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A-Jay's Annual Ice Out / Open Water Countdown Thread ~


A-Jay

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What can I say....I'm good

 

(sacrifices to Gaia don't hurt either)

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9 minutes ago, gimruis said:

I looked for you. :skiing-086:

 

@A-Jay April 3

@MN Fisher March 20

@gimruis April 5

OK so perhaps not that far off for me.

But when I picked that date I can admit I was being wildly optimistic,

never for a real second thinking that it would ever even be close to that.

Be careful what you wish for  . . . . 

I'd even take a snot rocket at this point.

😁

A-Jay

 

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11 minutes ago, gimruis said:

@A-Jay I think it will soon be “operation payload” day there. We’ll expect to see a photo with all the rigs ready to go.

Plan on it.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

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On 2/12/2024 at 7:53 PM, A-Jay said:

 After yanking the Berkley & Rapala branded jerkbaits off of the boat and out of the regular rotation, I’m left with Strike King, Lucky Craft, Smithwick and Megabass offerings. 

And I’m good with that, because they produce.

However, this minor bait reduction left a couple of small voids in my arsenal.  

Specifically in the ‘smaller’ size range.

So I did a little poking around and results are listed and pictured below.

Additions are underlined.

From the top row down . . .

(and mostly for size reference)

Row 1 ~ Vision 110 R +1

Row 2 ~ Vision 110 +1

Rows 3 (new colors), 4 & 5 ~ Vision 110

Row 6 ~ Vision 110 Silent

Row 7 ~ Vision 110 +1 Jr

Row 8 ~ X-Nanahan +2

Row 9 ~ X-Nanahan +1 Jerkbait

 

large.Megabassjerkbaitadditions.jpg.85e4a8f0433a3b418dd179667149d7c3.jpg

 

So let’s see how this deal goes . . .

51 Days ~

:smiley:

A-Jay

Thanks for that great picture Ajay. That really shows those in there true color. I appreciate that.

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On 2/12/2024 at 8:53 PM, A-Jay said:

 After yanking the Berkley & Rapala branded jerkbaits off of the boat and out of the regular rotation, I’m left with Strike King, Lucky Craft, Smithwick and Megabass offerings. 

And I’m good with that, because they produce.

However, this minor bait reduction left a couple of small voids in my arsenal.  

Specifically in the ‘smaller’ size range.

So I did a little poking around and results are listed and pictured below.

Additions are underlined.

From the top row down . . .

(and mostly for size reference)

Row 1 ~ Vision 110 R +1

Row 2 ~ Vision 110 +1

Rows 3 (new colors), 4 & 5 ~ Vision 110

Row 6 ~ Vision 110 Silent

Row 7 ~ Vision 110 +1 Jr

Row 8 ~ X-Nanahan +2

Row 9 ~ X-Nanahan +1 Jerkbait

 

large.Megabassjerkbaitadditions.jpg.85e4a8f0433a3b418dd179667149d7c3.jpg

 

So let’s see how this deal goes . . .

51 Days ~

:smiley:

A-Jay


random curiosity question.  What would make you pick row 3 left vs row 5 right on a given day?  Same lure, just different color. But the color is so similar between them.  Both are clearly a perch imitation.

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I would first pick 5 right.  I've used that colour in real clear water with success where I fish.  The perch that frequent the reed fields have a dark back and the bass seem to like that darker tone.

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Lakes are clear here...I'm just back from vacation...

 

"Marge" will be moved from the shop to the garage on Saturday, de-winterized, electronics hooked up, prepared.

 

I fish on Sunday!

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5 hours ago, casts_by_fly said:


random curiosity question.  What would make you pick row 3 left vs row 5 right on a given day?  Same lure, just different color. But the color is so similar between them.  Both are clearly a perch imitation.

That's a Really Great Question.

@casts_by_fly

3 gets the nod in cold super clear water.

Both are pretty good though.

What about Silent vs Rattler ? 

And in my mind one that truly has no definitive answer.   However,  IME Rattle vs Silent when choosing jerkbaits is a huge deal.  I have taken trophies on both.

