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johnnylots

I Need A Strategy For Tough Lake

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I've became addicted to fishing about 3 years ago and am still learning about matching lures color, size, speed, etc to water color, weather conditions, temperature, etc... I've made a lot of progress and continue to learn. That said, the lake closest to my house continues to defy all logic, rules of thumb, and universally accepted principles of fishing. I am on a mission to master this lake and need some help. Here's what I'm looking at:

Its a man-made lake of about 120 acres and very little structure. I would classify the water as stained to muddy with less than 1 foot of visibility. Its a narrow lake that is shallow (1-5 feet) pretty much all around but drops to 10+ feet in the center and around 30 feet near the dam. Oh, and I fish it from the bank. The only real structure are the rocks that make up the dam. I've caught some decent fish in there but with no consistency.

To start off, I have to figure out where the fish are likely hanging out right now. Right now while the water is still cold, I would expect that the bass would be found around some kind of structure in the shallower water trying to get the sun...?

Next, lures: I've only caught fish here on smaller spinner baits like Mepps and Fire Fox. Last spring the Mepps #2 or #3 with dark skirts did the trick then its was the Mepps with no skirt and blue/silver Fire Fox in the summer. I did try every lure in my box in every size and color - large spinners, top waters, crank baits, etc with nothing. There are a lot of rocks on the bottom and losing lures is an issue as well. I've had the greatest success "dragging" the mepps on the bottom - much like how I would fish a plastic worm - slow, stop and go.

This year I'm thinking of focusing much more on soft plastics and use the Senko technique that has been cirulating this forum. I just dont know what colors to try out. So, any advice would be greatly appreciated:

1) Where are the fish likely to be found at this time of year? Deep, shallow, middle?

2) What are some good basic go-to lures and plastics?

3) What size and colors?

4) Retreive speed or techniques?

Ill try anything and will follow up with feedback! Thanks

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IMO easiest and by far the most effective plastic for a pressured lake may be the 4 or 5 inch black/purple fleck senko wacky rigged. I have a lake similar to what you are speaking of, pressured by week end anglers but not much other than that, yet most wont hit a big offset spinnerbait, when i downsize i will use some of my small mouth inlines, they seem to do the trick. I like Fire Fox and Mepps Black Fury with the skirt. Good Luck!

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Baby brush hog, green pumpkin C-rigged. Or you can try shaky head hand poured worms.

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1) Where are the fish likely to be found at this time of year? Deep, shallow, middle?

What is the water temperature there? Since you are in PA I'll assume water temperatures are still in the 40s. I would expect the fish to still be deeper while on occasion some may move up shallow. You may not be able to reach deep water from the bank except for the dam area. If water temperatures are in the 50s the fish should be starting to move toward spawning areas so they would probably follow any channels, ditches, etc. to these areas. If you can reach these types of areas from the bank that is where you would need to fish. You should be able to locate these by looking at the banks and extending what you see on the bank into the water.

2) What are some good basic go-to lures and plastics? Jig and craws, jerkbaits, lipless crankbaits, finesse worms, senko type worms, plastic grubs, deep-diving crankbaits, slow-rolled spinnerbaits.

3) What size and colors? Normal size but when the bite is tough try smaller lures as well. Dark or loud colors for murky water though you may catch fish with natural colors. Color isn't your biggest concern. If visibility is really poor use rattles, big bulky baits, bladed baits, and other noise makers.

4) Retreive speed or techniques? Try everything, but start slow if the water is cold. Cold, muddy water can be very tough to fish.

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