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Bluebasser86

First trip of the year

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My buddy @basshunter0731 and I try to get out every year for his birthday the first few days of the new year. We both had the 2nd off and with the temps going to soar all the way to the low 20's with light winds, we decided to make it happen. To give an idea of how cold it has been, we had planned to go to a different power plant lake, but as we pulled out of my road and I called the gate house, I was informed the lake was FROZEN almost 100 yards out from the ramp and there was no way to launch. A quick about face in the truck (and our hopes of catching much), we headed to the other nearby power plant lake. 

A good portion of the ramp cove was frozen, but half the ramp was thawed and we were able to dump the boat into the 36 degree water. Of course, since it was -2 outside the boat wouldn't start, so we started trolling towards the main lake in hopes the warmer water would let the motor fire up. The first main lake bank we got to is a rock/clay/sand bank with pretty good depth. I was surprised when just a short distance down the bank I was met to mushy resistance when I lifted my shakyhead rod. A hook set and a few cranks of the ice maker that used to be a spinning reel, and I had my first bass of 2018!

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Still no dice on starting the motor after we fished that bank to the end, so we made a long, slow troll across to the hot water outlet, where we found no bass, no real desirable fish of any kind, just large black buffalo everywhere. We did both score bookend flatheads on jigging spoons, which Jon brought home for his parents to enjoy for dinner.

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3 hours into our day, we were pretty well frozen, as was our gear. We thought about heading home and working on my jonboat, but decided to try one of our most reliable banks. I got bit right away on a shakyhead off the main lake point, but didn't hook the fish. Not far down the bank, another bite and another miss. Next cast to the same spot, another thump, and this time I stuck the fish, and it barely moved. I knew it was a good one, played it carefully and backreeled each time she surged, but it wasn't until she was in the net that I realized how large she was. The scale said 7.43, my 4th largest ever in Kansas.

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Jon cast back to the same spot and got his first bass of 2018 on a shakyhead. We caught a bunch like this one.

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Caught fish all down the bank before we ran out of soft water, turned around and right as we got back to the point we started on, Jon bowed up on a hard pulling fish that would not give up. His first big one of the year went 4.90.

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We thought about making the long troll back to the ramp since the motor still hadn't started, but we'd both missed a few the second pass down the bank, so we really felt like we'd be leaving them biting if we did that. I made a switch to one of my magnum shakyheads with a Rodent, wasn't long before I stuck a good fish that I had to handline out of a snag because my line broke in the reel on the hookset. A few minutes later after I restrung my rod and retied my bait with numb fingers, I made a cast to a rock slide and my line was moving towards deep water. Another immovable fish met my hookset and made the slow trip towards deeper water as I inched her towards the boat. When Jon got the net under her, I thought I might have my second 7 pounder of the year already, but she came up just a bit short at 6.72.

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We caught several more before we'd had all the cold we could take and trolled about 3/4 of a mile back to the ramp, and actually caught 2 or 3 more in the process. I dropped Jon on the dock to go get the truck and I decided to try the motor one more time, of course it fired up :lol: Going to be a tough trip to beat, but I look forward to trying :)

 

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Awesome story and pics....thanks.

I went yesterday....wife thought I was going with someone....had two cancel for good reasons.  She found out I went by myself and I got a little tongue lashing....

:(

(Had enough bites not to fret too much...but not the quality you got)

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Dude ~ !   Way to Kill it !  

You know I know what it's like to fish in the cold like that - It's Pretty Brutal.

Great fish ANY Time of the year.

But doing it Now ~ Sweet  !

And such great looking Fatties . . .

That had to feel Really Good.

 

Congrats

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

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Congrats! Love that backreel

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Great persistence in the cold weather and two hawgs to top it off. Another week I might be able to target some soft water locally.

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My 2 Thumbs up to you man 👍👍.

The coldest that I ever goes out fishing was 37 and it was a brutal to me.

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Awesome

 

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Awesome bass x 2!  The two monsters you caught would make any day a good day.  Fishing in the temps you were fishing in just makes it that much sweeter.  

 

I'm sure the two flatheads didn't roll over and play dead either.  

