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      Fishing “tea” stained lakes???     
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Dupper
member (11)member
 
01/14/2020 12:15PM
Our group is planning our trip for this year and I read that one area we are considering (Gabbro Lake) has stained water. We were on Agnes a few years ago and had no luck in its stained water. Could’ve been our lack of experience, the weather, or possible not knowing how to fish the stained water. I am wondering if any of you have any insight into fishing lakes with stained water or do you fish them any differently at all. Any info is much appreciated!!!
 
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jdoutdoors
distinguished member (108)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/14/2020 12:57PM
It could have been any number of things that led to you not catching fish. Sometimes they are just "off". I got skunked on a 4 day May trip last year, and only caught 1 fish in 6 days in Sept '18. Compare that to my June trip last year where I caught maybe 20 fish in 8 days, and we only went out fishing 3 times, the rest of the time casting from shore. I had more success shore fishing, funny enough.

In clear water, standard practice is to use natural color baits, like green pumpkin and any variations of it. You can add a little blue flake, black flake, red flake, etc, but the main bait should be brown-green-ish. Additionally, use "ghosty" colors where the actual bait is transparent, as it makes it harder for fish to understand what they are seeing (as opposed to solid colors which make a very clear outline and can look unnatural). You can still throw flashy baits like red, chartreuse, white, if only to get some attention or to try something new, but if the fish seem tight-lipped, a good rule of thumb is to downsize your lures and use natural colors.

In stained water or water with poor visibility, you can throw flashier baits to get their attention, since they can't see as well. Solid colors are also better since again they can't see as well.

Try slowing down your retrieve. Also, if you're not catching anything on rattling baits, try a silent bait with the same color and shape.

For stained water, I'd probably throw some white/chartreuse double bladed spinnerbaits, some firetiger-ish lipless cranks (there's a great Rattlin Rap that has been a producer for me that has a green top and bright orange belly but is not a classic firetiger), small red squarebills, and white/ghost/silver flukes/ShadZ. Any trolling lures should be somewhat flashy since you are probably going to be getting them down 15-40ft (depending on the lake and the target species) and there's less light as well. But don't be afraid to use a ghosty color; it makes it harder for the fish to tell what it is, and they may eat it because it looks "real enough" based on the profile.

I hope this helps!
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13254)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
01/14/2020 01:51PM
You will want a color like Firetiger, or some flash with gold or silver on a spinner. Also try a lure with a rattle in it. They will hone in on the sound of the rattle or the vibration of the spinner blade, then see your lure if it’s flashy. Remember, they can’t eat what they can’t see.
 
QueticoMike
distinguished member(5132)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/14/2020 05:48PM
What fish species are you fishing for?

Spinner baits and rattle lures will help with vibrations and noise to help attract fish in stained water.

If the water is lightly stained go with red, orange and my favorite, chartreuse.
If the water is really stained you need to go with really dark colors, try black and brown colored lures.
 
Dupper
member (11)member
 
01/14/2020 06:10PM
Thanks for the info! We are primarily fishing for smallmouth but we want to catch walleye too.
 
QueticoMike
distinguished member(5132)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/15/2020 07:39AM
Check out these articles on Google for stained lake walleyes, some good articles listed.....

Stained Water Walleyes
 
AmarilloJim
distinguished member(2162)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/15/2020 08:20AM
You can generally fish shallower in stained waters.
 
Dupper
member (11)member
 
01/15/2020 09:43AM
Sure will! Thank you very much!
 
Dupper
member (11)member
 
01/15/2020 11:30AM
I will! Thank you!
 
Dupper
member (11)member
 
01/15/2020 11:31AM
Thanks for the info! We usually fish with watermelon or pumpkin plastics primarily. I’ll definitely be hitting up the bait store before our trip. Thanks again!
 
lundojam
distinguished member(2504)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/15/2020 08:38PM
I prefer stained water; generally fish are less spooky. Shallower, too. Do not overlook weeds in that area.
 
marsonite
distinguished member(2296)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/16/2020 07:49AM
lundojam: "I prefer stained water; generally fish are less spooky. Shallower, too. Do not overlook weeds in that area."


+1. And "shallow" can mean really shallow, like less than 3' of water. I've caught em a number of times that shallow on dark stained lakes.
 
Frankie_Paull
distinguished member (249)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/16/2020 11:48PM
It really depends on what time of the year you are going but if I were I’d go on the Minnesota lakefinder and study the topo maps they have provided. I would look at it as just a large flowage of water start with pinch points of land which create current and begin the search at drops in relation to those. From there on let the conditions and fish dictate what to do.
 
nofish
distinguished member(2739)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/20/2020 10:54AM
I like fishing stained lakes but you do have to approach them a little differently.

Besides the colors selection that has been mentioned you need to pay attention to light penetration and water temp.

Stained lakes being darker do not allow the same level of light penetration from the sun so it will alter the depth at which vegetation grows so if you are looking for a weed line look shallower. The darker water will also make the bite a bit more sustainable even during mid day. Walleyes tend to not be so limited to feeding only during the traditional evening prime time.

The dark water also allows the lakes to heat up quicker in the sprint so you need to take that into account when looking for fish. They'll be in different spots that in a clear lake that still has colder water temps.

BTW another good color option I like in stained lakes is gold or a hammered gold spinner. Seems to flash very well in that stained water and it mimics the goldish color that fish take on in that color water.
 
olsonm37
member (31)member
 
01/20/2020 09:38PM
Fished Agnes for the first time last May and basically got skunked on day 1 & 2. We caught a really nice crappie on a pink jig and leech an a 36" pike trolling a white ripping rap across the middle of the lake, probably 8ft down.

Was very discouraged as we thought we would hammer the walleyes. Day 3 felt like we were on a different lake.

Each morning we tossed out pink and chartreuse jigs with leeches and a bobber, but day 1 and 2 didn't catch anything. Right away day 3 we caught another 15"+ crappie, followed by two walleye. After breakfast went out and just smoked the walleye and smallies (were not fishing for them, but they were biting).

Moral of the story, definitely want to use "bright" colors that can be seen. But be patient, sometimes fish are on, sometimes they are not
 
overthehill
distinguished member(4425)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/21/2020 12:09PM
My limited experience is mostly in late Spring. I like gold,orange and copper in stained water.
 
Basspro69
distinguished member(13825)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
01/22/2020 10:00PM
Savage Voyageur: "You will want a color like Firetiger, or some flash with gold or silver on a spinner. Also try a lure with a rattle in it. They will hone in on the sound of the rattle or the vibration of the spinner blade, then see your lure if it’s flashy. Remember, they can’t eat what they can’t see. " +1and also chartreuse
 
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