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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Article 10 - Marinas #13543519 05/03/20 12:46 PM
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Donald Harper Online Happy OP
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Article 10 – Marinas

Marinas are one of the best areas to concentrate on during the week. Sorry; but lots of traffic there on the weekends and the fish know what is going on. The shade that the boat slips provide attract many species of fish and the Bass will follow. The slips always provides a deep side that extends out into the cove and shallow side that is close to shore. You will find quality fish there year round from the spawn close to shore to the hot Summer dog days near the ends of the slips for quick access to deep water.

A massive Marina can be over whelming; as which boat slips to fish. Look for an indicator to tell you if the fish are there or not. Always fish the first two slips closes to deep water. If you get bit then you have that indicator to keep fishing. Many times the first two just aren’t set up right to give you the big picture. You have to get the bait back about half way into the slip before this area can pay off. Huge boats sitting in the first two with very little space between the vessel and the dock does not help matters. There will be one just down the way that will allow that long pitch back into the shade giving you the confidence to continue down the line to the next and the next.

Many large Bass live under the slips because of the shade and ever present food source. They have learned to live with the traffic; but are very set in their ways. During the Spring Spawn the larger fish will move toward the shore setting up on the back corners of the slips. Again the shallows must be warm and the light penetration must be right to spawn. They know that the safety of the docks are near and can retreat when threatened. Most of the Marina’s have the shoreline lined with heavy rock which adheres to my theory of when the rock meets the dirt big Bass will spawn there. Some of the Marinas give you the room to slip between the rocks and docks and others do not. Find those that give you that room and you have a gold mine. The Wacky Rig is a good choice in my opinion for fishing both patterns during the Summer and Spring. Pitch to the back corner shaded area for the big bite then to the rocks. Both are in close range when on the shallow water side of the slips. If the sun is shinning into the back of the slip, Bass will spawn of the rails of an empty lift and many of these slips have lifts that are just at the right depth with sun on them for half of the day.

Many of the Marinas have lots of water behind them toward the end of the coves. All of these spawning areas will move some fish to the marina after the spawn. Not far after the spawn the Shad begin their run and love the marina structure and the night lights that many of them provide. Post spawn Bass come for the shade, deeper water, security of the structure and above all the food source to allow them for feed up. Shad use every piece of the marina structure to spawn around and eat the algae growing on the Styrofoam float supports. If you are seeing Shad the Bass are going to be there.

You will find that a little wind on these slips will produce more bites. Wind of course makes it more difficult to position the boat and make accurate cast; but the bite may be so much better it will make up for all of your mistakes. Wind allows for the opportunity to throw the spinner bait with a silver willow blade and gold Colo. small blade. It will be deadly worked through a slip with the wind blowing into it. It becomes the perfect weapon when the wind is destroying those light line techniques like a Wacky Rig.. Don’t forget that the lifts are submerged and provide cover for the Bass to suspend on. Work the spinner bait right down the middle of the empty slips bumping it off the cross members of the lifts.

Many of us have a thing about fishing water that has been pressured. Most marinas are untouched during the week. The best indicator that I have found to determine when the last time someone pitched into a place, is spider webs. If they are up and connecting the dock to the boats in places where you would want to make a pitch; that means no one has been in that small opening and there is a good chance a quality fish will be there. Cobwebs have been an excellent indicator of pressure all over a lake where heavy cover is abundant. You can use this same indicator in the hardwoods and bushes near the end of coves. Marianas are no exception.

Marianas with all the hoist, cross members, cables, heavy concrete cable anchors and boats being in the way, make for a difficult place to fish for Bass that are hiding around these objects. There is no doubt that this is exactly where Bass want to be so they are not bothered and will usually be a little better in quality. Out in front of many of the Marinas are Breakwaters with large tires chained or cabled together as a wind break. This is another great source for shade and bait fish to gather. The Senko on 50 lb braid with 1/2 oz Trig for a fast fall has worked best for the reaction bite right in the center of each tire. Some marinas use the flotation dock supports in a long line to help break the waves. Both will hold fish and can be easily worked on calm or windy days.

When fishing Marinas it is always good to practice your bait skipping technique before you come to fish these small openings. Getting that bait back in the right shaded areas can be a real challenge. Good marinas can turn into an all day deal with all these different pieces of cover and structure to fish. It takes some time to develop the pattern; but when you do, it will be the same deal throughout the whole marina. Always check the Marina rules about fishing the slips and your tournament rules on the areas that are off limits.

