Clear Lake Fishing Report by Danny Cross

Clear Lake fishing report 4/8-4/23

                I was able to spend quite a few days up at Clear Lake these last few weeks. Considering the time of year the lake was actually fishing pretty tough. The weather has been changing daily and been very inconsistent, really putting the fish in a “funk”.  The weights that came to the scales at the WWBT event were proof that it wasn’t just me having a difficult time getting them to go.

                I found some pretty good fish on practice days and the week prior to the event but just couldn’t really execute my plan come game day.   As the weather  warmed up and water clarity improved I did find a handful of fish on beds.  ( I expect them to be in full spawn mode within this week.)  Water temps ranged from 55 to 62.  Clarity is anywhere from 1ft to 5ft dependent on the part of the lake.

                Fishing shallow yielded alot more bites but they were clearly the small bucks and not the big females I was looking for.  With that, I pulled back and fished anywhere from 6ft to 20ft deep water in search of the bigger bites.   My bait of choice was primarily the Heavy limits 5wire arig.   The bites were fewer out deeper but the quality of the fish improved.   The Arig bite was also much better when I could find areas that the wind was blowing into.   A few fish did come on a drop shot when the water was calmer and I didn’t have the wind I needed.   When the bigger fish were found, they seemed to be schooled up.  There was typically more to be had there at that spot, so spend some time there when you get a bigger bite and fish it thoroughly.  It was a run and gun type fishing as I would get into pockets of 1-2 lb fish and had to move around to where I could locate a pocket of bigger ones.

                Hope this helps and puts some big ones in your boat! By now I would also spend some time looking for some beds. It amazes me the quality of fish we have here that you can just cruise around plucking off beds at this awesome fishery.

                I also want to thank WWBT for bringing such a great series to us here on the west coast. If you havn’t had an opportunity to fish one of the events I would highly recommend checking one out.

 

as always thank you to my incredible sponsors

Sacramento Black Rifle, Dobyns Rods, Canopy Grenades, Monster Fishing Tackle, Big Bass Dreams, IMA & River2Sea

               

Don Pedro fishing report by Josh Parris

Over the weekend, I fished the FPT central region on Don Padro. It was a great event with crazy weather. I was only able to get out once to pre-fish, the Wednesday before the tournament. The week before the event the weather had been stable with warm sunny days reaching 70 degrees. The weather was forecasting a storm to arrive on Friday and continue threw Saturday. My game plan for pre-fish was to find as many spawning areas as possible to come back to tournament day and blind cast on, I thought sight fishing would be out with the storm and high winds predicted. After finding a few good bedding areas I employed to other great techniques to find fish. First is the River2sea S Waver 200, this is a great bait to not only get big bites on but will get a lot of followers

The key there is to watch where the fish are coming from and how aggressive they are. Most of the fish I found following the S Waver and bites I had came on the first points out side of the spawning areas. Very few fish seemed to be aggressive but more so following the bait out of interest or instinct but still showing me areas with higher concentrations of fish. The second bait I threw to quickly find fish was the River2sea whopper plopper 90, which is a great search bait that can also help eliminate water quickly. I ended up finding a few post spawn fish on the plopper in the backs of coves and on steep banks.

So tournament day was here, I immediately ran to the first spawning cove were I had seen the most cruisers. I started the morning out with reaction but quickly realized the fish weren’t having it. So I opted for a senko with a small Reins tungsten nail weight.

Within a few casts, I picked up a 3lber! After a few more dinks I got the kicker bite I needed! Unfortunately, she didn’t make it to the boat. After a few minutes of sulking I was back at it! The fish were still on beds and cruising for the most part, you had to make a tone of cast in the small areas to get the better bites. Later in the day the sun came out and I was able to get up shallow and sight fish. A crucial part of sight fishing is polarized glass, I use Edge eye wears Brazeau in copper.

I typically stick to copper and amber colors for sight fishing. The fish on beds seemed a bit skittish when you got close to them so I backed out and continued blind casting senkos the remainder of the day, make a few small culls. We ended the day with 16.19 lbs good enough for 9th place. Hope this helps and good luck out there!

