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Jigfishn10

Eastern Ma Fishing Reports

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2 hours ago, Jigfishn10 said:

Friday is forecasted to be 60* and rain, should open up a lot of water.

 

@Mr. Aquarium, good luck on the steelheads

I'm just worried it will dirty the water

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I got down to the Cape and reconned from Harwich/Brewster back up to Canton, MA.  Here’s what I found:

Cape Cod

  • Hinckley, Seymour, and Long Pond are wide open.
  • Sheep is iced out from the boat launch out about 200 yards or so.  
  • Flax is mostly solid.  The ice looks fairly thick, soft, and gray.
  • Cliff is mostly open with some ice by the launch/beach adjacent to Little Cliff.
  • Little Cliff is about half locked out.
  • Wequaquet is wide open.  There was one bass boat out when I drove by.
  • Pimlico is open.  There’s a nice, unimproved, ramp on Pimlico road.
  • Peter’s is locked up.
  • Snake Pond was about 1/2 skimmed over and is likely open as I type now.

Plymouth

  • Hedges is 80% covered and thick enough to take at least a few days to open up.
    • hopefully not!
  • Triangle, Great South, Little South, and Little Pond are solid and gray.

South Shore

  • Jacobs is mostly solid.
  • Houghtons, Ponkie, and Sunset Lake are locked up and don’t show signs of opening anytime soon.
    • Canton didn’t plow Ponkie’s access.  I almost got my Tundra stuck....

Although I SHOULD HAVE brought my kayak, I cheated and brought waders.  I made a few casts at Hinkleys just for the heck of it.  I caught four branches and lost a gold Binsky.

 

My plan is to get out with Fishing Rhino and Jigfshn10 this week and grab my first fish of the year.  My goal for a fish in open water every month is shot, so I’m gonna focus on breaking the five pound mark...

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4 hours ago, DogBone_384 said:

I got down to the Cape and reconned from Harwich/Brewster back up to Canton, MA.  Here’s what I found:

Cape Cod

  • Hinckley and Seymour are wide open.
  • Sheep is iced out from the boat launch out about 200 yards or so.  
  • Flax is mostly solid.  The ice looks fairly thick, soft, and gray.
  • Cliff is mostly open with some ice by the launch/beach adjacent to Little Cliff.
  • Little Cliff is about half locked out.
  • Wequaquet is wide open.  There was one bass boat out when I drove by.
  • Pimlico is open.  There’s a nice, unimproved, ramp on Pimlico road.
  • Peter’s is locked up.
  • Snake Pond was about 1/2 skimmed over and is likely open as I type now.

Plymouth

  • Hedges is 80% covered and thick enough to take at least a few days to open up.
    • hopefully not!
  • Triangle, Great South, Little South, and Little Pond are solid and gray.

South Shore

  • Jacobs is mostly solid.
  • Houghtons, Ponkie, and Sunset Lake are locked up and don’t show signs of opening anytime soon.
    • Canton didn’t plow Ponkie’s access.  I almost got my Tundra stuck....

Although I SHOULD HAVE brought my kayak, I cheated and brought waders.  I made a few casts at Hinkleys just for the heck of it.  I caught four branches and lost a gold Binsky.

 

My plan is to get out with Fishing Rhino and Jigfshn10 this week and grab my first fish of the year.  My goal for a fish in open water every month is shot, so I’m gonna focus on breaking the five pound mark...

GD luck.  don't catch em all.  lol

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That's quite the recon trip!  👍

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3 hours ago, Don51 said:

That's quite the recon trip!  👍

We used to have an "Ice Out" thread starting in February and fishers would report open waters in their area. @DogBone_384 seems to cover the eastern seaboard every year, so we stopped doing it...:D

 

Thanks for the report DogBone

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11 minutes ago, Jigfishn10 said:

Thanks for the report

No problem. My truck gets great gas mileage... I don’t mind at all!

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Im going to try and make it out on Friday before  I head west. 

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On 3/11/2019 at 8:11 AM, Jigfishn10 said:

Friday is forecasted to be 60* and rain, should open up a lot of water.

 

@Mr. Aquarium, good luck on the steelheads

Yea, I welcome the spring-like weather but Friday is definitely gonna bring about the end of ice-season for a good chunk of the state. I'll be heading out on the ice for the last time tomorrow, then I'm going to try and take my kayak out somewhere on Thursday. I'm thinking the Charles but getting from the Watertown launch to the deeper esplanade area is a 10 mile round trip. Wind is supposed to be minimal but I doubt I'm gonna paddle more than half that distance. I may swing by the waltham launch and see if that's open first. I'm more familiar with that part anyways. 

