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First Trip of 2024


Bankbeater

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I appreciate trip reports where nothing was caught. Last April when the water was still cold, I caught one bass three times. When I read that others struggle, I know I'm not alone. 

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I went Friday after work and Sunday 12-4pm. Super stained river like 0-1 ft visibility and fast current. Nothing Friday not even on side or down images. Sunday I had one small bass follow a spinner to the side of my boat. Only one other person that I know of caught a dink finesse fishing. Water temps went from 38 last week to 41 but we’re about to get another cold front so it’s probably going to tank again. I’ve tried everything, glides, cranks, spinners, jigs, wind blown banks, deep water, shallow water you name it. It’s tough this time of year in my area. Guys are blistering panfish though.

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@ol'crickety It’s obviously yet a bit early in some areas for the bass to be much closer to active - still winter "pattern" to their behavior, at least here, IMO. I don’t recall too many years where so many ponds (<2-3 acres  is a pond here) & lakes were ice free this early. At best, I’m fishing last week of February, if not early March on a typical year. We may still yet have some "skim" icing left as temps may dip low enough at night for some slack waters to slightly ice back over.

 

We need water temps to climb here & just haven’t quite had enough warm days or warm rains for that to happen. I’ve not had the experience for winter open water fishing. My stubborn insistence on power fishing probably doesn’t help me much either. I just know it was chilly in the wind Saturday & the bass in Lake Shantbenamed weren’t wanting anything I was throwing. Will see what happens in a slight change in my approach. A few baitcasters will be replaced with a spinning rod or two next time out or in near future. See Tackle Purchase thread for details if interested.

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@RipzLipz I’m the same way, I absolutely refuse to finesse fish lol. I just can’t do it I get board after 5 minutes. I know I would have better results at times if I could commit to it.

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I got skunked twice in a row in December, water temp 42*.

Went out last week for the first time in 2024 and caught my 1st LMb ever when water temps started with a 3, 38* to be exact.

Winter fishing can be very slow but still enjoyable if you can find a unseasonably warm day.

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4 minutes ago, Bird said:

I got skunked twice in a row in December, water temp 42*.

Went out last week for the first time in 2024 and caught my 1st LMb ever when water temps started with a 3, 38* to be exact.

Winter fishing can be very slow but still enjoyable if you can find a unseasonably warm day.

Glad you were clear about the water temps.......I could feel some of these BR boys ready to pounce!

😁

On 2/11/2024 at 11:08 AM, Bankbeater said:

A cold front came through Friday night.  So my trip on Saturday was on the chilly side

skunked.jpg

I was skunked yesterday on a local state run lake. Water high and muddy after 5-1/2 " of rain the past four days. Only stayed two hours. My trip was chilly too! Makes me wonder what wrong with us!

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@DinkDonkey30

My fishing partner won't even throw a Texas rig, it's nothing but crank baits, spinnerbaits and buzz baits. Lol

 

We get on a gin clear lake and I'm smoking them on a Ned or wacky finesse worm and offer to rig him up, he always declines.

That's when I tell him " that's ok, you just sit back there and be my cheerleader then ". 😂

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14 minutes ago, DinkDonkey30 said:

@RipzLipz I’m the same way, I absolutely refuse to finesse fish lol. I just can’t do it I get board after 5 minutes. I know I would have better results at times if I could commit to it.

     Crazy how we anglers all have the same DNA but are so different in some ways. I couldn't stand to be power fishing for more than say, 5 minutes. Probably because I have little confidence, and just know I'm wasting my time. On the other hand, I can finesse fish all day and never get bored....well....unless I never get a tug on the line. Perhaps if I were a better angler, and could catch fish spinning that handle I would feel differently. As it is, I just drift and catch the little, dumb ones! 

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On 2/11/2024 at 12:08 PM, Bankbeater said:

A cold front came through Friday night

This keeps happening around here. We get a little break, then a string of overnights in the 20s. Really chills the shallow spots around here especially with wind in the mix, and keeps bass glued to the out-of-reach deeper areas.

 

The Pickeral are biting though. They've also swiped about $60 worth of baits during my few last outings. I got about 3 casts out of a brand-new Flashback Mini before I set into a stout one. Felt like I snagged a log until I saw the swell, felt the headshake, then blink, line cut like nothing once again.

 

1 aaaaa cldovn - Copy.png

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1 hour ago, RipzLipz said:

 It’s obviously yet a bit early in some areas for the bass to be much closer to active - still winter "pattern" to their behavior, at least here, IMO.

