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38 Super Fan

Norris Lake, first trip of the year and...

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Skunked! :lol: Only got skunked once all of last year, so maybe I just got it out the way early. ;) I knew I was probably in store for a tough day when I first turned on the graph and saw the water temp was 40 degrees. This was actually the coldest water I've ever fished on Norris.

 

I threw a blade bait some, hard jerkbait quite a bit, shakey head, and even the float n' fly a little, just couldn't get anything going. I did get a good smallie (probably 4 lbs) to bite on a 3/4 football jig in about 15 FOW. That fish came off at the boat though. I inched that jig around for hours after that, couldn't even get a nibble.

 

I do like Winter fishing, but I'm more comfortable with water temps in the upper 40s. I guess I need some work on my cold water game. On a positive note, it was still good to get out, first time I had fished in over a month. :)

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Getting skunked happens to everyone.  I feel like we could have a support group thread, if not sub-forum on here.  Winter fishing in PA typically involves dealing with ice and can be rough. Smallies tend to be more willing to play than largemouth, but water under 45 degrees can be tough, one exception (in my experience) has been during bright warm days following the cold nasty weather.  

 

The further you go under 50, in my experience, the less likely you are to find active crayfish and baitfish.  Sometimes, though, you'll  chance upon some luck during a cold snap if it happens to cause a kill-off shad/alewives.  In lakes, I've had very little success with this, but rivers are a different story, especially in places like tailwaters below dams.  

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Since moving out from Oregon have had some amazing days on that lake in winter when there is ice and snow on the banks....deep is your friend....at least for me.

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^^ What he said^^

I've been catching a couple each time I've been out, nothing with any size though.

All the fish I have caught have been in 20-30 feet and on a side of a point that extends into the main channel.

 

There is a hump that is now exposed right where Palmers Junction meets the main channel.

This spot has been pretty good to me throughout the years and the seasons. Sometimes there closer to the top sometimes there in 30 FOW.

I even managed a couple small spots fishing the 33 bridge.

 

I have not caught anything in the coves or feeder arms since Nov.

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10 hours ago, 38 Super Fan said:

Skunked! :lol: Only got skunked once all of last year, so maybe I just got it out the way early. ;) I knew I was probably in store for a tough day when I first turned on the graph and saw the water temp was 40 degrees. This was actually the coldest water I've ever fished on Norris.

 

I threw a blade bait some, hard jerkbait quite a bit, shakey head, and even the float n' fly a little, just couldn't get anything going. I did get a good smallie (probably 4 lbs) to bite on a 3/4 football jig in about 15 FOW. That fish came off at the boat though. I inched that jig around for hours after that, couldn't even get a nibble.

 

I do like Winter fishing, but I'm more comfortable with water temps in the upper 40s. I guess I need some work on my cold water game. On a positive note, it was still good to get out, first time I had fished in over a month. :)

The water is in the mid 40s on the lower end. Thanks for the post

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4 hours ago, BassNJake said:

^^ What he said^^

I've been catching a couple each time I've been out, nothing with any size though.

All the fish I have caught have been in 20-30 feet and on a side of a point that extends into the main channel.

 

There is a hump that is now exposed right where Palmers Junction meets the main channel.

This spot has been pretty good to me throughout the years and the seasons. Sometimes there closer to the top sometimes there in 30 FOW.

I even managed a couple small spots fishing the 33 bridge.

 

I have not caught anything in the coves or feeder arms since Nov.

I know that hump, drove right on by it yesterday though. I definitely need to work on my deep fishing. I just got a newer boat and some decent electronics (Humminbird 899 w/ GPS and side scan) last Fall, so I'm still getting familiar with that stuff. I did idle a few main lake points yesterday, didn't find much, but I need to get better at that in the future.

 

 

1 hour ago, TnRiver46 said:

The water is in the mid 40s on the lower end. Thanks for the post

Good to know, the low end is a pretty long drive for me, so I don't get down there much. I was in the 33 bridge area yesterday, it did warm up to 43 in a couple areas I fished.

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Also, if you pull a fish up to the boat it doesn't count as a skunk for Norris haha

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P.S. Hope your not using over 6# fluro right now.

:)

 

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42 minutes ago, Oregon Native said:

P.S. Hope your not using over 6# fluro right now.

:)

 

I've been using 8# on the finesse gear, but I'm sure going to 6# couldn't hurt.

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I have been using 8# pline and getting them

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Have done well on eight also...but in winter if I'm in a real clear water area the six has given me more amazing days.  I can fish deeper easier.  Could all be in my head....but it's fun.

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I was thinking about doing some Damiki rigging next time out, have any of you had success with this?

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I haven't! I can see my lure and fish on the graph but they have never actually bit it while I watched the graph. I have marked fish and then caught them by backing off and casting to them though. Also what happens sometimes is I catch a fish, maybe two, then look down at the graph and see elongated arches 

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Some days the "TV" fish bite for me...other's ... not so much.  Always worth trying....always.

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I have had it work at times, other times I have better results with the drop shot.

I think my issue is that my expectations are based on what I've seen on TV.

Those guys see the fish on the graph, they drop their bait down and then they're fighting the fish.

I drop my bait down a 100 times and only get 5 to bite.

 

I have not been disciplined enough to just stick with the Damiki all day

 

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Well folks, I decided to go to Cherokee yesterday, looking for a little redemption. I'd love to say I took everyone's advice and was able to catch a couple, but it didn't go too well. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I didn't get a single bite all day. I'm really ready for some warmer water now.

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I've always had trouble at Cherokee when the water is down.

No shame in that.(at least thats what I tell myself... hahaha)

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44 minutes ago, BassNJake said:

I've always had trouble at Cherokee when the water is down.

No shame in that.(at least thats what I tell myself... hahaha)

I don't know what the deal is, but Cherokee just has my number. It doesn't matter what time of year, or what the water level is. I keep telling myself I'm eventually gonna have a good day down there, but I never do. :lol:

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Interesting...was at Cherokee myself yesterday.  Wanted to try a new route.  Well...if ya like curves and back country roads...wow.  I believe I took 441 to 170 to the 33 bridge. Then came back the busy way on 33.  Both about the same...would sure love a short cut.  Was colllllllld up there.  Ice on guides all day and windy.  Started with one nice smallie and missed one in the first half hour and then I went exploring....ugh....turned into a rough day.  Going to stick to the lower lake in winter....it's better for me.....much.

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I always get a decent one or two on a gulp minnow there on Cherokee. But I definitely fish the lower end 

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