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no work friday for me. Definitely going to get out Friday morning before my trip. Wouldn't mind kicking off my trips with a nice bass!  Shallow water for largemouth? or deep water for smallies? 

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2 hours ago, Mr. Aquarium said:

Shallow water for largemouth? or deep water for smallies? 

That reminds me, I've been meaning to ask this... I know the conventional wisdom is that bass hold deep in the winter and colder months, do you guys find this to be true? Even in smaller lakes and ponds? I feel like especially when ice fishing, when the water is the coldest it's going to be all year, that the most productive areas are not always deep. The biggest bass I've ever seen in person caught through the ice was out of maybe 4 FOW. Now sometimes I do have the best luck targeting a deeper creek channel in a pond but other times the bite is on fire on those shallower flats. Is this because the bass are congregating there or is it simply that the shallower fish are more active and so it just seems that way? And then come ice out, are you targeting those deeper areas again or do you start shifting your attention to those shallower areas in hopes of finding more active fish? 

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1 hour ago, MassYak85 said:

That reminds me, I've been meaning to ask this... I know the conventional wisdom is that bass hold deep in the winter and colder months, do you guys find this to be true? Even in smaller lakes and ponds? I feel like especially when ice fishing, when the water is the coldest it's going to be all year, that the most productive areas are not always deep. The biggest bass I've ever seen in person caught through the ice was out of maybe 4 FOW. Now sometimes I do have the best luck targeting a deeper creek channel in a pond but other times the bite is on fire on those shallower flats. Is this because the bass are congregating there or is it simply that the shallower fish are more active and so it just seems that way? And then come ice out, are you targeting those deeper areas again or do you start shifting your attention to those shallower areas in hopes of finding more active fish? 

It all depends on the forage base of the body of water you’re in and the vegetation/bottom composition. More fragile species like minnows, alewives, smelt will search out deep water for consistent, less harsh conditions. In bodies of water where perch and bluegill/pumpkinseeds are the main forage they will tend to be more shallow and will heavily relate to any love grass/hydroplane/Mille foille because that’s where the food for the perch and sunfish will be. Both largemouth and smallmouth need to feed in the cold water to survive but they play a balancing act between the need to feed and the amount of energy they are willing to spend to do so. Also keep in mind some smallies will actually start producing eggs in late fall/early winter and absolutely need to feed and a decent amount in order to keep those eggs viable.

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Great post @Saltysmalljaws!

 

I caught my PB 7 1/2 lber in 4'of water a week after ice out. She was feeding up and cruising for food just before the spawn. She was relating to a weed line inshore. A year prior to that my first 5 lber came on a jig 2 or 3 weeks after ice out, again inshore in less than 6' of water. There was an abundant of craws in the area, so don't overlook the craw pattern. Craws tend to be moving more this time of year.

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In shallow ponds the bass will be concerted on the northern end of the pond. I caught a 3lbs fish in mid February in 3 feet of water.  It was on the northern side. That side is protected by the north winds and gets the most sunlight.  


If there is deeper water, I do think the largemouth will go deep. But not as deep as smallies.  Fishing with Dogbone in December, new pond, I got a 2.5-3lb largemouth on a steep drop off from shore, that drops to 30 feet.  The same day early morning 1st 15-20 min, fishing a shallow hump, went from 15-7 feet of water. I had a big whack on a jig in 15 feet deep in the bowl near the hump. Last year March 9th, day before a snow storm, I got a 5.9 on a swimbait working a steep drop off. 

Smallmouths. GOOOOO DEEP!!!!! Find deep offshore structure, Humps, holes, rocks, ETC, bottom composition changes mussel beds.  Last year Late February I was fishin a pond, 40 feet deep max. I found the smallies pilled up in 20-22 feet of water. If I wasn't on the exact spot I wouldn't get fish. When the wind blew me to 18-19 feet no fish. I also didnt mark any fish, I saw something weird on bottom on my fish finder. Tossed down my blade. Immediately hooked up. Caught a handful of 2-3lbs smallies in short time in this one spot. Then the bite died.  They were feeding in the mornings last year. This year I'm trying to figure out the coldwater largmouth game.

Another pond of mine has more largemouth then smallies. 20-30 feet. They  hangout in the northern half of the pond. Out on the deep flat, with live weeds.  The pond has steep drop offs along shore, then flattens out. I fish the drop offs to the flat, I wont go past a certain point in the pond cuz I know the fish are here.   But have caught smallies else where in the pond. But largemouth are in that one area. 


