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Struggling is not the word to describe my year so far, it has been awful. Since the first of the year I have been fishing almost every weekend and I have only caught three bass. One was my PB so that was nice but man, three fish!!?? I took a vacation day Wednesday and skunked. I am off today and am going to give it another shot. Water temps on Wed were 58-60, saw alot of shad shallow but nothing chasing them. This morning it is in the upper 60's and warming, supposed to pretty sunny, with northwinds around 10mph or so. .A front is on the way and temps are supposed to drop later tonight. On Wed I flipped a jig as well as some other flippin baits, threw spinnerbaits, squarebills, cranks, and a few other things. I am going to be fishing up large creek. There is plenty of timber to flip in about 5-7 feet of water. Also, there is a chunk rock bank I did well on last year, however those rocks are now under 5-10 feet of water. Help me catch a fish!! What would you do? baits?

Thanks

Cliff

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Sounds like pre spawn...have you tried bouncing big plastic..(space monkey..10" worm etc} on 1/2oz weights down the creek dropoffs?

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What's your water clarity? First choice would be a jerkbait if the temps are sub 62. A big, slow rolled DW spinnerbait would be choice #2. A jig would be #3. I would also be targetting transition and staging areas rather than timber, I might look at chunk rock, but more likely I'm going to be looking in that 10-12 zone.

If the water is dirty, I'm going on the most exposed banks and fishing a spinnerbaitand squarebill, banging what structure I can find. I'd look for the warmest water temps I can find and build a pattern based on that location.

That's a starter course, without more info.

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Water is dirty, maybe 1 foot visibility. I have not tried the creek channels and may not really be able to. They are pretty far away from the bank and being in an 8' buster boat I can't get out in the open wind like that or I just blow around too much. Did not even think to try a jerkbait.

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Sounds like those fish are in the pre spawn stages. I would start out throwing a red craw colored lipless crankbait, with a rattle in it (excalibur knocker series) anywhere that looks like a staging area. These would be the areas that are 5-10 ft deep and are close to the bedding area. Maybe theres an area where they would usually spawn that drops off into a deeper area, this would be the pre-spawn staging area. Try the lipless crank a couple of different ways. I would start by just reeling it straight back at a medium speed, and throw a couple of flicks of the rod tip in there for a little action and noise. If that doesn't work try letting it sink and when it comes close to the bottom use your rod to "rip" the bait through the water, then let it free fall again, do this all the way back to the boat. A lot of times the fish will hit it on the fall just after "ripping" it. If the lipless crankbait isn't working out too good I've always had pretty good luck with a jig (darker colored in the dirtier water). I look for isolated structure in these staging areas and work the jig relatively slow and cover each peice of cover really well. Hope this helps some. Good luck!

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Struggling is not the word to describe my year so far, it has been awful. Since the first of the year I have been fishing almost every weekend and I have only caught three bass. One was my PB so that was nice but man, three fish!!?? I took a vacation day Wednesday and skunked. I am off today and am going to give it another shot. Water temps on Wed were 58-60, saw alot of shad shallow but nothing chasing them. This morning it is in the upper 60's and warming, supposed to pretty sunny, with northwinds around 10mph or so. .A front is on the way and temps are supposed to drop later tonight. On Wed I flipped a jig as well as some other flippin baits, threw spinnerbaits, squarebills, cranks, and a few other things. I am going to be fishing up large creek. There is plenty of timber to flip in about 5-7 feet of water. Also, there is a chunk rock bank I did well on last year, however those rocks are now under 5-10 feet of water. Help me catch a fish!! What would you do? baits?

Thanks

Cliff

Riddle me this.

How deep were you fishing last year while you were kicking keister?

If you did well on a chunk rock "bank", that is now 5-10 underwater, what has changed?

So how deep are you fishing this year?

My guess is that your fish have reacted to rising water by moving to stay in the same depth of water they were in last year. You most likely have to do the same thing. Just tell us that you took a lot of pictures during all of this record low water as it is going to give you a whole bunch of place you should be targeting now.

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Riddle me this.

How deep were you fishing last year while you were kicking keister?

If you did well on a chunk rock "bank", that is now 5-10 underwater, what has changed?

