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Bassin-Yakin

Need some help with a frustrating body of water...

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I need some help with a small private lake that I fish.... this lake has been confusing and frustrating me for a while..

I have fished it many many times during different times of the year with the same results... small fish only...

First what the lake looks like, its about 40 acres or so flooded timber throughout the entire lake... the lake is shaped in a large V with the widest part being 100 yards or so.... the depth is average 9 feet or so and ranges from 22' to shallow...  there is limited plant growth... but like I said stumps, trees, and limbs everwhere....  both ends of the V have about 100 yards or so of 2-4 foot clay mud bottom.... there are several coves that have 7-9 foot channels going deep into them....

I went today and fished one side of the lake for about 4 hours and caught 4 small fish and missed a few others that were small... these are really small fish like 8-12 inches max.... some of the fish that hit the lures cant even get hooked...  is it possible there are no big fish in this lake???

the lake is at least 30-50 years old... I have tried pretty much every lure from cranks, spinnerbaits, shocks, worms, etc..... I havent focused on trees with a jig yet, but I just feel like I need proof there might be fish in there worth looking for to take my time throwing a jig at trees.....

sorry this was long this is one of those lakes you want to give up on, but something keeps pulling me back to it.. all the cover, etc it just feels like fish..... maybe the lake has just died out??? how would you approach it??  

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It could quite possibly be that all this lake holds is small fish   ;)

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I agree 100% with Catt. Fiends that have private ponds are told by state DNR's to harvest a sizable number of pounds of fish annually or face the small fish issue. The owner should check with the state fisheries to get an idea of the neceswsary harvest.

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Could be there are too many bass in the lake and it is stumping their growth.

What is the water temperature?

When the water temperature reaches 55*+ the males and females will seek to bed.  They will move up from the drop-offs to the flats to make their beds.

Use your polarized sunglasses and try to find the beds.  This is where you will find the females, shallow, looking to spawn.

I suppose you have a good population of bluegills and bream.  Watch for them to bed later in May and seek out the bass who will be raiding their nests.

In the meantime, have you thrown jigs and pigs, spinnerbaits and crankbaits plus a shaky head, and wacky Senko into the wood?

Can you fish the lake before and at sunrise and right before and after sunset with a buzzbait?

There is a small pond by my house full of 8 to 10-inch bass but I caught the big momma bass, around six-pounds, two years ago, and have not seen her since. But I know she is still there.

If you have a lot of timber can you find some wood that is "not the same" as the rest of the wood in a given area?  A tree or log sitting on an angle?  If so, fish that "different" wood.

Remember water temperature and clarity. The big ladies like stained water and they lover to hold on bottom structure. If you spook them in the least (shadow, trolling motor, big splash when casting bait, etc.) they will go deep and hide in the structure.

One other suggestion.  Have you thought of throwing live minnows or Nightcrawlers?  Even small bluegills can work.  

Give live bait a shot to see what you catch (maybe Crappie or catfish) and then you will have a better idea of what size and types of fish are in the lake.

Keep on fishing and see what if you can catch the big ones.  ;)

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It could quite possibly be that all this lake holds is small fish ;)

You've supplied little info that would make me think otherwise:

Sounds like this is an old dammed pond (V shape) deep at one end and shallow in the V apex where the inlet/seepage drains in. Clay (silted) bottom, no vegetation, old nearly branchless wood, are not very promising in themselves. I'd like to hear about vegetation, rip-rap, influxes of current, and especially preyfishes like bluegills, perch, golden shiners, (and small bass too), etc...

However, I do know a large pond that has no vegetation that I wrote off several years ago that a friend recently re-introduced me to. It turned out to have a productive pelagic food chain and reasonable numbers of mature bass. I've also known similar ponds that support some mature bass on a diet of their own progeny -larger bass are happy to eat small bass. So...be aware of possibilities. But those possibilities are recognizable. Don't be surprised that if your water has an old silted in basin, little substantial cover, and few prey fishes, it also holds precious few quality-sized bass.

It would be worth scoping the rubbly shorelines during the spawn to spot the mature bass on beds. This can be a good way way ta assess size and numbers.

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Have you tried to contact your DNR to ask their opinion and information on the lake? Also, if you can try to determine the forage base, that would be helpful to you.