I always fish bottom, jigs, blades, small swimbaits, shakey heads, hair jigs.  Some people do very very well with jerkbaits in the winter. I SUCKKKK at jerkbait fishing, I either get skunked or pickerel

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6 hours ago, Saltysmalljaws said:

It all depends on the forage base of the body of water you’re in and the vegetation/bottom composition. More fragile species like minnows, alewives, smelt will search out deep water for consistent, less harsh conditions. In bodies of water where perch and bluegill/pumpkinseeds are the main forage they will tend to be more shallow and will heavily relate to any love grass/hydroplane/Mille foille because that’s where the food for the perch and sunfish will be. Both largemouth and smallmouth need to feed in the cold water to survive but they play a balancing act between the need to feed and the amount of energy they are willing to spend to do so. Also keep in mind some smallies will actually start producing eggs in late fall/early winter and absolutely need to feed and a decent amount in order to keep those eggs viable.

Thanks, that makes a lot of sense actually. Pretty much all the places I ice-fish are places where gills and perch are the primary forage so that would explain that. 

 

Got out on the ice for a few hours with a friend today. Very slow, only 3 flags. We got 2 pickerel and missed what I suspect was a small bass. Top layer was turning to slush but still a solid 8-9" of ice under it. It will still be good tomorrow I think and I still have a dozen shiners left so I will be making a last minute judgement call whether to take the kayak out or head out on the ice one last time. I'll see what the wind is doing in the morning, if I so much as see a leaf move I'm going back on the ice lol. 

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On 3/12/2019 at 5:03 PM, MassYak85 said:

I'm going to try and take my kayak out somewhere on Thursday.

Derek and I are heading to Sawdy, in Westport, tomorrow morning, expecting to get there around 10:00 AM.

 

If you find an orange Tundra parked there, that’s us.

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22 hours ago, DogBone_384 said:

Derek and I are heading to Sawdy, in Westport, tomorrow morning, expecting to get there around 10:00 AM.

 

If you find an orange Tundra parked there, that’s us.

How did you guys do? 

 

I ended up back on the ice at A1. I looked outside in the morning and saw a couple dried up leaves twitching on their branches so no winter kayak fishing for me lol. It got fairly windy when I was out today so I'm glad I called off the kayak trip. I actually had my best day of the season!

 

Ice was honestly sketchy and this was truly the last day I would set foot on it, at least for this lake. Started out with like 8" of total ice around 11:30 which was like 5" of white snow ice and 3" of remaining cracked black ice underneath....totally fine. Temps got up to around 50 and the top couple inches turned to slush and it was starteing to get iffy around 4:00 when the sun came out at full strength so I left. The shorelines I was fishing near were also starting to open up. I was literally 75 feet away from ducks swimming around in the shallows but where I was was fine thickness wise, definitely a weird situation. Swans were also out. 

 

What a day fishing-wise though! I had 6 bass over 2lbs and a couple that were mid 3's as well as some dinks. I had five tilts and a dozen shiners to start out and I ran out of bait and was down to just 3 tilts by the end of the day despite re-using many of the shiners long after they had died and been down the throats of multiple fish. Pickerel were equally as hungry as the bass and I got some good ones and got bit off a few times. At one point I was scrambling around dealing with fish on 3 out of 5 of my tilts! Probably got around 15 fish between both species. 

 

Overall one of my best days ever on the ice and definitely the bets day this season! I've heard people say that the end of the ice season is usually the hottest bite but I hadn't experienced it much until today. 

 

Also nothing like being on the ice in weather this nice! It truly felt like spring with the temperatures as well as hearing all the birds I don't usually hear this early. Red-wing blackbirds were making a racket at one-point. Couldn't have asked for a better day to cap-off the season! 

 

Finally time to break out the open water gear though! 

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Derek and I launched at Sawdy around 11:00.  The weather was pretty good, with temps in the mid/high 40s, mostly cloudy, and a breeze from the South.

 

I threw a green w/red flake tube, black/blue 5” Senko, and bluegill chatterbait to start.  I alternated the chatterbait for a Vision 110 and Yozuri squarebill here and there.

 

I nabbed bass #1 of 2019 on the tube in 5-6’ of water.  It was about 1 1/2 pounds with a good belly.

 

That was it for the day.  Water temps were 40.x 

 

We’re almost there! 

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60 and sunny forecasted for next Saturday! This might be the first time I've transitioned seamlessly from ice fishing to open water ever, there's usually a couple weekends in between. 

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Anybody taken their own boat to the Quabbin and got the boat seal? Do you have to get it re sealed every time you go? So if I went to the quabbin plus other places would I have to get a re seal? Seems like a pain in the ass because they only have specific seal days. 

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