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Author Topic: [Missouri] Looking for some better fish  (Read 3512 times)

Offline Jig Man

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[Missouri] Looking for some better fish
« on: July 16, 2017, 04:04:56 PM »
I fish a lake fed by 2 rivers,  the Little Sac and the Big Sac.  My last few trips have been in the Little Sac and mid lake in the Big Sac.  Both waters have been producing fish but they have been mostly sub legal.

This morning I hit the water at 07:30 and made a winding 10 mile ride up the Big Sac river to skinny water.  22' is deep in this area with a lot of shallow water less than 10'.  It is also very murky with visibility less than 2'.  I fished a spinner bait for a while and caught 2 keepers on it.  I switched to a worm on a steeper bank and caught 2 keepers on it.

Later I moved back down river and fished some brush piles.  I got one keeper on a jig vertical fishing in 22 fow.

That gave me 5 keepers for the day which is a lot better than I have been doing.  I wound up with 14 total.  When sweat got to dripping off my nose right about noon I headed for the truck and ate my lunch on the way home.

Linkback: https://fishinpedia.com/bass-fishing-forums/bass-fishing-reports-central-region-fishinpedia/49/looking-for-some-better-fish/2518/
If you're too busy to go fishin' you're too busy.

Offline rivermandave

Re: Looking for some better fish
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 09:52:32 AM »
Is there any vegetation in the Miller Branch or around the 2 nearby islands?

How about the bluff area on the southern end of Miller?

Navionics map

https://webapp.navionics.com/?lang=en#boating@9&key=agtdFb%60f%7BP

Older USGS map on Topoquest

https://www.topoquest.com/map.php?lat=37.64798&lon=-93.76903&datum=nad83&zoom=8&map=auto&coord=d&mode=zoomout&size=l

Offline Jig Man

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Re: Looking for some better fish
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2017, 11:13:37 AM »
I don't go into Miller very often.  It is a large "bay" area with small coves and lots of shallow water.

Dave we don't have vegetation in our lakes.  All we have is rocks, gravel and standing dead timber and a few mud flats.

If you look where the Hwy CC bridge crosses the Big Sac River I was fishing above the bridge.

Offline Jig Man

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Re: Looking for some better fish
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2017, 04:24:13 PM »
My s-I-l and I hit again yesterday am.  We caught 14 bass all on spinner baits.  We did not have a single keeper.

Offline rivermandave

Re: Looking for some better fish
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2017, 09:48:27 PM »
I don't go into Miller very often.  It is a large "bay" area with small coves and lots of shallow water.

Dave we don't have vegetation in our lakes.  All we have is rocks, gravel and standing dead timber and a few mud flats.

If you look where the Hwy CC bridge crosses the Big Sac River I was fishing above the bridge.

Is CC the same as 215?

Is this reservoir fed by a lot of spring creeks?

Offline Jig Man

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Re: Looking for some better fish
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2017, 06:31:48 AM »
The main tributaries are the Little Sac and Big Sac rivers.  They both head up on the Ozark Plateau near Springfield and run north west.
Several smaller streams connect along the way.

No CC and 215 are different roads.  The bridge on Hwy 215 goes over the Big Sac and is 1 mile long.  The bridge over the Big Sac on Hwy CC  is 17.5 miles back (by water) to the south.

For this area Stockton is just a typical small highland reservoir.  It is roughly 25,000 acres with 300 miles of shore line.  It is only about 25 miles from the dam to get as high up the rivers as I will take my boat.

Offline rivermandave

Re: Looking for some better fish
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2017, 01:17:00 PM »
The main tributaries are the Little Sac and Big Sac rivers.  They both head up on the Ozark Plateau near Springfield and run north west.
Several smaller streams connect along the way.

No CC and 215 are different roads.  The bridge on Hwy 215 goes over the Big Sac and is 1 mile long.  The bridge over the Big Sac on Hwy CC  is 17.5 miles back (by water) to the south.

For this area Stockton is just a typical small highland reservoir.  It is roughly 25,000 acres with 300 miles of shore line.  It is only about 25 miles from the dam to get as high up the rivers as I will take my boat.
I figured out where CC is :oy:

I asked specifically about spring creeks as they would bring in COLD water that would attract fish seeking respite from the heat.

Do you have this "fish attractors" map?

https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/sites/default/files/downloads/page/Stockton_Lake_FA_Maps.pdf

From this page....

https://mdc.mo.gov/conmag/2003/04/missouris-great-lakes-stockton-lake

Eutsler describes Stockton as a three-bass lake. "As a rule of thumb, from the state park to the dam is smallmouth water. Largemouth fishing is usually better in the upper third of the lake and Kentucky bass are throughout the lake, usually along bluff walls."

"Stockton is a real sleeper for bass," he said. "The locals refer to it as the best kept secret in the Ozarks. I catch more and bigger fish from there than I do at Table Rock." Eutsler said the lake doesn't attract as many tournaments as other lakes. "There are very few days when you can't get away from people--even on holidays and weekends."

