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There's a little place I know...


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21 replies to this topic

#1 Bryon Anderson

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 01:29 PM

...a little lake here in Southwest Michigan that seems to be frequented only by me and a handful of people who live far enough out in the sticks to be near it. The approach to the single access is a "road" only in the broadest, most generous sense of the term. Glorified rut is more like it. The lake is small, 15 acres or so, totally surrounded by forest, with not a single human dwelling to mar the view, which is pretty all year round but spectacular in fall. Less than 20 feet deep at its deepest point, it is ringed by lily pads and hosts prolific weed beds throughout. This is ideal habitat for the largemouth bass and bluegill that populate it. They love to whack surface flies, starting as soon as the water warms up in May until it starts to get too cool some time in October. I've never thrown anything but a popper or slider there; never had to.

 

What's strange (to me) is that the bass tend to be on the small side, even for Michigan; a 12-incher is a nice one. I've caught a few that might have gone 13-14", but 10-12" is the average. The bluegills, though, tend to be larger than average (again, for Michigan), like this one that walloped a cork bass popper last night put up a mighty scrap against the 9' 5 wt. rod I was using.

 

Anyway, I love this little lake.

 

 

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"... trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience." -- John Voelker (aka Robert Traver), Testament of a Fisherman


#2 FlatsRoamer

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 01:55 PM

Looks like a slice of paradise to me!


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#3 Piker20

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 02:36 PM

Sounds bliss. Does seem odd you've not found some bigger bass with what should be lots of small prey fish about. Maybe need to use a bigger fly under the surface and see what's lurking??


Matthew 25: 35-36 "Out of every 100 men, 10 shouldnt even be there, 80 are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior and he will bring the others back. "No man ever steps in the same river twice"   Heraclitus, 5 B.C

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#4 islander727

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 03:33 PM

You forgot to include gps coordinates. I can't find it.



#5 steeldrifter

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 03:39 PM

Nice sized gill Bryon.


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#6 Bryon Anderson

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 03:50 PM

Islander, just go on Google Maps and search Daggett Lake Orangeville Township, MI. It should pop right up.

 

In case anyone thinks I'm nuts for giving away the location of a favorite fishing spot -- all I can say is, if you saw the approach to this place, you'd probably reach the same conclusion I have, which is that very few fishermen would be willing to go four-wheeling in there for some smallish bass and a few nice bluegills. It's right there on Google for anyone who cares to look, and it's location (including coordinates) is published in at least two guidebooks that I know of--that's how I learned about it, in fact. In the decade or so that I've been fishing there, I've encountered exactly one other fisherman in a boat, and maybe half a dozen fishing from the bank. The largest gathering I've ever seen at the access was when I once fished there on a Saturday and came out after dark to find the parking area full of teenagers, their beat-up pickup trucks, a few cases of cheap beer and some wacky tobacky making its way around the bonfire they'd built. I think the appearance of a grown-up must have surprised them, because the music was instantly turned down, and two of them offered to help me load my kayak onto the top of my car! :-)


"... trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience." -- John Voelker (aka Robert Traver), Testament of a Fisherman


#7 Bryon Anderson

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 04:07 PM

Piker, I'm sure you're right--there's no good reason why there wouldn't be some larger bass in there, and I imagine you're also right about how to go about catching one. It's so weedy in there, though, that going subsurface is just about more trouble than it's worth. I know I can catch the smaller ones all day long on top, so I just stick to that because it's fun and way less frustrating. Perhaps I should learn to tie a decent weed guard, or employ some of RichMC's weedless worms...or, as I'm sure Mike Chell would advise, just use a spinning rod and a Texas-rigged worm! smile.png


"... trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience." -- John Voelker (aka Robert Traver), Testament of a Fisherman


#8 mikechell

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 04:55 PM

Beautiful lake ... very pretty fish.

 

Conjecture:

Why are there no big bass in there?  Because it's MICHIGAN !!!

With the deepest place in the lake being only 20 feet, it's very possible that there's only 15 or so feet of water during the coldest months of the year.  AND, all the bottom that's less than 5 feet deep, would be inaccessible or frozen.  Your 15 acre lake may be less than 6 or so acres of livable water for several weeks of the winter.

