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Chance_Taker4

Winter fishing.....Up North?

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Well here in NW Ohio majority of the water is still liquid. Temps over the next 10 days low 50s for high and low 30 for lows. I don't see the waters freezing up anytime soon if ever this winter. So any advice for a northern guy that usually never gets to fish this late...errrrr..... early in the year? Water temps from the river I usually fish is around 41 degrees.

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My waters have long been frozen and will likely remain that way for some time.

But @everythingthatswims recently put something together on a river that you might find useful . . . 

Good Luck

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

 

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Fish will definitely move up almost like pre spawn with winter weather like that. Still have to fish slow, and it won't be any off the charts fishing, but it is doable. I recommend smaller bodies of water.

 

My buddy in northern WV caught a bass this weekend in 3FOW on a jig. Water was 42/43 degrees in the small lake he was fishing.

 

Dirty water is your friend, fish afternoons of sunny days, that stuff warms up. As far as river fishing goes, they can get super bunched up, but finding them is challenging. Once you do find a wintering area, it should be the same year after year.

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I prefer to focus on smaller bodies of water during the winter. Less water to eliminate, and it makes it easier for you to slow down and fish knowing you're probably around some fish. High population densities are good, and I prefer water with fairly decent visibility, a couple feet at least. You really can't fish too slow in winter, most of the time. I've had days they really surprised me with how active they were and actually wanted the bait moving fairly quickly. I'd suggest starting slow barely twitching or just pulling a jerkbait between long pauses, dragging a jig or shakyhead, or slowly bumping a crankbait along the bottom. You'll get a lot of pressure bites in the winter, the bait just feels a little heavier or a little different. Good thing is, fish seem to hold onto the bait for a long time in cold water, but swing away at anything that feels off. 

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It's been pretty mild for us also and December was a good month for me. I fish small to medium size rivers. Lures that have worked have been a swim jig with paddle tail trailer, float and fly, square bill(s) and jig/grub, big and small jerk bait and tubes.

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I am going to be going out tomorrow as well- can't beat 50 degrees in Chicago in JANUARY! WOW

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On 1/3/2019 at 12:13 AM, Bluebasser86 said:

I prefer to focus on smaller bodies of water during the winter. Less water to eliminate, and it makes it easier for you to slow down and fish knowing you're probably around some fish. High population densities are good, and I prefer water with fairly decent visibility, a couple feet at least. You really can't fish too slow in winter, most of the time. I've had days they really surprised me with how active they were and actually wanted the bait moving fairly quickly. I'd suggest starting slow barely twitching or just pulling a jerkbait between long pauses, dragging a jig or shakyhead, or slowly bumping a crankbait along the bottom. You'll get a lot of pressure bites in the winter, the bait just feels a little heavier or a little different. Good thing is, fish seem to hold onto the bait for a long time in cold water, but swing away at anything that feels off. 

This^^^  I've been catching at least as many over the past month as I do most other times. Here in Indiana we're very mild (50 yesterday and this weekend) so certainly not the norm. Caught a couple dozen up to 3 lbs. yesterday. I focus on HOA lakes so as @Bluebasser86 said small waters put you on fish pretty easy.

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