Hope this helps and good luck out there!

Thank you,

Josh Parris

CA Delta report by Christopher Evola

Comprehensive California delta fishing report and techniques for pre-spawn, post frontal Florida strain largemouth bass. 

Date: March 27, 2017 

Location: California Delta

Water temperature: 55-59 degrees 

Water visibility: 0-1′ 

Tide: outgoing 

Air temperature: 49-62 degrees 

Wind: 7-15 mph gusting to 25 mph out of the Northwest 

Moon phase: 🌑 New moon 

Conditions: POST FRONTAL 

The month of March was starting out to be exceptional for bass fishing on the California delta. Large stringers in the thirty-pound range were rewarding local tournament anglers. Several local tournaments required a minimum of twenty-five pounds to even have an opportunity at a paycheck. Water temperatures were warming nicely into upper fifties and in some areas into the upper sixties. The first wave of pre-spawn buck bass along with a few big females transitioned from their secondary breaks outside their wintering holes on up into the shallows to begin looking for a bedroom. 

Florida strain largemouth bass being the predator fish they are become extremely easy to catch when in this state. They don’t share their spawning areas with any other fish and the buck bass will do anything and everything to protect their spawning areas. The big female bass will hang back and wait for the bucks to do their thing, and if I forage such as a crawfish, tule perch, or bluegill presents itself, the big female will take the opportunity and feed. Once the buck bass has made a bed he will wait in that area to be chosen by a female bass. The female bass will choose a bed with a buck bass present and courtship will begin between the two. 

Everything was setting up nicely and anglers were reportedly seeing large females on beds in all the flooded ponds. I too partook in some of the pre-spawn activities, catching nice size hens on the Optimum baits Furbit popping frog, and the River2sea Whopper Plopper. Just when everything seemed as if it was going as planned here comes the spring rain storms. A double header set of storms hit the California delta dropping three quarters of an inch of rain in some areas. The overnight low dropped down to the low forties and an artic wind began to blow from the north. Water temperatures plummeted down into the low fifties, and water clarity due to the recent storms was nearly nonexistent. Anglers began to struggle and several tournaments were won with weights ranging from seventeen to twenty-one pounds which is way below average for this time of year. 

With the bite being as tuff as it was due to the post frontal conditions, I knew it was going to be a long tedious grind to catch a good bag.  Most anglers I know see this as a hindrance, but I see this an opportunity to go out and learn. 

I launched my boat in the central delta and blasted south. My plan was to target dead end slough where there was thick healthy submerged grass such as egeria densa otherwise known as Brazilian pond weed present. More specific to these areas I was also looking for banks that were east facing and adjacent to spawning flats. The reason why I chose to target these areas is simple. With the bass setting up the way they were prior to the recent storms, I knew the bass would be positive feeding fish. The bass that were still transitioning from their wintering patterns would become neutral feeding or in a negative feeding state, which would make the bass extremely difficult to catch. The reason I chose east facing banks, which many of you already know, is because the water warms up faster on those banks due to more sun exposure. I’ve found this is extremely important when you’ve had a recent dramatic drop in water temperature. I’ve found that even a half degree increase in water temperature during post frontal conditions can be the key to getting more bites. 

The first bank I pulled up to had scattered grass, rip rap rock, and with the high tide it had a five-foot-wide trough. My bait of choice was a River2sea biggie series crankbait in delta craw color. I made the longest casts I could trying to cover the maximum amount of water targeting the center of the trough. I caught several buck bass within the first thirty minutes of fishing but the largest was maybe two pounds. I knew I was on a good bank because in the past I’ve seen and caught several fish in the six to eight-pound range in that area. I had zero visibility in that area so I was unable to see if there were any spawners present. I hopscotched up the slough to banks which were nearly identical in habitat. I caught a couple smaller bass on my crankbait. The tide continued to fall and my trough dwindled down to nearly nonexistence. I knew in the back of my mind the big ones weren’t on those spawning flats, but I needed to prove it to myself so I could focus on my primary technique which would be flipping. 