I have started loud in an area and finished silent .  I have also done the reverse.

Both play.  My own loose set of rules is, silent seems better when there are multile big fish shallow,  7 ft or less.  Better here means I can fish the same small areas and get multiple bites.  Often running a rattler through the same places can get me one, followed by less action.

I will often use a rattler in larger areas, looking for a bit. Once contact is made, I go silent with good results.

Wish they would make a silent deep 110 that casts. Speaking of deep, SK just came out with a new 300d, it rattles, but it Sinks.

I predict carnage.

:smiley:

A-Jay

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4 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

That's a Really Great Question.

@casts_by_fly

3 gets the nod in cold super clear water.

Both ate pretty good though.

What about Silent vs Rattler ? 

And in my mind one that truely has no definitive answer.   However,  IME Rattle vs Silent when choosing jerkbaits is a huge deal.  I have taken trophies on both.

I have started loud in an area and finished silent .  I have also done the reverse.

Both play.  My own loose set of rules is, silent seems better when there are multile big fish shallow,  7 ft or less.  Better here means I can fish the same small areas and get multiple bites.  Often running a rattler through the same places can get me one, followed by less action.

I will often use a rattler in larger areas, looking for a bit. Once contact is made, I go silent with good results.

Wish they would make a silent deep 110 that casts. Speaking of deep, SK just came out with a new 300d, it rattles, but it Sinks.

I predict carnage.

:smiley:

A-Jay


so subtlety more or less. Colder water, clearer water, more flighty conditions/spots/fish and you’ll go to a more subtle bait which could include the color intensity, noise, or action. Makes sense to me. I guess my thinking was that there is a negligible difference between the two so not sure that I’d carry both. Three left and row four right would be a great 1-2 punch for perchy conditions.  Then again, if I had 18’ of aluminum and 6 lb smallmouth at the ready maybe I would…

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41 minutes ago, casts_by_fly said:


so subtlety more or less. Colder water, clearer water, more flighty conditions/spots/fish and you’ll go to a more subtle bait which could include the color intensity, noise, or action. Makes sense to me. I guess my thinking was that there is a negligible difference between the two so not sure that I’d carry both. Three left and row four right would be a great 1-2 punch for perchy conditions.  Then again, if I had 18’ of aluminum and 6 lb smallmouth at the ready maybe I would…

I have no idea what a bass sees or even likes.  Some baits seem to work on some days on some fish.  First part of that is I have to find them. Every trip.  Bites are often the only indicator of their presence.  

I carry many options and try whatever until there's contact made.  My days of "force feeding" fish what I 'think' they should eat are long gone.  I'll fish a flip flop like my life depended on it if it'll gets bites. 

:smiley:

A-Jay

brw, bait 3rd row left, is a Shrimp !

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3 hours ago, A-Jay said:

I have no idea what a bass sees or even likes.  Some baits seem to work on some days on some fish.  First part of that is I have to find them. Every trip.  Bites are often the only indicator of their presence.  

I carry many options and try whatever until there's contact made.  My days of "force feeding" fish what I 'think' they should eat are long gone.  I'll fish a flip flop like my life depended on it if it'll gets bites. 

:smiley:

A-Jay

brw, bait 3rd row left, is a Shrimp !


I thought it looked crustacean like. Looks a lot like the bomber patterns of crayfish just over a perch like base color. 
 

how long will you throw a given bait before you switch bait/color?  If a bass eating your lure is your indicator, then it’s a combo of having a lure they will eat in a place they will be. Do you change places first or lures/colors?

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12 hours ago, A-Jay said:

I have no idea what a bass sees or even likes.  Some baits seem to work on some days on some fish.  First part of that is I have to find them. Every trip.  Bites are often the only indicator of their presence.  

I carry many options and try whatever until there's contact made.  My days of "force feeding" fish what I 'think' they should eat are long gone.  I'll fish a flip flop like my life depended on it if it'll gets bites. 

:smiley:

A-Jay

brw, bait 3rd row left, is a Shrimp !

