Re: help on Smith Lake Bass

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Posted by SteveB on June 07, 2001 at 12:41:25:

In Reply to: help on Smith Lake Bass posted by Ray Densmore on June 06, 2001 at 19:24:41:

Fish long,fish hard,stay keenly aware of conditions, and be open to trying new approaches.Smith Lake is a tough lake to fish and ask 20 people and you'll get dozen good reasons. Most commonly heavy pressure, too many stripers with too small a forage base,lack of underwater structure, drastic water level swings and the natural fairly rapid decline experienced in almost all typical highland resevoirs due to infertility. Rather than any one specific reason a combination of these and other factors is most certainly more at the total truth of the matter.
In the April issue of Alabama Game and Fish Magazine there is an excellent article on Smith Lake, some good facts are brought out and the glaring ones are the statistics in the B.A.I.T survey program which compiles info submitted by tournaments held on a particular lake. Keeping in mind these fisherman hours are based on people in tournaments who have put up there money to fish against others who have done the same. So we are not talking about a dock survey which asks a guy up for the weekend with the wife and 4 kids how they did after coming in with more waterskis in the boat than fishing poles. Smith Lake consistently was in the bottom 10% in all categories. The most disheartening was the bigger fish numbers. It took 587 hours of fishing to catch a 5 lb plus fish.[Extending the math that is 73, 8 hour days of fishing] If that don't make a fellow sharpen his hooks nothing will, cause it's going to be another couple of months before you get another shot at a Big Boy.
But Ray, before you head to the liquor cabinet and the grab the phonebook and look up the numnber for U-Haul, I do have a couple of ideas and an upside to Smith Lake.
Let me first say these are not my original ideas nor am I going to tell you they are going to put you onto boatloads of fish they are just some basics that we sometimes all overlook cause it is human nature to want to buy snakeoil.[the Banjo Minnow, or the hot lure everyone caught'em on last week]
Think bait, in a lake of limited forage find the bait and you will find the predators. When the water is one the rise look for newly submerged grass and brush especially mornings,evenings and at nite. This brush when out of the water ccumulated bugs and their eggs, when recently flooded this is a newfound food source for minnows and crawfish. When the water is on the fall look for the points and deeper water breaks. The minnows will recongregate in these areas after moving out of the shallows and flats.
Go light as you possibly can and get away with,6 or 8 lb line with finesse setups. I try to think of it instead of looking for 1 totally stupid fish on 14lb line I'll look for 5 that are only mildly dumb on 8lb.
My only other main tip is on structure, the man made type. In a lake so devoid of submerged structure even small structure points become extremely important. If you come across and area that looks like it has all the features except brush, drop in a pallet at night and don't tell anyone but me.
The rest of the upside is this is one of the most beatiful and cleanest lakes I've seen and it supports a good crappie fishery as well as striper if your so inclined. The way I see it I can fish about anywhere, but as a place to live and fish, Smith Lake offers a lot.

Crane Hill

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