"Because they are bigger," is the way Eutsler explained his preference for largemouth bass. He usually fishes the upper end of the lake. He looks for pea gravel during the spawning season and "chunk rock" later in the summer. He said he likes flipping jigs into brush. It's a plus if shad are nearby, but he's primarily fishing likely spots.

Instead of "pounding the bank," a common strategy for largemouth bass, Eutsler looks for sharp swings in the creek channels. He said that bass travel those creek channels the way we might follow a highway to go to work. It takes a little more work, as well as a depthfinder and lake map, but he said finding a sharp bend in the creek channel that drops off to 15 to 20 feet of water usually pays off for him.


Eutsler said the lake is usually clear enough for sight fishing spawning bass. "Look for pea gravel toward the backs of the coves. Bring a floating Rogue or a bright color worm--chartreuse or white--back over the nests, and they'll usually whack it pretty good.


Bass fishing techniques and lures are almost as numerous as anglers. Eutsler said he'd advise a newcomer to Stockton Lake to start by probing secondary points with a small leadhead jig fixed with a 3- to 4-inch curly-tailed grub. He suggested smoke-colored, red, black or green grubs.

"Use 10-pound test line and try to keep the jig swimming just off the bottom, The deeper you go out, the slower your retrieve. Cover a lot of territory," he said.

I hope you aren't offended by me posting all that. Just trying to figure out some way to offer advice.

Is this the area you've been fishing?

https://webapp.navionics.com/?lang=en#boating@11&key=oircF%7Cdk%7BP

Did you do much in this area just north of the above map? Deeper water in the area

https://webapp.navionics.com/?lang=en#boating@11&key=quxcFh_l%7BP

Offline Jig Man

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Re: Looking for some better fish
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2017, 02:59:08 PM »
I don't have the fish attractors map but do have all of their gps wpts on my chart plotters along with a few hundred others.  Sometimes I only fish those brush piles but they are narly and eat a lot of baits.

That area around CC is where I have been the last 2 trips.  There are some great cove banks with ledge rocks that make good spinner bait waters.  25' is the deepest water in this area so they don't have as many places to hide.  My first 8# bass on this lake was caught in sight of the CC bridge on a spinner bait.  I have taken several good fish in this area.  That is the reason why I went back.  

I normally fish from Hartley Branch to the dam and from State Park Marina to the dam.  I like clear deep water but the fish down that way have all been dinks for quite a while now.  I have lost contact with good fish on the main lake as have some others.  Tournaments have been 12# for winners lately.

Offline rivermandave

Re: Looking for some better fish
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2017, 02:10:29 PM »
Since you were still catching fish in those areas it would hard to believe that just the quality fish up & left the whole areas.

For what it's worth.... :confused:

Perhaps the bigger ones have gotten conditioned to your (and other's) tactics / presentations?

Perhaps something has caused them to change their behavior a bit?

Maybe the bigger ones are out in deeper water chasing shad schools more now than previously? Degradation of wood cover over the years close to shore could cause that, in the sense that there is less habitat for other types of baitfish in those areas. The "other" baitfish then have moved further back up into the creek inlets taking some of the bigger fish with them.

Water temps increased in the last couple of summers? This would cause them to move out deeper OR into spring creek bays / moving water.

Deaths by catch & release have accumulated to the point that the population of larger ones has decreased?

-----------------------------------------------------

With both smallmouths and walleyes in the lake, maybe there has been a decline of gizzard shad / other forage species not being noticed?

OR.....

Maybe with no harvest of bass, the population of smaller ones has incrementaly increased to the point that they are always first to your lures?

-----------------------------------------------------

Combinations of the above?

Offline Jig Man

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Re: Looking for some better fish
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2017, 04:45:10 PM »
I'm going back tomorrow.  I'll be fishing the lower lake channel swings and bluff ends out in deeper water.

Offline Jig Man

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Re: Looking for some better fish
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2017, 07:41:15 AM »
Well I fished the lower end and the confluence of the Little Sac and Big Sac rivers.  I concentrated on bluff ends near river channels and channel swings.  We fished hard for 6 hours and finally quit when it got to 94°.  Fish were caught on spinner baits, buzz baits, tubes, jigs, worms and the Ned rig. 

No matter what the bait or how deep we fished we didn't get bites any deeper than 18'.  Fish were caught on all baits with the jig being the most productive (4).  None of the 15 fish were long enough to keep and none of them were largemouth.  I'm starting to think that they may be out cruising the schools of off shore shad.

Offline rivermandave

Re: Looking for some better fish
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2017, 02:28:37 PM »
Depending on how far back you fished in any of the bays, it doesn't surprise me that you didn't catch any largemouth.

Is there a 15" limit on smallies? It would be surprising that 12-14" smallies wouldn't be out chasing shad schools over deeper water.

Did you try any lures other than the ones you listed?

Did you fish these areas just north of King Hill Edge Island?


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