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SKMO

Tues Shell Knob Area

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Launched about 1030 at SK and headed downstream wanting to get out of the dingy water. Tried a variety of things that did not work much at all. Caught 3 shorts in the shallows on crankbait in the semi-dingy water. Ran back in some medium & smallish coves looking for shad but no go. I know good and well there are fish shallow that should bite, and guys that can catch them but I give up shallow pretty easy this time of year as I also know there is a deep bite if I can locate it.

Was getting pretty disgruntled, (with only a couple gruntles left in the boat) when I finally found some cooperative fish about 1:30 in a classic early winter pattern: Major cove mouth, 95' of clear water, submerged timber topping out 50' down and the motherlode of shad down in the treetops, pretty much a solid mass of shad that tricked my Lowrance a few times into thinking we were in 40' of water. A couple dozen gulls cruising the cove as well, which is always a good sign.

Anyway between 1:30 and 4:00 caught 15-18 bass with about half of them legals, just real nice solid KY's with pot bellies and they were spewing threadfin in the boat and pooping the grey stuff so they had life figured out. Probably had had 6 or so pull off as I was cranking them in. Did not have to do any begging, they hit the spoon pretty hard. I saw several of them on the depthfinder around 25' down, well above the trees and shad, and if I cranked up to them they just bit it.

About my only suggestion is to look for shad. It took me 3 hours to find a nice bunch and it turned my day around 180.

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how far down the lake is the dingy water? we put in at the bridge 11:30 today and fished till 4:00. headed down but didn't get out of the dingy water. had 6 bass on spinner baits, 2 keepers & several more on jigs with 6 of them keepers. nothing over 3 lbs. mostly on steep, main lake areas. a really pleasant day on the lake to say the least. saw only 2 other boats, both red & white champions. not much traffic, thats the best thing about cold weather fishing.

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how far down the lake is the dingy water? we put in at the bridge 11:30 today and fished till 4:00. headed down but didn't get out of the dingy water. had 6 bass on spinner baits, 2 keepers & several more on jigs with 6 of them keepers. nothing over 3 lbs. mostly on steep, main lake areas. a really pleasant day on the lake to say the least. saw only 2 other boats, both red & white champions. not much traffic, thats the best thing about cold weather fishing.

It was fairly clear by the time you got to the Basin/Mill Creek, and completely clear just beyond that as you rounded the corner before campbell point. I never noticed another boat other than a guy fishing under the bridge when I took off the water at 3:30. I was in a red & white Skeeter, maybe you saw me come down the lake as I left?

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SKMO great report as usual. Will they hits grubs too? Also, just curious about your techinque with the spoon? Shaking, popping, etc...

thanks,

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Had both a grub and a tube rigged and actually caught one on a grub and missed one. Truth was it was too windy to get down quick and stay vertical as the wind was blowing right up the stretch I was in to the point it was whitecapping. There was a ton of bait and I was seeing plenty of fish on the edges and above the shad and treetops and they were on the bite, and I think in these conditions they would have bitten about anything you could get down there in front of them.

My opinion is I would rather dangle plastic if the fish are neutral or kind of uncooperative and you have to beg and work around slow and get down in the wood very far. I like bulky tubes when the water gets really cold. Not sure why this works well then. Grubs are always good and one of my fishing buddies always rigs a sassy shad on a dropshot and I have been handed my hat more than once by him with this rig. When they are numerous and agressive a spoon gets down there quicker and maybe gets more attention quicker.

Anyway the spoon yesterday was strictly wind induced. I only had grub heads up to 3/8 oz but have heard of guys using 1/2 - 3/4 oz heads that will get down there quick and plan to get some of those aboard for future trips. Need to locate some nice big heads with weedguards for getting tubes and grubs down in the trees.

As far as "technique" I am far removed from the boys who really know how to spoon but I definitely try to keep my spoon in the cone and "video fish". I was dropping down 45-60 feet and getting the spoon in the top of the shad schools and sweeping it up and down about 3'. If I saw fish above the shad I like to get it at or just above that level and tone down the action. If I saw multiple fish at the 25' level I'd crank up to them quick and got more than one bite that way.