So how deep are you fishing this year?

My guess is that your fish have reacted to rising water by moving to stay in the same depth of water they were in last year. You most likely have to do the same thing. Just tell us that you took a lot of pictures during all of this record low water as it is going to give you a whole bunch of place you should be targeting now.

Yes I took pictures, in my head! :eyebrows: I fish the same areas of the lake pretty regular so I do kinda know where alot of the stuff is and I have been able to locate it with my crap electronics. I will take all this info to the lake with me here in a bit and give it a shot. I will report back with my results later.

Thanks

Cliff

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Dirty water...............water temps 58-60 , beat the bank, and/or the shallowest cover you can find with squarebills, spinnerbaits etc...., multiple cast's from multiple angles on the same cover. Fish a stretch that way and if you don't get bit turn around and flip that same cover with a jig or beaver.

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Well I have another SKUNK to add to my log. Man this is getting frustrating. I talked to a guy fishing near the ramp when I was leaving and he said "oh I just got here, but I caught one" WTH!!? I have pretty much lost confidence in everything. I have caught exactly three bass in 2012, that is pretty sorry. I am in the worst funk I have ever been in on this lake. Ok, I am done whining now.

Cliff

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Couple of questions for ya first. Is the water always that dirty this time of year in your lake, and is the lake you are fishing in a fairly shallow lake or pretty deep? Deep being on average about 30 feet deep off of the banks and coves. I'm guessing it's probably a fairly shallow lake because deep lakes don't generally maintain a foot of visibility. Dirty, cold water is inherently difficult to fish in. Everything you listed would be my first guesses as well. A jerkbait in dirty water would really be a no go in my book. What's the color on those squarebills you are throwin, and are you crashin' em into structure? I'd definitely be throwin' a square bill with some chartreuse in it. Also have you tried paralleling the structure you are fishing? Maybe a real bulky jig like skinny bear's grizz or buckeye's mop jig with some scent sprayed on em would do good too and a bulky trailer that moves a lot of water and slows the fall. If the water is that dirty, I'd definitely focus shallow and check up on a topo for places where fish will stage for the spawn. Long points that drop off into a creek channel or main lake channel that are adjacent to an area that has a hard enough bottom for fish to spawn on should be money, and if you could find standing timber in that area as well; BINGO. It sounds like you're going through a rough patch, and everyone has em now and then especially in the colder months. But those are the best times to learn something new. Lemme know what you threw and how you went about it. Good Luck!

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Couple of questions for ya first. Is the water always that dirty this time of year in your lake, and is the lake you are fishing in a fairly shallow lake or pretty deep? Deep being on average about 30 feet deep off of the banks and coves. I'm guessing it's probably a fairly shallow lake because deep lakes don't generally maintain a foot of visibility. Dirty, cold water is inherently difficult to fish in. Everything you listed would be my first guesses as well. A jerkbait in dirty water would really be a no go in my book. What's the color on those squarebills you are throwin, and are you crashin' em into structure? I'd definitely be throwin' a square bill with some chartreuse in it. Also have you tried paralleling the structure you are fishing? Maybe a real bulky jig like skinny bear's grizz or buckeye's mop jig with some scent sprayed on em would do good too and a bulky trailer that moves a lot of water and slows the fall. If the water is that dirty, I'd definitely focus shallow and check up on a topo for places where fish will stage for the spawn. Long points that drop off into a creek channel or main lake channel that are adjacent to an area that has a hard enough bottom for fish to spawn on should be money, and if you could find standing timber in that area as well; BINGO. It sounds like you're going through a rough patch, and everyone has em now and then especially in the colder months. But those are the best times to learn something new. Lemme know what you threw and how you went about it. Good Luck!

