Help me find the fish in a very shallow “lake”

  • queenswake
    Posts: 1062

    I have friends with cabins on what can rarely be called a lake. Most of the lake is 4-5 ft deep, bottom all muck, but very clear water. The fact that such a lake is clear, tells me that there might be springs feeding it. It has one 10 ft hole, which is where we fish in the summer. We pull nice pike and bass out of that hole in the summer. There is no public access on the lake, and only a handful of cabins. So there is little to no fishing pressure.

    Anyway, in the winter, we cannot find these pike and bass in the hole by either flasher or camera. I know bass are typically dormant during winter, but I would still expect to see them. Do you think the fish are all just in the weeds hanging out? Or could there be other springs around the lake that they are hanging out near in order to get fresh oxygen. Obviously, this is a prime lake for winterkill, if the snow is thick enough on the ice. But again, we catch really nice pike and bass so winterkill recently.

    Karry Kyllo
    Posts: 1023

    Bass aren’t dormant in the winter and the bite can be pretty good through the ice in my experience. I’ve caught laregmouth bass through the ice on more than one occasion when ice fishing lakes that hold them.

    Matt Moen
    South Minneapolis
    Posts: 3834

    Where do the panfish go in winter?

    I’d be looking for patches in the weeds where panfish are roaming around. I catch bass and northern on a few local, shallow lakes in the weeds all winter. The pike always have bluegills in their bellies. Seems if I can find some random clumps of weeds that’s enough “structure” to attract all types of fish.

    North branch, mn
    Posts: 15688

    I catch bass all winter. I fish a lake like that in the winter. 7 ft deep max and we fish it quietly with tip ups. Set the bait 8 inches to a ft below the ice and let it sit. If we run around and make noise it’s a no go. If we sit quietly then I can be very good

    Posts: 1809

    One ? where are you and does the ice get thick? If it does, you have to have springs just to keep fish alive in the winter, any creeks entering the Lake? Or outlets. I would check for springs buy any steep shoreline or buy beaver lodges in that type of lake. Is there a high water inlet for fish to self-stock the lake, and then be trapped? DK. Ice fishing is poke and hope….. Do a lot of poking.

    Randy Wieland
    Lebanon. WI
    Posts: 13210

    I’m going to set up about five feet away from Matt

    tim hurley
    Posts: 5218

    I would keep using that camera, if bass and pike are active they will actually go right up to it, as apposed to being scared away from it-good luck

    SE MN
    Posts: 4118

    i catch bass all winter too but mostly the dumb little ones. the big ones probably go dormant and sleep in the weeds? in my experience shallow lakes with little structure have a nomadic population of any fish species. i fish old sand quarries/reservoirs in my neck of the woods and they are not shallow for the most part but there is nothing to hold the fish so they just cruise for food probably first light and last light. think of it like Red lake, a big shallow bowl where the fish cruise around following mud/sand/gravel transitions.
    if i was tackling a lake like the one you describe, i would wait for a nice day and spread out tip ups/i fish pros or whatever in all areas that look promising.

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