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deermaster

what do you va fishermen do?

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ive got this posted on the main forum as well, but i fiund this regional forum and i thought id put it here as well.

i am new to bass fishing and i was wondering if you can catch em in the winter?  i fish a small farm pond, about 7 acres in size.  it has lots or brush around the shores, and is quite deep, about 30 feet in the middle.  i have caught alot of decent sized bass and crappie in the summer here, an i was wondering how long into the winter i can catch fish?  it rarely freezes here, we may have 2-3 weeks of 20 degree daytime temps, but normally 30-50 is the average winter temps, only during the coldest weeks, probably a total of 1 month all together does it actually freeze.  i live in va.  how long can i catch fish and during the cold months, what lures should i use?  thanks for any info!

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Pretty much the same techiniques that you have been useing or learned will work. Yes the bite will slow down but then again fish have to eat..... the Bigger Bass will only hit when it is presented in front of it, hence it will not chace a meal since that exerts energy, the smaller ones will always chace the bait. try jigging around weed beds or target any remaining LIVING vegetation. BIG Fish need the oxygen an so do the little ones. the smaller ones will eventaully migrate there, an that's when the big ones will strike. My rule of thumb is the warmest days of winter an the coolest days of summer. Besides a bad day fishing is better than a good day of work.

let me know how you've done. :)

memo

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if its not frozen, will the fish bite all winter? thanks for the info!

pretty much! It just gets harder to get a bite.

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The lake I grew up on in Ohio would freeze over every winter, so, when the ice would become thick enough (the tried-and-true "just jump up and down on it" test is NOT recommended  :)) desperate anglers would resort to boring holes in the ice and fishing through said holes: i.e. ice fishing. It was also an excuse to build all sorts of flimsy contraptions and label them "ice fishing huts." Anyway, we rarely would catch bass (and the ones we caught were small), but, the fact that we caught them proves that they do indeed feed even when the lake is frozen over: to point that we could also drive three-wheelers (remember those? I'm dating myself) and snowmobiles over the ice.

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for cold water fishing, lots of people say that small and slow moving baits are the best bet.

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Last winter I cleaned up on the drop shot and then there is a secret wepon that catches panfsh,bass catfish, crappie and perch all year round and on one rig........PM for details.....I don't care for someone to know about this!!! ;D

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When the bass are relating to the bottom in cold water, I use a Silver Buddy. For the past few years there has been very few days that lakes have ice on them. Anytime the air temp is warmer than the water temp, the downwind side of the body of water is the best area to try. This year I caught a total 131 bass in January and Feburary mostly with the 1/4oz Silver Buddy. In November and December 2007 I caught 207 bass mostly with the Silver Buddy or Hopkins Spoon. There were some very mild days last November and early December also where spinnerbaits were productive.

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Deermaster,

In the Richmond area the ponds rarely freeze and the more east you go the more they do not freeze.

When it gets cold I stay inside so I am of no real value regarding how to fish your pond.  

I hate cold weather plus the fact that my bass club will not start fishing tournaments until March and that is when I start back fishing.

Just take the guys' suggestions and keep on casting.  ;D

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I checked my fishing logs for the cold months. Jan 7, 2008 it was 65 degrees and on the 8th it was 70 degrees. Feburary 5, 2008 it was 70 degrees and on the 15th it was 63 degrees. Each of those days I fished the downwind part of lakes and found active/feeding bass. I caught a total of 87 bass for those 4 days. Mid afternoon was the most productive time as the warmer surface water was stacked against the shoreline. The water temp ranged from 41 to 52 depending on the amount of surface water contributing to the downwind stacking.

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What type of retrieve do you use on a Silver Buddy?  Assume you let it sink toward bottom and then either jig it up and down or slow retrieve back?  I have one but never caught anything on it.

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There have been several good techniques mentioned but for wintertime pond fishing by far the best tactic is a 1/16 marabou jig fished 4 to 6 feet below a float using 6lb. line and spinning tackle. Using this set up I have caught some of the biggest bass of my life when I lived in SC and have caught bass in WV ponds that were partially frozen. Cloudy days with a little wind are best. If possible, get the wind at your back, this helps with casting distance as well as keeping your line straight. Slowly retrieve with short pulls and long pauses so that the choppy surface water gives your jig a lifelike appearence. This will catch anything in the pond. Also, add some fish attractant to the jig, it helps.  

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