I put my Dobyns Champion Series 736 cranking rod back in my rod locker, and took out my Dobyns Champion Series 805 Flip/Punch, and my Dobyns Champion Extreme XP 745 Heavy Jig Rod. Both rods were paired with Abu Garcia Revo Rockets for maximum efficiency and power. 

My punch set up consisted of, 70 pound Fitzgerald braid, paycheck baits punch stop, 1 ounce River2sea tungsten trash bomb, 4/0 Gamakatzu extra heavy cover flipping hook which was tied using a snell knot. My bait of choice was a Nemesis baits bullet craw in a black/blue color. 

My jig set up consisted of, 25-pound test Berkley Trilene 100% fluorocarbon. My jig of choice was a TNT Baits Wada Jig, which is a custom hand tied jig designed and manufactured by master guide and delta legend Andy Cuccia. Due to nonexistent water clarity, I chose the larger profile Wada Bomb Jig which was all black in color.

With two rods on the deck negating from any further distractions, I went back to the section of bank where I first started fishing first thing in the morning. The tide was about half way out exposing a more defined grass line. There were also large holes in the grass which were present along with some scattered hyacinth which was in its decomposing state. 

I started off by pitching my jig on the edge of the grass line and in the holes in the grass. Both areas were productive and I boated two fish over four pounds in the first fifty yard stretch of bank. The bass struck the bait on the fall which gave me the intuition to speed up my presentation allowing me to cover even more water. 

I came to a section of bank where no holes were present in the grass and the grass appeared to be more congregated. I set down my jig rod and picked up my big stick. I began flipping my bait into the grass mats in various distances from the edge. I knew the bass were buried in the grass but it wasn’t clear exactly where. Approximately thirty minutes went by without a bite. 

With the tide, almost completely out I started up the big motor and ran down the slough to an area adjacent to a big spawning flat. The area I pulled up on was a classic forty-five-degree angle delta bank which was substantially deeper, however the same well defined grass line was present. I began flipping my one ounce River2sea trash bomb weight into the heart of the matted grass. My rod immediately doubled over. I set the hook and landed a beautiful six-pound bass. I continue down the bank which was set up the same. I preceded to catch several more bass in the four and five-pound class. Bites were steady but lots of water needed to be covered. 

All in all, it was a productive day but I never got the big kicker I was after. Catching bass in heavy cover using big heavy duty equipment is one of my favorite ways to catch them. Hopefully this fishing reports helps you catch more fish next time you’re out on the water. 

RB Bass Angler,

Christopher Anthony Evola 

 

Lake Berryessa Fishing Report by Charlie King

March 25th kicked off the opener for the 2017 Future Pro Tour Season.
After our performance in the FPT Classic on Lake Folsom earlier in the month, we were sure ready for Lake Berryessa and a little Redemption.
Friday was the only day my son-in-law and team partner Chase Elliott and I had to pre-fish, the weather was rainy and windy all day long and basically blew us off the main lake and with the water temp getting real close to 60 degrees we had no way to check the big spawning flats that everyone had been talking about.

With the storm and colder weather we decided to concentrate on pre spawn fish in areas that would be protected from the wind. We started with a River2Sea Biggie square bill and covered a lot of water with no luck.
We found a good number of fish off the bank in the 15 to 20 foot range near long secondary points but the fish didn’t want to eat that well,  we figure out a couple of baits that would catch them and made our plan for the tournament day.
Saturday morning we made the run to our first stop and started fishing, it didn’t take long before we realize that it was a little different, the fish wanted the baits moving more then the day before, Chase tied on a 3/4oz Gold Blade Runner underspin with a 4.8 Keitech Fat Impact in Bluegill Flash color and started slow rolling it in twenty feet, when I say slow I mean SLOW! about 15mins of this our first fish was a 9.67lb lagermouth that ended up being big fish of the tournament. We got 10 to 15 fish on the underspin and culled a couple of the fish with a Shakey head and a 6″ Savage Gear 3D Armor Crawler in the Watermelon Red flake color later in the day on the main body of the lake. We ended up in 4th place out of 134 teams with 19.95lbs and took home the big fish money as well.


