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Cephkiller

Threadfin Shad

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I am going to fish a power plant cooling lake on Thursday and Saturday.  Despite repeated attempts finding info on the web and via posts on BR, I am unsatisfied that I will be able to find the fish.  There is no vegetation; just wood cover and muddy bottom.  Obviously, seasonal patterns do not apply as the lake is warm all year (or do they?).

I got a bright idea today.  Hold onto your hats.  This is a revolutionary idea.  FIND THE BAIT AND I'LL FIND THE BASS!  The water temp varies from upper 40s at the lower end to 80s at the upper end near the warm water discharge.  Given this choice, at what temperature will the shad prefer to live?  I have read that largemouth bass prefer to live in 65-70 degree water, but I assume they will stay around the shad.

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Are you sure that there are even shad in that lake? What power plant are going to be fishing by? The only surefire way to find if there are fish is to catch them. Thats all i can say. If there is no weeds, go to the wood structure. If thats not productive, hit the deep pockets and the shallow flats. Anything that will find you fish. Sounds pretty obvious, but what else can i say?

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Ceph,  I fish a few power plant lakes here in Illinois all winter long every year.  Some have grass and wood, some just one or the other, and some niether.  I have found that if you find some current, you'll find some fish.  Also, the temp of the water will be relative to how you want to fish for them.  I tend to have faster action in the warmer temps that are more like late spring or summer, but get better quality fish in the cooler temmp waters fishing them like it was late winter or early spring.  But even on these lakes that have temps warm enough to spawn in all year, it seeems that the bass still wait for more available daylight associated with lengthening days.  If you can't find shad anywhere, look for bluegill and sunfish and fish accordingly.  Hope this helps you out a little.

Dink

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Are you sure that there are even shad in that lake?

I saw several floating last year near the warm water discharge.

What power plant are going to be fishing by?

See above

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I haven't been down there in a few years.

Power plant lake and finding shad seems like a good idea. Only problem you will have is if the lake has white bass, which most power plants do, they will ball up the the shad in 20-30 feet of water in the middle of nowhere and have you chasing ghosts all day. Yeah you may catch a bass or two out of these white bass swarms but I've always done better looking for shad in the coves, around wood or on the points.

If you've had wind several days in a row which is common on a cooling lake and it has been out of the same direction fish the coves that are wind blown. If you can find bait fish in there it's likely the bass will be there also.

We've done well down there c-rigging the "trash pile" and fishing the points with jig-n-pigs or jigheads and Senkos. We've also done well on spinnerbaits chrts/white in the windy coves and Sugar Shads in firetiger.

I may head down there thursday or saturday, what time you going?

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I have a guy that makes them for me. There 1/8 ballhead jigs with a 4/0 black nicole Owner hooks. A little dab of superglue on the keeper will help you get more than a few fish from each Senko.

I was using the 4 inch until we ran out. They would bit the 6 inch just not as well. Black/Blue and green pumkin seemed to work best.

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Well, I fished pockets near the outlet and I found some shad because I snagged 2 of them.  I only caught one bass, but it was 4.5 lbs. which is a pretty good day around here.  I also had one follower.  I was using a RC 2.5 in MS American Shad.  I think I would have done much better if I would have had the 1.5 that is on backorder.  The shad I snagged were identical in color to the crankbait, but were much smaller, i.e. closer in size to the 1.5 that I still don't have.

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