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Barbelboy

How would you approach a shallow lake in the fall?

7 posts in this topic

How would you approach a very shallow lake in the fall? Deepest is 4.5'. Fish species include walleyes, crappies and pike. Not many crappies, but good size. Quite a few walleyes, 12-18", few pike, but good size. Picture a large bowl (400 acres) with most of the water 2.5-3.5' with a deep hole of 4.5' that is approximately 100x200 yards in size. I thought either just drifting and casting crank baits/swim baits to cover ground or troll.

I was thinking that by continuing to troll/cast after dark in late September and October I can target the walleyes.

Any ideas?

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I'm just curious how a 4 1/2 ft lake sustains crappies let alone Walleyes and Northerns?

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Unless there is a ton of springs or water flow through the lake I can't see  how it could sustain much of anything in the winter.  In a really cold winter almost the entire lake could freeze solid leaving maybe a foot or so of water in only the deepest hole.

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Danged if I know, but the DNR has quite a few surveys on the lake. Fish populations do vary quite a bit, but crappies and walleyes are consistently present. There is some moving water, but I was told the lake does suffer from winter kill.

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When were the last surveys done on the lake?  For some lakes the surveys aren't real recent so not sure how accurate they are.  If the lake suffers from winter kill which i suspect it does I'd be skeptical of the quality or numbers of fish.  A lake that shallow that winter kills often would have a hard time supporting good numbers of quality fish.  A few quality fish might be able to make a go of it, or a larger population of small fish might be able to survive but tough to have size and quantity in those conditions.

Doesn't hurt to give it a shot.  I'm caught nice fish in some odd places over the years so you never really know until you try it.  

As far as a strategy if there is any sort of spring in the lake I would look around that area.  Late in the summer fish usually head toward deeper/cooler water so a spring might offer the only cooler water in a lake that shallow.   Otherwise I'm guessing the fish could be spread out hanging in the weeds since I'm assuming the entire lake must be weeds given how shallow it is.  Then you'd have to cover ground either trolling or drifting.

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How  big is the lake and what kind of weeds are most prevalent? 

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Sounds like Lake Emily ... I would use live minnow

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