Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I know I'm jumping the gun here, it's only mid-January in Indiana, and most of our waters aren't warm enough for ice-out yet, but do the bass' behaviors change immediately after ice out? What I mean is, once they observe that there's no longer ice above them, do they kick into any kind of feeding mode or become more active? Or is their activity level solely based on water temps, regardless of if the ice is gone?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Smallmouth yes....

 

Largemouth seem to take their sweet time.

 

I will fish for smallies from ice out until the water is in the low 50's then start chasing LM. I have some decent days fishing for largemouth in 40 degree water, but it's unpredictable at best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have caught a few really nice LMB by dragging my blade bait off of ice into open water.

Dont know why but since then I have not discounted the possibility based on personal experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, ww2farmer said:

Smallmouth yes....

 

Largemouth seem to take their sweet time.

 

I will fish for smallies from ice out until the water is in the low 50's then start chasing LM. I have some decent days fishing for largemouth in 40 degree water, but it's unpredictable at best.

My experience echoes what you've found.  LMB seem extremely inactive below 50°.  Some of my biggest SMB have come from waters south of that temperature, though.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LMB seem to transition slowly after ice out but will still often bite - a little.

SMB -  are ready to go.  As soon as there's open water - I'm fishing.

Here a clip from a killer day I had on a lake spring 2016 where the smallies we're chewing up a jerkbait pretty good and there was still quite a bit of ice on the water right next to where I was having the most success.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there is a warming trend some big largemouths can be caught . After several days of warm weather I have caught some lunkers by targeting steep south facing sunny banks . I have always used an Argobast Mudbug in crawdad color .  In the afternoons after the sun has hit the bank for a couple of hours ,   position the boat to make parallel cast .  Then reel the lure in with rod tip low , agonizingly  slow  . I  showed this technique to another fisherman and he has caught  two  8 lbers . Thats a big bass in these parts .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, J Francho said:

My experience echoes what you've found.  LMB seem extremely inactive below 50°.  Some of my biggest SMB have come from waters south of that temperature, though.

Funny thing is....last two falls (I know different than ice out) my best action for smallmouth has been in low 60 degree water, and largemouth in mid 40 degree water. Go figure.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might have a better data set for fall, fishing same or similar water consistently.  By fall, I'm after other species, or all over the place for bass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ive caught some large bass in early spring even on topwaters. find a sun baked shore fish there with jigs and jerkbaits. shallow ponds are the best to start, theres no where for them to go. crawl jigs and swimbaits on bottom. 
if fishing deep water,  find structure, dips and holes, steep drops, humps, blades, jigs, jerkbaits, swimbaits will work

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By that time I don't much care. I just wanna get out. After a winter like having, so far....."I WANNA GO FISHING "!!!!!!!

Hootie

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Telemetry has shown that bass, and bluegills, can start inshore movements at or even just prior to ice-out. Some of this, as well as activity changes at late ice, smacks of an endogenous rhythm possibly kicking in.

 

Conditions-wise, the surface and shallows -esp along N shorelines- heat first and can activate, even draw fish. After ice-out there's nowhere to go but up temperature wise. And it can happen pretty quickly by early spring due to sun angle then. But each water body is laid out differently so results may vary. Also, different populations may have developed different patterns, so... results may vary.

 

In my winter fishing ponds, bluegills tend to show along heated shorelines first. The bass come a bit later. Above 50F is a good number to expect bass. But, this doesn't mean that bass -in larger waters or those laid out with a decidedly warmer area with appropriate layout (depth, cover, food, ...) -can't be moving and staging even earlier (keeping the endogenous rhythm and population adaptations in mind).

 

I shot a video last year -to be released this year- where I look for late winter/early spring bass in a shallow but sprawling pit that has a marked wintering area -a deep trench that stacks them in. An early thaw (Feb) brought 50F to the incident (N) bank, and bluegills. But I found the bass still stacked up in the trench.

 

Not sure how much this helps in any precise way, but may give you some things to think about. At least this is the stuff I'm thinking about when after late-winter bass, at this point.

 

I'm talking LMs here.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Paul Roberts said:

Telemetry has shown that bass, and bluegills, can start inshore movements at or even just prior to ice-out. Some of this, as well as activity changes at late ice, smacks of an endogenous rhythm possibly kicking in.

 

Conditions-wise, the surface and shallows -esp along N shorelines- heat first and can activate, even draw fish. After ice-out there's nowhere to go but up temperature wise. And it can happen pretty quickly by early spring due to sun angle then. But each water body is laid out differently so results may vary. Also, different populations may have developed different patterns, so... results may vary.

 

In my winter fishing ponds, bluegills tend to show along heated shorelines first. The bass come a bit later. Above 50F is a good number to expect bass. But, this doesn't mean that bass -in larger waters or those laid out with a decidedly warmer area with appropriate layout (depth, cover, food, ...) -can't be moving and staging even earlier (keeping the endogenous rhythm and population adaptations in mind).

 

I shot a video last year -to be released this year- where I look for late winter/early spring bass in a shallow but sprawling pit that has a marked wintering area -a deep trench that stacks them in. An early thaw (Feb) brought 50F to the incident (N) bank, and bluegills. But I found the bass still stacked up in the trench.

 

Not sure how much this helps in any precise way, but may give you some things to think about. At least this is the stuff I'm thinking about when after late-winter bass, at this point.

 

I'm talking LMs here.

 

 

Very helpful - thank you. I can relate to your conditions since the majority of my very early season fishing is usually ponds / small lakes, so I presume the earliest warming banks will still be my best bet, even when the water is cold than I'd typically target. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go to Youtube and look up Bomber Flat A HowTo  by legend Bobby Murray . That is exactly how I fish crankbaits after ice out during a warming trend . I've never used the Flat A then but I will give it a try next time .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×