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Cade Laufenberg

Mississippi River Ice out Madness! (Pics galore)

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Brace yourself-- This thread is going to hit you with a TON of pics. Usually on the local forums I'll post after each good outting but on here I tend to compile a several outtings together into one post. The ice FINALLY went out around here just a week and a half ago. In fact, there are still a couple areas, to my disbelief that have ice on them. I checked one backwater today that appeared to still have a thick sheet of ice (probably at least 8") floating on it.

Anyway March 18th was the magical date for me this year. My earliest date to catch a bass before that was March 26th in 2007. This year by far takes the cake as the best early season bass fishing I've ever had. The area we are fishing is a backwater with some very nice vegitation clumps that form a weedline in about 7 ft of water. We fish the clumps from the inside weedline to the outside and catch fish everywhere in between. The best bait that we've found has been a black and blue jig flipped to the clumps but I also found a few 3 lb fish willing to inhale a single colorado spinnerbait on a slow retrieve dropping it abruptly next to the clumps. Although a suspending rogue was not producing so much at first, I did use it yesterday with some fair success. Another technique has been swimming a jig in the clumps and popping it off the weeds. This technique helped me boat a pig over 4 lbs yesterday and my limit fish today. Today was quite an incredible day for me..My biggest 2 fish were 8-10 and my best 3 were 11-14. For here, that's gigantic. I had a 4-4 and a 4-6 both caught flipping the clumps. Unfortunately I had a 14-1/2"er in my limit and a 15-1/2"er that held me back from a real big weight, but I still hauled in around 16 lbs at a time of year where usually all a guy can catch are 12-14"ers. I don't know what else to say, if this is a prequel to the rest of the season, then I am absolutely stoked for the year ahead! :o


first of the year



my friend Chris with a 5 lber!


3-1/2 lber


Chris again with an average one


My friend Justin with his first of the year.


Justin again


a solid 3-3/4 lber on a rogue


a 4+ Lber on a swim jig yesterday


a 4-4 from today


same fish


Chris with a 3-3


this one was 4-6


same fish


Chris with a 15-1/2"er that weighed 2-9!


This one was 18" , fat, and 3-4, I still swear it weighed a little more but the scale doesn't lie I guess.. :-?


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Caught this big girl last night on a swim jig. Water temps are all over the place, we were supposed to get 10" of snow last weekend but dodged that bullet thankfully! I found water as warm as 51.2 degrees in a shallow backwater, but this fish came in about 49.

I love this time of year, it just feels amazing after sitting on a bucket on 2-1/2 ft of ice all winter long!


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