My biggest problem with a spoon that deep is I seem to notice the bite 2/3 of the way through the upstroke and end up with rod held overhead standing on tiptoes cranking like heck trying to get some tension in the line for a hookset and lose a lot of bites. Am thinking of trying some superline with a 6' leader of floro to get rid of some stretch and increase sensitivity.

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SKMO,

I was reading Aaron Martin's trick is to use flourocarbon line, and begins to reel before the hook set. Makes sense.

I had some good success shaking a spoon, not lifting or sweeping when fish are not cooperating or wind isn't present.

How about the ice jig?

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SKMO,

I was reading Aaron Martin's trick is to use flourocarbon line, and begins to reel before the hook set. Makes sense.

I had some good success shaking a spoon, not lifting or sweeping when fish are not cooperating or wind isn't present.

How about the ice jig?

Well IMHO a spoon is a chunk of metal that they are not going to chew on very long I tend to get pretty excited and 1) reel furiously, 2) set the hook, 3) stand on tiptoes, and 4) raise the rod abovehead all at once. Maybe I am overreacting but I feel I have several cranks to get out of the way before I think I have a decent hookset. Most definitely I try to recover some line immediately by dipping the rod and cranking before setting but more often than not the "hookset" is not real pretty, and I feel lucky when I have the steel in one enough to get him to the top. I feel I have maybe 1 second to close the deal.

I know floro has less stretch but not sure I am astute enough to discern the difference in stretch between that and regular mono. I think it might be one of those 5% edges that we go for to try to tip the odds in our favor which is all well and good but I'm not going to get hung up on it. I spool up both Seaguar Floro and Maxima and as the day goes on and I'm punting I'll have some gear pretty mismatched as far as baits/lines/rods go.

Shaking a spoon: There is a real old-time fisherman here at SK who was literally here at the plugging of the dam. Just an old school predator of all species now in his 80's, still out there more days than any of us. He casts his own lead spoons which look like a somewhat flattened 3" section of a pencil (no profile or flutter). Action = None. He continues to catch more fish of all species on that chunk of lead than you could imagine. Anyway I have taken him out and as often as not he will just hang it motionless underneath the boat. Catch fish, you bet. Sometimes he even casts the thing. In any case it seems to me that the action at times is not that important and according to him "sometimes they just want it hangin' there". Whatever, When I get around a guy like that I try to keep my mouth shut and watch!

As an aside he was also doing the "Shakey Head Worm" thing about 10 years ago, long before we heard about it. Fishes a finesse worm on 6# line and jighead and even crimped down the barb as he had it figured out it was easier to get the point in the fish without a barb on his light line. Amazing. There is nothing new under the sun.

Regarding the ice jig assuming you mean the Rapala type, I have a few. Have caught some fish on them. They are terrible if you are around any wood at all which is where I usually spoon. Hooks are small and you have to baby all fish to the boat. I know some guys that have racked them up on the ice spoon but under pretty specific circumstances: Calm winds, no wood, shad schools.

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how far down the lake is the dingy water? we put in at the bridge 11:30 today and fished till 4:00. headed down but didn't get out of the dingy water. had 6 bass on spinner baits, 2 keepers & several more on jigs with 6 of them keepers. nothing over 3 lbs. mostly on steep, main lake areas. a really pleasant day on the lake to say the least. saw only 2 other boats, both red & white champions. not much traffic, thats the best thing about cold weather fishing.

Hey Bassman that sounds like a really good trip. I just keep getting beat up on the shallow fish. What depths were you getting the jig bite?

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skmo:

i'm new on here so i hope i can post this correctly.

some of the fish were caught on 3/16 oz jigs. around 20-25 ft. some were on 3/4 fb head jigs and were 25 -35 ft. we tried it again today with much different results. 5 fish, 2 small keepers. all jigs. i have a question. i need a new finder and am looking into a lowrance lms-25. sounds like you have good elctronics. what do you have and any suggestions?

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