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Just curious what lake you guys fish each year that represents the most daunting challenge? This should be fun, so include maps if possible. Mine is in Virginia, so i don't worry about it being overrun, LOL.

My family lives in Raleigh NC and has a lake house on Smith Mountain Resevoir. It is located in the Smokey Mountains and is actually in Virginia. It was formed by damming the Roanoke and Blackfoot rivers. It is 20,000 acres and 500 square miles of shoreline. It is clearest warm water lake I have ever been to! With tons rocky structure, boat docks, deep water, coves, islands, etc. Gps has helped, but it usually takes about three of my ten days each summer to get a basic understanding of where the #### I am! It is a maze and there is current everywhere. If you have ever been to Cumberland Lake, it kind of resembles it.

The DOW stocks half a million Striper fingerlings every year. The state record was caught below the dam and weighed 53 lbs. In 2003 some weird kind of parasite showed up and killed half the striper population, especially big fish :mad: It is on the rebound right now and has two huge year classes! One is 4-8 lbs and the other is 10-12 lbs. The forage base is Alewifes and to a smaller extent Gizzard Shad. I was totally lost the first two years I went and resorted to fishing for White bass and Largemouths. Last summer my brother In-law used a little of the knowledge he gained by hiring a gude and we caught 40 stripers in 7 days between 6-12 lbs. Not great success, but we did find them in several locations. The schools follow huge schools of bait and are never in the same creek arm it seems two days in a row. The most reliable pattern is downling live Alewifes on circle hooks down by the dam. THe more generators that are running the better the fishing, but the harder it is to control your boat in the current! It is definately more relaxing to find them in the creek arms, (but much harder)!! It also has great catfishing and alot of nice smallies! They used to stock walleye in the 80s, but now there is just a small natural population that exists (but they are big).

Here is a map of the lake that really doesn't do it justice as to how hard it is fish! http://www.smlec.com/sml/

The bouy #s are a huge help and GPS is a must! My sisters house is at Bouy R25 and it takes about a half hour to get to the dam from there. We found a big school in a 60 foot hole off the dock of a probably million dollar home at R27, in the very back of that arm.

It will be interesting to see what you guys all come up with!
 
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I don't think the puddles in Colorado compare in complexity to bodies of water elsewhere. For one thing, the sheer size of our lakes just doesn't compare,, therefore less area to break down and determine fish holding potential.

I think the toughest lake 9for me) to fish is Cherry Creek. Talk about a finicky lake, plenty of big fish which MUST consume calories regularly for survival, yet very difficult to be consistently successful on. CC has plenty of easy to find structure, but just doesn't turn out the fish like other lakes.
 

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Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota... It's 20 miles by 20 miles of dishpan...not much structure and lots of weeds. Lots of fish too but man is it big and intimidating. I haven't fished it for nearly 20 years though so maybe I could nail it now that I'm older and wiser.
 

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In colorado...mine was North Delaney in the summertime when it was still populated with all browns.  sometimes you would fish it for days and not see any signs of life whatsoever...and other times (well rarely) it was hard to keep the fish off your hook.  I used to go up there and fish at night a lot, and it would get rather discouraging when you knew fish were around, but would not cooperate at all...even to the point of rising at least once or twice to let you know they were still a few in there alive...not to mention during the weeknights in june and july sometimes you are the only person out there...which makes it seem even more desolate when you arent catching anything.

Union is pretty bad also...i cant figure that one out as far as predicting the fish.  the closest i can get is maybe pinpointing the month it might be ok fishing....

Theres a small few lakes in north carolina that stumped me also...they seemed "dead" most of the time, but if you got lucky it would give you some nice fish.  i caught what i thought was a "decent" sized pickerel in one of these one evening, and showed it too my buddy that was fishing with me before i released it.  it was about 9 or 10 lbs i guessed.  I later found out the state record for pickeral in N.C. was 8 lbs.    oh well, i would have let it go regardless.

i like to think so anyways   ;)
 

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I have been fishing Chatfield lately and it's been kicking my a$$. I've had 1 strike and no fish landed in almost 8 hours of fishing. It's been frustrating.
 

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Bull Shoals, AR. You have to learn to fish deep and you have to learn finesse. You have to fish light line. But its a great lake once you learn a section-which is the key 'cause its 45,000 ac. and run and gun just doesn't work well here. Spent two months here fall of '04-getting my PHD in smallies.
 
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Flaming Gorge for big smallmouth. 

The little bass are everywhere.  The bigger bass (2 lbs and up) are there, but I haven't figured out how to find and catch them consistently.  I stumbled upon a late Fall pattern a couple years ago that I think will work year after year, but I haven't figured them out the rest of the year.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The first time I went to the Gorge I was totally intimidated!!! Lake of the Ozarks was a good test also!
 

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Gotta second Farmer Ted on Mille Lacs, MN -- either that or Lake Minnetonka. Had a house on the shore of Minnetonka for about 8 yr. and it took me my first 2 yr. of skunks and near-skunks to learn that lake and catch fish reliably. Just too much water and you don't know where to start.
 

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Ft. Peck Montana I have been going there the last two years and still don't know where to start. There are some hog Lakers, Eyes, Pike, Ling, and Cats. but the acess is very limited to the lake with 1200miles of shore line. GPS a must for this trip. tons of coves and every thing looks the same talk about bad lands
 

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Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. Large body of water and alot of changing conditions. I did learn a good crappie trick that has worked all over the world.
 

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South Delaney.
Believe it or not i've done better at North which should be the hit and miss lake of the three.
For some reason I can't get it dialed in and when I do catch fish, they are a whopping 8 inches.
It's humbling to say the least especially when your buddy fishing next to you is killing them on the same flies you are using.
 

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They all seem complicated to me (blonde I guess) at one time or another. Even a bowl like Lone Tree gets complicated when there is lots of bait in cold water. Sometimes having a lake with a variety of fish makes it less complicated. I fish on such a lake in Michigan, if its too early in the season for walleye you can fish for trout, or salmon. If the trout and salmon are not cooperating you can fish for perch or bass, or pike, or sturgeon, or whitefish, or smelt... and if none of that is happening, well, that just doesn't happen often.
 

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Without a doubt, Cherry Creek. I have caught a lot of nice fish (walleye, wiper, crappie, catfish) there but I've also been skunked there more than any other lake. The huge shad population plays a big part in that. What incentive do the fish have to take a lure when they have millions of shad around them at all times?

I better figure it out, I'm fishing the CWA tournament there on May 7th.
 
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