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Josh Smith

So, It Doesn't Look Like The Lake Will Freeze This Year...

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Hi Folks,

 

I've been looking at the extended forecast and it's holding with what they were saying earlier.  It simply doesn't look like we'll get many days below freezing this year in Indiana, which is a nice change from the past two winters (blizzards and sub-zero temps as the norm!)

 

Yesterday I went fishing at the river but didn't have any luck, so I went to the lake.  It's not frozen, so I tossed a few lures out -- jigs, lipless crankbaits, a square bill crank bait, and mostly, a jerkbait.  Still nothing, but I'd like to try this more.  Water temps are in the high 30s to low 40s, and I was fishing the north end, mostly, in the shallows after the sun has come up.

 

If I recall, the deepest point in that lake is 15 to 20 feet or so, but the water is down a few feet due to lack of precipitation etc and those soundings are from about 20 years back as well.  I'd say the average is more about 15 feet. 

 

Would this be a good time to break out the deep cranks, too?  I have several I never use because the opportunity rarely presents itself.

 

Also currently, no boat.  I'm hoping to have it fixed and back out next summer, but I've also said that the past two years.  I simply don't have much time to work on it.

 

So, no depth sounder/fish finder/graph/whatever at this point. 

 

I do keep a deep crank in my tackle box (Cordell, I think it is; huge lip).  I use this mostly to check the bottom of wherever I'm fishing using pre-sonar methods.  The bottom of this lake, when using this diver and a split shot weight, shows to be mud/clay/muck, same as parts of the shore. 

 

How would you approach this lake during cold water? 

 

Regards,

 

Josh

 

P.S.  Still planning on concentrating on river smallies for the winter, but I want to work on cold water lakes, too, as it's a weak point due to lack of exercise.  J.S.

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With that water temp range, you need a slower presentation than a crankbait. Jig, slowly worked blade bait, slowly worked spinnerbait or Chatterbait.

When you think you are moving the lure slow, slow down more.

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I think the same thing every year, and then it freezes. Just remember, winter doesn't start for two more weeks.

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I also live in Indiana. With the water being super cold already, I am still able to catch my fish on jerkbaits and the ned rig. I also tried a shakyhead, but couldn't hook up with any fish. 

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I think the same thing every year, and then it freezes. Just remember, winter doesn't start for two more weeks.

It seems like whenever winter shows up late, it ends up staying late too. Last time I can remember having open water into January, it also snowed in May. I'd much rather have the cold weather when it's supposed to be cold instead of when I'm suppose to be catching topwater fish. 

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In central Indiana most of my fishing waters have turned over and are cold.....I'm not even wasting my time for the next week or so

 

But hey! 60's this weekend....I'll be wading in the White River for winter smallies

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With those water temperatures and fishing from the shore I would think your best bet would be a Ned Rig to find fish. Light line on a light spinning rod and just inch it along as slow as you can stand. Get in the habit of counting the lure down to the bottom since you do not have electronics for depth. If you find a few bass you could then try a jig and craw in the same locations. That is a good way to catch some of the largest bass of the season.

 

On the 90 acre lake I fish in the winter in Maryland when the water temperature is around 40 degrees I never find bass shallow. They always have at least 10 feet of water over their heads.

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Crankbaits and jerkbaits should work given those temps, or at least they do around here. Jigs would be another good presentation. See if you can find an area with a steeper drop close to a flat. A lot of times they'll stay close to the drop and if it warms up they tend to slide up onto the flat to feed. 

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With that water temp range, you need a slower presentation than a crankbait. Jig, slowly worked blade bait, slowly worked spinnerbait or Chatterbait.

When you think you are moving the lure slow, slow down more.

 

 

I also live in Indiana. With the water being super cold already, I am still able to catch my fish on jerkbaits and the ned rig. I also tried a shakyhead, but couldn't hook up with any fish. 

 

 

With those water temperatures and fishing from the shore I would think your best bet would be a Ned Rig to find fish. Light line on a light spinning rod and just inch it along as slow as you can stand. Get in the habit of counting the lure down to the bottom since you do not have electronics for depth. If you find a few bass you could then try a jig and craw in the same locations. That is a good way to catch some of the largest bass of the season.

 

On the 90 acre lake I fish in the winter in Maryland when the water temperature is around 40 degrees I never find bass shallow. They always have at least 10 feet of water over their heads.

 

 

Crankbaits and jerkbaits should work given those temps, or at least they do around here. Jigs would be another good presentation. See if you can find an area with a steeper drop close to a flat. A lot of times they'll stay close to the drop and if it warms up they tend to slide up onto the flat to feed. 

 

Thank you, gents.  I'm watching and taking notes!

 

Regards,

 

Josh

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I think the same thing every year, and then it freezes. Just remember, winter doesn't start for two more weeks.

 

Here's what I'm looking at this year:

 

http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/mild-week-record-challenging-warmth-northeast-southeast/54046902

 

The long term forecast has very mild weather.  The Earth's tilt should warm things up again around March-April like always.  We will see.

 

Regards,

 

Josh

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In central Indiana most of my fishing waters have turned over and are cold.....I'm not even wasting my time for the next week or so

 

But hey! 60's this weekend....I'll be wading in the White River for winter smallies

 

I bought a book for smallies.  Not sure I'll wade as I prefer bluejeans old shoes; no insulated waders.  Then again, I might pick some up.  I'm not sure which part of the White River you're talking about.  I've fished it a few times and it's always run a bit fast for wading.  It was after that large fish kill, though, and the area was around the White River Park.

 

Up here, the Wabash is still small enough that I can almost cast across it.  Still, I like to wade so I can cast upstream.  There are gravel and sand bars I can used to do this in the winter, I suppose.  Will have to look at self-inflating PFDs as the only ones I have are foam and bulky.

 

The lakes have turned over up here, too, but should be aerated again due to wind action.  Turnover was early October.

 

Regards,

 

Josh

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If this weather keeps up in Minnesota I might take my boat out on open water to "ice"fish...

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