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I disagree with the consensus here, I fished a small pond (maybe 20 acres) a few times, sounds somewhat similar to yours, with the exception of reeds, instead of wood. all I was pulling out of it were small, 10-12" fish.but there were lots of them, it was convenient, so I fished it....then I hooked up to my PB in my avatar. that big girl was obviously the dominant fish in the lake, and pretty much ate anything in the lake big enough, keeping the others from getting anywhere near that big. I tend to believe there is ALWAYSa big fishor two in any body of water that sustains life.

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I would venture a guess and say stunted pop. One way to tell is if the eye of the bass looks big in proportion to the size of the fish. the eye of a fish will continue to grow even if the body stops growing. (learned this in my fish management 1 class at college)

big eye+small body= stunted population

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Try some live bluegills. Put them out with a bobber big enough to float them, and give them about 12"-18" of line to play around with. The reason I tell you to use the short line is so that when it struggles it will make a lot of surface commotion. This should attract the attention of whatever fish are in the area and hopefully get you bit. If you can't catch a baitfish in this lake then give up on it.

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I have had this same problem in our family lake. It is a combination of extremely dry summers+slow leak+over population. I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't the same.

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The original poster's situation might be infertility, or stunting, or he's just missed something -not all that hard to do in some waters.

Here's an interesting story regarding stunted bass. The first pic is one of over 130 (stopped counting) I caught one morning from a particular pond. I did not catch one over 11 inches that day. The following winter the pond winter-killed heavily. The leeward shore was piled with thousands of dead bass. I pulled out the largest to look at, about a dozen that ran from 15 to 19 inches.

The following year the bass fishing was very slow, but the bass I did catch were fat! Now, the next pic is from that same pond 3 years later. (WARNING to those who are squeamish! LOL Yes, they are dead and were eaten -not something we see much today. This was back in the day (70s) and I was the only one who had permission to fish this pond.) A great example of how quickly an over-populated pond can turn into a quality fishery -with a little help from Mother Nature or a thoughtful manager.

ParsonsBassStunt.jpg

ParsonsBassFat.jpg

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Probably over populated. My great aunt has a pond that used to hold 5-6 lb'rs but now has long skinny fish, I mean last week I caught one that had the length of a 3-4 lb'r and only weighed 2 and last year my wife caught her first bass that had the length of a 5 lb'r and only weighed 3. When my uncle was living, and health allowed him, he would usually catch a few and bring them in to eat, but since no one has fished the past few  of years and kept anything the bass have been looking skinny. I just started back to fishing this pond late last year and me being a catch and release guy I think I need to bring a few home here and there to even things back out

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Probably due to over population and lack of suitable forage.

I guarantee you though there are several toads cruising in that body of water. Try fishing it at night when the weather warms and stay deep and see what happens.

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I am not going to give up on it because it is close by, secluded and a beautiful piece of water...... however, I think there might not be any big ones in there as some of you have said... but I am not going to stop trying..

I have probably fished this lake 15 times or so and never caught a fish over 12 inches..... again I have never really fished the deep water, but still you would think I would have seen or caught at least one decent fish....

I have also used big fish lures, spinnerbaits, crankbaits etc... I havent flipped to the wood yet and plan on focusing on that my next time out.... what would yall flip?  I am not a jig fisherman at all and dont have enough confidence to use that... probably more a creature bait, or worm..... how can I find the best wood on the lake?  isolated trees and stumps?  deep water trees? someone mentioned different wood from the rest???... I think I dont want to give up on it because I am stubborn and love a challenge, I also just have a feeling about the place for some reason.... yall ever have that feeling???

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Are you in a boat? If so, get out and check out the timber that is out by itself and follow a breakline making sure to seine any timber associated with it. Get in the deepest part of the lake and find and fish anything that is on the bottom.

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If you could be so gracious as to provide us with some additional information we could quite possibly provide you with additional information.

What state in America are you located?

Do you have access to a boat?

Are you able to put a boat in this body of water?

Here is a link to a thread entitled Fishing Stumps...Advice Welcomed!

http://www.bassresource.com/bass_fishing_forums/YaBB.pl?num=1238773023

Spinner Baits and crank baits are not big bass baits, they are capable of catching big bass but if you want to catch bigger bass I would suggest using a Jig-N-Craw, Plastics, or Swim Baits.

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I know how you feel, it seems like the only local lakes around my area are either overfished or underfished and full of midget bass.  its hard to go off and search for the bigger fish when your shoreline fishing.  One of these days im going to get one of the floating tubes from my neighbors pool put on my bathing suit and float out to the deeper water.

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