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Ice just out, how do I fish?

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Hi guys,

      I usually fish like normal but never catch anything right after ice out so I know I need to change how I am going about this. The lakes I fish the ice has finally gone out and water temp is around 40 degrees. I have read that in cold water to fish slow, how slow? I have used my fish finder and can locate them and they seem to be right on the bottom. I dragged a grub across the bottom very slowly where I found the fish but no bite. I say "fish" because I don't really know wich fish yet because there are allot different kinds in the lakes I fish but I am after largemouth bass. Would I be better of with a husky jerk and let it sit in a long pause? If anybody has ideas and tips for me I would like to hear them. Thanks.


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I would say try a presentation on bottom like a grub or tube.Drag them slow.When you think you are dragging them slow,slow down some more.During winter I caught fish on a 3 1/2 tube on bottom.It would take me 2-3 min. to get one cast in.Then I would try a hard jerkbait.I start out with 1 long sweep and then pause for atleast 5-10 seconds.These presentations may work,but location going to be a big factor as well.

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Ice out can be suprissingly productive with a little luck and knoledge of your water.  First I would go to north facing shores they warm up quicker.   Muddy water and wind blown banks warm up quicker.  I would try and find the warmest warter. Then I would start shallow this is just so I can eleminate shallow first or find them there.  I would go with a suspending jerkbait and make sure that you let it pause for long extrended time.  Like 60 to 90 sec between your sweeps.  After this I would go to structure deep like 20'+ I like to fish hair jigs and drop shots and just like CJBasswacker said fish it slow and when you think that your fishing it slow enough fish it slower I mean SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOW.  This will be the key.  

All of this info is for smallies that is all I really fish.  So if your after LM I'm not sure if this patern will hold true for them.  

Good luck fishing


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