Posted by Alex on May 21, 2004 at 15:34:06:
In Reply to: fighting milfoil posted by Preston on May 21, 2004 at 09:57:09:
Preston, I understand where you are coming from. Keep in mind though that the vegetation is your friend! I have seen a lot of changes over the years with our fisheries and believe me the milfoil and hydrilla really improves the habitat. Most often bluegill and shell cracker bed before the grass becomes a problem. This year though, Mother Nature threw us a curve-ball. We had a mild winter and early summer. There really was no spring. Here are a few ideas that might help.
1. During late winter and early spring, scout for the sand bars long before the season. Once you find them, keep accurate notes of these locations. If need be, use a GPS. Take a camera and take pictures. Once you get a good mental picture where these areas are, you can still come back and fish them even if the grass comes in early.
2. If you go to the places mentioned above, fish are still there but maybe deeper. Back off and fish slowly. You might even have to use long fiberglass poles to place your bait inside the grass. Also watch for areas where there is torn vegetation floating on the surface of the water.
3. Like Snapperking stated, beds do not necessarily have to be in shallow water. Look for break lines in 5 to 10 feet of water. Keep in mind that if you can see the beds everyone and their brother can too! Once found these can be picked clean.
4. Also, bluegill and shell cracker are smarter than we give them credit. They need proper sunlight and water temperature to complete their life cycle. They might bed in one area this year and the following year, the conditions will not be the same. They like areas that they can manipulate. If they find an area and it is covered in grass but in their eyes suitable, they will literally clear the area. Thatís why when you find a bed that has active fish in it and it is located in the middle of vegetation, they have cleared the area.
5. Later season bedding can be just as good but more work for the angler. This is where the deeper water comes into play. Start by searching areas in the 5 to 8 foot range. An angler will really have to cover some water for locating late season beds.
6. If the grass is thick, just have patience and spend some time on the water. Trust me, GRASS IS YOUR FRIEND! Good luck and wear those life jackets.
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