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Everything posted by Dock-in-it

  1. I took a graph picture this morning showing fish suspended over deep water. I know a few of the lines are bass but the gizzard shad are always around and some areas have a few whites mixed in.
  2. The fish are still biting the swimbait pretty good (best from daylight to 7:30). I normally use a 2.8 Big Bite SB with a 5/16 and 3/8oz jig head. The Big Bite SB is very impressive in regards to catching and durability. I have a topwater handy (spook) but it does not see much action. There are some good mornings where the fish are chasing on top but there are too many dinks. They are normally chasing one or two shad. A few big fish are mixed in, but few and far between. The swimbait and topwater bite I am referring to is in deep water (25ft to 75ft). I pay very little attention to the bank, most of the time my boat is in 45ft. I like to idle around and look for a combination of gizzard shad, white bass, and K's. It just seems they are normally suspended together over deep water. These fish can be anywhere (gravel points, coves, and creek channels). The gizzard shad will be breaking the surface from daylight to about 7:30. I also keep a spoon handy if I venture into water less than 35ft. I spend about 30 minutes each morning with the spoon and I have caught about 25 short walleye (12"-14") over the past 30 days and only 2 over 18", so the future walleye population may be very good. I just fish the morning hrs and last week I averaged 10 keepers per morning and yesterday I had 14 keepers and another 14 today. I do not use a drop shot, but after 7:30 I think a drop shot would be more productive than the swimbait. Also, a few LM are starting to show up with the K's.
  3. Bill, I was hoping you noticed that. I have been fishing the past few mornings and doing much better just playing around with different swimbaits. We are pretty blessed to fish Table Rock on a routine basis.
  4. Did you guys catch any whites? They are grouped up on the spawning shad and seem to crowd out the bass. Lots of the whites are in the 1-3ft range in the Kimberling area.
  5. Caught these LM this morning and they seemed to be spawned out. The attached graph picture is a good sign that you are about to get a bite.
  6. The past two mornings have been very different weather wise but still very productive. Yesterday morning I caught them in a wind blown gravel spawning cove and this morning I fished with no wind in a deep (ledge rock) spawning pocket. Today I had about 30 keepers on the underspin (1/4 and 3/8) and the key each morning has been abundant shad. Some of the shad each morning have been scattered in the 15'-25' range but each morning I also found shad extremely thick in shallow water (3'-10'). Both mornings the fish & bait have been grouped up in a very small section of the cove or pocket, so I idle around to eliminate 90% of the area and sometimes I eliminate 100% and run to the next cove. WT 60-61.
  7. I purchased two G.Loomis pistol grips rods decades ago and still have them. I believe that I was I influenced by a Charlie Campbell article about using pistol grip rods for accuracy when throwing a spook around brush or timber. I grew up in Northwest Florida fishing rivers that dumped into the bays. A short handle rod was very helpful while sitting down in the back of a wooden river boat and sculling with one arm and casting under low hanging trees with the other.
  8. The cold front has repositioned the bait fish (both the threadfin and gizzard) and the fish moved with them. This morning I was lucky to stumbled onto some fish feeding on shad in 35 to 55 FOW and the fish were down about 20-25ft. I used an underspin and they would not bite the plain swimbait. The two LM in the pictures weighed about 4.75#. One of the LM looks like it has done some spawning and the other looks like a pre-spawn. I tried six locations including coves and creeks and finally found some in a creek.
  9. I know it had to hurt, did your wife have to remind you not to close your mouth until the super glue dried.
  10. With the 3/8, I use 10# mono on a crankbait rod. I use the crankbait rods so I can throw a SB, CB and jerkbait on the same rod/line combo. I fish a lot in the winter and prefer the mono in cold temps and just keep using it in spring. Flouro would work great. The CB rod is good for playing fish in open water so you can determine if a boat flip will work or you need the net.
