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So I’ve gone out once a day (for at least 3 hours) the last 4 days. All the ponds around me are still partially/totally frozen. For the ones that aren’t totally frozen I’ve been throwing jigs to the deepest spots of the pond, or at least the deepest spots I can cast to and I’ve had no luck at all. Not even a bite. It’s honestly really discouraging and I’m about to hang up my hat and wait until it gets warmer out. It sucks getting all bundled up and standing in the cold snow and wind to just get frustrated. What do you guys think, should I just wait until the water warms?? :sad7:

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I threw a Jerkbait today for about an hour and a half. The only Jerkbaits I have are pretty shallow diving jerkbaits and there’s no sign of ANY top water action. So for right now I’ll have to wait until I can get to a store to get some new deeper diving gear. 

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32 minutes ago, BigMinnow said:

So I’ve gone out once a day (for at least 3 hours) the last 4 days. All the ponds around me are still partially/totally frozen. For the ones that aren’t totally frozen I’ve been throwing jigs to the deepest spots of the pond, or at least the deepest spots I can cast to and I’ve had no luck at all. Not even a bite. It’s honestly really discouraging and I’m about to hang up my hat and wait until it gets warmer out. It sucks getting all bundled up and standing in the cold snow and wind to just get frustrated. What do you guys think, should I just wait until the water warms?? :sad7:

Perhaps an attitude adjustment is in order.  Everyone has fish-less days - everyone.  And I will readily admit to having a similar attitude during & after a few particular unproductive outings.  What has always helped me is to take a second and simply appreciate the opportunity to first be out at the lake & second to be doing something I really like & want to do.  After that, it's simply a matter for getting back out there, putting my head down and going fishing.  

   Especially this time of year, warmer days & some sun can really help.  So if & when the weather breaks, and it will, try to fish places that have the sun shining on them, are somewhat sheltered from the wind, & are perhaps close to deep(er) water.   Then, throw baits that you are confident in and Fish SHALLOW.  The bass will come to you.  They are coming shallow to warm up & Eat.  Fish holding out deeper may not be looking to eat.  If there's bait around - even better.  Be patient.   A jerkbait fished with a slow stroke & a decent pause can be deadly in this situation.   

So there you go.  

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

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  Might try  a marabou jig used for crappie fishing . Just try to catch some panfish and you might find what you seek .

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Give up and you do not figure it out. The tough times only make it more fun when you start getting into them.

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sometimes it take days to get anything at all. i have been in those ruts before. it is tuff but chin up. 

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Yep.

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I've been skunked on days like this too. Everyone has. Try some different baits, and downsize you baits. Fish low and slow. Keep thinking about it, and really,  you can make each time a learning experience.Don't give up.Instead, get back out there and get after it! 

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I learn Just as much by not catching fish, as I do actually catching them. Maybe a jig isn't what they want, maybe a tiny swimbait on a ball head creeped along the bottom will show better results.

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Some people like to get out and fish even when the odds on catching are against them. When the water is so cold that the ice isn't even gone, you must understand that fishing is going to be tough. Very tough. Myself, if I know I'm going to be uncomfortable and I'm going to be lucky to catch anything, I stay home and wait until conditions improve. If you like the challenge, and understand that you probably won't be catching anything, go out and give it a try.

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If you're fishing waters that are partially frozen still I'd guess the water temps are still in the high 30s which means the bass are moving slow and not very far.

 

I've done very well so far this year when I've fished waters in the low/mid 40s with blade baits, square bills, and suspending jerk baits in the 4-6' range.  I've struck out at one pond I generally do very well the three times I've fished it this year where the water temp's been 36.x-38.x.

 

Keep at it and don't be afraid to try new baits.  Read through this forum and I'm sure you'll find lots of cold water information from the membership....  

 

Best of luck.

 

ADD: One thing I've learned fishing in cold water is that the 'feeding window' is very short.

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I would tell you the percentage of times I catch 0 fish but honestly it would be embarrassing. It can be discouraging but when there’s ice on the water bass might not have hardly fed in those 4 days. Just keep at it and keep trying different things.

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2 hours ago, BigMinnow said:

So I’ve gone out once a day (for at least 3 hours) the last 4 days. All the ponds around me are still partially/totally frozen. For the ones that aren’t totally frozen I’ve been throwing jigs to the deepest spots of the pond, or at least the deepest spots I can cast to and I’ve had no luck at all. Not even a bite. It’s honestly really discouraging and I’m about to hang up my hat and wait until it gets warmer out. It sucks getting all bundled up and standing in the cold snow and wind to just get frustrated. What do you guys think, should I just wait until the water warms?? :sad7:

If you're not enjoying it, don't go.  I prefer waiting until the water temp rises a few days in a row.

