Lathem Lately?

Coenen

Senior Member
They're up and down too quick in that lake to really chase the schoolers. I gave up on it after a trip or two. It's tough to call them back up, too! Once they're done, it's usually all over until the next spot they pop up.

C&R is all well and good, but there needs to be some harvest to keep things humming along. Culling them out in these smaller impoundments helps. Bass and Crappie are efficient predators, and prolific breeders, they can overrun a small lake, outstrip the food supply and get stunted in just a few years. That probably goes double with the spotted bass in there. I don't know about the weekdays, but I don't think I've seen too many meat hunters on the weekends. Pressure can make them tougher for sure, but they'll still be out there.

How hard does Cherokee County work to manage the lake? Does anyone know?
 

jocko755

Senior Member
Seems like they are very active in managing the lake, just considering the feed stations. I agree in some harvest of the smaller bass - particularly spots.

I like to catch BIG bass. They don't grow any bigger when they are on a stringer and dinner plate! Just wish guys would give them a chance to grow and be caught again and again.
 

Coenen

Senior Member
Seems like they are very active in managing the lake, just considering the feed stations. I agree in some harvest of the smaller bass - particularly spots.

I like to catch BIG bass. They don't grow any bigger when they are on a stringer and dinner plate! Just wish guys would give them a chance to grow and be caught again and again.
Agreed. I haven't kept a bass to eat in ages. I'm not sure I'd be inclined to keep anything more than 16" or so if I thought that fish could be released in good condition. With the numbers and quality of fish I've caught up there, I don't see over harvest being an issue, not right now at least.

One management tool that's always interested me has been slot limits. To me, they make good sense in managing a lake for big fish. I think it'd be interesting to see something like that put into practice on a reservoir like Lathem. Encourage more harvest of those fish in the 10-16" range, or so and curb harvest of the big girls. It may become necessary as the spots really start to proliferate.

The next few years up on this lake will be really interesting.
 
I have still not managed to catch a single crappie in Lathem. I am going to try again in the AM, should be able to get some fishin' in before the afternoon weather. I am using jigs, not minnows. I will also throw the trusty spybait, and try a new deep-running crankbait Duo Realis sent me. Might just troll that crankbait around and see if I can catch me some bass. I've seen so much shad in Lathem, I was also thinking of buying a small cast net to catch some and try them out.
 
My trip is off until tomorrow. Hope you caught them!
 
I finally caught a crappie today. Nice one, too, 14" slab. (y)
He hit a trolled spybait. I was also long-line trolling crappie jigs, but a spot hit that. I ended up with both on at the same time and a tangled mess when I had to net both, but I got 'em.

Caught a few bass, mostly small, only 2 nice ones: a chunky spot on a jerkbait thrown to a busting school, and a fat 3 lb LM on the spybait. Forgot my phone so no pics. Then it rained like heck.
 

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