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Drew03cmc

Ice out on midwestern ponds

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Hey, I'm stumped. We just finally broke the ice and water is still in the mid to upper 30s, maybe 40. I fish a 1 acre pond, 5 acre pond and 7 acre lake near home and I can't buy a bite. The depths might get to 12 feet maximum, lots of shallow structure, one has a fountain. I've heard to toss jerkbaits, but from shore, I have less than zero confidence. I have Yozuri 3DB suspending minnows, Pointer 78s and Lightning Pointers. I'm unsure if a jig would work for me as the bottoms are mucky, mud, leaves, moss, etc. Lipless baits will come into play when water breaks 45 or 48 for me, as will spinnerbaits and chatterbaits, but right now, I am open to suggestions. One pond in particular, I have great success in spring and summer with weightless Trick Worms, Fin-Eke Worms and BBB Trick Sticks, but again, early season fishing is kind of new for me. Any suggestions, I'm all ears. Thanks guys. 

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Find the steepest break to deep water you can cast to from shore, and try to parallel it with the jerkbait. I am not a jerkbait master, but I have been successful doing this from shore in gravel pit lakes with a smithwick suspending rogue, in water down into the 30s. 

 

And take Zona's advice:  Fish it as a pullbait:

 

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I'll have to try that!

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It's still going to be rough man. Open water doesn't mean it's warm water. Ice melt doesn't mean the fish turned on. All it means is we're getting closer. That water is still 20 degrees off from being fishable. You're still in super finesse mode. Slow way down. Down size. 

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I'm guessing your lakes have a sloping contour without any real steep breaks. I do real well with a ned rig on a very light head (1/32-1/16) with light line. Keep it moving slow off the bottom and you should get bit.

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Texas rig a 4" stick bait or 5" finesse worm with an 1/8th or 1/16th ounce weight and SLOWLY hop it around. 

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Where are you?How far south are you?I’m dying for open water. Try a double fluke with small gulp minnows no weight let them sink to the bottom and hop them slowly 1-2’ off the bottom or drop shot them good luck enjoy the open water.

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Ned rig. Very light standup jig head with a Zman TRD (or 1/2 a ZinkerZ). I prefer the Coppertruese color. Throw it out. Let it sit. Shake it gently. Slowly drag it toward you. Let it sit...you get the idea. 

 

For even better luck:

Do this on an afternoon on the side of the pond that has gotten the most sunlight that day. 

 

I did this around New Years when we had a thaw and the pond ice opened. The results are in the “Lastest catch pics” thread. 👍

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2 hours ago, MIbassyaker said:

Find the steepest break to deep water you can cast to from shore, and try to parallel it with the jerkbait. I am not a jerkbait master, but I have been successful doing this from shore in gravel pit lakes with a smithwick suspending rogue, in water down into the 30s. 

 

And take Zona's advice:  Fish it as a pullbait:

 

This is exactly how I fish mine in ponds and small lakes this time of year, parallel to deep banks. Fish will often be very close to the shore even in cold water on those steep banks. Small twitches or just pulling it forward, then long pauses is key. 

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2 hours ago, Glaucus said:

It's still going to be rough man. Open water doesn't mean it's warm water. Ice melt doesn't mean the fish turned on. All it means is we're getting closer. That water is still 20 degrees off from being fishable. You're still in super finesse mode. Slow way down. Down size. 

I know that. I'm just wanting some guidance in the right direction. Bottom fishing is out. It can't be done. Baits get lost in the junk down there and can't be seen. 

2 hours ago, The Bassman said:

I'm guessing your lakes have a sloping contour without any real steep breaks. I do real well with a ned rig on a very light head (1/32-1/16) with light line. Keep it moving slow off the bottom and you should get bit.

This is option #1 this week when I go out. 

1 hour ago, BigAngus752 said:

Ned rig. Very light standup jig head with a Zman TRD (or 1/2 a ZinkerZ). I prefer the Coppertruese color. Throw it out. Let it sit. Shake it gently. Slowly drag it toward you. Let it sit...you get the idea. 

 

For even better luck:

Do this on an afternoon on the side of the pond that has gotten the most sunlight that day. 

 

I did this around New Years when we had a thaw and the pond ice opened. The results are in the “Lastest catch pics” thread. 👍

On the bottom is out. It simply doesn't work. @Bluebasser86 can verify it isn't even an option here this time of year. 

59 minutes ago, Bluebasser86 said:

This is exactly how I fish mine in ponds and small lakes this time of year, parallel to deep banks. Fish will often be very close to the shore even in cold water on those steep banks. Small twitches or just pulling it forward, then long pauses is key. 

I'll have to try it. Maybe it'll work for me. Spinning rod and the little Yozuri baits I grabbed it is. Ned rig for backup. 

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