 

It's still dipping into the teens and the occasional single digits at night here. Even if the water were wet and I could catch a bass, I'd be shivering more than fishing. I'm a couple months out.

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Our weather people on the radio talk about cold fronts in July when the high drops from 88 to 82, they just can’t help themselves. Life is one big cold front to them 

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@TnRiver46i don’t think so. I have 3 finesse rods rigged up but I can’t bring myself to pull them out of the locker. I don’t mind throwing a Carolina rig or speed worm on occasion but I can’t get behind the wacky rigs, Ned rigs, drop shots etc. I don’t have the patience.

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Me neither but after a few hundred zeros I like to catch something. I have patience for lots of things but skunking isn’t my favorite 

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@TnRiver46 You cure me of the power fishing addiction & I’ll cure you of the spinnerbait curse. 🤣

 

@DinkDonkey30 You’re probably more than 1 hour north of me - we were ice free over 2 weeks ago for the most part with 1 snow covering this year which lasted a week. You may get a bit more chilly than us if you’re more than 1-2 hours from Indy. Regardless, water temps are still in high 30s & 40s in most places, closer to 50s the further south you go (more than likely). Unless we get extreme highs or lows, things will even out I’d expect. We’re just anxious. Not that they can’t be caught, just not quite time for the power stuff here yet, and especially not shallower than 10’.

 

@ol'crickety Our winter has been very mild, with very little snow. As I said to DinkDonkey, only 1 snow that covered the ground & required the shovels for a quick push to clear the driveway. Got below 20° for 2-4 weeks, warmed up above 30° & rained/drizzled for ~10 straight days. Got into 60s for a day or two then Friday night temps dropped 10-15° with 30s & 40s as far out as I can see, some nights down into high 20s possibly. Close to magic time but wind will be my main adversary more than anything.

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@RipzLipz I don’t think there’s anywhere in this country that light tackle won’t catch a lot of nice fish. I’ve struck out with heavy gear moving fast all over the map 😂 

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@TnRiver46 I don’t doubt it & I used to fish more of a finesse style. Did that up until my late 30s. It’s just not as enjoyable for me & I’m sure confidence/mental stuff is also involved due to every LM over 5.5lbs I’ve caught where I fish has come on jigs, spinnerbaits & topwaters on casting gear. My issue right now is I’m flat out being stubborn, more than likely. Part of it is also due to the ungodly sprawling laydowns one lake has vs. the smaller strip pits having more open water & much less potential for breakoffs/snags. I realize your rivers are probably full of hazards - just all in what hazards you’re accustomed to fishing. Like I said, I will give it a shot with both spinning gear & downsizing & see if it makes a difference. I can take a skunking - it can be part of it, particularly if targeting larger fish, as I usually am trying to do.

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1 hour ago, RipzLipz said:

Close to magic time but wind will be my main adversary more than anything.

 

Me too. The wind tells me when I can go fishing. 15' 6" of canoe means I sit high and my hull acts like a sail.

 

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Flipping into thick laydowns, @T-Billyis the man to talk to. I catch some fish around them but nothing like what he does. Directly into the jungle in the fishing Mecca of southern Ohio 

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8 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

Flipping into thick laydowns, @T-Billyis the man to talk to. I catch some fish around them but nothing like what he does. Directly into the jungle in the fishing Mecca of southern Ohio 

#STRAIGHTBRAIDBRIGADE!!! 🤣

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11 hours ago, DinkDonkey30 said:

@TnRiver46i don’t think so. I have 3 finesse rods rigged up but I can’t bring myself to pull them out of the locker. I don’t mind throwing a Carolina rig or speed worm on occasion but I can’t get behind the wacky rigs, Ned rigs, drop shots etc. I don’t have the patience.

 

10 hours ago, RipzLipz said:

@TnRiver46 You cure me of the power fishing addiction & I’ll cure you of the spinnerbait curse

 

 

10 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

@RipzLipz I don’t think there’s anywhere in this country that light tackle won’t catch a lot of nice fish. I’ve struck out with heavy gear moving fast all over the map 😂 

 

28 minutes ago, T-Billy said:

#STRAIGHTBRAIDBRIGADE!!! 🤣

 

I don't get the hair-spiltting over gear and technique. It's like I'm hearing a foreign language.

 

I'll flip (pitch, really) a heavy jig on braid.......or cast a 4" worm on a 1/16oz head.   Spinnerbait, jerkbait, ned rig, senko, whatever,....no preferences, here.  Whatever gets it done.

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