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Jyzurp

Winter Fishing On Shallow Water Ponds

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Hi everyone. I live in southeast Massachusetts and I'm looking for any input on winter fishing in my area. Most of what I have available to fish is smaller ponds usually 100 acres at most and some as small as 40 acres most of these with max depths of 8-10 ft. Water temps are usually right around freezing as I'm getting out on thaws between the ice. A lot of stuff I find online on this subject consists of deeper waters and warmer water temps. I would greatly appreciate any input. Thanks everyone

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You probably won't have any luck with shallow water ponds, all the fish are probably dead or in zombie mode till march

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I don't think they're dead. Zombie mode maybe. These ponds have produced 5lb+ bass so that leads me to think they make it through the seasons. I see and hear of other people catching then in similar conditions. Guess they're just in deeper and bigger waters

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They are holding at a specific depth next to any structure they can find.

 

They will rush to the bank and feed as the sun warms the water.

 

Fish the north and west side of the pond where the sun hits the bank in the morning.

 

Look for any rocks or wood that can hold heat and fish that structure.

 

Remember to fish s-l-o-w. The bass will not expend a lot of energy to run after a meal, but they do have to eat. So present your plastics and running baits as slow as possible at various depths.

 

Some days the bass will want the baits to be on the bottom. Other days above them.

 

Go with a tight wobble crankbait with rattles; a Chatterbait; a jig and pig with rattles; a swimming jig; a shaky head; a stick bait like a Senko or Dinger.

 

Be ready to scale down in the size of your bait. In lieu of throwing a KVD 1.5 try a #5 Shad Rap. Don't throw a trick worm on a shaky head - go with a four-inch finesse worm.

 

Try "dead sticking" where the plastic just sits on the bottom for 90 to 120 seconds, or more, before you move it.

 

You will have to drop the bait in front of the bass, slowly, so they will eat it. Or move it by their faces with a crankbait slowly so they can move as little as possible to grab it.

 

Once you find the depth and areas they are holding until the water gets warmer you will have some fun enticing them to eat your baits.

 

Good luck and be careful with that ice on the bank and water.

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You can catch big Bass through The Ice and I have caught several 21-23" Largemouth in NY while Ice Fishing For Walleye,Perch, Trout, and hair Jigs tipped with Minnows (I know it's live bait but it's Ice Fishing) and we actually catch them on the small panfish Tubes and 2.5" Sassy Shads through the ice.

The Key to Cold water shallow bassin is patience, and if you are fishing slow, then fish slower...Suspending Jerkbaits, Slow Rolling jigs, SHakey Jigs with Zipper worms, inline SPinners like a Mepps Aglia instead of the 1/2 spinnerbait..and yes..if windy, throw a Buzzbait and hold on....A buzzbait works year round and have caught big Bass with ice in my guides on 1/4-3/8 white buzzbaits with a small trailer with limited action like a paddle tail doa grub.

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Shallow ponds are my favorites for wintertime fishing because they warm up faster than deep water ponds. The biggest issue I see you having is the limited visibility. Cold, muddy water is about as tough as it gets. If you get a couple feet of visibility I'd be fishing a suspending jerkbait, probably in clown or bone colors. A 1/4 spinnerbait with a single, large colorado blade fished as slow as you can and keep the blade turning can work also, if you add a pork trailer it will help you be able to fish it even slower. If there isn't too much muck on the bottom (all our ponds around here have too much algae and leaves on the bottom), I'd be dragging a jig as slow as I could stand near any drop offs into the deepest water in the pond. 

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Wish I had your problem! I'm in western MA as it's rock solid ice everywhere here. However, figuring that when we start to "de-frost" to be similar to what you are facing right now, I'd focus on trying to reach the deepest water in the area. This water is most "stable" in the pond. This will be their "home" so-to-speak. Especially good would be a steep rise to shallow water near the shoreline. Shallow vs. deep is a relative thing remember. A 1' - 2' drop can be significant, depending on the pond.

 

I would definitely be tossing Chatterbaits as a search tool with a slow crawl along the bottom - just fast enough to feel some vibes. Then slow down and use a jig and/or drop shot to finish the job. Good Luck! :)

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thanks helped me too.we have a lot of stocked city lakes all about 6/8 ft some with structure that has been placed..(think christmas trees)

.A few have deeper parts 10/12 ft.. All are stocked with bass and crappie.Some this time of year with rainbow trout..

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All I fish normally and in the winter are shallow, small ponds. Fish the side that gets the sun first, the only thing Ive used this winter is shallow suspending jerkbaits, lc pointer 78sp in darker colors has been the ticket for me. 

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All of the advice given here is absolutely spot on and I would like to add one more vital detail and tip. You are only going to get a limited amount of bites throughout the day so paying attention to your line isn't just crucial it is the only thing separating you from catching fish to only catching a cold. While it is possible for you get a jarring bite it is much more likely to be a bite and very little to no movement by the fish. with that said when you detect even the slightest twitch or movement in your line gently lift your rod tip up to feel if there is a heavy feeling. If you feel more weight than normal than you most likely have something on the end of your line. Good luck and be safe....

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