The water is not normally this dirty, it is actually less than one foot visibility now, normal is probably 2 feet or so. It recently came up like 6-8 feet, thats why it is so dirty. I threw squarebills in a couple different colors, including chartruse, rattling and silent, and I always am crashing them into something. I flipped a jig and other flippin baits up shallow around timer as well as dragging them through some deeper drops with rock. I also threw spinnerbait, t-rigged worms, senkos, and normal cranks. It gets to 25-30 feet deep in most places out away from the bank, I think the deepest spot is 60 plus feet. There is really no vegetation to speak of, but tons of timber up shallow, and some rocky areas in deeper water. As for staging areas, I am no expert at that. I usually find spawning fish way in the back of big coves off the main lake with lots of timber and brush. In my experience, and most of the locals I have talked with will agree, this lake fishes shallow all year long. Also, like I mentioned above, I am in an 8' Bass Raider, fishing main lake ares are tough for me, and impossible if there is any significant wind. I fish big coves and a couple big creeks that have boat ramps near. If I knew how to take a print screen from google earth I would show you exactly where I am fishing. It is Lake Waco in Waco Texas if you wanna check it out yourself. Find a cove or creek with a boat ramp and I have fished that area.

I know I am in a rough patch and it will pass, I hope sooner than later!! Thanks for your help!

Cliff

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I figured out how to save the images, gimmie a while and I will post them up.

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Cliff,

Are you fishing the creek channel edges as the creek leads into the cove ? I'd hit points where the creek enters into the cove with your Bandits and follow the creek channel edge up into the shallows and then work the flats. A spinnerbait would be my cover water lure off the points and the squarebill thrown in and then work your jig at the visible stuff. You are good with a jig so fish your confidence stuff. You'll get bit.

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Thanks Doug, I will do that. In the meantime, I am bored so I labeled some google earth pics. Here they are with a quick explanation

First is the whole lake, the numbers represent the areas I fish, the following pics will be close ups of those areas. The yellow lines represents about how far I can travel in my boat.

waco.jpg

Airport Marina. Lots of timber here in the back. I have caught alot of fish in this area but no big fish.

airport-1.jpg

Airport Park. Some timber and rock here. I have caught a ton of dinks in this area, nothing over three pounds.

airport2.jpg

Reynolds Creek. Have caught some fish here, a couple of decent ones. Not one of my best spots. The Blue X represents a road bed that runs across the creek/cove. From the boat ramp straight across. The locals speak highly of this area.

reynolds.jpg

Free Ramp. One of the biggest bass I have caught on this lake was in that tiny cove just to the right of the ramp. Otherwise mostly dinks.

freeramp.jpg

Speegleville Marina. I have caught several bass over 5lbs in this area as well as many other fish. Don't fish it too often as it is the busiest ramp on the lake. In the back behind the boats is where I normally find spawning fish. there is a bit of grass on a drop that runs out from the back side of that breakwater.

speegleville.jpg

Twin Bridges. Lots of timber in the cove, pretty shallow. The blue X represents where I caught my PB, 8-13lbs just a few weeks ago. Otherwise, have caught many fish here, a few decent ones.

twinbridges.jpg

Thats it!

Thanks for looking!!

Cliff

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dirty water and rising temps will put the fish up shallow. i'd leave the main lake stuff alone. fish creek arms all the way to the back of the creeks. pay special attention to secondary points, cuts/pockets, and any shallow wood. a good rule of thumb with dirty water is that the water that dirties the quickest will usually clear the quickest. so if you have any inflow of water in the backs of the creeks, that's a good spot. if you know where fish have spawned in the past on this lake under these conditions, start hitting those areas. starting where you think the beds are going to be and fishing "backwards" until you find their staging area is sometimes a good tactic. they might not be fully comitted to the shallows yet, but you can bet it's coming quickly. once the fish decide to move up, it's amazing how quickly things happen. be the one who finds this, not the one who hears about it, and you will have a banner day. plenty of good bait choices already mentioned.

of course if all else fails, try a new body of water for a confidence boost.

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According to what you told me, it sounds like the fish just aren't biting that good yet. Give it a couple of weeks and I bet money things are gonna change for ya. It sounds to me like you are doing everything right and like Paul said be the one who finds em' not the one who hears about em'. The lake I fish is much clearer and the jerkbait bite is doin' pretty good right now. Not a ton of numbers but quality fish in my experience this year. I'm a little farther north than you but not much. Things are startin' to heat up here but, where you are, cold and dirty water is always tough. I'm sure you'll be fine when the water warms and clears a little.

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