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Dock-in-it

Kim City - April 10 - swimbait

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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. 

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1 hour ago, Dock-in-it said:

I keep me bait in 20 to 50 FOW.

I been finding huge amounts of bait fish in 50 plus fow over the abyss on the main lake.  Even if I find shad shallower in the creek, I don't see bass feeding.

Questions:

  • Are you seeing bass feeding on the bait (on the graph)?
  • Are the bait balls/clouds huge like they were in the winter?
  • Are you presently the bait vertically or horizontally? Guessing vertically if 50 fow?

Thanks

Bobby

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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.

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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.

20200410_141715.jpg

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2 hours ago, dwiebenga said:

I throw it on the swim jig rod I picked up from you and 10lb flouro

I fish the keitechs a lot, but I throw them mostly on spinning tackle with 1/4 or 3/16 oz heads. May have to try the 3/8 heads next time out.

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I used it last December on the deep points with cedar trees.  I was just crawling it and it worked great.  In March, I was throwing 3/16 on spinning tackle like you mentioned

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