The rods that we used for the underspin was the new EVX series from Okuma, paired with Okuma Citrex reels, these are very light and super sensitive. Fins 40G 25lb test line was our choice for this setup.
For the Savage Gear 3D Armor Crawler we choose the Okuma TCS 7 foot Shakey head rod paired with Okuma Trio-20 Reels spooled with 15lb test Fins 40G, once again super light and sensitive!
I  want to say thanks to all my friends and family that continues to support me in doing what I love to do.
Also to my sponsors, without them I would not be able to fish at all!
Www.savagegearusa.com, Www.okumafishing.com, Www.Huminbird.com, Www.Finsfishing.com,
Www.river2seausa.com, Www.Bassanglermag.com ,Www.CalCoastFishing.com, Www.anglerspress.com,
Www.rbbassfishing.net, Www.TNTbaits.com, Www.Monsterfishingtackle.com

 

Bass Nation New Melones Report by Michael Coleman

Michael Coleman Bass Nation Big Ones

Air temp low55 high68
Water clarity 6 feet
Wind 4 to 6 mph north west
Water temp 65

              Angels Camp California lake new Melones. As I pre-finished for the Bass nation opener at new Melones  I realized that pre-spawn pattern was going to be the ticket, I found three places that had large numbers of largemouth. Two long pockets up river, a spot in the North and also a big school mid-lake towards the south. On day one of the tournament I ran to Brushy Cove and started my day on the main lake point. I quickly picked up a limit on a River2Sea S Waver in the color called party crasher on the new Phenix rods maxim series. M0y plan was to run up river mid day as the water started to warm up. Sun direction is key in these pre-spawn conditions you want to find the coves and pockets protected from the north wind and facing west, so with around 12 pounds Clip N Culled in the box I ran up river throwing a Swim Jig with the Bass Assassin Lures die dapper in albino shad color as my trailer. I only culled one fish and quickly realized that the river  bite was gone and it was all about being south. I ran back to Brushy cove where I started to catch a lot more fish but only helping my limit to just under 15 pounds. In my opinion with the overcast conditions and cool breeze I just felt that the bigger females did not move up but I had a solid bag for the day to put me in six place, still just a few pounds out of the lead. Pondering what I should do for day two I figured I would start at brushy Cove and see with the overcast conditions going away if those bigger females would move up. I started on the long point just as I did the day before. This did not pan out so I moved through into the pocket. I started to get a few bites right away. That’s when I realized the fish had pushed farther back into the pocket. My new plan was to just rotate three small areas no bigger than 30 yards and just wait for the fish to come to me. As I rotated through my spots I quickly picked up a limit and then BOOM a good one just as the day before I started off with the S waiver but quickly moved to the Bass Assassin Lures’s fat job stick bait, I was rotating three Baits almost exclusively and would add the swim jig here or there, the third bait was a Bass Assassin Lures Rail worm. The fat job stick bait was the most successful. I would just fancast going around with a small nail weight 1/4  oz rigged wacky style and leaving it dead stick. This was the key and as I rotated my three areas fish just kept coming to me and although a lot of boats were rotating through that area everyone would move in and make a few casts not get bit and leave. The key was knowing that those fish were coming at you targeting several laydowns and Buckbrush and just waiting. All of my fish for two days were coming off of a 30 yard stretch.  After day one I weighed in a pretty solid bag of three pounders but all the people ahead of me had that one big bite, which I never got on day one , but on day two about mid way through the day I finally got my big bite to go along with my solid limit weighing  in at just under 18 pounds witch was good enough for third place to start the Bass Nation season off in a good position. I would like to thank all my sponsors Cal Coast fishing, River2sea, Bass Assassin Lures, Bass Angler Magazine, Phenix rods RBBassfishing.net and Evolution Baits

 

Delta fishing report by Christopher Evola 3/12/17

Water temp: 56-59
Water Clarity: 6″-2′ 
Air Temp: 56-74 degrees 
Wind: Northwest 2-7 mph 
Tide: Outgoing
Moon: Full ?

