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how deep will the fish move during cold fronts or thunderstorms on a highland reservoir? the thermocline at 30 feet is not there now. the water is saturated to at least 60 feet with temps relative to the surface temp. about 53-56 degrees. also , what depth is gauged as to deep to safely catch and release bass?
matt
 

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knapperhead said:
how deep will the fish move during cold fronts or thunderstorms on a highland reservoir? the thermocline at 30 feet is not there now. the water is saturated to at least 60 feet with temps relative to the surface temp. about 53-56 degrees. also , what depth is gauged as to deep to safely catch and release bass?
matt
those are some very good questions.

I dont know specifically about highland reservoirs but i have caught largemouth out of water 40 foot deep.

As far as being able to safely catch and release... I have heard about anglers deflating fish that were caught in the depths you mention and releasing them safely. Then again, just because a fish swims away from the boat doesnt necessarily mean he was safe and he lived. However I still think if you landed the fish as fast as possible and then deflated the bladder properly, it should be ok to fight another day. I would think in colder months this would stand more true than in warmer months.
 

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Aaron Martens claimed that he has caught LMB in over 100 feet of water on a drop shot. I almost believe him. My deepest fish was a spot caught out of 60 ft. on the bottom with a shaky head rig. I did not have to bleed the bladder on him, he wasa feisty when I let him go.`
 

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100 feet is certainly believable. It's not at all unusual in Western super clear lakes. We have divers inspect the dam and they use cameras where the depth is too great for scuba diving. They've taken videos of LMBs at least down to 130' at the intake to the powerhouse, and they are monsters. Nobody catches those that anyone knows about. We believe there are at least a dozen new state records there. They've found 60# plus stripers there too.

Catching one from more than about 40 feet down is likely to cause the air bladder to inflate. The best tactic is to use a weighted line run through the lower lip, releasing them back at the depth caught. You need twice as much line as that depth. When it reaches the target release the end of the line opposite the sinker (1/4# weight) and reel the weighted end up. You should feel the bass get very active when it gets back home.

During passage of a cold front or storm they normally only drop a few feet, not swimming way out to deep water.

Jim
 

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2 winters ago (very end of November with snow on the ground and all) Sleded and I fished a reservoir that reaches 80 feet. It's a flooded forest valley. For the first 5 hours of fishing, I refused to go deeper than 20 feet, I thought largemouth deeper than that was unheard of. Finally we sat over 50 feet of water and I marked some fish sitting at 35 feet. I told Sleded to drop his jig & pig just for the hell of it. 2 minutes later he was into a pig. I dropped a jigging spoon and nailed several others. Throughout the day we moved from 50 - 70 feet and caught bass down to 60 feet.

It was a learning experience for me that day for sure.
 

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Wow Jim, those sound like some really BIG Bass down that far, what a fight that would be if you hooked one for sure!
 

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I have personally caught bass down to 80' and that is stretching my comfort level. I have heard of guys taken them out of 100' typically with spoons, underspins, blades and 1oz jigs. As for safety of bass, you need to play them up really slow or they will die period. If you are pulling them out of 35+ and dint release them right away you should at least deflate them. But IMHO anything taken past 60' probably ain't gonna make it even if they are alive at the weigh in.
 

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50-75' is not uncommon around the Table Rock Lake however, we fizz our deep fish which I consider anything over 35-40'. If you do not know how to fizz PLEASE have someone who knows how demonstrate the procedure BEFORE you attempt to do so yourself!

There are two basic methods used, one through the side of the fish and one through the mouth. It depends upon who you talk to and their opinions as to which is best. I use a large needle through the mouth and have not had any issues. I also assist with a catch and release boat on one circuit and it never fails to amaze me how many "floaters" we have to fizz before we can release them during some tournaments.
 

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So how do you fizz one through the mouth. I catch allot of Spots in 40-50 ft of water and they always are floaters. They usually don't make it and end up on my dinner table but sometimes I want to release them and have not been to keen on poking a hole in their side thinking that if I miss they will surely not make it.
 

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SCSkeeterBo said:
So how do you fizz one through the mouth. I catch allot of Spots in 40-50 ft of water and they always are floaters. They usually don't make it and end up on my dinner table but sometimes I want to release them and have not been to keen on poking a hole in their side thinking that if I miss they will surely not make it.
I'll forward a couple articles on fizzing however, as I said it's important to have an experienced demonstration. I'm sure if you're fishing waters that deep there is someone around who can show you. Through the mouth is faster and easier for me however just as in going through the side needle placement is very important.

By fizzing you can and will save the floaters, that is unless you're just fishing for dinner.
 

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I'm on the road right now guys working with my "work" laptop. I'll be back this weekend and will post the info.
 

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