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d.hark

Smallies after ice out

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We have some nice smallmouth ponds here in MA but most are still locked up with ice. What types of baits should I be using right after ice-out? Also where should I be concentrating deep or shallow

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Three tactics come to my mind immeadiately.

1].. A suspending jerkbait, with LONG pauses between the jerks. Often they eat it on the pause, just there as weight when you go to move it again; othertimes they try to rip the rod right out of your hands.

2].. A 1/8 ounce black hare jig on light flouro line.

Find sun-baked areas with big rock, in about 5-10 feet deep

3].. A Silver Buddy yoyo-ed on drop-offs into deeper water.

If those three don't work....the dreaded drop-shotting a finesse 4" straight-tailed worm.

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I totally agree with Wild Bill. That approach should get you bit, if you're fishing in the right place. A lot depends on the water temperature. Sometimes it rises quite rapidly, which would pull the smallies up onto the flats quickly.

Hard jerks and tubes will get them if they're shallow. Blades and drop shotting will get them deeper. Just have to find out where they are.

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Have any of you noticed a certain water temperature at which the smallies start to move up shallow?

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Fmoore, it usually happens between 40-45 degrees surface temp.

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Fmoore, it usually happens between 40-45 degrees surface temp.

Thanks Dwight. First spring chasing bronzebacks. Had a great fall fishing for them, though.

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