With the next 7 days showing highs in the mid 20's to low 30's, and lows showing from low teens to low 20's, this might have been our last chance to go chase some monster smallmouth. The water was 42-43 degrees and the fish we found were curious if you triggered them, but for the most part they wouldn't give you the time of day. We spent all morning trying to figure out what to do to get the fish were were seeing on the sonar to bite. Looking back we found 3 different baits, each one working in a different type of bottom content. One thing we are learning is that when a smallmouth doesn't want to eat, there is very little to get them to change their mind. What we learned yesterday on getting those negative mood fish to bite, is going to pay huge dividends next season when we face the same conditions. If you're going to put the boat away until Spring, it's a little easier going out by putting your best 8 bass in the boat for 43+ pounds. Only fish over 5lbs get to pose for the camera. If you are a 4.99 you don't make the team!
98% of our chase revolves around the bass, but I love it when we find large pods of big crappies or bluegills. Using our electronics we find these offshore pods and chase, cast, catch and release. The fish are often traveling very fast. If you don't have good electronics there is no way to stay next to them. The biggest key is to be able to see them out in front of you so you can cast too them before the boat scares them. Please keep the smaller fish for the frying pan and let the big ones go to keep the lake healthy.
I took one of my high school team anglers with on this short trip. He had 4 hours to fish before we had to be back. The bite started slow and by the end we were doubling up and making that clicker spin! Absolute crazy pattern we are on that is destroying lots of big fish. The jig bite is putting 1-2 fish in the boat a day for lots of guys and this pattern is doing that on the first two casts of the day!
Water still in that 41-42 range and air temps are really cold in the morning. We had a one hour bite window before the wind changed and tried to make the most of it. Some quality fish. were caught but we had to grind for the bites!
Jig bite is dead and that's ok. We are on a pattern that is smashing the bass. When 2 hour trips in the afternoon put 40+ fish in the boat, that means that every cast or two is a fish on! They are stacked like cordwood along with the gills and baitfish.
Low 20's and brutal wind makes my hands sting. Add in biting smallies and getting your hands wet, that wind freezes them even more. It's going to take ice too thick to break with the boat to bring this season to an end. A long day in these conditions just makes a guy hold onto the heated steering wheel a little tighter on the way home!
Had a horrible cold snap dump some snow and crash the water temps into the 41-43 degree range. Put the smallies in a funk but we figured out a couple schools and beat them down. Topped off with a 6lb 13oz freak fish!!!! Ended a day with a monster bag of 8!
Found some deep fish on the Humminbird. In 22' of water the graph was loaded with marks. Baitfish, Gills and Bass! I took out a Berkley 25' crank and as that thing got down to the bottom the fish were in no mood to let it go through without blasting it. I don't deep crank much, but a trip like this gives a guy confidence to do it a lot more!
When the water temps crashed and got below 45 degrees, the jig bite really took a hit. Yes guys are still getting some fish on them, but it's not the 50 fish 1/2 days on the water type of bite it was. These fish are from the last trip before that temp crash. They were chomping the 3/4oz A.T.Jig and it was fun!!!!
Was able to sneak out after work for a couple hours and was rewarded with a bunch of nice bass! Water was around 53 degrees and the fish were stacked in the coontail. I like a 3/4oz All Terrain A.T.Jig so I can cast into the clumps and get it to the bottom. The fish either smack it on the fall or as you rip it out of the coontail you'll feel them thunk it and take off. It's worth making short trips if that's your only option.