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BassMan_Kyle

Favorite Techniques/lures For Cold Water

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First by cold water I mean 45 degrees and lower. I had a tough tournament Wednesday with two fish being caught on my boat neither of which would keep. The situation I had was high muddy waters with the temp ranging from 38.8 to 41.6 on the dam at mid day. We stayed on the dam and around rock when the sun came up and temp started rising while throwing the trusty silver buddy and jigs, shaky heads, grubs, wiggle warts, jerkbaits, even the small sr5 shad raps. And nothing. The only two fish came on the silver buddy so we layed with it all day only switching to different lures when we got tired of the silver buddy.

Lets hear some of your favorite baits for cold water be sure to include water color, depth, rod/reel/line set up and the forage you are imitating. I think we all can benefit from this especially me since cold water is my main weakness in fishing.

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Sounds like s#•++¥ conditions. I would have thrown exactly what you were throwing. Except maybe a small hair jig.

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During the cold water period here (ice out to ~50 in the spring, and ~ 50 to ice up in the fall) I have the following rigged up and on my deck at all times:

 

Dropshot

Shaky head

Finesse jig

Suspending Jerkbait

Lipless crankbait

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If you can find a school of fish, try dropping a jigging spoon into it. Otherwise, I tend to stick with Lipless Cranks, Suspending Jerkbaits, and Silver Buddy's when the water is that cold.

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Sounds like s#•++¥ conditions. I would have thrown exactly what you were throwing. Except maybe a small hair jig.

I tried a 1/16 hair jig in various darker colors and still nothing. Maybe just a bad day we all have them I guess

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Deep offshore structure ;)

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I drag a football jig with a rage craw real slow. Have to locate fish 1st. I've had some luck on flat side floating cranks as well. When the water gets below 42ish its time to break out the trout gear

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I don't think you were doing anything wrong. Something in your arsenal should have workded. What did the tourney leaders use? If similar to what you were using, then I can only assume you were not fishing in the correct location(s).

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My choices were with you until I ready high muddy water then all of them went out the window. That situation to me screams rattle trap fished really slow. I typically key in on rip rap as winter structure as well as it warms faster in the sun. Everyone has tough tornements keep your chin up

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Fishing a jig out deep in about 18-25 ft of water.

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This will be the first year I really focus on cold water techniques but what I plan on having rigged up:

 

1.Jig

2.Swimbaits - top hooks that can be crawled on bottom

3.Dropshot

4. Suspending Jerkbait

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I've had the most success with a 1/2 oz Red Eye Shad using a yo-yo retrieve. 1/4 oz may be even better as it would have a slower fall, but the 1/2 oz seems to work just fine.

Slowly dragging a 3/8 or 1/2 oz jig has also been fairly productive for me in cold water.

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Here on Indian Lake in Ohio those are the pretty much everyday conditions, except the entire lake is only 6-8 ft deep. Early in the spring I find wood in the morning not full Laydowns, but decent sized stumps along the shore line. Then flip a subtle action craw right down the wood face, usually a Craw D'oeuvre from PTL, or a regular Berkly Chigger Craw Texas rigged with a light weight 1/8 to 1/4 oz..

Then as the sun comes up it's off to the rocks. Usually start with Live Target crank in ghost blue, or Rapala DT6 in Hot Mustard with two suspend dots by the front hook. If nothing on those I might change over to the green craw color of the Live Target, and drag the occasional chigger craw across the rocks. If the rocks aren't producing, I will either return to the wood (if it performed earlier), or find me some grass with wood or Laydowns running through it. The start throwing traps in green craw color, our a ghost green, my preference is Damiki or one again live target. Rigging it through the grass setting the wood.

As you can tell round here in the spring the craw is the thing. That's what the Bass key on early.

I flip using a 7'6"MH 10-14# braid, some guys use flourocarbon but with the dirty water I didn't see the advantage and floro get brittle in that cold water.

Crank with a 7' M and 10-12# mono

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Don't forget a real soft 4" or 5" grub swam very slowly on a light jighead - 1/16 or 1/8 at the heaviest. I like pearl or smoke if fish are up and suspended, and any craw-type color (green pumpkin or brown) if they're on the bottom. I think the two best are still Yamamoto or Kalins.

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I love slowly dragging various creature baits on a swivel jighead.  Gene Larew Hardheads and Chompers work great.  Just keeping the bait moving as slow I can and really feeling the bottom.  It searches pretty well in grassy places near creek mouths. Just my preference. Good Luck!

 

Smaller Jig and Pig combos are go-to for me this time of year as well.

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