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Made it out to Chatfield today about 5:00 a.m. and left around 11:00 a.m..  Marked a ton of fish in the deeper water, but try as I might I was unable to hook into any of them. I cranked, drifted, and bottom jigged with the usual hardware... nada. 

I decided to try the shallow end of the lake, south of the swim beach, and started tossing a top water lure while "walking the dog" with the zara puppy, thinking for certain smallies would ambush the top water lure from within the submerged bushes and timber, but  struck out again.

I decided to toss crawlers and leeches along the weedline on jigheads, but I spent most of my time trying unsnag my jig on just about every other cast.  I switched over to a water filled clear bubble and two foot leader with a leech, as I drifted the nearly water neutral rig along the bush line just south of the submerged log in the photo, when a smallie took it. I worked the same bank a little further out in about five feet of water over the next hour and a half, and landed another two smallies when I decided to move back into the deeper water and main lake before leaving for the morning.

I think I had more fun sitting on the water and watching the hot air ballons launching off this morning, than I did fisihing, but hey it was a beautiful morning.  Here's a pick of the largest of the small dinks andand pic of balloons launching:

  <img src="http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y12/advancedangling/LittleSmallmouth.jpg" alt="Image hosted by Photobucket.com">  <img src="http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y12/advancedangling/ChatfieldBalloons.jpg" alt="Image hosted by Photobucket.com">
 
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At least you got out...

I wish I was out wettin' some lines...


CROSSING MY FINGERS FOR NEXT WEEKEND!
 

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There are

Smallmouth bass
Walleye
Rainbow trout
Brown Trout
Crappie
Perch
Carp
Channel Catfish
Bluegill

Possibly some hold over Tiger Muskie from stockings several years ago

Its actually a pretty diversified fishery when looking at the number of species.

This time of year is when you can expect bass action to be pretty good. You have to go through a lot to get to the decent sized ones. The best places I have found are along the dam and in the wakeless area along the flooded brush.

Leeches fished on a jig, rattle-traps or under a slip bobber 3-4 feet deep usually works. Also consider crawdad imitiations, is in a lure or a soft plastic like "yum" makes
a good way to fish the yum variety is putting a jig into the hollow body and slwly bouncing it across the bottom or drifting it on the bottom from a boat. Increase your chance of hooking a larger smallie by using a larger size. You will get lots of bites by the smaller fish but will have fewer hook-ups of smaller fish. YUM type imitiations are very durable and take tons of abuse.

Walleye are tending to be deeper and harder to find this time of year. They also have been hitting on leeches. Occasionally you can find one along the dam or in shallow water but that is usually during the night or just before or after a good storm. You can also sometimes get walleye this time of year on a brightly colored crawler harness trolled on lead core or with a bottom bouncer.

If trying from the shore for walleye use a stout rod that you can put a heavy weight on for a long cast. For more flexible rods you can reach the channel from the bank just west of where the Get-Together will be held.

Perch and crappie I have caught too infrequently to have any idea what to use.

Carp, use crawlers and corn (lets not get the corn debate going again!:) )

Cats, stink baits and crawlers, some people swear by crawdad tails. Catfish seem better in the early am or from dusk on.

Trout in the deep holes using Crawlers, Ask CowboyFisherman how he does it.

Bluegill, if you find a school of them, small hooks sz 12 or 14, just covered with night crawler or worm or a maggot. use a slip bobber, down about 18 inches. Can also be caught on tiny flies either on a fly rod or using a bubble.

I am going to try to fish Chatfield on Tues and Thu, will report any success I have.



Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cojenes,

Don't give up brother... Chatfield gets a lot of pressure, and it takes many hours and work to get the feel of how to fish it, but if you stick with it you will catch fish.

Dan's laid out many good pointers and knows this lake well. Hang in there as there are plenty of fish to be caught!
 

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I FISHED CHATFIELD LAST NIGHT FROM 6PM - 10PM AND HAD NO LUCK!!! WE FISHED SHALLOW AND DEEP WITH EVERYTHING WE HAD AND NO LUCK. PUT A FISH LIGHT OUT ON THE WATER AND BROUGHT ALL THE LITTLTE RAINBOWS OUT BUT NOTHING WOULD BITE. GOING OUT AGAIN TONIGHT SO WE WILL SEE.
 