Lack of oxygen, food and space might be keeping the fish from growing at all throughout the winter months.


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#9 Bryon Anderson

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 07:05 PM

Beautiful lake ... very pretty fish.
 
Conjecture:
Why are there no big bass in there?  Because it's MICHIGAN !!!
With the deepest place in the lake being only 20 feet, it's very possible that there's only 15 or so feet of water during the coldest months of the year.  AND, all the bottom that's less than 5 feet deep, would be inaccessible or frozen.  Your 15 acre lake may be less than 6 or so acres of livable water for several weeks of the winter.
Lack of oxygen, food and space might be keeping the fish from growing at all throughout the winter months.


All good points Mike. There are places in Michigan, lakes with far more livable water than this one, that do grow bigger bass, but even those that have enough water and food during the winterare kept significantly smaller than Southern bass by the fact that winter is so long and so cold here; a short growing season if you will. A 7-8 pound bass is a trophy here.

"... trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience." -- John Voelker (aka Robert Traver), Testament of a Fisherman


#10 Poopdeck

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 07:09 PM

The answer is simple and is anything but unusual in ponds or little lakes. To many fIsh not enough fish food. If you want bigger bass start eating the bass and the blue gill to thin the heard. There is simply not enough bait fish or crayfish to support the numbers of bass in there leading to little bass. My guess is there are not bigger bass in there because they are all stunted.

#11 Bryon Anderson

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 10:17 PM

The answer is simple and is anything but unusual in ponds or little lakes. To many fIsh not enough fish food. If you want bigger bass start eating the bass and the blue gill to thin the heard. There is simply not enough bait fish or crayfish to support the numbers of bass in there leading to little bass. My guess is there are not bigger bass in there because they are all stunted.

That makes sense. You're right that the stunted bass phenomenon is not unusual in these little lakes. I stick to small waters by preference, and the bass are stunted in many of them. I would think the bluegill would overpopulate and be stunted too, and sometimes they are, but on Daggett Lake I almost never catch a small one. Maybe the bass are eating the juveniles, leaving more available food for the survivors?
I have thought about keeping some to eat;I should start doing that.

"... trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience." -- John Voelker (aka Robert Traver), Testament of a Fisherman


#12 Poopdeck

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 05:36 AM

Years ago it was a rather common practice to throw every blue gill caught on the bank. I would guess the fish are mainly eating bugs which will make a blue gill grow fairly large but to get big bass a bug diet ain't going to cut it.

Here in PA we have two good SMB rivers, the Susquehanna and the Delaware. Both have good population of SMB. The Susky has so many crayfish in it that you will scattered a dozen with every step. The Delaware has next to no crayfish in it and I haven't seen one there in over 20 years of fishing it. The susky produces both numbers and size and 18"+ SMB are fairly common. The Delaware has good numbers but A big SMB on the Delaware would be 15" and 18"+ fish are rare. It's all in the diet.

#13 Bryon Anderson

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 10:39 AM

So if I was going to start harvesting bass out of there in an attempt to influence the average size of the bass, I'd want to keep the 10-12-inchers, right -- leave the ones that do grow larger to hopefully spawn and pass on their big-fish genes?


"... trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience." -- John Voelker (aka Robert Traver), Testament of a Fisherman


#14 Piker20

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 02:08 PM

Yep, thin out the ones that aren't competing and the natural winners grow fatter. 

 

 

 

 

Or buy lots of trout pellets...........


Matthew 25: 35-36 "Out of every 100 men, 10 shouldnt even be there, 80 are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior and he will bring the others back. "No man ever steps in the same river twice"   Heraclitus, 5 B.C

Based Scottish Highlands. UK

MUSTAD The wise anglers choice.

#15 Bryon Anderson

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 03:20 PM

Yep, thin out the ones that aren't competing and the natural winners grow fatter. 
 
Or buy lots of trout pellets...........

I'll put my money into a fish basket and a deep fryer rather than trout pellets. Fish is the only meat that one of my sons will eat, so there are now several good reasons for me to start whacking a few of those bass. smile.png


"... trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience." -- John Voelker (aka Robert Traver), Testament of a Fisherman