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bass2187

Recomended Winter Fishing

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Anyone have any recommendations for winter fishing? I fish primarily in Southern Illinois where i attend school and the water rarly freezes down here. I live off the campus lake. Last year i had some luck with rattletraps. I fell in love with fat ikas and senkos this year and was wondering how well they work in the winter. I have a car this year so hopfully i can try other places also.

thanks,

Mike

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Guest the_muddy_man

Yea once the ice forms I  limit my fishing for looking for the saop in the tub

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For about ten years my fishing partner and I would hit the lake every New Years Eve. I don't recall ever catching a bass on any of those trips, but I think it was more of a "Cabin Fever Escape" than it was a real fishing adventure.

I'm sure you can catch bass during the winter, but I usually give it up when the surface temp drops down to 40-45 degrees. Jigging spoons and split shoting may work if you work them super SLOOOOW! I generally do most of my winter fishing on TV now. Some of the other guys can probably be of more help than me. Good luck.

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Don't put things away now. This is your best chance other than spring for a big fish. If you want to increase your chances just fish every sharp drop off ( like 45 degree ) you can. They suspend around these places. Also, points,point,points, especially if they are beside a creek channel. Look for those gentle drop offs where towards the end of a point it might go from , for example, from 16-18 and then have a sudden drop. Creek channels are also another option, especially if they have some grass or wood in them. Rockpiles and sunken islands are great too. You have a lot of options to keep you busy this time of year. Learn your lake. Use your depthfinder. Its a big puzzle,you just have to put it together. One thing to remember is to fish slooooowww, and slowwwwwer. Jigs are my first choice, also, 4" worms, trick worms, Tubes, Senkos and Ika's are good choices. Good luck and wear your life jacket at all times this time of year. Be safe.

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Bass2187, are you attending SIU at Carbondale?  Just curious.  I grew up in Southeast Missouri, which is similar in climate to that area.  When it was really cold (water temps in the 30s) I used small spoons and lighter jigs with pig trailers.  On a "warm" winter day I occasionally had some luck fishing jerkbaits extremely slow.  Dead sticking a Fat Ika or Senko type worm would be worth trying also.  I live in Kansas City now and I haven't done any winter fishing in Southeast Missouri in a long time.  

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Senile1,

Yep i am at SIU. Sophmore majoring in zoology. Its pretty warm today so i think i am gonna throw a jerkbait and if bass arnt biting im guessing crappie should be doin something at least

MIke

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If I don't have to drill a hole my boat is on the water no matter what what time of year it is. As for fishing slow in the winter, ya it works just as good as fishing fast. It all depends where you are fishing. I burn crankbaits in the dead of winter here in Pa. Smallies never shut down here. They will grab any meal that swims by them. I feel I have a better chance covering water with a crank than fishing just a couple of spots real slow. So far it has paid off. Give it a try this winter, what  do you have to lose?

Rob

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After the turn over fishing in Illinois north and southern is rather good. You can catch bass all the way till the water freezes if you wanted to. Jig works real well on the bottom, flipping and swimming. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits fished slow will produce ika, senko's, jerkbaits, saltcraw, all work. Early spring right after ice out rattletraps (red) work great also. If you fish any of the warm water lakes you can pick up the pace and catch them speed cranking crankbaits and they will hit topwater lures real well. Last winter I caught fish mostly on crankbaits fishing them just fast enough to tick the bottom mainly bandits and fatfree shads. In warm water lakes I caught them on lucky craft RC cranks, paddletail worm, bandit topwater, and spit'n image. In shallow cold ponds and lakes I caught them mainly on wood cranks, jerkbaits, swimming jig, jig, grub, and small crappie crankbaits. You will be shocked to find that in some lakes you can catch bass shallow most of the winter. A few years ago when we had a mild winter I caught fish in 5ft of water or less most of the winter. Drop shotting can load the boat this time of the year also just target points or any depression areas next to flats. Good luck! :)

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i know here in NJ people have been doin the best with slow rollin spinnerbiats and workin jigs. the water here is in the low 40's but people are still killin em. recently they seemed to be on flats with dieing weeds which was great for pullin spinnerbiats throu but now it seems they are movein to the wintering holes in the deep water.

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I don't know what your campus lake is like, but if you can get out to Kinkaid or Egypt or even one of the 10 hp lakes, you need to go now! I just got back from Washington County Lake (Nashville, IL) a couple of hours ago. 5 keepers (over 14") all on jigs. Two days ago I had one 4.5 on a big spinnerbait on that same lake. A week ago, I had two fish over 5 lbs. Both on jigs. The more stained the water, the shallower you can fish for those lakes I mentioned.  Oh yeah... the water temps are mid to upper 40s.

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