Finding big spots at Bullards Bar

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CamoJus
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Finding big spots at Bullards Bar

Postby CamoJus » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:52 pm

New to the forum, seeking some guidance

I've searched the forums, watched all the Cody Meyers and Paul Bailey videos, studied the lake, etc. I'm still struggling to find decent size bass from this lake. I've only been out on it a couple times last summer and all day yesterday 3/17. Yesterday I came equipped with everything I've read/seen that catches fish here.. Swimbait, shaky head in a variety of pink, purple, and shad colors. Drop shotted a KVD dreamshot(slays the dinks) and a nail weighted senko. Also discovered a hula grub on a football head will get the little ones going too. I have yet to find any reasonable sized spotted bass, not even any that I've picked up on the graph. Yesterday I found myself in some pretty ideal situations(so I thought)... One was a long rocky point loaded with structure right off of a cove with a creek flowing in. Even picked up a school of what i'm assuming were kokanee on the graph, but caught nothing but snags. Ended up on another super long point (shows up as stony point on a map), Had one rip the tail off a swimbait but that was it. I was fishing anywhere from 20-80 feet, mostly stayed in the 35-70ft range. Fished all the long points I could find. Meanwhile everybody else on the lake seemed to hug tight to the steeper points. I keep getting conflicting information about where to fish. Not looking for the secret to landing a new world record, just trying to get some pointers on where to find something bigger than the tiny guys. Where have you had good experiences? Im all about learning so any guidance is appreciated

Larry Hemphill
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Re: Finding big spots at Bullards Bar

Postby Larry Hemphill » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:12 pm

I think you mentioned an important fact on your post - folks were working steep, shorter points. My biggest there, near 8 lbs, was caught just after post-spawn, a few eggs still coming out. She was spawning on a very steep point. There must have been a slight flat on that point. The big spots will spawn as close to deep water as possible. That's what makes the lake so difficult - it is steep everywhere!!!

CamoJus
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Re: Finding big spots at Bullards Bar

Postby CamoJus » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:22 pm

Larry Hemphill wrote:I think you mentioned an important fact on your post - folks were working steep, shorter points. My biggest there, near 8 lbs, was caught just after post-spawn, a few eggs still coming out. She was spawning on a very steep point. There must have been a slight flat on that point. The big spots will spawn as close to deep water as possible. That's what makes the lake so difficult - it is steep everywhere!!!


Wow, how funny that you responded to this post haha. I was just researching guides for Bullards this morning and came across your page. So do they seem to spawn on the steep points, then move deep off of longer points in the summer and fall? That's where I get confused. Most videos I watch I see them fishing far offshore off of long gradual points, then other vids I see them closer to shore near steep points. It's an odd lake, but its beautiful there that's why I'd like to learn more about it

Larry Hemphill
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Re: Finding big spots at Bullards Bar

Postby Larry Hemphill » Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:27 pm

Sorry, I just saw your post. No one has the final answer to the spawning habits at Bullards Bar. Spots do spawn in deeper water, close to their best feeding area. The key is not how long a point might be, but is there a nearby quick drop to deeper water available? Unlike largemouth, trophy spots want to do their feeding and spawning close to deep water areas. Rarely will one catch a trophy spot way up the bank, away from deep water. Remember, they are a different animal than a largemouth - very deep water lifestyle!!

WRB
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Re: Finding big spots at Bullards Bar

Postby WRB » Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:03 pm

Liston to Larry.
Your sonar is your freind hunting deep structure bass and bait. Try focusing on table top size flat areas at the depth of light with grey granite transitions with steep breaks.
Tom

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Re: Finding big spots at Bullards Bar

Postby ash » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:58 am

WRB wrote:Liston to Larry.
Your sonar is your freind hunting deep structure bass and bait. Try focusing on table top size flat areas at the depth of light with grey granite transitions with steep breaks.
Tom


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SethB
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Re: Finding big spots at Bullards Bar

Postby SethB » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:09 pm

Disclaimer I have never even seen bullards bar. Just had to let that be known. I have done quite a bit of spotted bass fishing in deep clear northern ca waters. In my experiences finding big spots is much harder than catching them. I rarely, if ever, catch a big spot after fishing an area for more than few well placed casts. Keep moving, and hit as many high percentage areas as you can stand. Big spots love to suspend. lots of times they suspend out in the middle of nowhere, many times they will be alone. Those isolated loners can be just as hard to catch as they are to find. Fish suspended near cover or structure, or in a group are much easer to locate and catch. When targeting big spots suspended near cover or structure, boat position and presentation is key. You don't want to pull the fish off the spot. You want to pull the fish to the cover or structure. you really only get one or two prime opportunities at each location. This type of fishing is a lot of work and you spend a lot of time running around. Put in time doing this and eventually you should cross paths with some good ones. Getting them to eat isn't the hard part.
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Fishfreq
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Re: Finding big spots at Bullards Bar

Postby Fishfreq » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:15 pm

Listen to Larry; fishing with him and learning his big bass/deep water principles has served me well in my life. Many of my DD's can be credited to his methodology. You won't catch near as MANY fish looking for giants, but you will break your PB. You've just got to be dedicated to the goal, and fish at times others don't want to fish.

