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Kim City - main lake vs creeks for deep fish

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Due to strong winds yesterday I searched a few creeks for deep fish and found nothing. I did not get a bite. This morning I fished the main lake and had approx 15 keepers and 40 fish total. Nothing big, but a good morning. With decent air temps, I was able to handle the steady northwest wind. I stayed in 40-60 flow all morning. Fished the ice jig. I normally like to mix in the 4 inch yamamoto grub, but the fish will not bite it. Perhaps the water temp needs to drop a few degrees. I did catch a few decent LM on a 3inch swimbait at daylight. I fan cast the swimbait as i search for the deep fish. There were plenty 20190108_083908.jpgof fish i n the 15-25 ft range over deep water. I can catch a few of these fish on a swimbait at daylight.

20190108_065733.jpg

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SWEET!  for whatever reason this time of the year, there is often a dang good bite of the shallower variety at first light.  i don't seem to function that early anymore.  a few years back, in the viola area, at first light, there was a huge wave of very good quality bass moving up on a couple of bluff walls and ate the heck out of a jig.  by the time the sun was up over the horizon very far, it was all over.  great job of getting on that very early bite.

bo

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This morning I had 7 keepers with 17 total. I normally fish from 7 to 10am. For me, there is a definite feeding period from 7 til 9. I mention this for scouting purposes. My fishing locations have plenty of visible fish from 7 til 9, then it looks like a ghost town. So scouting for visible fish after 9 or 10 am can be very misleading. Also, back when merc1997 starting posting about the deep winter bite, the quality fish were more prevalent and the fish holding locations were more plentiful and the feeding period was longer. The largemouth and smallmouth were plentiful in the mix, but now it is mainly Kentuckies. There was a no A-rig tournament on Dec 30, in mid December I thought 18lbs would not even get you in the top 5. Then I hear that 15lbs wins it. So the winter bite has a mind of its own. In the winter, think safety first.

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That was Bill Beck's memorial tournament.  No A-rig.  Fished by several of the Pro's on the New Bass Pro tour.  2 bags in the low 15's and then 13.5.  We only had 11.91 but one of them was a 6 pounder and we got big bass.

I caught it on a drop shot with a gulp minnow at 70' on the bottom.

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Don't really think it makes much difference, but the guy that pretty much started using it in the Winter quite a few years ago was Mike Webb.  Any of their 3" Gulp Alive minnow baits seem to work.  How good, who really knows?  Only real problem with them is they will dry out in a minute.  Not quiet as bad in the Winter but still bad and they are expensive.  If I'm in a derby and going to make any kind of a run, I just put a new one on at each stop, once they are stiff they just take forever to rehydrate.

I will give you a tip, a lot of the deep guys are using a 3/8 short shank jig with a size 2 drop shot hook tied about a foot up to the swivel to make a Winter drop shot rig.  it gives you two baits, and two weights. I have seen several very sneaky ties on this.  One is using a 1/4 oz. Mojo sinker just above the swivel then the size 2 circle drop shot hook to the weighted jig head on the bottom.

Most guys  are using a Yamamoto or Chompers C-tail, seem like smoke or grey or salt pepper works the best on the jig head.  On the drop shot the Gulp Alive minnow or a swimming minnow or a shad shape worm.  Back in the day we used a tube and it is still good but it is a very slow dropper regardless on the weight.   These stupid fish have been 50' to 70' and the other baits just get their quicker and will catch them pretty much as good as the tube.

8 pound test lines drops way faster than 10 or 12 pound test.  when you are fishing deep fish at these depths I want it dropping as fast as possible.  When making a drop shot as described above the use of 8# on the reel helps it get to the desired depth way quicker.  I have also mentioned this before.  I use 12 to 15 lb. Invizx on the bottom portion of my drop shot.  The line above the swivel gets absolutely no abrasion unless you are dropping in timber  The abrasion comes at the terminal end of the drop shot and with a diameter at  .011 and .013 line size is of completely no concern, for catching deep Winter fish.  Most of the abrasion comes form catching and releasing fish and the slightly heaver carbon helps with that as not so many reties especially on that complicated of a drop shot rig.  Also taking into consideration the quality of the drags on your reels and the lack of ability to really pull as fish do in warmer water this rig seems to work well when trying to fish soft plastics deep in the Winter months.

Both Bill Beck and I caught 1000's on it and I myself have never broken a fish off in cold weather on this rig fishing open water deep fish.

Good Luck

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1-15-19  30 degree here at the Lodge this morning with a very heavy ice fog.  Duck hunters are out and were shooting prior to 0700.  I have also seen 2 bass boats running and I think this would even have hindered our primer cold weather fisherman Champ.

Carry on.

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I’m just not that mad at them right now. 

Mike

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