Driftless Trout Anglers

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Gurth  
#1 Posted : Monday, January 14, 2019 6:37:01 PM(UTC)
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So I've come to find out that one of the places that I go with the yak to target largies is open water year round except for the absolute coldest weather – signs abound announcing that the ice is NEVER SAFE. Combo of spring fed and gets some treated water discharge. Stopped by the other day and there wasn't even rim ice anywhere.

Not gonna put the yak in but can almost reach every part of the center of the pond from the shore as it's long and narrow and is a deep (15-25 feet in middle) bowl.

Anyone have any thoughts on how to target? I know they won't be super active but I'm sure they are still eating to some degree.

My guess is they are suspended out there.

I don't ever use live bait for sport fishing, so that's out.

Thinking about deep diving Raps, crank baits and rattlers and also my usual go-to of a football jig with a squid tail.

Have never had much luck even in the summer of catching them sub-surface in this pond despite trying – great top water action along the weedy shore in summer.

Gonna go try it sometime soon. Think it would be a novelty/hoot to get some winter bass.

Anyone ever try this or have any luck?


“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
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Pete  
#2 Posted : Monday, January 14, 2019 9:40:42 PM(UTC)
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My guess is that you are correct: they will be suspended. The trick is finding at what depth. I read somewhere about the guys who fish the southern reservoirs for smallmouths during the winter using jigs under floats. When they make a short slow retrieve, the jig rises; when they stop their retrieve, the jig pendulums down; that's when the strike usually occurs. I've adapted it to the fly rod for largemouth (I've gotten smallmouth with the same tactic, but most of the smallie fishing I do is in moving water; jig-and-float works better in still water). I tie marabou streamers on a jig hook so that it can be suspended horizontally and use the most buoyant strike indicator I can find. The cast is not very elegant; as long as it gets where it's supposed to be and I don't get hit in the back of the head with a jig or float, that's all I can ask. A couple of strips to lift the fly/jig and then stop to let it pendulum down. If there is no response within a couple or three casts, time to change the depth.

Please let us know how you do.
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Gurth on 1/21/2019(UTC)
Gurth  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, January 15, 2019 3:09:41 AM(UTC)
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Thanks for that idea. I could use a bobber and a jig or a leech tail or something like that.

I'll have it along.

My dad and I used to get crappies sorta like that when I was a kid with a bobber and a small jig called a pink-a-dink. Absolutely slayed crappies.


Originally Posted by: Pete Go to Quoted Post

Please let us know how you do.



Oh... you see how I am around here.

There'll either be photos of fish or some tale of mishap and woe. Laugh


I REALLY want to get one on a popper or jitterbug in Jan or Feb but that's probably impossible.

I have a couple of mice I could drag too but I'm sure they aren't near enough to shore for that to work. Gonna have to try though. Wink
“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
Pete  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, January 15, 2019 3:50:01 PM(UTC)
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I REALLY want to get one on a popper or jitterbug in Jan or Feb but that's probably impossible.

I have a couple of mice I could drag too but I'm sure they aren't near enough to shore for that to work. Gonna have to try though. Wink




The author Tom Wendelburg was, I think, from the Madison area. In his book he claimed to catch bass on the surface the day of ice-out. He was using dry flies, not poppers, but still, I have a hard time believing a bass would hit anything on the surface under those circumstances. I've never tried it, but would like to hear of someone doing it successfully.
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Gurth on 1/21/2019(UTC)
OTC_MN  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, January 15, 2019 9:41:37 PM(UTC)
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Could try a grub on a jighead. Any color is fine as long as it's smoke. Black will do, but smoke is better. Just slow roll it with a steady retrieve. Adjust the jig head size and you can count it down and fish varying water depths to see if they are in fact suspended. A 3 or 4" grub can be really deadly for cold water bass - both large and smallmouth.
"Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish."
- Roderick Haig-Brown
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Gurth on 1/21/2019(UTC)
Gurth  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, January 16, 2019 2:30:38 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: OTC_MN Go to Quoted Post
Could try a grub on a jighead. Any color is fine as long as it's smoke. Black will do, but smoke is better. Just slow roll it with a steady retrieve. Adjust the jig head size and you can count it down and fish varying water depths to see if they are in fact suspended. A 3 or 4" grub can be really deadly for cold water bass - both large and smallmouth.



Thanks... I'll have those along.
“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
Hoggies  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, January 16, 2019 6:14:23 PM(UTC)
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You could try a soft plastic jerk shad or paddletail shad (or fluke) rigged weightless and weedless on an EWG hook. Cast it out and let it drop for a count, twitch it, repeat. If you go the paddletail route that presentation works best with something that has a really skinny stem and a meaty tail so it thumps slowly as it sinks.
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Gurth on 1/21/2019(UTC)
madguy30  
#8 Posted : Monday, January 21, 2019 3:48:33 AM(UTC)
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This might give some good ideas.

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Gurth on 1/21/2019(UTC)
Gurth  
#9 Posted : Monday, January 21, 2019 2:05:23 PM(UTC)
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Cool vid and the guy talking about the novelty of winter open water fishing in WI in Dec/Jan is exactly why I want to try it.

I need to start learning the Mighty Wisco so I know where places like that are.
“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
Gurth  
#10 Posted : Friday, February 8, 2019 8:37:44 PM(UTC)
Gurth
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I did try this last weekend btw.

Tried a few different shad and fluke tails and twisters and a jerk bait and a football jig/squid.

Had several nips (grey/green fluke) and even had a couple following, but none of them sealed the deal. The ones I saw following were small - 10-12 inches.

Forgot to have a popper along which ticked me off but it probably wouldn't have worked anyway.

Will try again in the next few weeks.


“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
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