Florida 0003Small lakes are miniatures of big ones.  Bass respond to habitat conditions in just the same way they do in larger bodies of water.  What happens in lakes also happens in the small lake, only more quickly.  Smaller lakes are an excellent place for a spring tune-up.

Under the rays of early spring sun, the water warms more quickly.  This is especially true if the bottom is dark.  A spurt of warm weather will bring the water temperature up.  The smart angler takes advantage of freak weather conditions.

The downside is that a cold front can move through and the bass will get lock jaw.  They just quit biting.  Fish react just as quickly to negative fishing conditions as they do to the positive ones.

Easing around the bank of a small lake, targeting specific structure can be a very successful way to fish.  Some attractive spots might be where a bush over hangs the water or will otherwise cast shadows on the water.  Drop offs into visible holes are a good place to check with a few casts.

Approaching quietly is important.  It is important to minimize any shadows cast toward the water.  Bass are quick to respond to perceived threats such as a shadow on the water or the outline of an angler on the shoreline.

Key to a fish’ existence is cover, oxygen and food.  Weeds are a good place to look as they produce oxygen, supply cover and attract baitfish, bugs and other food species.  Work edges, pockets, and clusters of weeds thoroughly.  Cast into and around them.

Single fish will hold on distinct shoreline objects such as drop offs, points and feeder creeks.  Wood is a prime cover for bass.  Stumps, brush, fallen trees are favored over open water.  It is all the better if there are not a lot of them.

As for tackle, the same equipment works well on mini‑lakes as on the bigger ones.  Sometimes one might downsize the lures.  That is, where a 6-inch worm is best for larger waters, a four-inch one is good for the small bodies of water.

Lures of every type from jigs, worms, spinners, buzzbaits, stickbaits to crankbaits can be very effective.  It helps to learn the movement of nature.  Make you minnow bait imitate a real one.  The lure must look alive, frightened and catchable to the fish.

As one becomes more familiar with a small body of water, it can become a laboratory for testing equipment or techniques.  The workable area provides an opportunity to test out an idea in an area where one knows what does work.  You can cover small bodies of water thoroughly in less time, thus increasing the effectiveness of putting your lure in front of a fish.  Six hours and you can cover most small lakes completely.

Learn to use a jig or worm and fish around structure, open holes, or any change in structure. What catches bass are the attracting and triggering qualities of an artificial lure.  Bass must be attracted and then something in the movement of the bait gets him to eat it.  In choosing a lure a bright color will attract a bass as he feeds primarily by sight.

However, a natural color pattern can convince them that it is worth eating.  Obviously, finding a lure that has both characteristics is impossible.  Perhaps compromise is the secret.

Because of the limited amount of fish, it is important to keep the population in balance.  Releasing fish lets those big ones grow all the more for your next foray.


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