For me bites are not the only indicator of the presence of fish.  In the waters I fish regularly, from May to September, in a lot of areas, I can see smallmouth before I catch them.  This is shallow water fishing ( 3 to 6 feet).  It's like bonefishing on white marl flats. These fish are not on beds.  They are free roaming.   I've been doing that for 20 years so I was lucky enough to see fish react to a multitude of lures.  With experience, when you throw something at the fish and see their reaction, you know immediately if it's going to work.  Three or four casts are enough.  The most important lesson I learned is that little things matter.

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Definitely a weird winter in Maine this year. Not much snow and it's usually followed by rain.

It drizzled yesterday and we have 3-4 days of 45 degrees and rain coming this week. It could turn into one of the earliest ice-outs to date.  😃🤞

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9 hours ago, casts_by_fly said:

 

how long will you throw a given bait before you switch bait/color?  If a bass eating your lure is your indicator, then it’s a combo of having a lure they will eat in a place they will be. Do you change places first or lures/colors?

More good questions, which I would like to respond to.

But rather than bury my response in this ice out thread, I'll add it to Brown Bass Tools

https://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/topic/211811-brown-bass-tools-~-questions-answers/

and link at deal here as well.

Hitting the gym first though . . . .

Back in a bit.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

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Following some morning rain / snow showers,

anomalous to record breaking warmth builds to kick off the work week.

(might see air temps in the 60's here - just crazy talk for Feb)

Next precipitation chance comes Tuesday night as a larger system ushers in cooler air,

allowing for rain to mix with wintry precipitation.

Either way there's not enough Ice to ice fish, but not much if any open water yet.

While the ski slopes are able to make just enough snow to keep a few down hill skiers happy, 

the good times end there.  No snow machines, cross country skiers, dog sled teams, or show shoe peeps have much to work with.

Forecast doesn't look good for anyone,  but me . . .

we should me melting to open water early & often.

My gear is like 98% rigged & ready at this point

and all I need to do now is load the boat & prep the trailer.

But there's still some time for that.   

I've been in this weird anticipatory holding pattern for longer than I care for. 

It's 'Tight line Sunday' as well.

Going with a simple pic of a gorgeous May brown bass.

She the choked a Jackhammer right at the boat late afternoon.

Made my day.

 

large.5-7_smb__cropped.png.4bff67df514c2ed0cf50701a857d55ff.png

:smiley:

A-Jay

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13 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

My gear is like 98% rigged & ready at this point

I'm about half-done with reel maintenance - finally upgraded my grease from Abu to Cals...reels I've done are soooo much smoother.

Trailer mod still needs to be finished - been a bit chilly in the garage to do that, but warmer weather is on the horizon.

Boxes are pretty much packed and ready to go into the compartments...but it'll be the panfish gear that gets the first workout - 76 days to bass opener.

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Sounds like you're making it happen.

I started & finished my reel deal early this time around.

That ReelX oil & Grease are good and convenient.

And the ZPI F-0 bearing oil is the The Best I've found. 

Super thin and doesn't seem to build up or attract much debris.

(btw- 'several' spinning reels (not pictured) are also Locked & loaded)

 

large.Castingreelspre-cleaningBR.jpg.ab59a6faf1116d171047ba54fb5af55b.jpg

:smiley:

A-Jay

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I see you use the Rapid line clips too - very convenient IMO

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Open Water Has Started!!!:cheer:

 

Running to get dinner, I noticed that the Emerald Channel (between Cooks Bay and Emerald Lake) is open - it's not much, maybe 30 square yards - but it's open water non-the-less.

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High of 70 expected tomorrow.

 

I need to go check out the situation on some of the area lakes yet, but the residential ponds and the river are all open water.

 

And I am off work next week...

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Hard to believe, but water is basically open here with no real chance of freezing again. The two week forecast still calls for 50s and 60s every day, which is hard to wrap my head around being February still. Gonna be rigging all my gear up this week. I’ll be on the water the earliest ever, it looks like. I could launch the boat today if I wanted. Seems surreal. 

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We're gonna see melting after the two-day dip coming up. Today 60, Tomorrow 40, Wed 22 - then climbing back to the 60s by Saturday.

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