My brother Justin Ross and I, launched my boat at 0645 hours out of the Tiki Lagun Marina & Resort, located at 12988 W. Mcdonald  Road, Stockton, California, 95206. 

After launching we made our way out to the North side of Mildred Island. We started off throwing reaction baits such as the River2sea Ish Monroe Square Bill in delta craw color, and the River2sea Ish Monroe Bling Spinnerbait in the cold blooded color. We had zero bites on these baits in the first thirty minutes of fishing. I knew there were fish in the area because it’s a well known spot by almost everyone who fishes the delta. With the water warming the way it has, the full moon, stable weather, and high tide, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around why they wouldn’t eat a moving bait. 

Without hesitation I knew exactly what needed to be done. The warm weather had me so excited for the pre spawn I forgot about winter transition. The bass needed to transition from their wintering holes up into the secondary breaks. From the secondary breaks they needed to feed on a forage that provides high calories, minerals, magnesium, and calcium which will sustain them through the spawning process. They needed to feed on crawfish which were becoming more active with the warm weather. I looked at my brother Justin and quickly put away all my rods but one. The only rod I left on the deck was my Dobyns 735 matched with my Abu Garcia Revo Rocket. This combination compliments my 1/2 ounce TNT Baits Dragon Fly Wada Jig extremely well.  This particular color is my go to when the bass are in their winter transitioning stages. 

We pulled up to a break on the north side of Mildred where the water was ripping out of the island. The rocks on the break were barely exposed and several scattered  tules were present. I pitched my jig into a hole between the tules and rock about the size of a basketball. I felt a small tick so I leaned in and set, boat flipping a three pounder onto the deck of the boat. I looked over at my brother Justin and I told him we’re throwing jigs the rest of the day. He agreed and we continued down the bank catching several three to three and a half pounders. The tide was over half way out so we decided to run to Mandeville. We pulled up on the south side of Mandeville and it just looked perfect for a big girl to be present. It had a hard rock break scattered tules and a hard well defined grass line five feet off the bank. This area is what is referred to as a trough. I pitched my jig into the trough popped it twice and my line shot under the boat. I cranked on my Revo Rocket twice and leaned back with a cracking hook set. My rod doubled over and a nice chunk largemouth jumped right next to the boat. I flipping her up onto the deck of the boat and was greeted by a fist bump from my brother. That’s a seven he stated and I obliged him as I slipped her carefully into the livewell. As we made our way down the bank we caught several more three pounders along with several fish in the two pound class. As the tide fell out even further we noticed the fish were reacting towards a more aggressive swimming action on our jigs. This was beneficial because it allowed us to cover more water quicker rather then a traditional slow retrieve. 

We came to an area where the trough was no deeper then two feet and there was lots of wood present. My brother flipped in between two limbs which were submerged and his line jumped approximately two feet. He leaned in and set the hook as he landed a nice largemouth which weighed five and a half pounds. We ran out of good looking water so we started up the motor and blasted back towards Mildred. We settled in an area we call three ponds which is located Northeast to Mildred. This area is basically tules with mixed in grass but the exterior has deep water around it which makes it ideal for winter transitioning bass. We fishing there for approximately twenty minutes when we doubled almost simultaneously on twin four pounders. With limited time before we had to leave, we took a quick photo and ended the day. 

If I had only one tip to give it would be this. Just because the water is warming rapidly and there is a few fish getting ready to bed, doesn’t mean they all are. Keep an open mind while your out on the water and always stay optimistic. Hope this fishing report helps you catch more fish, and good  luck out there next time your on the water.

