Decoding Douglas Lake

If you're fishing or following the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open at Douglas Lake, Tenn., you'll want to know how they're going to catch 'em. How about finding out ahead of time? Well, with you can. Let's take a look at what it tells us has worked on Douglas this time of year.

First, Douglas is an upland reservoir which is great starting point. Upland reservoirs are characterized by clearer water, steep banks and rocky bottoms, but more importantly are excellent pattern lakes. In other words, if you can figure out how to catch bass in one place, you should be able to find similar sports and catch them the same way.

Where to Catch 'Em

BassGold doesn't have a ton of data for Douglas in March/April, but there's enough to show that shoreline patterns are most effective, though wins have also happened on main lake points, main lake offshore structure and upriver. High finishes have also happened upriver and in coves and pockets.

Habitat Factors show that rock and wood are important, with rock factoring in more wins.

Best Baits

As you would expect on upland reservoirs this time of year – especially in Tennessee, one of the cranking capitals of the world – crankbaits factor big in wins and high finishes. But jigs are involved in more (25 percent) winning patterns.

Soft plastics – worm/Senko, tube/grub/craw, lizard/creature – account for most of the rest. Not a lot of variety, but again not surprising given the time of year and water type.

Confirming the Pattern

BassGold has 11 patterns for Douglas this time of year, just a hair short of the dozen or so minimum we'd like to have for a solid pattern report. But because BassGold classifies every water body by water type, this allows us to search that way as well – in this case, patterns for all upland reservoirs in Tennessee in March/April.

That pattern report shows about the same data. Shoreline dominates and main lake points factor second-most in wins (along with backs of creeks), though main lake pockets are big in high finishes.

Rock and wood dominate, with rock again accounting for more wins, and crankbaits and jigs account for most wins, though spinnerbaits pop up big for non-winning high finishes.

Teens Needed

Weight wise it looks like you’d need in the low- to mid-teens per day to win – about a 2 1/2- to 3-pound fish average. Interestingly, that holds true whether you're talking about Douglas or all Tennessee upland reservoirs – yet more proof that waters of the same type fish remarkably the same.

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