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Bill Porter

When Is It Time To Put The Boat And Rods In The Garage?

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We all have that set date or temperature when we hang up our rods and winterize our boats. I live in West Virginia where it will be snowing in a month, fortunately we still have a few more low 70's temp days left. When do you think it's time to call it quits till Spring? How cold is too cold to fish? This is a sad time for angler's and we have to trade our rods and reels for bow and arrows. Give us your thoughts and opinions on when you call it quits for the season! :rolleyes:

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When the water is iced over.

Tom

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I don't. As long at there isn't any ice/snow on the roads and it isn't blowing up a storm, I go fishing. That means getting out there when the daytime temps don't get much over 40. We caught a ton even when it was 28 degrees in the morning! Here's the story: http://www.bassresource.com/fishing/smallmouth_river_fishing.html

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Gotta be ice for me as well

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I don't, either. As long as there's open water somewhere, I'm on it!

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Same with me - I fish all year except when the water is hard.

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I live pretty close to a power plant cooling lake that never freezes. It will freeze in the protected area at the ramp, making it unusable if the weather stays below zero or near for an extended period. I don't much like fishing anymore when the rod guides and level wind keeps freezing up. I do fish through the winter, though not as often as I used to. I am a lot softer than I used to be. :rolleyes:

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I don't. As long at there isn't any ice/snow on the roads and it isn't blowing up a storm, I go fishing. That means getting out there when the daytime temps don't get much over 40. We caught a ton even when it was 28 degrees in the morning! Here's the story: http://www.bassresource.com/fishing/smallmouth_river_fishing.html

Fishing deeper water?

It's impossible for me to reach deep water anything deeper than 5-10 feet from shore.90% of my fishing is shallow.

I'm usually done in late October- early November.Bass season closes up here in December.By then we usually start icing over anyways. If I had a boat it might be a little different.Not much though.

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The first week end in Dec. or the last weekend in Nov. is usually my cutoff. Yeah there are a couple weeks between then and ice up, but I like a short break from one fishing season to the next. There are always fish biting, but when it's cold and windy, and usually raining/snowing I call it a year.

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I fish until the water gets hard. Throughout the winter, when the bass bite is slow, I always bring gear to fish for perch, stripers, or pickerel depending on the body of water. I'm lucky to live close to the Potomac river, which has great winter perch fishing.

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K-Mac is right... I know that lake. Years ago there were no limits on crappie and one day my partner and I caught 300 one day. When we passed the bank in Anna IL the temp was 23F. We put in at 8:00 AM and didn't catch a fish for 2 hours. Then we saw a fish splash off a point. We tossed a 1/16 oz maribou jig up in shallow water (less than 3') and immediately had hits. I missed mine but got bit again before I got the jig back to the boat. It was literally a Crappie every cast... for hours... At the end of the day we had over 50 lbs of boneless filets.

That is a great lake! I once made a bet with a guy that had a cabin on the lake that I could catch a bass over 12" on the first cast I made and I hadn't been on the lake for over a month. It was easy... there was a ledge that stair stepped from 6' to 40' with stumps/cover on the steps. There were bass there 24/7. Right now I havent been on the lake for 15 years but I would still make that bet.

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#1- My boat is always stored in the garage.

#2- My rods are NEVER stored in the boat or garage. They have a special place inside the house.

#3- I fish 365 because it's never too cold to fish in S.Florida. :lol:

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Bill, in answer to your post....NEVER!

Store your rods and reels in your house. Try not to store them outside at any time.

In Virginia you can fish through December.

In January or February we have the Richmond Fishing Expo which is the "kickoff" to the new season.

You can start fishing crankbaits in March in Virginia lakes.

You can fish Virginia rivers and ponds all year, even after it snows.

If you want someone to service your reels in the winter try Wayne Knabe in Powhatan. Very low cost and Wayne does a great job. 804.598.4636.

Consider joining a local bass club. If you do not have a boat you can always go as a nonboater and learn the local waters. :)

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Never is the correct answer, check out this forum ---- Anyone have any luck in SOUTHERN NH yet? under the Northeast fishing locations.

Look thru it. you will see some nice pics of some nice largemouth some of these guys caught up here in New Hampshire. You can see the snow, the ice, the boat, and the fish in several of the pics.

November, December, Jan , Feb

If you can find open water , there is someone who will fish it. You will have to decide it that someone is you.

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When the water gets hard I put the rods away.

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Fishing deeper water?

It's impossible for me to reach deep water anything deeper than 5-10 feet from shore.90% of my fishing is shallow.

I'm usually done in late October- early November.Bass season closes up here in December.By then we usually start icing over anyways. If I had a boat it might be a little different.Not much though.

Actually most fish were caught in less than 10' of water on that trip. They were feeding like it was mid-July!

Had a March tournament 2 years ago where it was 29 degrees at blast off. With ice forming on the eyes, we proceeded to catch and cull a limit of largemouth bass on spinnerbaits in less than 8 feet of water. The water temp was 47. We landed in the money when the rest of the field was fishing deep for smallies. In fact, we were the only team to weigh in largemouths.

And several years ago, my buddy was catching bass on buzzbaits on New Year's day in 42 degree water.

Never assume anything. Fatal mistake.

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I fish bass until I can't find open water then I switch gears and go for trout in the unfrozen rivers. Not nearly as much fun as bassin but it feeds the addiction until the thaw.

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Sorry to rub your nose in it, but we don't put them away here in NoCal either. Fish and Game plants a ton of rainbows in our foothill lakes all winter long, which is like a dinner bell for the big girls. A bunch of DD's are caught on swimbaits, but you'll still read about the random shore fisherman chasing trout catching a 10+ pounder on a Rooster Tail. I'm still waiting for my first DD... maybe in another couple months.

:D

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Last February, Roadwarrior and I made a trip to Bull Shoals to fish the White River for big brown trout.

When we hit the boat ramp to meet our guide it was 2 degrees F. Water temp was around 50, creating a blanket of fog on the river. The first thing our guide did was make a run up-river to the dam area. By the time we got there my mustache was frozen solid and my eyelashes were frozen stuck. I couldn't oped either eye for a few seconds.

Of course our rod guides were froze shut every cast. Dip the rod in the water, make a cast, and dip again before setting the hook.

Then I had something happen which has never happened to me. I had a nice brown on when my reel froze. The drag froze and would not let any line out, then the rotor froze and I couldn't back reel, or crank for that matter.

I think that , by definition, is when it's too cold to fish. When your reel freezes.

Of course that did not stop us. We fished the rest of that day and all of the next day as well. And we had an excellent trip.

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When it's below 50 and raining. That happens twice a year and I don't fish either day. B)

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temperature doesn't bother so much as wind does. I can deal with 40 degree, but 40 degrees and 20 mph winds is when I call it quits. However, the first day with no wind and you can find me fishing.

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I think that , by definition, is when it's too cold to fish. When your reel freezes.

That's why we go with centerpins - only a couple bearings, no drag, no gears. Some don't even have a bearing, just an arbor on a post. Put a hand warmer in the reel cover while you are moving from spot to spot to keep it from freezing.

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I never fully pack it in. I just take small breaks when the water ices over.

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I'm within an hour drive of 2 powerplant lakes that both have good fishing for a variety of fish, so I never pack it in. About the only thing that limits me is wind because they both get really rough when the wind starts blowing. They don't even let you on one of them if it's over 20mph, which it is a lot around here.

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