Over the last 6 months I have spent a great deal of time exploring Lake Somerville. In that time I have caught only one Red Ear sunfish. I spent most of this time fishing around rock outcroppings and hard bottom areas in shallow water. These are particularly good areas for bluegill and longear in the spring and summer.
I have not fished the muddy bottom areas in the trees or canes very much.
Everything I read is that Red Ear will usually hold in deeper water than the other sunfish. They also love snails, which I assume would live in a more muddy bottom area. And they rely upon smell more which makes it even more challenging when using artificial flies.
I setup a new fiberglass 3 weight rod with a Teeny BS 100 sink tip line for fishing deep this winter. I tried it out and caught 6 crappie with it this weekend.
So now I want to spend some time searching for Red Ear on the Lake. I have talked to some of the local fisherman and guides and there are not many caught on the lake.
How would you go about exploring the lake for Red ear? Do they prefer muddy bottom areas vs. hard bottom areas? Would you target deep structure? Islands?
Lake Somerville is a shallow lake with maximum depths only about 25 feet for the most part.