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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know where to get a map of Salem Lake? I want to start fishing it more but don't want to waste much time hunting for the good spots.

Also, anyone have any OK spots to try on Salem Lake? Just looking for OK spots, don't need your great spots :D !!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well today is Saturday, July 23, 2005


First time going out on Salem Lake. It was just look-for-a-good-spot kind of morning. The sun came up and because the temps have been really hot lately I wanted to go up against the East shore to take advantage of the most shadows the trees could provide. So I went straight across from the dock and anchored.

Using a glow red trick worm (I think.......still new to plastic worm fishing) I was fishing up against the shore and twitching it back to the boat. After about 20 minutes of feeling my way thru the underwater trees I had a bite........a HARD bite. I set the hook and I knew right away it was going to be a good fish. Fishing smaller ponds around my house I can set the hook and sometimes get the bass to just pull out of the water and not fight much. This fish instead ran to the right and sent my drag buzzing. I pulled back and reeled down a few times and then he pulled back down. It was a lot deeper than what I was used to, probably 30 feet. He kept diving after I'd get him up a few feet. Got him close to the boat and then he dove back down, under the boat. I just tried to keep the rod tip up, following the instructions of my Dad from years ago but the bass kept that tip down. I had an anchor line out and kept him away from that but he went aound the back of the boat toward the even deeper water.

Now I've been fishing almost my entire life and the only thing that can compare to this fish was carp that happened to suck up a worm off the bottom of the Fox River or the marsh of Tichigan Lake up in Racine WI. But this fish was tougher.

So he gets on the back side of the boat, still never seen him. He runs down under the boat, drag still zinging, not once but 2 times. I am thinking "Maybe I got a carp on" but of course it's a rubber worm and I start thinking and then say to my Brother-in-law, Scotty, "This is going to be a picture bass."

Still underwater he goes around the back of the boat towards shore again. I can feel him pulling hard but he's getting weak. I want him away from the anchor line so I force him back to the back of the boat and he goes around easy but still havent seen him until I get him back out to the deeper water away from shore. He just layed there for a second, resting. I pulled him in to the boat and he went back down underwater but not for long. I had him! I got him close to the boat, so green, so big. I saw that blaze red worm on the side of him and thought of all those TV shows I saw growing up and thinking wow, I got a bass like the pros. I didn't have a net so I got him close again and knew that he was still strong but I was close to getting my picture.

He was just sitting there, head out of the water. Scotty asked if he should get it. I just reeled in the slack and held the rod in one hand, just like the guys on the shows.

Well maybe the hook wasn't hooked on strong enough. He shook his head and the worm went flying up in the air. In that moment I thought about kneeling fast and trying to scoop him out of the water, he was spent. But I just watched him sink down into the murky water........out of sight.

Did I curse? Did I throw my rod down? Did I want to jump in to get my fish? Nope. I just smiled. As I sit here I am getting teary eyed just thinking of it. It was only about 12 hours ago yet I know it will never leave me; the feeling of that powerful fish pulling so hard it was magical. I was shaking after the fight. All I did was change hooks, just in case there was something wrong with it (it was not new and was bent a little from pulling out of snags but not bad).

The rest of the day I caught just one more fish, about a 12 inch largemouth bass. Did I just throw him back? No, I looked at him, admired him, and like Jimmy Houston does, kissed him and then let him go to grow and become like the fish of my life (SO FAR!!).
 

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Hey Brian. Welcome to the site. Great story and thanks for sharing it. Wish we could see the picture of that monster! ;) Wish I could help you out with a map of Salem Lake but I've not fished it before. Maybe one of the other folks on the site can contribute here. As you've probably seen I just started the site in January so if we don't have the information yet, we'll have it eventually.
 

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You may be able to find a shoreline map of Salem Lake. Do not know of a topo map though. I used to fish the lake some years ago when they allowed boats with gas motors and for a city lake there is some excellent fishing. I remember the main section averages around 15' deep. The creek channel is around 25 close to the dam. There are some deeper water spots that hold nice bass but locating them can be tough without depth finder. A trick I use to use to check depth with a very limited budget was this. Tie a large weight (1 1/2 to 3 oz ) directly to the end of your line. With a couple of different colored permenant markers mark your line at 5' intervals. Drop it in slowly and read your depth. With a sensistive rod you can eventually read bottom type such rock, logs, mud, or clay. You will learn the feel of the bottom types with experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your reply James.

Salem Lake does indeed allow gas motors, although they need to be under 50HP.

I think it's going to be a lot of trial and error for finding great spots. I talked to a gentleman out there one day and he gave me some good places. I hope my wife will understand 'a lot'!!!
 
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