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Warmwater Fly Fishing Bass, Bream, Perch, etc...

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Old 09-14-2014, 08:51 AM
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Default Warm water fishing in winter

I have been fishing for the past 4 month almost nonstop and am dreading winters onset. Now has anyone here still targeted the warmwater species such as bluegills, bass or crappie when water temps are in the 40f - 32f range? Ive already seen that the river doesnt usually freeze so i wont be icefishing unless we go artic like last winter which was the first in a long time you could ice fish the river. I am already buying all my gear but luckily it seems most of my cycling gear would meet my needs anyway so really the only purchase left is some thick socks and waterproof gloves.
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Warm water fishing in winter

If you have a powerplant near by as I do, the cooling water discharge of the plant back to the river warms the water significantly in winter and allows bait fish populations to thrive. Fortunately TVA allows the civilian population to fish most of these areas!
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Old 09-15-2014, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: Warm water fishing in winter

I am from east central Indiana and I used to fish the river up to the time it just got too uncomfortable for me to be out. What I found was that the fish seemed to move to just a few areas that were different than the warm weather months. It you can find them you will find a lot of them congregated in a small area and they won't chase a bait. You must find the exact spot to cast to and a slow retrieve is needed. If you catch one you should catch several but finding them is difficult.
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: Warm water fishing in winter

I'm interested in this also. I plan on trying to pursue pike late into early winter this year.
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Warm water fishing in winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by ditz View Post
I am from east central Indiana and I used to fish the river up to the time it just got too uncomfortable for me to be out. What I found was that the fish seemed to move to just a few areas that were different than the warm weather months. It you can find them you will find a lot of them congregated in a small area and they won't chase a bait. You must find the exact spot to cast to and a slow retrieve is needed. If you catch one you should catch several but finding them is difficult.
The funny thing is that is kinda how I fish currently in most of the rivers I use as you really cant move far before hitting a impassable deep pool, so Ill sit in one spot for hours at a time just dead drifting streamers. As long as the snow storms hold off water levels seem reasonable as well when compared to summer.
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: Warm water fishing in winter

I haven't done any winter fishing in over 10 years now. A fishing buddy who passed away back in 2004 & I would spend as much time as we could fishing during the winter back then. Most times we would start out with spinning tackle, sometimes setting out heavier tackle & baits for eating size Channel catfish, and casting small lures to see what else we could find. Yellow Perch & Pickerel, both of which tolerate a lower temp than bass or the Sunfishes could often be caught, but we had days we caught Bass, Bluegills & Crappies too.

There were times we caught bass & the panfishes on flies, but there often had to be several days of very warm weather before we would try flies. Not that it's not possible, just that the spinning tackle allowed covering a lot more water & depth to try & find some fish. We would try all the places we caught them in the warmer months, but not every place that held fish then would be productive in the winter, so we spent a lot of time searching around. We had plenty of fishless days too.

If you have ponds available, that would be a good place to try as well. There are several state owned ponds here that we would fish during the winter, and usually had them all to ourselves. I remember one very warm day in Feb, we had one pond to ourselves & were even catching fish on topwater flies, although most were caught subsurface. The air temps got up to about 65 degree's that day, so that pond warmed up quick once the Sun got up, and some insects got active. The fish were targeting the insects & would take almost anything we tossed at them.

Surprisingly, we also caught plenty of carp in the winter. They would hit small panfish lures & flies if we got it near enough without spooking them. They spook in the winter time too, as the water was often much clearer. I recall one hitting a beetle spin lure I had cast around a submerged tree while looking for panfish. What a surprise that was, I thought it was a bass at first, as I didn't know at the time that carp would hit a spinner type lure.

We didn't usually start our winter fishing until later in the morning well after daylight, as we had no success in starting early. Even the catfish didn't seem to want to bite until later in the day after the Sun had warmed the water a bit.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: Warm water fishing in winter

I spent quite a few days on the river last winter. It is the river you're referencing. I didn't catch anything besides some ice shelves, logs and trees. I tried pretty much everything I could think of, in terms of flies, technique, and presentation. I just think that you pretty much have to hit the bass on the head with the fly to get a response. I had a good time out there, don't get me wrong, but the fishing left much to be desired.

Dealing with frozen guides, line and reel got old, especially when the reel was locked up solid. Yes, I'll be out there this winter trying to figure it out, but I'm not getting my hopes up. As for the gloves, wear some latex gloves under your chosen pair. They are waterproof, and will help hold in the heat.

Maybe I'll see you out there this winter.
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: Warm water fishing in winter

I realize this borders on sacrilege, but I'd encourage you to give ice fishing a try if you get the opportunity. Using a small fly reel, 1/2 lb test line and flies, it requires as much finesse as does most types of fly fishing.

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Old 09-17-2014, 09:30 AM
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Default Re: Warm water fishing in winter

Up this far you can drive on all the lakes and the warm water fisheries all tend to freeze over. And... Trout season closes sept 30. Not much to do around here in the winter. I shoot fly tying materials, then tie flies and get crabby till early march when I can fish trout till the ice goes out and I can play with the bass and panfish again.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: Warm water fishing in winter

When winter rolls around I usually do most of my trout fishing. Nothing like looking crazy standing in a stream when it's -17f outside. It involved a bit of travel as I'd have to drive to Iowa from Oct 1st - Dec 31st. So when I don't have the motivation to drive I sit at home and window shop on eBay

Warmwater discharges are great for fishing winter... I'll be closer to one(2hr drive one way)... Will probably check it out this winter.
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