic was taken and we caught a bunch of fish two weeks ago in the same place. The catch is to fish the same structure, in this case, where two different types of strucure meet. If you look at the pic closely you will see to the right a vertical solid rock wall, a little bit before it you will see a landslide of broken rock and huge boulders, since at maximum and minimum pool the structure is the same  that 's a good place to cast a line. Look at the pic and you will see lots of similar places.

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Raul...an awesome picture and it does look like our central lakes, rockslides and all.  I just read an article about the fish holding in areas where there is structure change like that wall and slide.

Now...the big question what kind of lures would you start with?   ;D

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Deep and extra deep running crankbaits casted parallel to the bank to catch the agressive fish first, jigs ( 1/4 -1/2 oz ) with a big trailer ( preferably a craw or a frog with curved legs ) to slow them down, plastic worms C-rigged casting also parallel to the bank slowly crawled along the bottom, in a lake like that there 's huge ammount of structure in deep water not far from the bank, rocky bottoms help a lot ( even tough it can be costly on sinkers and lost baits ) because fish hit the bait after the sinker has settled on the bottom after falling from athe rock and the worm is left floating above and behind. In a lake like that in a sunny day your best bet is casting on the shady side, even though cover is available it provides little shade.

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Raul, I am going to try to get to the lake tomorrow.  If I remember the camera, I will get some pics to post, IF I can find out how. ;D

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