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Waterwolves

Too many Smallies in this lake to grow a HAWG?

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I have a lake that I fish that is absolutely packed with smallmouth bass. It gets no fishing pressure because it is very hard to get too. It takes me about 2 1/2 hours to hike in and that kind of hike keeps people away. It has a pretty short growing season. I have fished this lake about 10 times in the last 3 three years. A typical day of fishing is any where from 30-50 fish (in 8 hours) and 100 fish days during the spawn are common. My biggest smallmouth is just under 3 pounds. Most of the fish I catch are in the 1 1/2- 2 pound range. My question is this; Is there too many smallmouth in this lake to grow a true giant? I'm talking 5 plus?

lakexzn4.jpg

This is a picture of a typical smallmouth I catch there. I don't know what water temp bass need for optimum growth but this lake hits 50 degrees around the 1st of April and doesn't get below 50 until around late October.

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There is always going to be big fish in every lake, it sounds like you are having a hard time getting to them.  If you are catching that many fish, it sounds like it is just who gets to the bait first and the bigger fish tend to be smarter about jumping on the band wagon so to speak.  Maybe try larger baits that the smaller ones can eat and see if you can get a big one to bite.  I would try lots of different techniques until you find something that catches more quality fish.

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Welcome aboard!

I don't know about overpopulation. That is a problem generally associated with ponds, not lakes. Plus, a 3 lb smallmouth is pretty healthy. I tend to think you just haven't hit upon the right fish.

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do you fish from shore? im guessing you are if your hiking there. maybe next time pick up an inflatable kayak and a portable battery operated pump and get out on the water.

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Getting off the bank would help for sure.  Try some BIG tubes.  By the looks of it, your pond/lake is in upper new england.  The backdrop looks like a place I fish near Lyme, NH.  Same deal there with the smallies.  Alot, but no pigs.  I'd say the biggun's are there, just haven't found them.  I have a largemouth pond near me that's about 85 acres and is packed with fish.  I pulled one just over 10 lb. and several over 7 in the past 3 years from this little jewel so, if an 85 acre pond can produce largemouth in that class I'm sure your lake/pond can do the same with the browns.

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Hey Thanks guys for the info. I will pick up some tubes. When you guys say big tubes you mean 3 inch tubes or bigger? Maybe 4 inch tubes? Also when I went last year in May I caught a ton of fish with bleeding tails. I am assuming that these were male smallies fanning beds? If that is so then does that mean I missed the big females and I should have been in there a little earlier? Man I am getting pumped! I have really fallen in love with these bronze backs! What a fish! Thanks again for the help.

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WELCOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That sounds like a great lake . The biggin's are in there , you just have to find them.

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At least 3 inch on the tubes.  Strike King makes a 4 1/2 incher that I use and Zoom, as well as many companies, make 4 inchers.  I rig my tubes with gitzit style weights and ewg hooks.  This allows a nice spiral fall and is mostly weedless/rockless.  As I was cleaning out my tackle box I thought of something else you may wish to try.....Storm makes some affordable swim baits ranging in size from 2 1/2 inches to huge 6-8 inchers, maybe bigger.  I have a bag of firetiger and babybass pattern 4 inch swim baits that I rarely use, but have had luck with and something like that may help you get to the larger fish.  It sounds like catching fish at your hole is a slam dunk, so why not tie on some meat for an hour or two.

As far as missing the spawn...the bloody tails tell me you weren't behind it, but maybe just ahead of the big girls coming on.  The males will fan out a redd, the girls will come in and drop eggs, and then its babysitting time, not much of a call to fan anymore.  If your average water temp is 50 on April 1st, which, judging by your photo, seems high for that date this year (unless you're in the Carolina's) I'd guess you were just ahead of the main spawn.  Remember though, the big girls spawn first.....It's always a crapshoot.

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At least 3 inch on the tubes. Strike King makes a 4 1/2 incher that I use and Zoom, as well as many companies, make 4 inchers. I rig my tubes with gitzit style weights and ewg hooks. This allows a nice spiral fall and is mostly weedless/rockless. As I was cleaning out my tackle box I thought of something else you may wish to try.....Storm makes some affordable swim baits ranging in size from 2 1/2 inches to huge 6-8 inchers, maybe bigger. I have a bag of firetiger and babybass pattern 4 inch swim baits that I rarely use, but have had luck with and something like that may help you get to the larger fish. It sounds like catching fish at your hole is a slam dunk, so why not tie on some meat for an hour or two.

As far as missing the spawn...the bloody tails tell me you weren't behind it, but maybe just ahead of the big girls coming on. The males will fan out a redd, the girls will come in and drop eggs, and then its babysitting time, not much of a call to fan anymore. If your average water temp is 50 on April 1st, which, judging by your photo, seems high for that date this year (unless you're in the Carolina's) I'd guess you were just ahead of the main spawn. Remember though, the big girls spawn first.....It's always a crapshoot.

Thats the info I have been needing. Thanks Walkingboss! You are right about the water this year too. It was only 46.7 when I went last Sunday. I didn't catch anything. I am not very good at bass fishing in cold water. I will try the tubes and the swimbait. Man I am getting pumped up for this fishing season. The next month in a half is going to be huge! I would love to catch a 5-6 pound smallie out of this lake.

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Don't over look the 92F-series weightless Fat Ika. I would try a watermelon/black flake, dark orange/black flake, or a chartreuse. It sounds like the water temp might be a bit too cold still for the spawn. Try looking in the 15-25 ft areas. Don't be afraid of using a large crank. Bass are predator fish, they want to be the baddest and biggest fish out there.

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