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Re: Article 10 - Marinas [Re: Donald Harper] #13543599 05/03/20 02:08 PM
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OKC Dave Offline
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Mr. Harper.
Thanks for the information. You are one of the best.
David


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Re: Article 10 - Marinas [Re: Donald Harper] #13543664 05/03/20 03:13 PM
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Excellent info.

There’s a set of marinas I fish that runs parallel to the shore. There is a small stretch of this long marina that is above a long narrow underwater point. The set of five slips above this point can be money.


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Re: Article 10 - Marinas [Re: CCTX] #13543749 05/03/20 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by CCTX
Excellent info.

There’s a set of marinas I fish that runs parallel to the shore. There is a small stretch of this long marina that is above a long narrow underwater point. The set of five slips above this point can be money.


Excellent add on for success. Correct me if I am wrong. That point extends out toward the creek channel and provides the route which is a piece of high ground for the fish to follow toward the shallows. It is a route or highway that they can follow to feed and spawn. The boat slips sitting over the top of the point gives them the much needed shade along that route which makes for a super structure to catch them around, on a consistent basis. I would expect the food source under that section to also be better than the other slips.

Thanks for sharing,
Donald


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Re: Article 10 - Marinas [Re: Donald Harper] #13543755 05/03/20 04:38 PM
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Absolutely......and it doesn’t hurt that someone kindly dropped some nice brush at the end of the top of the point right before it intersects with the creek channel. This location also gets some nice shade as the marina slips are covered with a metal roof.


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Re: Article 10 - Marinas [Re: Donald Harper] #13543864 05/03/20 06:08 PM
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I keep my boat at a marina and still have my PB when I was just fishing for crappie on a minnow. One thing to figure out is that there are a lot of crappie dudes that bring old Christmas trees and sink them to bring in crappie. In April you'll find a lot of big bass coming in or out of the spawn and feeding. Easy to spot the trees with side imaging.

Re: Article 10 - Marinas [Re: Donald Harper] #13544445 05/04/20 12:38 PM
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Good stuff. I need to work on my bait skipping skills and fish more docks.


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Re: Article 10 - Marinas [Re: Donald Harper] #13544472 05/04/20 01:09 PM
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Good info Donald

Re: Article 10 - Marinas [Re: Greg W] #13545179 05/04/20 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg W
I keep my boat at a marina and still have my PB when I was just fishing for crappie on a minnow. One thing to figure out is that there are a lot of crappie dudes that bring old Christmas trees and sink them to bring in crappie. In April you'll find a lot of big bass coming in or out of the spawn and feeding. Easy to spot the trees with side imaging.


Thanks Greg. How big was that Bass? Hope it is OK to add the brush pile concepts to the article is someone calls for it.

Donald


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Re: Article 10 - Marinas [Re: Donald Harper] #13545275 05/04/20 10:32 PM
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Donald, sure you can add it in. Bass was 7.74 and a fatty. I was lucky I had used a bass rig with 12lb test instead of a crappie rod. Windy and decided to just fish for an hour from the dock. I've only been bass fishing about 4 years. Have about 10 over 6, but only 2 over 7. Still searching for an 8 or bigger, but not easy to find. Love your articles. I've saved them all. For a newbie they are uber valuable.
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Re: Article 10 - Marinas [Re: Donald Harper] #13545316 05/04/20 11:06 PM
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WOW! What a Fat Fish. You know what; you didn't have to spend 70K for a boat and sit out in the hot sun either to catch those quality fish. That is excellent.


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Re: Article 10 - Marinas [Re: Donald Harper] #13545387 05/05/20 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Donald Harper
WOW! What a Fat Fish. You know what; you didn't have to spend 70K for a boat and sit out in the hot sun either to catch those quality fish. That is excellent.


Sad thing is I have a decent boat on a lift there and several nice rods. But I didn't have much time so just grabbed a dozen minnow and my cheap rods out of the locker to fish a few minutes and wham. Kind of embarrassing actually. But those crappie guys are serious and always dropping [censored] down under their lifts.

Re: Article 10 - Marinas [Re: Donald Harper] #13545391 05/05/20 12:25 AM
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Can I come and do this with you? I have a lawn chair and a cheap rod. Ha... banana


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20 Hot Spot Mapping - GPS Contour Chips - Custom Spinner Baits - Jigs -Spooks
Pure Extracts - Minnow-Night Crawler-Crayfish-Craylic


Re: Article 10 - Marinas [Re: Donald Harper] #13546065 05/05/20 03:27 PM
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More great, valuable info Don. Thanks for sharing.

Re: Article 10 - Marinas [Re: Donald Harper] #13658752 08/06/20 07:20 PM
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Awesome information Donald, Thanks for Sharing.

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