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Bill Babler
Bill Babler

Cedar Tree Patterns

With the lake continuing to go down, lots of the cedar-tops are coming into view. A very popular and excellent Fall and Winter pattern is fishing these visible trees, using various methods. Some cedar's are also still to deep to see, but their tops are now extending with-in 10 feet of the surface. These are very good hangouts if you know their locations.

Wind is as usual always a help on the rock, and a light chop when fishing these trees is most often a blessing. Here are some of the methods used to take very nice for the most part LM from the tangled limby webs of wood.

Topwater. Don't for the most part care what topwater racket maker you are using, only on your precission as a caster. For trees that I know are there, but not visible, I just love running a fin over these fishy spots. Move the bait as slow as it will travel and maintain its wiggle-diggle. Visible trees. I have heard much about the windy sides, or the shadey side. For the most part a cedar does not have or produce much shade. I just look the tree over and see how I can get my bait when retrieved to get as close to the main body of the tree as possible without hanging up. The tougher the fishing is, the closer to the middle of the tree they want it. I could get nothing going out past the limbs, it had to be retrieved thru the middle of the tree. If a hardwood is present or near the cedar, this is most often a plus.

Main lake vs cove or creek channel cedars, or just fishing points is not the answer either, as you just flat don't know what tree will hold fish. You just got to hit em all. On Saturday Mine came off a mid-bluff bank. I had a stretch of nothing, then Bang two trees in a row with nice 3.5 pounders and then I missed a couple of more, One of them was Big!!

Spoon Fishing the Cedars. Capt. Rick LaPoint is very good at this and has made lots of money spooning the cedars. If you are good, you can vertical jig the trees or just flutter your spoon outsided the limbs. Don't believe it would have worked this weekend, as they were so tight to the trees. Another pattern is deep jigging the deeper cedars, going just into the tops and above to lure bass out of the tangles. Better have good electronics, and know how to read them.

Spinnerbaits. Without a doubt the Number 1 bait for fishing cedars. Wind is more than your friend with the SB and working it thru the limbs can get violent strikes. Try killing the bait just as it comes thru the tops, letting its blades flutter just a bit. Sometimes they want it burned thru the tops, somethime a slow roll.

Jigs are very good fish catchers out of the cedars, but be prepaired to loose a many. 3/8 and 5/16 are the best, with a good fiber weed guard. Gently pull the jig over the limbs, and know it on the tree as much as possible. After the bait comes over a limb, allow it to fall and repeat. You will loose some baits. Bluegill patterns with orange or yellow are very good offering when making these kind of presentations.

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Drop-shotting the submerged tops. Ask Bill Beck. Bill has won thousands of dollars doing this in the Kimberling area. Again good electronics and GPS are valuble tools.

When fishing the trees for active fish, it seems that the number one asset you can have is accuracy on your presentations. Hanging up in the tree and missing the tree to far with your first cast are most often doom. This year so far I have not caught a fish with a topwater or spinner, that has not been on the first cast at that tree. After catching one multiple cast to the same tree has produced nothing, although in the past I have caught several fish in a tree.

Won't get into it here, but my favorite cedar pattern is December thru April and we all know thats Stickbait time.



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