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I Worked it last nite from about 8p-10p. I waited for the thunder, lightning and rain to pass. I fished the old reliable bridge area. All I did was find a snag that I did not know was in that area before.

Big Worm may be on the right track down in the wakeless area, lots of structure there, deep holes and shallows.

I am going to try tomorrow during the am or afternoon. I can't stay too late because the wife returns from Alabama tmorrow night and I have to clean the house before she gets home!

Dan

Has anyone had any success around Plum Creek for Catfish? This time of year its usually pretty good at night there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Dan,

I as thinking of you when the rain started to fly yesterday. My 12 year old started begging me to take her to the lake when I arrived from work at 4:00 p.m. and I piddled while doing chores for a bit, and before I knew it the clouds and rain moved in. I thought Dan is probably out there right now?!

I wanted to get out this evening as well, and it started to rain as soon as I got home, struck out again. Maybe tomorrow.

Man, I know the fish are stacked at Chatfield and it's a matter of patiently working them with the right setup.

I love Chatfield. Everytime I hit it, I consider it a personal challenge, me against the lake, and If I can help it I work it hard... as I think to myself, nope I'm taking home the skunk today.

It's a matter of patience and time before someone gets back into some good Chatflied fishing.

Pete
 

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This is a tough time to fish Chatfield. There are tons of forage fish in that lake right now. It is a challenge to figure out how to get a fish to pick my offering over the million or so other meals right in front of its face.

When you do hook up right now you have certainly earned it. The key I think right now is not sticking with the old reliable means of catching fish. Its a good time to try out new techniques and lures, give them something different to look at for a while.

I will be out for a while during the day tomorrow, the no-wake zone will be my target and possibly the plum creek area. I don't fish those areas often enough.

It also stands to reason that a person ought to be able to do ok for Bluegills along the flooded brush, and where there are 'gills there should be bass.

I will have to test that theory out tomorrow.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I completly agree Dan, different is what's required.

If I can get out tonight, I'm gong to rig-up with a three way swivel 2-3 feet of light line on the bottom with a two ounce sinker and off the swivel a two foot leader with a floater rapala minnow. Going to try a slow troll, fast troll, and then stop, rip suspend wait method to see if I can coax those minnow gorging buggers to bite. Sooner or later you know...
 

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May give that a try. I made it out yesterday evening for about 3 hours, armed wrestled with the skunk and took a beating... not so much as a nibble.

May get out early Saturday morning for round two. It's going to be a cool weekend perfect for fishing. See ya'all at the get together on Sunday if you can make it.

Pete
 

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I caught the big old skunk yesterday also. 6 hours without a bite. Saw lots of fish busting schools of minnows. Saw millions of 2-3 inch minnows. I think the odds are not in our favor, 1 lure lost in a million minnows.

The weather was nice and the best part of the day was the rangers! I saw them no less than 6 times turn on the lights and siren on the boat and bust people speeding, generating a wake in the no-wake zone and people who were passing too close to other boats!

I wish they would be out doing that everyday.

Dan
 

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We were at Chatfield early (8 AM) last Saturday (the 6th), but didn't get a thing. We were fishing again in the trout area, below the Beach. There were plenty of fish showing up on our sonar, but only got a couple of bites. We were using Crawlers again, but changed over to Power Bait on two of our rods, and got a nice bite, but lost it. After 3 hours of basically nothing, we decided to head for home.
By the way, we also heard the Ranger's boat siren go off a couple of times and saw them head for a boat once. It looked to us like people were just going to fast in the No Wake area where we were. It also appeared that someone wasn't wearing a life vest while riding a Wave Runner.
By the way, we have used Crawlers (nice ones from Wal Mart) on a single hook with two split shot about 2 foot up from the hook, to catch the nice Brown and Rainbow trout we have got. We have been catching them in the deeper water (25 to 30 feet) below the Beach area.
Cody (cowboy)
 
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