Fishing small lakes for hybrids/wipers
Over the last 20 years Hybrids/Wipers have become a popular fish to stock in many small lakes accross the midwest and the south. These fish provide a means to control the shad population and offer an awsome sport fishing opportunity. The hybrid bass pound for pound is the hardest fighting fresh water fish.
You may have seen posts on our Facebook page or you tube videos showing how well our spoons work for catching these fish so you go out and purchase some to use on the small lake in yoiur area and then struggle catching fish. In this article I will discuss why this may be and different techniques you can employ to catch these fish.
On deep reservoirs spoons can be used year around to catch hybrids and you really only need two types of lures to be successfull, the spoons and some type of topwater lure for when they are busting the surface. It's a different story on small lakes.
The reason for this is on your clear deep reservoirs there is usually oxygen below the thermalcline but in smaller lakes there will be almost zero oxygen below the thermocline. Hybrids prefer cooler water temperatures but they can tolerate warmer water and they are forced to in these small lakes because they need oxygen and also the bait fish will be above the thermocline.
Spoons can be used in these lakes but they are the best choice when there is no thermocline. (After lake turnover in the fall through usually around June when the thermocline sets in). When the thermocline sets in it's good to have a rod with a spoon on it available but your likely going to have better results using other lures.
When the thermocline sets in these fish will be roaming the lake above the thermocline looking for shad. You can find them almost anywhere and these locations will change day to day. Side imagin is almost a must to locate these fish. They will usually travel in schools and they usually don't stay in one place very long.
The first thing you need to do is determine the depth that these fish are roaming at. You should only have to do this one time as the depth usually holds true throught they year when the therocline is present. In our lake the fish are always between 10 and 12 feet. Our thermocline is at 17 ft. Below is a side imaging picture of a school of hybrids.