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Flipping and Pitching in Winter

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In a word... YES! In the winter i tend to use a lighter jig because it forces me to slow down and it has a slower fall rate. A jig can be killer in winter you just got to slow down. I generally don't hop the jig much most of the time i just pitch it then shake it or quiver it in place. Its a light bite so pay attention.

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You gotta be getting pounded!  Maybe snow..IMO Don't bother very much with the muddy water,  fish the edges where clear water meets muddy.  The reeds act as filter. I'd be out there every moment you can stand it in next 10 days.  Psyche up, you are fishing for maybe 2-3 bites/day.  But BIG ones! Let us know how you did.

Jigs are good.  Real basic and Yummy!  Brown or black Hair Jig can be extra good.  Don't fret if you don't have one - silicone or rubber is fine. Start with black/ blue and brown jigs at 3/8 oz.  Step up to 1/2 oz or down to 1/4 oz. for variety.  Arkie head style for starters. Make sure when jig is in your hand and you close to a tight fist,  the hook ****** you - or adjust with pliers. Nice big trailer - dark colors. Someone on forum mentioned SuperPork; I remember that's good stuff.  If you can find them, try a 3"YUM craw as trailer.  Real bulky. Got em in Swell Mart here.  Use paste scent often  Soon as the slick disappers reapply.  I kept a ziplock baggy with jigs+trailer rigged soaking in it somewhere against my body to keep warm. Watch those leaks!  Don't do that with natural rubber skirts and Hot Sauce - eats the rubber.  Try a rattle in the jig.

For a fishing plan try setting a "coverage area".  For instance, I am going to fish from here to the end of this cattail line ( 200 ft.) and I will spend 4 hours doing it, so I plan a pitch density of 16".  When you figure out where they are holding, develop/modify your pattern and 'coverage area" will change also.

Very quiet and stealthy. Pitch or flip and let it sit maybe up to 60 seconds.  Shake it a little and let it sit again. Maybe pull it once or twice.  Try fishing with a very relaxed grip. Gripping and relaxing the rod hand flares the jig skirt without moving the jig.  This can be the ticket. Sometimes you can see those big bass shouldering through the reeds!  If they are tight and sluggish then maybe strike radius of 2 ft.; thats why you gotta be quiet including ripples. You tried; reel in and next pitch.

Look for greener reeds for starters and some wood/brush nearby. Cattails are third choice on my list. Don't pass them up however. Sometimes those bass are deep in the cattails looking for clearer water and warmth ( uh warm springs). Like in 6" of water!  With that float tube you can get way back.

Reeds near steeper contours are my first focus or edges of reeded flats that fall into the deeper water

on main lake.  Southern or eastern exposure and out of the wind.  Don't forget the docks!

Open water you are on rubble rock - size up to grapefruit or muddy conglomerate.  Just drag it - no hops - keeping your rod at 10:00 to 12:00.  Slightly slack line - will have a little belly in it.  Line feel with your free hand.  Line feel in the reeds also. Usually you will feel no tap.  Think Crawdad..think Sculpin...think cold and nothin is moving fast.

Plan 2:

Get some 3 1/2" Sweepers or Reapers (Western Plastics or Iovino) in crawdad colors and texas center rig - maybe a skin hook with EWG - on 1/0 offset hook - doesn't have to be EWG.  Rig reapers at home and importantly make sure the hook comes through the reaper dead center and the plastic hangs straight.  Keep couple of those reapers in the scent bag. Then when you tie on in the water the hook hole is already made correctly. Rubber peg 1/8 oz. bullet weight tight to reaper and flip or pitch. Step up to 5/32 or 3/16 if need faster fall. Tungsten if you want nice thump sound.  Reaper should hinge. I'll mono peg the reaper and the worm if they start sliding down the hook. Will twist your line, but fish don't see reapers like this often.  You can split the tail on a reaper and use a soldering tool to weld the two segments apart - killer crawadad imitation.  Alternately, peg a brass and glass about 1/4" free of the plastic for a subtle click sound. Peg the sinker and leave the bead free.  Then when you pitch it let it lay there and lightly and slowly click it.  Lightweight reaper has a slow fall with good reed penetration.  Reapers, they will hit on the fall and you will feel nothing.  With scent on it they will hold on.  Lower your rod to 8 or 9, reel in a little (a little tension will cause them to close their jaws) and bang em hard as you dare! Oh don't fish light line - you are fishing for double didgit pig here. at least 10 lb test please.

Plan 3:

Rig a 1/4 oz mojo tube weight pegged as a drop shot and fish a drop shot bait about 6 to 12" above the weight.  If 1/4 oz. is not enough weight to get to bottom of the reeds upsize to 3/8 oz.  Once the weight hits bottom just reel up slack and wait.  Sometimes I squeeze and relax grip on the rodhandle; this subtle action good when water is cold.

Plan 4:

Get some internal tube weights.  I prefer snagfree weights.

link: http://www.baits.com/cgi-bin/order/35S

and pitch and flip bigger  tubes.  If you have 2 rods, tube would be my starting back-up for the jig.   Once again lots of scent and you can jig the tube up and down to take advantage of the distinctive fall charactersitics.  Once again think Crawdad or disoriented baitfish.

Plan 5:  

Kreatures, lizards and Ikas - figure you know about that. Salamanders could be washed into the lake by these storm cycles.  Peg a lizard and flip that.

Plan 6:

try pegging 1/8 oz. bullet weight to a straight tail worm or senko and flip that.  You can swim these around a little.  Curl tail gets hung up in reeds.

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Find an area where there is shallow emergent weeds and a deep droppoff nearbye gurantee ya they'll be on that dropoff or on a sunny day go to that same place and throw  natural color jig with some kind of trailer and scent or a natural color creature bait will fall slowly and kill em.

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