RB Bass Pro Staff Angler 

Christopher Anthony Evola 

New Melones Fishing Report by Josh Parris

New Melones fishing report 

Water temp
Clarity: 1-3 ft
Conditions: partially cloudy 
Lake level: rising daily 
I had a blast over weekend on New Melones lake fishing the Future Pro Tour with Nick Lynch. It was the opener for the central division and had been shaping up to be a slug fest. The week of the event when conditions were identical to tournament day I was able to get out and prefish. It started out slow, I picked up a few small fish early throwing soft plastics. I eventually found a small school of shallow fish I hammered on almost every cast with soft plastic. I decided to see if I could get them to eat one of my confidence baits the River2sea S Waver. The S Waver also typically pulls fish with a bit more quality to them. First cast at the school and it got blasted by a 2lb spotted bass. 2nd cast again and so on. I quickly left those 2lb fish alone and began running that pattern all over the lake. It was immediately successful, the next fish I caught on it was an 8.75 lb spotted bass. That gave me the confidence to throw it the rest of the day. I found the hand full of fish that were coming after it were giant spotted bass. I only had about 15 bites on it throughout the day but they were tournament winning bites. I end prefish with a giant bag of all spotted bass. So as game day arrived I was confident in that pattern. If I could get even five of those bites I would have a great shot at winning. Our first spot was taken so I moved on to our second spot and boom 4lb spot on the S Waver! 2nd stop 2lber! Third spot taken so we moved on. Our key was to run as much water as humanly possible in 8hrs. If the fish were there and ready to eat they would, if not no point wasting time casting at fish that won’t bite. 4th stop of the day was were I realized something was changing. In practice they were eating the bait without hesitation and very few short strikes. On our 4th stop about ten feet from the boat an absolutely giant spotted bass came up on the S Waver! It short struck, and hooked up briefly before it was gone. We talked about it and collected our selfs and got right back to it. We continued it get short strikes and catch smaller fish. I believe due to boat traffic and pressure the larger fish started to pull out and hesitated to eat. We eventually got 2 more good bites on the S Waver throughout the day to push us up to what we weighted in, 18.18lbs taking second place. I threw the River2sea S Waver 168 in a baby bass color, and targeted shallow points, humps, and lay downs. I prefer to throw it the Falcon Bucoo micro rig rod, this is hands down the best rod I’ve found fit this application. The rod has a slower action and really slows down your hook set, witch is important on the S Waver of all sizes. I use 15lb fluorocarbon and a 7:1 ratio reel. All of the used items can be purchased at outdoorproshop.com. I hope this helps and good luck out there.
 

Josh Parris with a Huge Spotted Bass

 

River2sea Ruckus Product review by Michael Coleman


As the season changes  from late winter to early spring and the cold water starts to warm the River2Sea Ruckus lipless crank bait is a bait you need in your arsenal!!!! With super loud tungsten bearings, the Ruckus measures up at 3 inches and weighs in at 3/4 of an ounce. This makes this bait a casting dream. Heavy winds are not a issue for the Ruckus with the tungsten weighting system and armed with River2sea hooks makes this bait ready to go right out of the package. The Ruckus retails at 12.99 it’s a must have bait. There are many ways to retrieve the Ruckus just simply cast it out an burn it back or try the yoyo technique. A very effective way is to throw it around sparse cover and rip it off the grass or just simply let it sink to the bottom and drag it around. The Ruckus is available in a large verity of colors for more information about the Ruckus go to www.river2seausa.com

Article written by

Michael Coleman fishing

 

