Jump to content
MaxVS3

Cold Water Smallies

Recommended Posts

Where should I find smallies early when water is under 50 degrees on a deep natural lake?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum! 

 

The closer the water gets to 50, the closer you're going to see fish moving towards the spawn.  Without knowing more about the lake you're fishing, I'm limited in how much I can help you with specifics, but generally you're going to be looking for any transitions from deep wintering areas to shallower spawning areas.  The more info you can provide, the better responses you'll get on here.  Also, check out the forum's search function.  There are tons of threads about pre-spawn transitions.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Smallies will be moving from deep water to shallow as the water warms. If you have underwater humps, rock, hard bottom to soft transition areas start looking for them there. They probably will suspend over those areas as they move shallower. 45 to 50 degrees is the magic time where the bite gets going for me. Once you hit 50 degrees the bite will be on until the spawning urges takes over around 60 degrees. Early prespawn finds the smallies moving shallow but they will pull back to deeper water with bait movement in deeper water. So you have to follow the bait most times to find the fish. Suspending bait balls will find the fish suspending & roaming as they feed up. If the bait only consists of bottom dwellers & crawfish the fish will be mostly on bottom or feeding down. If you have an incoming water supply like a creek or river which will be warmer than the lake water temps look shallow around that area. Then expand out from the area deeper until you find them. 

For clarification I would define deep as 20-40 feet & shallow as 6-15 feet. Often times the sweet spot is 15-20 based on water temps. Good luck out there. 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it’s warming up you want to look for secondary spots. Anywhere they might hold up between deep water and spawning areas. And structure, humps in the water will hold fish. If they aren’t there then they are still deep. If you get a good rain go straight to spawning areas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like everyone is saying, the transition is on from the deep holes to shallows. I really like and echo what Dwight said look on your down scans and structure finders and look for hard rock bottom with sparse grass or sand with random boulders. These areas will hold some fish. Another thing I look for is tight depth lines on the maps near channel swings. The more stacked the depth lines are the easier the transition is.

 

Temp is also key to what to throw. When your in the upper 30s to low 40s your practically not moving a bait. And your size matters. Small is better IMO. As the temp warms mid 40s to low 50s you can start moving a bit more jigs and craws can have a bigger presentaion.

 

I'm from NH and we have some of the coldest and clearest natural waters and I have had the best luck in the early going with very small  minow,shad baits on either a dimiki rig or drop shot just above the smallies head since they do prefer to eat up When they are suspended.

 

If the fish are lying on the bottom and appear to look like rocks I like either a swing head or small football jig with a trimmed skirt and light color craw or small neko rig.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to Bass Resource Max! I hope you come back and visit your thread because you have lots of good advice already.

 

Just wanted to welcome you. I lived in Ripon about a million years ago and fished Green Lake quite often with a buddy. Unfortunately we were more interested in drinking beer than catching fish so I have no fishing advice for you.

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 forum

    fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing poles

    fishing

    fishing reels

    fishing poles

    fishing reels

    fishing

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×