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BassMaster_1

Please Help!!! with new lake

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I got a cottage next week at a lake that I have only fished a few times, with little luck.  Here is the stats on the lake.  It is a natural lake, max depth is 66'.  No real structure other than a weed line that circles all the way around the lake and Docks.  I have heard that the water temp has been kinda high lately.  The best way i can describe it, is its like a oval shaped soup bowl, but there are a few points.   The lake has both largemouth and smallmouth.  What do you guys suggest in helping me find some fish.  What patterns, lures should i use?  

Thanks for the help!!

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I fish a lake kind of like your describing.  Only structure is weedline around the whole lake and docks.  Where the weedline and docks meet in the shade produce for me all summer long.  If I am catching a bunch a peanuts I then put the boat in the weedline, start heading out towards the middle of the lake and find the first break line on my depth finder.  Make a mental note or throw out a marker bouy of where that breakline is.  Use that break line as if it were the shore.  Where deep water swings closest to the bank will also produce.  This is for largemouth.  Never fished for small mouth.

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I think that you 're confusing the terms, weedlines are not structure, weedlines are cover, the shape of the weedline, the type of weed, how deep the weeds grow are telling you the structure on which they are growing. Points are structural features, bottom composition is another structural feature, docks are man made structural feature; the lake gets it 's water from: a river, a creek, rainfall ? the terrain surrounding the lake is formed by what ? the fish feed on what: panfish, crawdads, minnows, shiners ? max depth of 66' doesn 't say much, how 's  the contour of the lake above and below water level, how much slope the terrain has around the lake ?

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i would fish any points that extend into the weedline with t-rigged plastics. around the weedline around the lake i would use a spinnerbait or shallow crank on the outside of the weedline, then pitch a t-rigged tube into the gaps in the weedline.

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"Make a mental note or throw out a marker bouy of where that breakline is. Use that break line as if it were the shore."

When you said to use that first break as the shore, should i move out deeper and cast to that break line?  What do you suggest I throw?  

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Well, I don't mean to play the devil's advocate, but I would fish between the weedline & shore early & late.  During mid morning & late afternoon I would search for the pockets within the weeds.  It sounds like the weeds are the only source for oxygen from what you have described.  I would try buzzbait over the weeds, soft plastics and/or jig*pig in the pockets & shallow cranks above the weeds until the fish let you know what they want.

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Exactly.  What to use: anything really.  I am partial to C-rigging creature baits and 6" Dingers/Senkos.

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Break lines or breaking points are where two elements of different nature meet, the air/water interface is a break line, where the weeds meet the water is another breakline, where murky water meets cleaner water is another break line, where weeds meet another type of weed you get another break line, the things are there, all you need is to use your powers of observation and listen to that the lake is telling you.

Bass_junky mentioned:

I would fish between the weedline & shore

He 's targeting a breaking point the weedline and the shore.

I would search for the pockets within the weeds

Since weeds only grow as deep as they can get enough light to grow the formation of "pockets" is caused because the contour of the terrain on which those weeds are growing creates a deeper spot, being deeper the weeds don 't grow or don 't grow as tall as the surrounding weeds, pockets create another break line, weeds meet water, also the bottom composition may be different, weeds can 't grow on solid rock.

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Makes sense,  But what makes one spot better than the other?  The lake is almost identical all the way around.  Im gonna kinda play dumb because i want to hear what you guys would do.  

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It looks almost identical because you haven 't taken the time to look at it closely, "almost" identical is that it is not identical, every place where you find a difference between one spot and the other is preciselly what you should look for, just to put you an example, if wind is blowing from one side of the lake the side that faces the wind is no longer "identical" to the opposite side, the same principle applies to sunlight, the side that 's getting the sunlight is no longer identical to the side that 's not getting it in the same proportion, shade not only is an element of cover also it 's a break line, the breakline forms in the transition from shade to sunlight.

It 's not just like Curado said:

try points and some offshore structure

He has the general idea but his suggestion lacks of refinement;

What makes a point better than another ? wind direction, current, sun exposure, depth around the point.

and the weedlines.

What makes one weedline better than other ? the same elements that make a point better than the other.

I would also flip  some docks.

On which direction ? how is the dock built ? transversal studs, diagonal studs, a mix of both, is it anchored to the bottom or is it a floating dock, how deep is the water below it, how deep is the water around it, what 's the bottom composition: rocks, boulders, sand, silt, a mixture ? not all docks are created equal.

There 's no such thing as "identical".

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Raul,

You take everything i know about bass fishing and scramble it up in my head.  How do you approach a new lake, when so many variables come into play?  

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the windblown side of the lake will have more baitfish than the other side. any place where 2 pieces of cover or cover and structure meet. (such as a tree in the middle of a weedline, or a weedline over the top of a drop off)  fish all of these areas that stand out from the other parts of the lake. a small patch of weeds apart from the main weedline is also a good place to fish. any thing that is the same but stands out from the main group of somthing is always good to fish. (a tree away from a group of trees, or like i said a patch of weeds away from the main weedline.)

i hope this helps. now go out and catch the big one

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Raul,

You take everything i know about bass fishing and scramble it up in my head. How do you approach a new lake, when so many variables come into play?

Bass behave pretty much the same way everywhere so what I do is to search for what I know bass need and want, when I go to a new lake I look for "my lake" in the other lake, if I can 't find it at first glance then I start lookig for those subtle differences that make the place more promising than others, I search for "break lines" likes the ones we have mentioned, I look at the weedlines and weedbeds in search for differences in them, with even a slight breeze you can detect pockets easily, the "color" of the water is different, I check the wind direction and it 's speed, the sun direction, the surrounding terrain, it 's hard to explain with written words, there are things that I see that catch my attention imediately.

In any given day the most difficult thing is to locate the fish and you do that by watching and listening to what the lake is telling you, the lake speaks to you if you want to hear it. After doing that I pay attention to the weather conditions, if it 's sunny, if the skies are clear and cloudless, if there are scattered clouds, if it has rained during the past days and how it has been raining, the level of the lake has risen or dropped, look at the water, the color of it, the turbidity and the nature of the turbidity ( suspended inorganic matter or organic matter ) and adjust throughout the day. Selecting the baits to be fished is the easy part.

Let 's take part of what Playmaker47 said:

the windblown side of the lake will have more baitfish than the other side.

Excellent !! he may probably won 't know the "why"

but he knows the consecuence ( more baitfish ), the why is: baitfish feed on plankton and any insect that falls in the water due to the wind, plankton can 't move on it 's own, insects are downed to the water, wind pushes the plankton and fallen insects and concentrates them in the direction in which the wind is blowing, it 's a golden opportunity for baitfish to feed, also, wind creates waves, waves stir up the bottom, that stirring creates cloudiness by the increased turbidty; baitfish presence, low visibilty, diminshed light penetration, let me ask you, if you were a predator like bass where would you be ? The consecuence: where baitfish are bass are.

The difference between getting skunked and catching a few is not the bait, the bait is only a tool.

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Great, I will take all this to mind when i get out there.  I will let you all know how i do.  It has been 2 years since i have been to a cottage.  I can't wait for that first morning, up early, slight fog on the glass flat lake.  Seems like im the only up awake on the lake.    AHHHHH can't wait

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