Don Pedro Fishing Report by Josh Parris

Lake Don Pedro Map

Don Pedro fishing report

Water temp – 51-58
Water clarity – muddy to 1-4 ft
Conditions- sunny post frontal 
Winds – light
Over the weekend I fished the Sonora bass anglers tournament at lake Don Pedro with my buddy. I hadn’t been out there in a while and in light of all the recent rain and rising water I was expecting tuff post front conditions. Water temp and clarity really just depended on location. We launched out of Moccasin, it was 53 degrees and muddy with 3-6 inches of water clarity and a lot of floating debris. I like fishing that area but decided to make a run in search of cleaner water. On our initial run when ran out past middle bay and found clear water. We found early success on jigs and tubes for a hand full of short fish in the 20 foot range. After that we jumped out to submerged lake island tops with little success. At 8am and an empty box we turned our attention finding running water. I immediately realized that almost every decent tributary had a few boats on them. We opted for some of the smaller feeder creeks and quickly found success with a half oz River2sea Papa Mur jig. My partner then turned to throwing reaction baits like cranks, a rigs and quickly got a 3lber on the a rig. The a rig quickly became the dominant factor for us. My Falcon Bucoo rig rod got a work out! On my a rig I was throwing River2sea rig walkers in silverside color. If your not familiar with the River2sea rig walkers check them out! They are pre rigged swim baits that can save you a ton of time on the water.
After the bite slowed down I started throwing single rig walker and managed to get 3lb spotted bass. With our fish exhausting we moved on. We had little to no success on the next 5 or 6 small tributaries we ran. Towards the end of the day I decided to go back up to the dirty water. We found a long creek arm and went to work. After about an hour we had caught a hand full of fish but nothing to help us. As we worked our way out we stoped on another small feeder creek for the last twenty minutes of the day. It did take long and I grabbed our best fish of the day on the a rig, a just under 4lbs large mouth. We ended the day with 14.85 witch was enough for the win. With changing conditions keep an open mind and adapt.

Josh Parris Don Pedro Bass

 

Winter JiG Fishing 101 by Preston Henson

Winter Jig fishing 101

 As we move into February and the lakes still are cold and have not hit that magic 53-degree mark and fish either suspend or lock themselves to the bottom. In this article I will talk about those fished glued to the bottom and how to attack them with a jig.

 First will start off by looking at the different jigs I use to attack this scenario. First is a good old fashion rubber jig with a twin tail grub or some kind of plastic trailer. My go to is the River2Sea Papa Mur. I wont get in to specific colors because every lake has its colors, I will say this browns always seem to be a good start with some king of other color mixed in. Remember to match your hatch. When fishing these jigs I prefer a football style head since I will be most likely be crawling and dragging this jig keeping constant bottom contact. For weight I start with a ½oz or 5/8oz in the Papa Mur for 25 feet or less and move to a 3/4oz or 7/8oz in the Papa Mur when fishing deeper. The biggest key is to keep bottom contact and drag your jig along the bottom.

 The second Jig is an over looked but my favorite style for cold water fishing, THE HULA GRUB or also called a spider jig or grub. Colors I prefer are your cinnamon and green pumpkin colors. I attach them to a 1/2oz football head for 25 feet or less and 3/4oz for deeper. Same retrieve as the standard jig just a crawl and drag.  I use an open hook setup witch means no weed guard.

 

 Lets look at the equipment I use for these baits. The rod I use is a Phenix Ultra MBX 707MH paired with a Lews Team Lews Custom in a 7.5:1 gear ratio. I use the higher gear ratio to pick up more line since we generally are fishing deeper. Line size varies, I prefer 10lb Fluorocarbon when I can get away with it but will go up to 12lb if I have to if there are more rocks or if the water is dirty.

 Areas of the lake that I target are main lake humps, river channel and creek swings and point near the main river channel. Allot of times these fish will be so tight to the bottom they will not show up on your graph. Look for clues such as bait near by or bottom type change like sand to rock or small to big rock etc. etc.

 The retrieve is very simple. Like I mentioned earlier it’s a slow crawl and drag. I sometimes use my trolling motor to just inch the bait along.  One key I have success is dragging my bait up hill, allot of amateur anglers make the mistake of always fishing shallow to deep. I get allot of my bigger bites with this technique dragging up hill, what I mean by this is casting out deeper and bringing the bait shallower.

 The bite can be very light and can just feel like the slightest change of pressure and other times they will knock slack in your line. If you find yourself missing allot of fish try reel setting on the fish what I mean by this is just reel into the fish and when the rod loads just lean into them.

 I will use both styles of jigs and listen to what the fish prefer that day. I hope this helps you on your next outing during these cold winter days and remember to be slow and patient this time of year and listen to the fish.

“YEAH”