That being said, Bullard's is the school of hard knocks. You can't just say 'they're at this depth'; on any given winter-to-prespawn day, the big girls can be in 60 ft first light and 6 ft at 3:00 pm. The lake shows no mercy either. One person fishes for decades there before crackin' the code (me) and another launches one time and gets a 9#.

Here's one thing that's for sure. Giants at Bullard's beat to their own drum. Spots like to suspend. They only feed in small windows of time. That time changes, it's not always first/last light. Because they're focused on ONE type of forage, they can be very difficult to fool. That goes for any body of water. If there's a wide variety of food options, quality bass will be more willing to strike a variety of baits.

Btw, there are all sorts of food sources on Bullard's, sunfish, baby bass, crawdads, etc. but the giants get to be giants by living on the ledge, living deep and feeding on kokes, so fish lots of lures that look like a koke until you find your sweet spot. Keep at it, keep em sharp and keep it wet.
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Fishfreq
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Re: Finding big spots at Bullards Bar

Postby Fishfreq » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:22 pm

SethB wrote:Disclaimer I have never even seen bullards bar. Just had to let that be known. I have done quite a bit of spotted bass fishing in deep clear northern ca waters. In my experiences finding big spots is much harder than catching them. I rarely, if ever, catch a big spot after fishing an area for more than few well placed casts. Keep moving, and hit as many high percentage areas as you can stand. Big spots love to suspend. lots of times they suspend out in the middle of nowhere, many times they will be alone. Those isolated loners can be just as hard to catch as they are to find. Fish suspended near cover or structure, or in a group are much easer to locate and catch. When targeting big spots suspended near cover or structure, boat position and presentation is key. You don't want to pull the fish off the spot. You want to pull the fish to the cover or structure. you really only get one or two prime opportunities at each location. This type of fishing is a lot of work and you spend a lot of time running around. Put in time doing this and eventually you should cross paths with some good ones. Getting them to eat isn't the hard part.


Yep, that's the mentality you have to fish with, and you'll have to work even harder at Bullard's because the giants already know what's good to eat and what's not. They don't get to world record size by being easy to catch.
Fish ON!--------------<')))><

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biteme
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Re: Finding big spots at Bullards Bar

Postby biteme » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:36 pm

All else fails drag a jig or beaver. I was cracking them a couple months ago in about 40ft of water dragging a jig. Your graph is your best friend.

WRB
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Re: Finding big spots at Bullards Bar

Postby WRB » Mon Mar 25, 2019 4:07 pm

Spotted bass are a member of the black bass family, same airbladder that doesn't have valves to release pressure from depth changes. Spots and Smallmouth have a greater tolerance to depth change then Largrmouth but can't make more then 1 atmosphere of pressure change quickly without over expanding thier airbladder making it difficult move up 30' to 40' and swallow prey with the stomach in their throat until they return back down to deeper water.
If you see Spots suspended at 60' those bass can't physically move up to 10' quickly or faster than 24 hours without experiencing severe stress.
It's true that giant bass get focused on specific predominate prey types ignoring other prey. If the majority of bass are feeding on abundant crawdad population use jigs that replecates crawdads. If the big Spots are feeding on trout use swimbaits that replicate those baitfish.
Right now the big Spots are pre spawn feeding heavily on the abundant prey wherever that prey is located.
Spend more time surveying potential structure with sonar then hoping to find them by fishing. Once you learn the depth the big Spots or any bass specie are active feeding at, then it's easier to eliminate unproductive water and lures.
Tom

Larry Hemphill
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Good post!

Postby Larry Hemphill » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:07 pm

That is one of the keys - eliminating unproductive water!! And there is a lot of that when the lake is near full or full!

Kevin Linehan
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Re: Finding big spots at Bullards Bar

Postby Kevin Linehan » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:55 pm

Strike King 8XD

Gerik M.
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Re: Finding big spots at Bullards Bar

Postby Gerik M. » Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:59 pm

I've been fishing this lake for the past 3 years and I have had two good ones on. Both came off. I need to figure this place out too!

Joe daddy
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Re: Finding big spots at Bullards Bar

Postby Joe daddy » Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:43 am

Reading this post I couldn’t help myself but reply. ‘Listen to Larry’ sounds like a great idea for a weekly or monthly podcast:)


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