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huskminn

Finding bottom transitions

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huskminn

Does anyone know if there is a general rule on where URL transitions from sand to soft bottom? A few years ago I stumbled into a spot somewhere from 4-6 miles out where the sand transitioned into a muck bottom. I consistently caught crappies there for several years. But, my GPS took a major dump and I've lost all my coordinates.

I know the general four square mile area, but I could spend an entire weekend looking and never find the transition again.

Thoughts or theories on this? I'm headed up next weekend.

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mudman

big a 5 gallon gas tank for your auger and a camera!

just go to town!!!

The work is always worth the reward!

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fishermatt

Should be simple enough. drive out to 4 miles, drill a hole, then take a really long ice scoop and scoop up some of the bottom and look at it. if it's sand, drive out to 4.1 miles and repeat until bottom looks more like mud than sand, then start fishing.

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huskminn

Huh....really?

I appreciate your insightful comments.

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PikeTipper

I've heard comments many times about hard to soft bottom transition areas. How do you tell if you are on a sand or mud bottom?

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Twitter

An old Indian trick.....use a tape measure.....it's the Kelly P. method. grin.gif

Otherwise, a vex will show bottom composition to a certain extent if you know what your looking for.

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huskminn

Piketipper,

You can use a Vex or other fish finder to determine bottom composition, however, I have often found it difficult to do this on URL. I don't know if it's the shallow water and the fact that I don't have the S-cable or what, but I've got to rely on other methods.

I'll pop a hole, clear a bit of ice and use a big depthbomb on a lighter rod--just let it free fall to the bottom. If it takes a heck of a steady pull to get it off (out of) the bottom, it's muck. If not, it's probably sand.

I don't have a camera and URL is dirty enough that it wouldn't do one a whole lot of good anyway--especially at night which is when I tend to move around a lot.

I just thought someone out there might know if these transition areas are just random, if they tend to start at a certain depth, etc, etc.

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PikeTipper

Thanks for the tip, did it go from muck to sand (closer to shore going out) or sand to muck? I'm heading up in a few weeks so if I find it I'll let you know.

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Stan7600

The tape measure really works! Thanks to Kelly P. for sharing that a while back on the forum. Stan C.

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fishermatt

The ice scoop trick would work on a lake like Red because it's no deeper than 14 feet. You're looking for a way, that's one way. If I see weeds on my Vexilar, I drop a big treble hook down there to hook some and find out what kind they are. If you can find the mud, there's bound to be larvae of some kind in there that the crappies would eat.

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huskminn

A 14' ice scoop? That sounds handy.

Actually, I wasn't looking for a way to determine bottom content--I've already got a way. I was looking for a general discussion on how/where people think the change in bottom content occurs.

Perhaps my initial post was too complex.

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huskminn

Piketipper,

The spot I found several years ago went from sand/gravel to mud and I found it generally traveling in a NE to SW direction, purely by accident. Never had any idea if I was on a general transition "line" or if it was just a random island of muck in the sand or vice-versa.

I returned to that exact spot a number of times and found fish consistently. One year I couldn't get to it because of a pressure ridge.

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bassman222

Using you Vex or Marcum etc. turn you range up to 40'(for URL) and adjust your gain so it barley reads the bottom and slowly turn it up until you get a "double echo"-which is when the bottom shows up at twice the depth that you are at. A very distinct, thick double echo usually means that it is a hard bottom, and more suble, thinner double echo usually indicates a softer bottom.

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united jigsticker

With a Vex, you shouldn't get a double echo in muck bottom areas. You will actually get a thin single echo. [At least in my experience]

On URL, my theory is since the population is so large, and the fish are so scattered, you will always be within 50 yards of Crappies providing you're in the right general depth.

So, draw them in.

Chumming is illegal.

Using artificial light is illegal.

But bouncing weight off the bottom, stirring up muck or gravel, creating noise and silt in the water by means of natural existing habitat, isn't illegal...And the fish will draw to the noise or cloud of crap to see whats going on... cool.gif

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kelly-p

The "mud line" extends all the way around the lake. Sand/gravel towards the shore, mud/silt towards the middle of the lake. It has some interesting features.

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