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Aunts Creek area / ice jig

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The Aunts creek area had some minor floating limbs but the water was clear down to 7 ft. As I approached my desired location my depth finder was filled with shad from 40 to 55 ft. I stopped and started looking for fish but nothing would appear on my screen. Around me, fish would make a big swirl on top about every 2 minutes and I never saw shad on top nor a fish on my screen. I tried under-spin, plain swimbait, and kastmaster spoon. Zero luck in 15 minutes, so I cut my losses and scooted over 300 yards to my desired location. There, the fish were setup properly but they were hard to catch. I caught a good limit, but way to many fish ignored the ice jig. It was a nice morning to be out and their were plenty of boats. I did catch this 5lbs 6 oz LM on a 5/8 ice jig.

20190105_080134.jpg

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The fish in the picture was on the bottom in 55 ft. I like to stay in 43 to 60 fow most of the time. If your in a deep cut, check back to 37 ft early morning or extreme overcast. If I have multiple fish scattered on the screen I try to catch the deepest fish. If I have multiple fish tight on the screen I drop to them. I fish for resident fish vs roamers that follow shad. It is a time management deal for me. My normal fishing trip is three hrs in the morning and I want to fish vs scout. Also, 90% of the time the resident fish are on a feeding schedule from 7 to 9am, then it gets tough. I fish resident fish also because of winter weather conditions. I want the least wind I can find on a high percentage resident location. Boat control and comfort.

 

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I keep seeing these threads about fish being caught from what to me are incredible depths. I can't recall the last time I even tried a depth over 40' much less caught one from that depth. Isn't there a barotrauma risk bringing fish up from that deep?

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Mostly none at all if they are immediately released to the water, they will return to depth and their bladder will deflate.  If you are in a tournament you pretty much have to needle them.

I think last week in the tournament it was almost entirely a deep tournament as Arigs were not allowed and there was only 1 dead fish.  Most all the guys that fished it however were locals that know how to needle and handle deep fish.

During practice last week, we were catching fish 80' and for me that is way deeper than usual.  Most times in the Winter you can find them, at 40' to 60' but this year they have been deeper, regardless if there are shad present or not.

Watch Pete's video from January 2nd. and he talks about this.  Also the amount of singles I have seen up in the column is the most I have ever seen, and they have been over some extreme depth,  suspended at that 30' to 70' over as much as 150 plus feet, just cruising.  I believe he also mentions this.  those cruisers will bite if you can get stopped and get on them quickly, but it isn't easy.

Lots of those fish up in the column are big LM so its worth the time to try and catch them.

Good report Dock

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Thanks for the info.  I was looking for deep fish at Indian point on Saturday (65'-90') thanks to a tip from a guy taking his boat out as I was launching. I don't doubt that he found and caught fish, but I didn't find any. I did find several boats doing the same though.  I couldn't tell if they found fish or not.  I'm a terrible fish catcher so I wasn't too surprised that I didn't find or catch any.  Maybe I should have looked shallower.  It was an amazing January day to be on the water though! 

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When you say ice jig, are you referring to the Jigging Rapala? It used to be used for ice fishing for walleyes, but it works great on open water walleyes and bass up here too in Michigan.

 

 

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12 hours ago, edyer said:

When you say ice jig, are you referring to the Jigging Rapala? It used to be used for ice fishing for walleyes, but it works great on open water walleyes and bass up here too in Michigan.

 

 

Kind of local slang for us.  You will hear it called an Ice Minnow or an Ice Jig here most of the time.  Whatever you call it the little guy catches deep fish.

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