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c17Lat

New Lake mid-march approach

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Can you guys help me out with a plan of attack for a new lake?

The Scenario:

Going to Clopper Lake on March 18 in Maryland

90 acre man-made reservoir

visible cover: one large boat dock, lots of laydowns cuz of beavers, a stretch of riprap next to a road

not sure what the water temp will be

fishing out of a 13' kayak (which i often stand in) with 36 lb thrust motor and depthfinder. I plan on fishing the deep ends of laydowns, and hopefully finding somekind of dropoffs or structure to fish. I don't think it will be warm enough for the fish to be shallow yet.

In terms of lures, techniques and areas to look for, what should i do?

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The rip rap could be one of the warmer water spots depending on the sun.  Nice place for a jerk bait and maybe some cranks.  Can run the jerk bait out from the rip rap to imitate bait fish.  Depending upon the temps may want to use slow twitches with some deadsticking.

The laydowns should be fun as well with some worms I would think.

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On pretty much any lake, anywhere, I'd start out with a big, loud, obnoxious swimbait, like an MS Slammer. Then I'd just hop around to all of the obvious spots..... points... humps... layed down trees etc, and start chucking it, ALWAYS watching close behind my lure for BIG followers, and ALWAYS wearing polarized glasses.

If the water is very clear (and is trout-planted), I might just go straight to the Hud.

On the first trip or two, I wouldn't even care if I caught a fish or not. If I just "saw" a good one, the trip would be a success in my mind...... and that sighting(s) would be marked permanently on the map in my head, becoming a stop on my rout ever thereafter.

But you said mid-March. Hmmmm. The spawn can kind of whack them out. Of course I can almost always get a follow or two on a swimbait during the spawn, either from one that's not on a bed yet, just taking a break, or actually came up off of a bed for a short follow. I've even had them come up off of a bed and slam a swimbait, then come into my boat to see me :-)

Of course while your hopping around chucking your Slammer, you can also be looking for a big one on a bed "IF" you have clear enough water. Not sure if your into bed-fishing or not..... but even if not, the points and drop offs closest to the best bedding areas will be good areas for a lot, of the rest of the year anyway.

> Find the big ones first < Then you will be on the right track to do something memorable :-)

Peace,

Fish

PS, Wait ! You don't just mean for that 1 day, do you ??? If that's the case, I'd bring a micro-light and some crawlers, to try and make sure I'd catch something ;-)

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On pretty much any lake, anywhere, I'd start out with a big, loud, obnoxious swimbait, like an MS Slammer. Then I'd just hop around to all of the obvious spots..... points... humps... layed down trees etc, and start chucking it, ALWAYS watching close behind my lure for BIG followers, and ALWAYS wearing polarized glasses.

If the water is very clear (and is trout-planted), I might just go straight to the Hud.

On the first trip or two, I wouldn't even care if I caught a fish or not. If I just "saw" a good one, the trip would be a success in my mind...... and that sighting(s) would be marked permanently on the map in my head, becoming a stop on my rout ever thereafter.

But you said mid-March. Hmmmm. The spawn can kind of whack them out. Of course I can almost always get a follow or two on a swimbait during the spawn, either from one that's not on a bed yet, just taking a break, or actually came up off of a bed for a short follow. I've even had them come up off of a bed and slam a swimbait, then come into my boat to see me :-)

Of course while your hopping around chucking your Slammer, you can also be looking for a big one on a bed "IF" you have clear enough water. Not sure if your into bed-fishing or not..... but even if not, the points and drop offs closest to the best bedding areas will be good areas for a lot, of the rest of the year anyway.

> Find the big ones first < Then you will be on the right track to do something memorable :-)

Peace,

Fish

PS, Wait ! You don't just mean for that 1 day, do you ??? If that's the case, I'd bring a micro-light and some crawlers, to try and make sure I'd catch something ;-)

LOL. This is Maryland, not California. I don't have a big loud swimbait so i guess i'll have to go with the nightcrawlers ;D

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Concentrate your efforts on the northwest corner of any water.  I caught my 1st of '09 yesterday on a Pointer 100.

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Concentrate your efforts on the northwest corner of any water.

To be more specific: Look for heat. If you don't have it on that particular day, look for areas that WILL heat, and just fish slower, and/or a bit deeper. When you get heat, look for the fish to be willing to chase -you may have to speed up, or go more erratic.

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Concentrate your efforts on the northwest corner of any water. I caught my 1st of '09 yesterday on a Pointer 100.

I'm guessing this is supposed to be the warmest part of the lake in early spring?

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I know I'm not being helpful and will probably receive tons of flak on this but it shouldn't take much to figure something out on a 90 acre pond even with a kayak you should be able to cover everything.

Pretty much what everyone has posted is spot on. I would fish some jigs too if I were you, I've always done good with a jig that has a slow fall rate in the early season. I've also done good with a 3/8 oz-3/4 oz spinner bait (chartreuse or firetiger for up here), with an over-sized Colorado blade in either chartreuse or gold. This gives off great vibration and I usually do best with a slow roll retrieve with the occasional jerk to get the blade churning, but you may want to vary speeds and use a stop and go presentation.

Good luck and let us know how you did! ;)

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Concentrate your efforts on the northwest corner of any water.
This was explained to me by an old timer.  It gets more sunlight that any other part of a lake or pond, and therefore should be warmer.

I always took that logic at face value, but this year, as I've been hunting small ponds at ice out for bass, without exception, that corner was the 1st to thaw.

I though that was pretty cool.  ;)

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I know I'm not being helpful and will probably receive tons of flak on this but it shouldn't take much to figure something out on a 90 acre pond even with a kayak you should be able to cover everything.

I agree. You can take your flak jacket off! ;D

However, if the bite requires a slower presentation, you may not have time to actually fish all that water. What you CAN do, and I'm guessing this is what MBM means, is paddle and scout out the best possible/probable locations. It's best to have an idea (right or wrong LOL) of what to look for and concentrate on.

This was explained to me by an old timer. It gets more sunlight that any other part of a lake or pond, and therefore should be warmer.

I always took that logic at face value, but this year, as I've been hunting small ponds at ice out for bass, without exception, that corner was the 1st to thaw.

I though that was pretty cool.

Yeah, understanding how things work, and reaping dividends, IS cool! It's what floats my boat.

In a perfect world, the NW corner would heat first, but I've seen the NE, dead N, do so. And in some cases (not uncommonly) it's an E or W area that receives the most heat. It really depends on where direct sunlight falls.

If you can, find the ponds that offer the best habitat as the sun progresses. It can be sort of like a steelhead circuit knowing the order in which streams clear after a freshet. Thus, you are on fish for a week or more, rather than just stumbling in on a good day. You can plan your good days. In early spring especially, keep your eye on the sun it rules the show.

Since c17Lat is further south than some of us, he may be sliding out of the initial heat-up period. As depths begin to warm, the intense draw of the extreme shallows lessens.

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LOL. This is Maryland, not California. I don't have a big loud swimbait so i guess i'll have to go with the nightcrawlers

Doh ! I'm a dum-bass  :-) The only ice I see on a fishing trip, is in my water jug ;-)

Still, if you don't have a big, loud, obnoxious swimbait, you NEED to get one. Bass of any size are just so curious (and sometimes, so agressive) that a 9" MS Slammer can be such a great tool for finding them.... Then you can pick and choose the size of fish that you think are worth concentrating on.

Peace,

Fish

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