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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Lake of the Woods/Rainy River Minnesota Canada border

    Default Re: Winter Smallmouth

    Speaking of temps, they are starting to depress me greatly. It was supposed to get down to +16 F last night and instead, for the fifth night in a row, got below zero.

    My Fall fishing was pretty much a no go because we didn't have a Fall. It went from Summer right into Winter and gave Fall a miss this year. I'm starting to think Spring might be about to be on the missing list as well. Three months of Summer and 9 months of Winter. I'll be insane and packing if it doesn't warm up soon.

  2. Default Re: Winter Smallmouth

    D. Dan

    Just keep thinking about what you said earlier
    "You can see why I like Spring here. Big Bass, big Pig Pike and big Walleye. A person could put in 5 or 6 weeks here and get the biggest fish of those three species they ever saw let alone caught. Unless they lived here and then maybe still do it"

    Just keep saying it over and over and tie those flys!

    ---------- Post added at 08:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:38 PM ----------

    Until Spring comes!!

    ---------- Post added at 09:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:34 PM ----------

    D. Dan
    What kind of setup do you use.
    I would think that the diversity would make tackle choice a little perplexing.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Winter Smallmouth

    I caught my first 2013 smallie (8") this morning (10:30am) out here in illinios. Had temps in the low 40's but I didn't have my water thermometer. I was fishing below a dam that has a bowl beneath the falls about 8' deep and rises to about 2.5' after 20 feet. Picked up the little guy in 3' of water on a chart/wht clouser. I let it fall to the bottom of the bowl and bounced it along the bottom slowly until I worked each depth. I saw a couple of others but no luck. I also caught a snapping turtle. Luckily he had only bite the tail end of the fly and not the hook. Although he refused to let go until he was out of the water and on shore. I have been going out since January and this brings my fish count this year up to a whopping two fish and one turtle. Today was the most signs of life in the river so far. I was just glad to feel a tug on the end of the line.

    I'm gonna try again in the morning but who knows. Most stretches of the river didn't even have fish in them yet. The river is very shallow and lacks good wintering holes in the section I fished today. Ill check out a different spot tomorrow and will bring my stream thermometer.

    And great info on this thread for smallies. I found my "slow fishing" techniques were still way to fast after reading this. So today I tried to almost just let it drift along the bottom. Just enough movement to make it look not quite dead yet. Thanks for the help guys.

  4. Default Re: Winter Smallmouth

    Atta Way Pkins44

    Be interesting to see that water temp.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Rock River, Wyoming

    Default Re: Winter Smallmouth

    First a bit of geology: even though surface water or ice temp may be far colder water near the bottom of a deeper lake will read about that of groundwater except when currents are present. Trouble is that O2 may be limited at depth so the fish are in a balancing act. Coupled with the fact that their metabolism decreases and therefore they require very little food during colder periods, the fishing sucks. Find a nice outflow area aka spring and you solve the O2 problem at times as well as a bit of the temps problem and you can catch fish more easily.

    Techniques that work for me are suspended bead head, maribou flies under a strike indicator. Almost motionless but lots of micro action due to the feathers. Smallies, Trout, Crappie are all takers. They like smaller, very slow mouthfulls at this time of the season and this satisfies that.

    South facing shorelines that catch the most sun can raise bottom temps to a few degrees above ambient water temps and are always an early target for me as well as dark bottoms over light colored ones as the dark absorbs more heat. Find a place where a nice white reflective boat house or dock stands over a dark bottom on a south shore and you've got the makings of a great spot.  8088
    Great Fishing
    Der Alt Jaeger
    Chuck S

    "I've traveled many roads and some weren't paved."
    Will Rodgers

  6. Default Re: Winter Smallmouth

    Had been contemplating on that.
    The outflow from a lake should be considerable warmer than unconfined river which could explain first SM of 2013 being caught below dam for Pkins44. cause that water where he is has got to be colder than here.

    I found a nice little creek that flows in and is about 5 degrees warmer than the river think Ill go back and try again but even slower.
    Biggest take home seems to be any movement is to fast which I guess is why the Float and fly method catches fish.

    ---------- Post added at 03:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:58 PM ----------

    Pkins44 any luck today?

  7. #27

    Default Re: Winter Smallmouth

    No luck today. Unlike the low 40's and sunny day I had yesterday, I woke up to 25 mph gusts, snowing and low 30's. I was unable to get a decent cast out below the dam and the only spot I could cast is a shallow (2' or less) section of the river.

    As I looked for my thermometer this mornin my wife informed me that it was on my lanyard that I had lost earlier this year I picked up a new thermometer from bps today. So tomorrow after I go out ill be able to post up some temps from different points in the river. Sorry for not getting better info. Ill be able to help out a little more tomorrow.

  8. Default Re: Winter Smallmouth

    No worries Spring is on its way.
    Ive been under similar conditions here and rivers are up about 2'. Every week rivers hit fishable level about wednesday and it rains on thursday. Gonna have to see if I can work Sat. Sun. and take off on Tues. Weds. Course I guess D. Dan would find the temps here down right balmy!

  9. #29

    Default Re: Winter Smallmouth

    Okey Dokey J, No luck today. But I did remember the thermometer And here is what I found. The ambient air temperature was around 37*, cloudy, and snowing off and on. I checked the temperature in a few different locations.

    Below the dam in about 6' and 3' of water both read 41*
    100' below the dam at the mouth of a stream it read 42* (very small creek)
    up stream of the dam in about 2.5' of water 39*

    As I stated before, the sun was not out, the wind was blowing and the air temperature was about 6* colder than the other day when I picked up the baby smallie and turtle. I did not see any reptilian life either on this outing but it is still relatively cold here.

    This upcoming week is supposed to be mid 40's low 50's and fairly sunny the remainder of the week. Ill try to take some more temperature readings at the same spots to see what changes and maybe I'll catch a couple (doubtful).

    So I hope this helps J. and will keep you posted on the rest of the week. Im curious now too.

  10. Default Re: Winter Smallmouth

    Very interesting.
    My brother lives about 60 miles North of where I fish. He fished at water temp of around 49 and got a few bumps but caught none. When I fished at 41 or 42 degrees I saw almost no aquatic life a few itsy bitysy minnows in the shallows areas over flat rock which I bet was much warmer. They were not real energetic. When I fished at 49 degree water many more minnows much livelier even a few crayfish (albeit very slow ones). I also fish a river south of here that is almost 10 degrees warmer water temp. lots of aquatic activity.
    I guess there is no real way to determine the individual effect of day length and water temp. Still be interesting to see if we start catching at about the same water temps or day.

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