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Lethargic winter bass


PBBrandon
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Well today I went fishing at Lake Ray Roberts and just couldn’t get a bite to save my life. Was fishing under a railroad bridge between 2 deeper pockets (25-30ft), right where bass should be this time of year sitting on the bottom. Water temp was right at 50 and I tried throwing everything at them. Football jig, Shakey, Ned, dropshot, even threw a swimbait and tried to get a reaction strike but nothing seemed to work. We just had a warm front come in the other day following that crazy cold and the bass are super lethargic. Someone was fishing the same bridge on a boat and was saying there were plenty of fish on his livescope but they weren’t going after anything. Is there anything that y’all find effective when the fish are like this? Or is there just sometimes nothing you can do? I just can’t wait for spring again lol it seems I can never catch anything in the winter. Thank you.

 

this is the spot I was fishing atBF0CEA50-491F-49E9-92F7-076BB6B1ACF3.jpeg.f2a153654b4e829984c167a8ffd91995.jpeg

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  • Super User

Very unusual the lake here in north Georgia is completely iced over.  Have not seen this in many years.

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Some days are diamonds……… some aint

 

ray Roberts fish are probably as smart as they get, 50 degree water is nowhere near cold enough to make them lethargic 

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50 degree surface water doesn’t mean it’s 50 degrees at the depth the bass are located.

One of these days you all will come to the conclusion that inactive bass are not catchable bass. Active bass are catchable and neutral bass can be caught using the right presentation.

It’s all about timing and during colder water periods the timing is very short feeding cycles.

Tom

 

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8 hours ago, WRB said:

50 degree surface water doesn’t mean it’s 50 degrees at the depth the bass are located.

One of these days you all will come to the conclusion that inactive bass are not catchable bass. Active bass are catchable and neutral bass can be caught using the right presentation.

It’s all about timing and during colder water periods the timing is very short feeding cycles.

Tom

 

You nailed this on the head! Now the 33 degree water I was fishing in Thursday is enough to make them inactive.

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Ray Roberts only gets stocked with Florida’s (been that way forever).  I have had some great days on that lake but I have had some stinkers as well.  Ray Roberts can be finicky and it doesn’t take northern temps to turn those fish off.

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4 hours ago, RDB said:

Ray Roberts only gets stocked with Florida’s (been that way forever).  I have had some great days on that lake but I have had some stinkers as well.  Ray Roberts can be finicky and it doesn’t take northern temps to turn those fish off.

Yeah I typically go to Texoma more than Ray Roberts, much easier lake to fish. Tried RR again today with no luck and figured with the warming pattern over the past week or so, I’d be better off targeting the shallows in smaller bodies of water. Went to a small pond and caught 4 fish in a couple of hours. They were pretty feisty too. I’ll probably wait until spawn to try ray roberts again. 

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I also fished on 12/30 in central NC.  I caught 6 fish which I consider a slow bite for this lake.  We had some very cold weather here late December, on Friday it finally warmed up some.  The air temps Friday were in the 60s but water temps were still in the mid 40s.  Water was dark and muddy, visibility maybe 1.5 feet at best. 

 

I was at a mid size local lake maybe 50-100 acres, shallow depth less than 15 feet for the most part.  On Friday the back third of the lake was iced over, which I have never seen before at this lake. 

 

5 bass came from a LC Pointer 100 in Chartreuse Shad.  Two of them were 3 pound fish, one was 3-10 which was the big fish for the day.  

 

I also caught my first swimbait fish, a 3-8 on a Huddleston 68.  Surprisingly I got several bites on the Huddleston, and I had never fished with one before. 

 

Might be worth trying a swimbait retrieved slowly near the bottom.  Which swimbait were you throwing?  Do you throw jerkbaits a lot?  I've been on a jerkbait kick lately and it's been working very well for me in the cold water. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Carolina Pines said:

I also fished on 12/30 in central NC.  I caught 6 fish which I consider a slow bite for this lake.  We had some very cold weather here late December, on Friday it finally warmed up some.  The air temps Friday were in the 60s but water temps were still in the mid 40s.  Water was dark and muddy, visibility maybe 1.5 feet at best. 

 

I was at a mid size local lake maybe 50-100 acres, shallow depth less than 15 feet for the most part.  On Friday the back third of the lake was iced over, which I have never seen before at this lake. 

 

5 bass came from a LC Pointer 100 in Chartreuse Shad.  Two of them were 3 pound fish, one was 3-10 which was the big fish for the day.  

 

I also caught my first swimbait fish, a 3-8 on a Huddleston 68.  Surprisingly I got several bites on the Huddleston, and I had never fished with one before. 

