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Smallmouths often suspend over relatively deep water in reservoirs and natural lakes in summer, when baitfish populations peak. In reservoirs, they tend to follow shad or shiners. A 4- to 5-inch grub worked horizontally on a jig head can work wonders.
During springtime, stocked trout in lakes and reservoirs can be found fairly shallow, feeding in the upper 10 to 15 feet of the water column. An effective technique to catch spring trout is to troll with crankbaits, either longlining directly behind the boat or with planer boards. Troll with 10 to 20 feet of line out at a speed around 2 mph.
Carolina-rigging has been the favored fall tactic of pro anglers for probing reservoir structure. Some call the technique 'power fishing with finesse' because you use stout tackle, but the action of the lure is subtle and tempting to fish. Use your sonar unit to find stumps, weedbeds, or other cover along creek channels or offshore islands.
Staging bass move toward the bank as spawn-time approaches. When reservoir flats have warmed into the upper 50oF range, look for bass among flooded stumps, brushpiles, and along the inside corners of points within feeder creeks.
As lakes warm in the spring, largemouth bass move into shallow cover in coves, canals, and harbors. They seek warming water offered by these spots that also provide plentiful baitfish. Bass are eager to feed, but not yet aggressive in the cool water.
Flash lures are one of the most popular jigging lures for ice fishing. Potential jigging sequences are limited only by your imagination and your interpretation of how fish are reacting. Yet, just as no secret lures exist, neither does a secret jigging sequence.
One of the hottest tactics on the pro bass trail is working deep structure with jigworms, sometimes called shaky-head worming. Once it gets cold, largemouths favor steep rocky banks along the main body of the reservoir.
Trout, browns, brookies, & rainbows are coldwater species, so they like cold water and remain active under ice cover. One key to trout location in reservoirs and lakes is finding shallow flats (4 to 8 feet deep) with soft bottoms.
When water temperatures tumble below the low-40?F range, bass often move from mid-depth flats to more vertical structures. Fast-breaking edges allow bass to change depth easily, without traveling long distances.