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justfishin

Big smallmouth in California Lakes.

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I was curious as to some opinions on why there are such great smallmouth being caught in these California lakes, especially the one Fishchris has been fishing. Do you think it is the long season, forage, genetics  or the combination of all these criteria lending its hand in growing these big smallies? :)

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The fish feed year around and probably have developed a taste for "popcicles." There is no other "baitfish" easier to catch than a stocker trout. I also suspect smallmouth bass are not targeted by the majority of the fisherman, but are only caught "incidently."

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I think you are right RW. I have a feeling that they are well fed on " popcicles " ( I like that term for stocked trout ) and are not molested as much as the largemouth. I would like to try my hand at one of those 8.5's. :)

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AND AGAIN I SAY...LOL....I JUST WANT ONE TO GO OVER 5lbs IN A TOURNAMENT.....HAD ONE OVER 6.....JUST NOT THE SAME....LOL

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Hello Justfishin. I have to agree with RW..... to some degree. But then again, we have lots of lakes with planter trout, and Smallmouths which are not too awefully hammered on, that still do not produce monster Smallmouths. Why this particular lake is just going freaking crazy is somewhat of a mystery.

One thing is for sure;

Never in the history of Cali, has their been a lake which just went crazy (for whatever species) many years ago, then just continued to go crazy to this day. This just "never" happens. Lakes have natural cycles. Sometimes these cycles are somewhat predictable, sometimes they are not. As far as this lake is concerned, I don't think anybody saw this coming even 5 years ago.

Peace,

Fish

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Hello Justfishin. I have to agree with RW..... to some degree. But then again, we have lots of lakes with planter trout, and Smallmouths which are not too awefully hammered on, that still do not produce monster Smallmouths. Why this particular lake is just going freaking crazy is somewhat of a mystery.

One thing is for sure;

Never in the history of Cali, has their been a lake which just went crazy (for whatever species) many years ago, then just continued to go crazy to this day. This just "never" happens. Lakes have natural cycles. Sometimes these cycles are somewhat predictable, sometimes they are not. As far as this lake is concerned, I don't think anybody saw this coming even 5 years ago.

Peace,

Fish

With that in mind, there is no time like the present.  The lake most likely won't produce like this forever and the cycle will change again.  

My home lake, as productive as it seems, is classed by the EPA as "dying" at the current moment.  Being a water supply, they are now in the process of altering this natural cycle to fit the communities needs.  Time will tell what it will do to the fishing.

If I were FishChris, I would be using every sick day I had left right about now.  Gotta strike when the striking is good, who knows where the future of any one particular fishery will go.

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If you ever get some free time, indulge us with a answer to a few questions if you would be so kind.

1. Is this a natural or man made lake and when was it established with smallmouth?

2. Does the part of the lake you are hooking up have a rocky bottom with a abundance of crawdads?

3. How clear does this lake stay on the average?

4. Does this lake have a lot of feeder streams, creeks or rivers?

Thanks, my curiosity was aroused. We were talking about cycles that waters go through and as far as the Susquehanna river system I can remember when in the winter you almost expected a few 6+'s back in the late seventies and up through the late nineties. It seems now that even the fives are getting harder to come by. There are plenty of fish and it is typical to catch 40-100  but, the big fish are getting less frequent. I think in the deeper waters they are still pretty prevalent but, in the shallow waters below the dams they are getting fewer. I know the fishing pressure has quadrupled in the last ten years, whether this has had such a profound effect on this fishery I do not know. Again, thanks for sharing your experiance. Get your butt back to work, you are killing me,lol. :)

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I live out in the basic same "neck of the woods" as Fish Chris.  I thik FC is being a  little modest. ;)

Yes the waters are cooler, deeper, clearer and swifter than the  midwestern lakes I grew up with.  So yeah the water is conducive to smallies.  But the fact is ole FC doesn't fish, he hunts!  He is targeting the bigguns and doing a darn good job of it.  His skill is the reason he is catching these fish.    

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Chris,

 For once and probably only once I've got to disagree with you. RW, I disagree with you as always! lol!  ;D

I'm fairly certain that the reason this one lake is the way it is comes down to one thing... stunted Kokanee. Trout are great, and I've personally seen a 14" smallmouth eat an 8" trout but even a 10" Smallmouth can eat a stunted 6" Kokanee. From what I understand the nourishing benefits of Kokanee are the same as that of trout so now you've got a food source that can do for smallies what trout have done for largemouth. Don't get me wrong, the heavy trout planting is doing one thing... making the big ones bigger, but i really think all those 3-5 pounders got that way by choking down 6-8" Kokes. The Kokanee derby a couple years ago was won with an 8 incher... that's with all the best kokanee guys in Norcal competing! Food, food, food for those brown bass!

Anyway, that's my take on the matter.

Matt

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