I already know what your thinking, warm weather and clear water! Indiana Gravel and Strip pit fishing.
Fishing these pits can be very frustrating, and sometimes almost impossible. All of us have been skunked at one time or another. I’ll provide you with what I’ve learned by fishing these areas.
First you need to learn the lay-out of a pit. Strip pits have very direct drop-offs and high vertical banks from where they blasted out the land. Most of these have been re-claimed and fish spawning areas have been added (shallow water). In these pits they just took a big scoop shovel after blasting and loaded the coal into trucks. Sometimes you can find an old roadbed where the loaded trucks came in and out of the pit.
Anything different can hold fish. Underwater structure, points, pockets in the weeds.
Gravel pits are often deep (can be shallow), and if you look around you can probably guess where the roads went down into and out of these pits. These old roadbeds are prime structure for big Indiana bass. Don’t forget that points, weed lines, pockets are also good areas. Keep these areas in mind when your fishing these pits.
To get on with the basic’s. All the pro’s will tell you to downsize your lures and use the lightest line you can get by with. That’s alright if your wanting to catch lots of small fish, but if your looking for quality fish use Muskie size lures! Sure, you won’t catch as many fish, but the ones you will catch will be quality fish instead of all the dinks.
Sound and vibrations can make a bid difference. One night bass fishing while I fished a spinnerbait for more than an hour, I got it hung up in a tree and lost the blade. Being to lazy to walk back for a new bait, I started tossing it out without the blade and the fish loved it! I never have caught a bass on a spinnerbait in that lake.
Try night fishing for bass. At night you can use floating baits such as the Rapala and have lots of success. If your catching to many small ones switch to bigger baits. At night I’ll be out prowling the banks searching for active fish. Pre-rigged worms rigged wacky style are excellent baits. I’ll also use a 6 to 12 inch Texas rigged worm with the sinker pegged to throw into tree’s, limbs, and other obvious structure. Remember to hit the old roadbeds, bass will use them as a highway when they get the urge to feed.
Basically the only two colors of lures I use at night are black or white, just what-ever the fish like the best. Crappie and pan fishing in Indiana gravel and strip pits. The crappie disperse after spawning and can be found along weed lines and downed structure. You’ve really got to be sneaky as all fish in clear waters spook very easy. Best bait to use is a bobber and minnows.
Live bait is an excellent choice of baits for all fish. Use minnows for bluegill and bass, shiners for bass, small live bluegill or goldfish for flathead catfish, and live shad, creek chubs for Muskie. Muskie are stocked in some lakes.
Night time fishing is a plus, and use big baits. No matter what it is, use big baits for Muskie!
Over-all, fishing at night can improve your odds of catching big Indiana bass, big Indiana Muskie, big Indiana walleye, big bull bluegill and slab crappie.. Just remember that fish can spook very easy in clear water! If bank fishing walk softly and keep a low profile!
That’s just my style fishing and it isn’t for everyone! I hope you enjoyed the article, and I hope you’ll catch more and bigger fish!!