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Freakin awesome man! Those pink shoe laces tho 😂💪

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37 minutes ago, DINK WHISPERER said:

Freakin awesome man! Those pink shoe laces tho 😂💪

Jon's mom is a breast cancer survivor, as is my great aunt. I've got some pink fishing shirts for the same reason. The fish don't care what we wear :)  Jon's a big boy too, 6' 4"-6' 5" and north of 300 pounds and does the same job I do in a much rougher place (where I started my career), he gets to wear whatever he wants :lol:

 

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nice fish. Good to see they are fat and healthy. 

that is too cold for me to be on the water. hopefully that lake stays open, so I can fish it on warmer days.

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7 minutes ago, Weedwhacker said:

nice fish. Good to see they are fat and healthy. 

that is too cold for me to be on the water. hopefully that lake stays open, so I can fish it on warmer days.

If this past week didn't freeze it, I think you'll be fine. This weekend will probably be a zoo. I'll probably be there again Monday and Tuesday. 

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I’m a huge fan of your fishing reports! Awesome pics and I’m living vicariously thru your adventures while I’m tethered at home watching my two year old and 4 month old. Rarely get to fish these days but it’s nice to see others slaying it

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Way to nail it!

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Man, those are some tanks.

 

You're motivating me to get back on the water tomorrow afternoon. Our temps here will finally get above 50 for the first time in a week or so . These Florida strain fish seem to just shut down when it gets this cold here. But they gotta eat sometime!!!

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Great winter fish!  The next cast I make not in my backyard will probably be...March, I expect. If I'm lucky. 

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That snow in the background? Couple real nice ones in there! I forgot what fishing in the cold is since being in the military lol. Went from home northern Michigan guides freezing up to new Mexico, Guam and Az.what is cold weather again????

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1 minute ago, brgbassmaster said:

That snow in the background? Couple real nice ones in there! I forgot what fishing in the cold is since being in the military lol. Went from home northern Michigan guides freezing up to new Mexico, Guam and Az.what is cold weather again????

That's frozen steam. It was cold enough the 48 degree water had tons of steam coming off of it. When it's single digits it doesn't take much to create steam. There was icicles hanging off every bank and overhanging limb from the waves too. It only made it to 25 for a high this day. It can't be nice weather around here if I'm fishing during the winter. The fishing is never good and all the guys with cabin fever come out in droves if it gets above 50 in the winter.

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9 minutes ago, Bluebasser86 said:

That's frozen steam. It was cold enough the 48 degree water had tons of steam coming off of it. When it's single digits it doesn't take much to create steam. There was icicles hanging off every bank and overhanging limb from the waves too. It only made it to 25 for a high this day. It can't be nice weather around here if I'm fishing during the winter. The fishing is never good and all the guys with cabin fever come out in droves if it gets above 50 in the winter.

That sounds rough! Maybe I should stay here longer lol. Idktho 120F in the summer is BRUTAL. 

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4 minutes ago, brgbassmaster said:

That sounds rough! Maybe I should stay here longer lol. Idktho 120F in the summer is BRUTAL. 

We get close to that sometimes with crazy humidity, feels like you could swim through the air it's so thick. Most days the heat index will be well over 100 in the summer. Weather here sucks, fishing isn't much better. 

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wow! nice fatties , I guess I am to wimpy for that cold weather

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On ‎1‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 11:39 PM, Bluebasser86 said:

We get close to that sometimes with crazy humidity, feels like you could swim through the air it's so thick. Most days the heat index will be well over 100 in the summer. Weather here sucks, fishing isn't much better. 

But you prove that even in a place with a very bad bass fishing reputation, there are fish to be found, and big ones at that! My buddies and I like to think that we are working on the same thing here in WV.

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Thanks Clayton for the report on the great day you and your buddy had considering the conditions! I enjoyed the narrative and the photos of those big girls.  2018 is starting off really well

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15 hours ago, J._Bricker said:

Thanks Clayton for the report on the great day you and your buddy had considering the conditions! I enjoyed the narrative and the photos of those big girls.  2018 is starting off really well

Thanks, it has been a great year so far. I've caught more fish over 6 pounds in the first 3 weeks of this year than I did in the last 4 years combined!

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