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waterfoul

Best cold water bass techniques and baits???

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Water is still cold up here in Michigan (heck some northern lakes still have ice!!).  But locally all the lakes are open... and there are a couple with early bass seasons on them.  Thinking of heading to one this weekend... what are good cold water bass baits??  What is the best technique for fishing them?  I understand that cold water makes fish slower to react... so slower is usually better.  I don't often fish this early... I usually wait till about Mem. Day but I have the itch to fish!!!

Mike

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Go with a grub or smaller worm.  Something with a tail on it may entice reaction strikes.  The bass are slow right now so go without a weight or a light weight 1/4 ounce or less.  Drag it along the shore line on the edge of cover or on the edge of a steep bank.  

I have a pond near my house here in MA and the water is still 50 and below.  I got to drop a grub right on a bass' face for them to bite.  Tough right now.

EB

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I have had some great luck with reaction type baits. Especially shallow running crankbaits reeled as fast as I could reel. Manns Baby-1 and Bagley's. If the crankbait bite is slow throw a spinnerbait. These 2 baits caught fish for me all last weekend in Michigan. Water temps averaged between 56-59.

Good Fishing,

Mike

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56-59 degrees in michigan? daggum man... the water temp here in durham must be about 90 then... maybe not that high, but it's warm enough for the crappies to start spawning, and they don't spawn until the water reaches 60, consistantly... but about how to fish it, downsize everything straight tailed worms, and fish it slow.  a slow rolling spinnerbait will work too when the water reaches mid 50's.  try a suspending jerkbait like a bang-o-lure or something smaller... but definately downsize... same goes when a cold front comes through.  i recommend a finesse worm... but what has really worked for me are the zoom double ringers, zoom centipedes, and powerbait's bungie worm

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Well, everyone seems to be on the same page so I'll be the contrarian. Last weekend I fished Bull Shoals a couple of evenings. The water in the main channel is either side of fifty, but warms up 4-6 degrees in some of the arms. I primarily fished points in the main channel and worked back into the arms. We had a stilff breeze 15-20 miles per hour with gusts 30+ mph. Additionally, the barometer was rising after a day and a half of occasional showers.

So, here's what we did: Fished with the wind into the battered shores. Jerkbaits exclusively, fished moderately fast (1-3 second pause). My partner threw a Rogue, I threw the big Lucky Craft 128 Pointer...No downsizing here.

We mostly caught walley but we also caught white bass, a Kentucky, a couple of largemouth and a 5 lb smallmouth. Forget that slow presentation and little baits, bring out the heavy artillery and crank it up!

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you can't do that when the bass are bedding though... when they're bedding, and it's cold, you'll catch the biggest fish by slowing down your presentation... when the water is still that cool, bass are easily scared... you don't want to make any unnatural movements that may scare the fish.

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Largemouth bass aren't bedding in 50 degree water, although smallmouth might be getting close. If I were fishing exclusively for smallmouth, I would throw a Gitzit in exactly the same area- off channel points working back into the arms. I would also try C-rigged lizards (4" if your after smallmouth, 6" or larger for largemouth).

That's theory, what worked for me were jerkbaits. One more thing, I was casting as far as I could with the wind and making a BIG splash at touchdown. Sometimes that may scare fish, but when the surface is choppy, maybe a big splash gets their attention.

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bassmaster, Technical misunderstanding on my part. 50 degrees is too cold for largemouth bass to spawn, but the mid to upper 50's may be just right.

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My winter fishing baits are the following:jig and pig,suspending jerkbaits,deep diving crankbaits,Rattle-traps yo-yoed off the bottom,and straight-tailed finese worms.

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hey bassmaster, I fished Gaston this weekend and found water in the 54-59 range and not the first fish on the bed.Or even around a spot where a bed should be.You are near Gaston correct?

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about an hour south of gaston, about 10 minutes away from Duke's main campus... well let me just put it this way... the bass in the ponds i've been fishing in have already gone through the first phase of spawning... second phase should probably be on or around the 25th of next week... full moon again... and after this week of being nothing but 80 degree weather, i'm sure they'll be biting too. and just remember this... NC just experience a 40 degree drop from monday of last week to wednesday... so i'm sure the water hasn't warmed back up yet in the lakes... but i've heard they've already spawned in some parts of Falls Lake, around Rollingview and Ledge Rock.

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If I were you I'd fish a finesse worm with a shaky head as I've heard them called. They the same thing that Aaron Martens and all the guys on table rock were using. Put a small finesse worm on it and shake and see if that will intice a strike. If you get some wind go to a jerk bait. Wind stirs up the water and get the little bait fish up and feeding on the  plankton that's getting stired up with the wind. So were their's bait fish there's bass. So basically no wind really slow. Wind speed it up a little like Roadwarrior said. You could even try a slow rolled spinerbait if you prefer. Just be ready to finnesse fish if you have and speed if if you have to.

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I like slow rolling a colorado spinnerbait deep. Also like nick said, the finesse worms are good.

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i never have had too much luck with spinnerbaits in really deep water like that... i'll have some luck no deeper than 15 feet usually... but whatever works for you... i just think it's kinda hard to get a spinnerbait that far down and keep it rolling on the bottom.  and remember, he is talking about cold water, so the bass will be around shallower water in any kind of vegetation when it's sunny outside.

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Hey,

Nick's just trying to give his best answer. Plus you can fish spinnerbiats down 20ft. Why do you think ledge buster spinnerbiats were built for. That's why they weight so much. Plus maybe 15ft is deep water to him. Especially if you're fishing for largemouth in a pond. And once again it all depends on what part of the coutry your from. Plus they're probably isn't to much weeds in the lake if the ice just cleared. Plants need sun light to grow.

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i wasn't trying to disagree with what he said... i said whatever works for him... but at this time of year you don't really want to use those big spinnerbaits... definately in the summer when it's a lot warmer, but not during the spring/ spawning season.

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Water,

I was on Hardy Pond 4/16 and catching smallies deep in cuts off the lake.  They were mainly holding on wood structure tight to the bank and crushing a spinner bait.  I also picked up fish on a crank baits and tubes.

Cfruel - fellow Grand Rapidian

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