 

Might be worth trying a swimbait retrieved slowly near the bottom.  Which swimbait were you throwing?  Do you throw jerkbaits a lot?  I've been on a jerkbait kick lately and it's been working very well for me in the cold water. 

 

 

I was throwing a white 3.75 inch rage swimmer on a 5/16oz jighead I believe. Nothing too big. I also tried a Rapala deep suspending jerkbait, I just recently started throwing jerkbaits a bunch. Glad to hear you were getting some bites on a swimbait, I’ve been wanting to get into bigger swimbait fishing but need a rod for it first. Another reason to buy more tackle lol. 

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On 1/3/2023 at 4:52 PM, PBBrandon said:

I was throwing a white 3.75 inch rage swimmer on a 5/16oz jighead I believe. Nothing too big. I also tried a Rapala deep suspending jerkbait, I just recently started throwing jerkbaits a bunch. Glad to hear you were getting some bites on a swimbait, I’ve been wanting to get into bigger swimbait fishing but need a rod for it first. Another reason to buy more tackle lol. 

I haven't had a hit on Ray Bob since 12/29, been out every day trying to figure out when there's some activity going. The only active fish I've been able to find on the reservoir since the new year have been at Isle du Bois around 7PM on a full moon night. And they didn't want anything I was throwing. I tried probably 10 different lures. Until we get colder and they can start gorging on dying threadfins or we warm back up into the 60s...I expect these conditions to continue. I haven't tried the smaller bodies...probably should. It's just not fishing real well. None of the guides I know are doing much better than OK right now. That Buck Creek bridge you were at is a good spot, especially in the fall/late summer but kind of a pain in the butt to get to unless you walk on the train tracks. I've never done very well over there except with spotted bass. gets real muddy after rains.
When this lake is on it's among the best in DFW if not the best, but it's off...OFF! like bug spray right now. Worst it's been from the shore since I started fishing it in 2021. Texoma is for sure a better bet...I would fish there more but I live south of RR and I don't know the first thing about shore fishing Texoma lol

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22 hours ago, thediscochef said:

I haven't had a hit on Ray Bob since 12/29, been out every day trying to figure out when there's some activity going. The only active fish I've been able to find on the reservoir since the new year have been at Isle du Bois around 7PM on a full moon night. And they didn't want anything I was throwing. I tried probably 10 different lures. Until we get colder and they can start gorging on dying threadfins or we warm back up into the 60s...I expect these conditions to continue. I haven't tried the smaller bodies...probably should. It's just not fishing real well. None of the guides I know are doing much better than OK right now. That Buck Creek bridge you were at is a good spot, especially in the fall/late summer but kind of a pain in the butt to get to unless you walk on the train tracks. I've never done very well over there except with spotted bass. gets real muddy after rains.
When this lake is on it's among the best in DFW if not the best, but it's off...OFF! like bug spray right now. Worst it's been from the shore since I started fishing it in 2021. Texoma is for sure a better bet...I would fish there more but I live south of RR and I don't know the first thing about shore fishing Texoma lol

Yeah I caught an 8 pounder off the rocks last year at buck creek. Usually is really good. I did accidentally launch a jerkbait up onto the tracks and had to get up there to get it. Made sure I didn’t hear a train and went for it lol. I tried Isle Du Bois as well but the wind was real bad and in my face so I didn’t stay long. If you do go to texoma, the rock bluffs at Eisenhower are really nice. As well as by the dam on the south side. Really good smallmouth fishing there

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5 hours ago, PBBrandon said:

Yeah I caught an 8 pounder off the rocks last year at buck creek. Usually is really good. I did accidentally launch a jerkbait up onto the tracks and had to get up there to get it. Made sure I didn’t hear a train and went for it lol. I tried Isle Du Bois as well but the wind was real bad and in my face so I didn’t stay long. If you do go to texoma, the rock bluffs at Eisenhower are really nice. As well as by the dam on the south side. Really good smallmouth fishing there

Good to know...I went to Eisenhower a few months ago and didn't do any good but it was HOT still. I'd looked at the maps and figured that corner of the lake would be good bass territory but I was working and my time was limited. Need to get up there with an exploring buddy.

I know there's monsters all up and down that side of the lake over by Buck creek. Lake record came not far from there. Isle is usually a wind-in-your-face sort of place...with any north or west wind it's a thing. Main reason I got a DC reel. All of the parks on RR are a challenge with a north or west wind, but Jordan and Isle are easily the roughest in those situations. They finally stopped trying to maintain the breakwall at Isle because it was getting roughed up so hard. I've seen two foot swell on the isle ramp which is impressive IMO for a lake that size.

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My water temp was 46 on the Cumberland Sunday. Don't know is it was just me or the fish were chilly but I only caught two dinks before I headed home. Slowest day for me in years.

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