  11. Bobby, earlier this week I also found shad that were shallow (20 to 25ft) in a creek and a single loon was having a big time aggravating them and there was not a single fish I could see (so that does happen). Also, I ignore the main lake deep shad (over 50). Regarding locations, I would try to figure where a bass would stage for the spawn and if that location has shad then you will have a good chance to catch a few. I am looking for groups of fish and that normally requires the presents of bait fish. Currently, I avoid the obvious gravel points because they get to much pressure. I think paying your dues hunting for shad is the key to fun fishing and catching numbers. I use a 3/8 oz jig head with four different SB lengths (3, 3.25, 3.3, and 3.8 with the 3.3 being my best choice. I also have a 3/8 underspin with a 3" SB. I rarely use a 1/4oz unless I am casting into 4ft to start my retrieve. The 1/4oz rises to quickly during the retrieve and it does not cast far enough for my taste. Also slow roll the bait. I am seeing bass on my graph feeding on the shad. If you find shad in 20 to 25ft and your boat is in 35 to 45 (and you see a few bass on your graph every few minutes) then you are in the right scenario. The shad are normally in one of two scenarios. First, if you have a tight bait ball like you see in the winter then the feeding fish might be near the bottom and not disturbing the main body of shad. That is when you let the swimbait go to the bottom and then retrieve. This is the best scenario to cleanup with a spoon once the SB wares out its welcome. The second shad scenario is scattered over a bigger area due to fish feeding aggressively. This is when you want no wind so you can see everything that happens on the surface and as soon as you see surface activity try to cast to it ASAP and let your bait drop to about 5ft then retrieve. You will catch random fish while waiting for the surface activity, but the surface activity takes top priority. I am fishing the SB horizontally but you need to keep an eye on your line while the SB is dropping to the desired depth. Also, try to stay off the majority of fish and make long cast.
  12. I thought this morning was going to be tough because I blanked yesterday morning and today we had post frontal conditions and cold temps to start the day. In general the fishing has been good when I can find the shad postured at the right depth (20 to 30ft). This morning I had approx 20 fish with about 12 keepers (all 3 species). I found shad in three locations in a creek and the fish were actively feeding. If I can find the shad I have a lot of confidence that there will be a group of fish around. I just keep an eye on my graph to determine how deep to retrieve the swimbait. You can use a flutter or slab spoon to catch a few. I normally exhaust my luck with the swimbait then move my boat closer to the shad and try a spoon to pick off a few more. I move my boat closer because they like the spoon on the initial fall. The old bank line was fairly productive about 10 days ago but the falling water and cold fronts have me fishing deeper. Lately I keep me bait in 20 to 50 FOW. WTs vary from 57 to 59.5 in the mornings.
  13. Yesterday was just one of those trips that you can't duplicate, you just have to remember how special it was. That all happened in a little over 2hrs. Regarding Live Scope, I hope folks will post how that technology has changed their fish catching experience. I have been around a lot of deep fish this year and with Live Scope I might be going nuts on which fish I should cast to. Regarding the deep bite, I feel comfortable with the techniques based on years of experience and soaking up information from a lot of folks(especially on this forum). Everyday is different and this morning was proof, I found the shad but not the fish. On most days the fish win, and the other days I post how good the fishing is.
  14. I fished this afternoon for a few hrs and had the best trip of the year so far. I found a school of fish just inside a gravel cove that was feeding on a big school of shad. The shad were thick from 7 to 15ft then they thinned out between 15 and 25ft. This was an area protected from the wind and that allowed me to see shad flickering when idling into the cove. I used two different underspins to catch them. I positioned my boat in 30ft and threw a 3/8 oz to 10 ft and slowed rolled the bait. After catching a bunch, I put the boat in 22ft and threw a 1/4 oz to 6ft and found out the LM were shallower. It helped to have the bait real close to the bottom under most of the shad. If the bait hit the bottom it would get just enough slim to make the cast useless, so I messed up a lot casts. I had 28 keepers with a good mix of all species and some really nice LM (one was 5.10# and some 3s and 4s). I caught all the fish on a 30yd stretch and never moved the boat except to give them a rest. A few guys came in the cove so I stopped fishing and went to scout other gravel coves hoping to find the same stacked shad scenario. Yesterday morning I had 15 keepers on a 3" SB around trees with shad. Yesterday they would not pay the underspin much attention.
  15. The rain last night changed the deep bite to more of a shallow bite. A lot of the shad vanished but some were still around. This morning I stayed with the underspin and just fished it between 8 and 20 FOW and the 12ft range provided most of the bites. All of the bass in the attached pictures were caught in 12ft and were relating to cedars. With bright sun and no wind I threw the underspin vs a jerkbait and it worked out Ok. One LM weighed 5# and I did not weigh the other one. The SM weighed 4.1#. The water is in the bushes and the shallow bite is probably great in some areas. WT bumped up to 49.5. My 1st stop did not have any visible deep fish, the 2nd stop was consumed with gizzard shad, the 3rd stop I finally figured out the 12ft deal, and the 4th stop produced a few good fish.