 

18 minutes ago, CroakHunter said:

I learn Just as much by not catching fish, as I do actually catching them.

BULL...  LOL!!!

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1 hour ago, A-Jay said:

Perhaps an attitude adjustment is in order.  Everyone has fish-less days - everyone.  And I will readily admit to having a similar attitude during & after a few particular unproductive outings.  What has always helped me is to take a second and simply appreciate the opportunity to first be out at the lake & second to be doing something I really like & want to do.  After that, it's simply a matter for getting back out there, putting my head down and going fishing.  

   Especially this time of year, warmer days & some sun can really help.  So if & when the weather breaks, and it will, try to fish places that have the sun shining on them, are somewhat sheltered from the wind, & are perhaps close to deep(er) water.   Then, throw baits that you are confident in and Fish SHALLOW.  The bass will come to you.  They are coming shallow to warm up & Eat.  Fish holding out deeper may not be looking to eat.  If there's bait around - even better.  Be patient.   A jerkbait fished with a slow stroke & a decent pause can be deadly in this situation.   

So there you go.  

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

 

Very solid advice A-Jay. One will also learn that no matter how perfect the weather,or how much you prepare,there will be days youll come smellin like an ole skunk:)

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We got 30" of snow in one day last week, and maybe another foot since. Less than two weeks before that, we still had a foot of ice, which had just cleared out before the snow came. . And one of my kids plays travel hockey which is quite time consuming which is coming to an end. So between all that, I hope to start my fishing season in the next few weeks.

 

But that doesn't mean that you have to totally give up. My advice is if you have anything you need to get out of the way, do it now so in a few weeks when it finally warms up you can go out and catch some fish. If not, it might be a good opportunity to learn something new as well. I would think jigs, soft plastics, drop shots etc would be a good bet as the bass aren't very active yet. At least if you get skunked, it may not be a total waste if you learned something.

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Try targeting panfish, instead.

 

Cold-water largemouth bass feed slowly and on small prey. here in Connecticut, I've been catching them in 40 to 42 degree water with a white two-inch curlytail grub on a 1/8 ounce ball jighead. A couple of weeks ago, while I was fishing for yellow perch, I DID catch 14 yellows, but I also caught 12 largemouth bass and four chain pickerel. It was a really strange day.

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Thanks everyone for the motivation. I’m kinda new to fishing and I’ve really only spent a lot of time on the rivers (but they’re too cold right now and I don’t have a kayak or waders). I should mention I’m fishing from shore and can’t cast to the deepest parts of the lake so I might have to focus on catching panfish or use some shallow water tactics like a few of you have mentioned before. Can any of you offer tackle tips and suggestions for water temps just above freezing??

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In addition to jerkbaits and small jigs, you could try a slowly fished drop shot with a 2-1/2 inch Gulp! Minnow on it. If you use a 1/4 ounce weight, you'll be able to cast it a mile away to deeper water.

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Well, look at it this way.... Going fishing and getting skunked is still better than a day stuck in the  at work. 

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I feel for you guys in the North.  I'm in central Alabama and the temp is 41 this morning and I'm thinking about how cold it is going to be on the water.  Even here with the milder weather, there are times that they just seem to vanish for me.

  

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Just me, but I'd wait for warmer weather.  No fun standing around being cold just to not catch any fish and get discouraged.   Been there, done that.

 

Once the water warms up and the fish are biting, get out there and have fun.

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11 hours ago, PECo said:

Try targeting panfish, instead.

 

Cold-water largemouth bass feed slowly and on small prey. here in Connecticut, I've been catching them in 40 to 42 degree water with a white two-inch curlytail grub on a 1/8 ounce ball jighead. A couple of weeks ago, while I was fishing for yellow perch, I DID catch 14 yellows, but I also caught 12 largemouth bass and four chain pickerel. It was a really strange day.

That's actually a really good idea as well. When the drop shot isn't working, try trout or perch. Same goes for those really hot summer days in the middle of the day as well.

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Nah, I'd keep trying. But I'm stupid like that. The skunks make me want to go back even more. Fishing in very cold water can be extremely slow and often you're lucky to get one bite. You have to look at being outside as its own reward and a fish would just be a huge bonus. So don't stop paying attention. You don't want to miss the only bite you're likely to get. I believe a few posts up, someone suggested a jig and bobber. That's really a great idea because fish aren't looking for much action right now. Barely move that jig, and only intermittently. If you catch another species, that's OK too. Any action is better than none.

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At least you're able to get your line wet. Here we still have enough ice on the lakes that cars are still going out on them.

 

As others have said, target the panfish for now.

 

You could also practice casting and even practice your finesse work with the lures you have - rise/drop, twitching and other techniques. Practice now so when the ice is finally gone, you can entice those bass hiding in there out of their cover.

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