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Warmwater Fly Fishing Bass, Bream, Perch, etc...

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Old 02-06-2013, 10:42 PM
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Default Need help: Strategy session for very weedy local pond/lake

Hey folks, just joined the forums, seems like there's a great active membership here! I'm in Atlanta and just got a Jackson Coosa kayak to fish out of in local lakes and rivers, and took it out for the first time today to a local park I've heard rumors about and fished a few times.

So I'm new to bass fishing on the fly, and bass fishing in general. It was a nice sunny 60+ degree day and I spent the afternoon paddling around and scoping things out. (I did catch a 1lb-er on a crank bait from the shore a couple weeks ago so I know there are fish willing to play). While drifting around in the standing position I spotted a group of 3-4 very nice sized bass patrolling the shoreline where I had noticed minnows schooling up. Several times I saw some big swirls just below the surface and a few major explosions as well. Im low on flies but I tried a few things, both topwater (stimulator, caddis, kent's stealth bomber, chartreuse popper) and sub-surface (lefty's deceiver, RLD, BH hare's ear) and didn't get any takers.

So here's my question: how should I be targeting these bass this time of year, now that I have access with my kayak? We are probably talking about a 4-5 acre pond/lake(?), and in many places the bottom is totally covered with a single species of weed that is thick as carpet. So if I'm fishing streamers, anything deeper than 1-2 feet in most places and I get hung up, though there is one section of very deep water (compared to the rest) that seems to be weed-free. There is tons of great structure along the shoreline with downed limbs and entire submerged pines, and an island in the northern half of the lake. This seems like a very healthy piece of water, despite being in the inner city (pretty shady part of atlanta just two miles from my house...)

Anyways, I have no doubt that come Spring I'll have no trouble catching fish here on poppers in the shallows and corners and along the shoreline. But how do I catch them now (i.e., February, when temps are anywhere from 40's to 60's on a given day)? My casting is improving and I can get the line out pretty effectively now (also have an 8wt on order to supplement my Sage RPL+ 596), but I just don't have a strategy for how to catch these guys, what flies to use, and how to deal with all the weeds, whether to fish the deeper spots, etc... Anybody out there who fishes similar body of water in this weather? I would love y'alls advice on any part of these questions (patters, tactics, etc...) Thanks! hope to be an active member here!
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: Need help: Strategy session for very weedy local pond/lake

Well first off, Welcome to the site!
I am also a new member here (and fly fisherman) and I've learned a lot from reading the threads here.
I have fished for bass on spin gear for years. If I was fishing there, that day, I would have thrown a weightless Senko style worm, hooked Texas rigged. Let it sit, twitch, and set the hook!
Now, as a flyfisherman... I just found this here: Senko Fly
I will be tying several of these in a couple popular colors and I'll fish them the same way.
Hopefully, I'll be posting photos this Spring...


Chris
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:20 AM
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Default Re: Need help: Strategy session for very weedy local pond/lake

The bass are doing the same thing here. Try the senko fly or I've been having good luck with size 4 crawfish patterns....weighted to ride hook up. Just let it drop and bounce it up on a slow retrieve.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:31 AM
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Default Re: Need help: Strategy session for very weedy local pond/lake

Cool, thanks for the link! Unfortunately I lost the box with all my fly tying stuff somewhere in the last two moves :-(

I wonder if the local shop will have something similar? I did order some conehead bass crawlers so I'll try those next week (or tomorrow if it doesn't rain too hard...). I actually had my spinning rig onboard but was just having so much fun casting out in the open water and not worrying about my backcast that I was happy just to be out practicing! I still managed to snag some limbs, of course...

This kayak just may be revolutionary.

Any sense about where in the lake I should focus my efforts? like, near shore in weeds, open water in weeds, neer cover in weeds, or go to the deeper end where there aren't weeds (at least that I can see ...)?
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:53 AM
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Default Re: Need help: Strategy session for very weedy local pond/lake

Living in New York, I don't know what the equivalent season is down there. Spring? Do you have good weed growth now? Are the bass ready to spawn?
The edges of the weedbed may be the first place to target. It's February, the water is still cold, even in Georgia. Fish slow.
I'm jealous of your weather. Enjoy it!


Chris
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:11 AM
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Default Re: Need help: Strategy session for very weedy local pond/lake

To get a sub surface fly to ride hook up, cone heads aren't what you need. You need some type of lead eyes. If you want a slow sink, try using ceiling fan chain as eyes instead. Crays are good, senko's also. You mentioned minnows. Try to see what species they are and tie a pattern close to their color. This time of year, shallow water is where you want to be and I agree about fishing slow. Finally, if you do prefer coneheads, incorporate a weedguard on the fly.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:34 AM
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Default Re: Need help: Strategy session for very weedy local pond/lake

If you are finding bass in the shallows,I would be throwing some bendback streamers.Either tie some up or order some in sizes and colors of the local minnows.Usually gray/white or olive/white will work but have some in all white and all black.You might also throw some light weight Clouser minnows,ones with bead chain eyes.Poppers or gurglers should also work when they are chasing bait in shallow water.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: Need help: Strategy session for very weedy local pond/lake

What I like to do in similar situations is go with small foam terrestrials (dragonflies, hoppers, etc.). Most of the time, these have small enough hooks that make catching weeds fairly difficult. Parachute one down in a clear patch a water, twitch it until you almost hit weeds, then lift it and cast it back in a different patch.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:52 AM
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Default Re: Need help: Strategy session for very weedy local pond/lake

If you have bass crushing baitfish in the shallows or over thick grass, tie on a bendback fly cast right into the middle of the minnow pack.

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Old 02-07-2013, 08:57 AM
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Default Re: Need help: Strategy session for very weedy local pond/lake

I do like bendbacks, but they can be really annoying sometimes. I end up with a good amount of fish that are hooked for about 5 seconds and then swim free. I think that its sometimes hard to get the hook truly set with all the material around the point and barb.
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