  16. The fishing has been pretty good when the weather cooperates. I fished this morning with an underspin and 3" SB. The areas I targeted had a good combination of trees and shad. The fish were feeding on shad and the shad can be found from 3 to 45 FOW and utilize the entire water column. Had about 12 to 15 keepers with a good mix of all three species. Today, the shallow fish (3 to 8 ft) were tough to catch and I only targeted that depth when I seen them bugging shad on the surface. I tried SQ bill, spinnerbait, jerkbait, and a few other lures but just caught a few in the 3 to 8 ft range. The underspin and SB worked good in 12 to 40 FOW. I wasted a lot of time this morning experimenting with different baits. The LM pic (6.3#) was caught in 12 FOW on an underspin and was relating to a bunch of shad. The shad kill is still going on but it normally takes a bus load of shad to see it (included a graph pic showing bus load). WT about 48.5
  17. The swimbait options seemed to expand this morning around Kimberling. I caught some mid creek fish and some from three different pockets. Having shad in the area was key for me. Lots of fish in 25-35 FOW. I used plain swimbaits (both 3" and 3.8") and the 3.8 worked very good. The WT in the creek was near 50 and the main lake showed 48 ish. The attached LM pic was caught in a creek about halfway back and was in a tree top in about 35 FOW. I left them biting and had about 12 to 15 keepers.
  18. Regarding the shad kill. I am fishing around a lot of shad and a fair amount are right beneath the surface and I routinely see them sprinkle the surface if there is no wind. I can easily see the shad struggling and dying and the feeding fish apply even more stress. The attached picture was taken today and it shows some fish actively feeding on shad. If you are fishing in the wind and not staying in a place very long then you may not notice the shad kill. The shad kill has been steady for several days. I just fish in the morning hours (when the wind is normally light) and that probably helps me see the dying shad.
  19. I am a big fan of the plain SB. At times I think the underspin can actually be too much flash for the fish and some will ignore it. I am using it now because of the shad kill. Today I tried a 1/4 and 3/8 ball head and they did not seem to pay them much attention. I use the underspin in April if I can find them real active on shad. A 4" grub and and plain SB are my first choice if they will work.
  20. I am staying at the mouths of pockets. I looked at a few creeks and did not really see what I am looking for. Currently I am looking for grouped up fish vs hitting a bunch of spots trying to catch individual fish. With this nice weather the clock is ticking pretty fast and I will routinely check the backs for deep fish to see if there is a good mix of shad and fish. If the backs start working I am set for a while, but some years the backs (for deep fish) can be disappointing. There are a lot of moving parts in the last two weeks of March and some years are really good for deep fish and others are not. I have seen a lot of guys fishing areas that are normally considered mid April locations and perhaps they are doing Ok. March will normally give you a few head fakes and that is why they call it fishing.
  21. I fished the past few mornings and the fishing is pretty good. I have been using the underspin (3" SB pro blue) and it seems to be the ticket for the deep fish. I am fishing around shad and trees and early the fish can be anywhere from 15 to 45 FOW and when the sun gets up the best range seems to be 25 to 45. The shad kill is still prevalent and that causes me to see a lot more fish than I catch. This morning I had about 10 keepers and several shorts. I had two good LM hit the underspin on the fall and the K's and SM hit on the retrieve. The fish are throughout the water column bugging shad and those around 20-30ft seem to be the easiest to catch. They also get educated pretty quick even with making very little noise and making long cast. There are a lot of shad in 15-20 FOW but I have not been able to catch many at that depth because the shad are so thick. The SM pic is from yesterday and it weighed 3.75#
  22. I checked my notes from 2018 and the Spinnerbait work pretty good on occasion when the WT got to 47-48. Things are changing fast and I think all the normal baits will have the opportunity to shine for a while.
  23. I have a 3ft rod and a left-hand reel with 65# braid. I am right handed so when I drop the lure retriever and it hits the a-rig I can engage the reel by pushing the reel handle against my side. The a-rig head goes inside the hound dog coil and the rig breaks loose almost every time. I known when I am about to get hung up so I do not set the hook in a tree (with a few exceptions).
  24. This morning was taylor made for Live Scope. The fish were moving around a lot and with all the cover I could not just fan cast and let the a-rig go to the bottom. I would move the boat up into 20-30ft and find a few fish then back off and cast to them. The hound dog lure retriever seen a lot of action today. The wind picked up around 9:30 and I hit several spots with the jerkbait, but no luck. It seemed like when the feeding time was over (8:30) everything just shut down. Around 10AM I rechecked an earlier spot that had plenty of fish and it looked like a ghost town.
  25. I fished a while this morning and found a few locations that had plenty of shad & trees and a fair amount of fish. The main activity happened from 7 to 8:30. The fish were feeding on shad and that seemed to accelerate a shad kill. There is a normal shad kill happening but when the fish are feeding on weak shad it makes the kill excessive. With a shad kill it is hard for a swimbait or underspin to compete, so I stuck with the a-rig and jerkbait (pearl +1). The a-rig was only effective on K's and the jerkbait worked on a 5# LM. The trees were too thick to work the a-rig near the bottom (where most of the fish were). The majority of fish where in 20-30 FOW and using the 15-30ft range. There was no wind early and that may have hindered the jerkbait bite. WT reached 47 around 10AM.
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