The sky's the limit when it comes to soft plastic design fish strike

Discussion in 'Panfish' started by spoonminnow, May 22, 2019.

  1. spoonminnow

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    Monday I fished a lake I hadn't been to since my family picnicked there decades ago. The place was unrecognizable and overgrown with trees and brush and I didn't even recognize the lake without landmarks such as the beach, a roller skating rink and picnic sites. Of course everything looks bigger when your 12 years old, but now it looks like it shrunk.

    As with any new water I plan on fishing often, I have to learn the bottom and shoreline structure. It blew me away the unique structure features and how many fish could be caught in just 2 ft. The other feature to assess is fish quality. This tells me what species over populates the lake by one species either through too little harvesting or too many fish taken illegally over the years. Because the lake is in the middle of nowhere, I suspect no enforcement of fish laws have been enforced - maybe forever as displayed by the 105 stunted sunfish, crappie and bass I caught.

    Of course this was only the second time I visited the lake (the first time to make sure where it was) and so my sonar was essential to learning every bit of the structure - at least in the north end due to high winds that kept me in wind protected coves.

    But now that I know what to expect as far as fish aggression - which was incredible - I can dabble in lure designs to test. All of the lures pictured caught the three species of fish:
    7cnCtXE.jpg
    A 1/24 oz ball head jig was adequate for all depths along with 8# test braid / 2# diameter and a light action rod. 1/16 oz was used for deeper water IE 5' and 1/32 oz for water 3' or less.

    Even a few lures I hadn't used in years - a black marabou jig and a Slider Grub did great! The jig in the photo is wacky rigged to a merthiolate colored, mini-stick and it caught sunfish and crappie ! So much for the importance of color....

    Having found steep drop near shore in some areas, the next experiments will be with a drop shot and some small surface lures such as weightless mini-sticks or Floating Rapalas. Just getting strikes on lures and presentations never or rarely used serves as a valuable lesson for other waters. Plus - peace and quiet are very hard to find on public access waters. Ah yes !!!!!

    Will post photos as usual of every revelation (if I don't forget the camera!!)
     
    #1 spoonminnow, May 22, 2019
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  2. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach
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    Keep us posted on your progress. Is the lake small enough that lack of any harvest at all could be causing the stunting you are seeing?
     
  3. spoonminnow

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    The lake is a decent size (1/3 mi. long, 100 yds wide) with a depth of 14'.
    Lack of predation is a possibility due to the fact that when the dam was fixed years ago the lake was drained forcing larger fish predators to also wash downstream. I have no knowledge of the lake's fish history or how long ago the dam was fixed. Whatever washed into the lake via the inflow stream was probably the only stocking over time.

    The dam needs another repair and the state won't pay for it meaning a permanent drainage and the lake gone for good.
     
  4. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach
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    Definitely sounds like stunting caused by lack of take/predation..
     
  5. spoonminnow

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    Couldn't tell you. Haven't been there in over 50 years.
     
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