The water in my lake is close to or above 80 degrees at the surface. That makes fishing a little harder it seems. i used to be able to find bass at the edges of large water lily pads, and around smaller pods of the lilies. I then fish poppers around the pods. Even though this water is 4 or more ft deep, its to warm and its all panfish at this point.
To the point, where can i find largemouth now? I tried a bit deeper and in nonweedy water with poppers and divers, and all i got was a few panfish and a large crappie. Granted, i fish every night while the sun sets usually, so the lack of fish is more noticable.
On a side note, where and what could i use for fishing for Pickeral now as well?
The bass are going to be holding at the water depth that they find most comfortable in both temperature and oxygen level.
To find this, you need to use the count down method with either a sinking fly or a sinking line.
Cast out to likely structure and count off a few seconds (one one thousand, two one thousand.......) then start your retrieve.
Next cast let it sink a bit further .....and so on...... always counting
When you find the level the fish are at, then you'll know that as long as you count down to the same depth every time, you're showing your fly to the fish.
If you're like me and just prefer to fish on top, then you'll need to fish at dawn, dusk, or even at night when the water is cooler and the sun not a factor
Where the Bass are has a lot to do with your lake.
1. If your lake is spring fed then fish the spring area. There will be more oxygen and cooler temperatures there. There will also be some water movement and Bass like moving water.
2. If you have streams feeding your lake then fish the mouths of these streams out into the lake. This is especially good if the stream bed extends out into deeper water. A boat and buoy markers help map out the stream bed to fish.
3. If it is a large lake that generates power fish structure when they generate power. Particularly along stream beds running to the dam. The power generation will create water flow in these areas. You won't be able to see it on the surface but it is there.
4. To fish deeper water you need your fly on the bottom and that means weedless, weighted flies. Certain times of the year crawdad imitations work well. Worm imitations also work well.
5. Structure is very important and so is deep water close to shallow water or flats. The deep water is cooler and offers protection. Bass will leave the comfort of cooler water and security to feed on the flats. A drop off along the transition between the flat and deep water is always a good bet. The fish won't be every where along the drop off so it may take a long time to figure out where the fish hold. Remember every where you catch a fish because they will be other fish there or very close by. Eventually you can just fish certain spots and not spend time fishing every piece of structure or drop off.
6. Maps of the lake can be a great help. Especially topographic maps of the lake bed before it was a lake. You can find springs, creeks, graveyards, high spots, old roads and just a bunch of structure to fish.
thanks for the quick responses. my lake is not to big, roughly a mile or so across over all. small stream fed in a couple areas. its shallow though, not even 15ft at the center. and weedy muddy bottom, so ledges arnt an option.
so i had a week or so to try out these ideas.
1- not spring fed
2 - streams are behind loads of marsh and/or weeds, to shallow for bass
3 - no power generater
4 - all floating line set ups, and i cant afford sinking line/sinking tip addons, and the bottom is weedy and soft, hard to get to, but i am working on it
5 - since the lake is very gradualy sloped, so it doesnt drop off except on a few shores, and only so for less than 10 ft. no flats vs deeps then.
so, would like, rip rap have bass?
other than that, i am pretty sure i know where bass are now, due to steady watching of the areas, and bites. but since i posted this thread, i have caught none. nada. zip. . But i've found that they start getting active about 200-300 ft out into the lake about 15 min before sunset till dark. i've gotten bites, but they never stick. am i using the wrong flies? i've tried poppers and nutcrackers (the 4" nutcracker somehow attracts mini panfish all the time), and i tried some crawdad imitations today, but again, nada. any tips?
This is my first post, and I'm by no means an expert. I fish farm ponds mostly these days. I would say over 80% of my bass strikes occur 2ft or less from the bank. Of those the vast majority occur inches from the bank on the first strip. It's hot where I fish so I try to only fish in the morning or late afternoon. If the water near the bank is shallow I use a Puglisi type fly, if it is deeper I use a clouser. If you are catching a lot of panfish try stepping up your fly size. Again I'm no expert but it works for me.
I wouldn't consider a lake that is a mile across a small lake. When we talk about structure, any changes in the bottom could hold fish. A drop off could be just a foot or so and the fish would hold along that edge. It doesn't even need to be a drop off but a gradual slope from shallow to deeper. A four or five feet change in depth could be considered deep water in a very shallow lake. So anything that offers the fish comfort or protection could be considered structure. Things like stumps, bushes, holes, ridges, brush and deep water all offer comfort and protection to bass.
Bass don't hold on just any structure in any lake. The key is to determine a pattern of what the fish are doing at that time. If you catch fish on lily pads there you should concentrate on lily pads. The problem is the fish won't always be at the pads and I guess that is your problem. But the bass are holding somewhere in the lake and the trick is to determine where they are at that time of the year.
So you need to keep experimenting and remember that top water fishing can be great but Bass feed mostly subsurface. Early morning and late evening can be good for poppers. With crawdad imitations you need to be fishing on the bottom or on top of submerged grass. I have not found a floating crawdad to be successful. Sometimes you do get a take on the fall. You need some weedless flies or inverted flies where the hook rides up. You may have to add some split shot to get your fly down if it is not weighted. If you are not getting hung up on the bottom from time to time, you are not fishing deep enough.
Largemouth Bass fishing is hard and takes a different skill set when fishing in a lake like you have. Not all lakes have high numbers of Bass and a big lake with small numbers of Bass can make it tough fishing. Imagination and experience is what you need. You can learn from Bass fishers that use standard tackle. A local shop that doesn't sell fly tackle can be a big help. Find out what others are using to catch Bass and then duplicate that bait with the appropriate fly and technique.