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Winter Fishing 101


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Sounds like a lot more people are interested in winter fishing. I thought it would be good to start a thread on the subjects of lures to use and areas in the river to focus on.

If I had one lure to use all winter it would be a tube. Probably 1/8 ounce. But heavier or lighter is good to try. I've been using Owner ultra heads finesse type and Oldham's screwlock jigheads. Other jigheads are just fine as long as you're not snagging too much or missing too many fish. I've never used Hairjigs and pork rinds much. The guy that got me started winter fishing swore by them. He sent me 1/4oz jigs which I promptly snagged up and lost. These would've been great to fish off a boat at a high angle but snagged up from a wading position. Had a hard time getting 1/16 or 1/8oz jigs and finding green spin frog porkrinds that he recommended. At the end of it tubes caught a lot of fish and were cheaper to lose, but it would be good to touch base with fisherman that use other types of jigs. I think fish might hang onto a porkrind a little longer so I'll have to test this out. Having fish hang on a little longer would really help out when fishing in stronger current where fish tend to hit the jig but then drop it.

I have had some days when a small 2" crappie tube out produced the bigger 3 1/2"

This winter I'm going to try using a different presentation if I'm fishing with some one or change once fish are located. Maybe we can get a few people to hit the Kankakee all on the same day and try a few different things

Had a real nice day in Indiana. Located the fish with tubes and got one on a suspending jerkbait and had one hit on a fluke. So I'm starting to expand the arsenal.

Time to go fish.

Phil F

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Looks like I will be using 1/2oz Jigging Spoons on 8 lb Seaguar InvizX Fluorocarbon line on Main Lake Flats off the main river channels in water from 35' to about 52'. Should be fun trying to find them this weekend.

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Rubber skirts have replaced hair jigs. But I like the hair jigs, they breathe and have gills. Look at them in the water, you'll see. I have a good number of crappie hair jigs at home and I hit other fish all the time with them. Sometimes it is about the size, and sometimes it is just getting the lure at the right place at the right time. A lot of people grab the biggest lure they can find, I am always amazed by that. Though the rule of thumb is "large bait for large fish" sometimes smaller presentation is really the key. I always bring up fly fishermen as they use super large baits all the time - don't they? Kidding of course.

 

As far as jigs and pig's I tend to think that they work partly because the fish stay on when they bite, producing a different strike. That is why I like salted tubes. Not because the others don’t work but because there is something for them to taste. Smelling is a different subject...

 

As far winter fishing the hardest part is the line freezing up. If you can deal with the hassles then you are good to go ... my I suggest ice line?

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It would be very interesting to have an outing in coldwater with a variety of techniques from over sized cranks and topwaters to jig-plastic to F-N-F[the expensive way and the cheap way] to anything else that suits you.

 

Maybe even more interesting to do a few followup outings that you use techniques that you wouldn't normally do.

 

Phil, I sat thru Thill's moving water video just for review tonight, I may never do that again. The discussion on shotting patterns was the highlight. I should have dug thru my tackle and found the slinkys.

 

You want me to do floats on Friday or are you going to?

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Thanks for all the replies. John I'll dig around and try to find one of the hair jigs I had from Butch Ward. I'm sure you can copy it. The jigs look pretty good that you're tying any chance you can quit your job and just sit around tying?

Gary You're jumping ahead. I wanted to ask if anyone used jigging spoons, bladebaits (e.g. silverbuddies), spinnerbaits, rattletraps, chatterbaits or anything else that you could hop/ lift drop retrieve or slow retrieve.

Norm amazing you can watch that video. I'm about 80 % committed to hitting the Kankakee on Friday. We ought to put something on the board. My Thursday night is long so might not make it till 9.

Travis Putting some reel grease on the guides helps. I might try spraying some silicone on the line also. I'm using mono but fireline would probably would be ok.

Keep the stuff on jigs coming and then were going to other jump lures.

Thanks

Phil

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Guest rich mc

i used a light weight flutter spoon for some smallie action last week. it has a great wobble actionand can be held in place withthe current. its the bojole spoon from secret weaponlures.they use them down south in the heavy current below dams , carolina rigged. has a big hook which can also hold a plastic minnow or twister. rich

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Rich

I like the idea of a light weight spoon. I've vertical jigged for largemouth in the subdivision pond it was pretty cool, but the deepest water is 9' and the heavier spoons seemed like over kill. This might work in eddies on the river. Have to see how easily it snags and how well it hooks fish. Let me know how you do as it gets colder.

Thanks

Phil F

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Is anyone fishing chatterbaits? I messed around with on at a local pond and did pretty good switched to a spinnerbait and did about the same. The hook up ratio seemed better on the spinnerbait. Haven't tried the chatterbait in the river. One thing that did get me thinking is making sure I could work a spinnerbait slow enough. The Colorado blades are slower than the willow and going with a lighter weight bait could also slow it down. A spinnerbait or chatterbait could be dragged slowly along the bottom or hopped like a bladebait or jigging spoon. The other lures I've been working with are suspending crankbaits and jerkbaits I've caught fish on these in some really cold water. If I can find a pool where they're really hitting these I'd like to break out a fluke or senko and see how they compare. I have some more lures to cover than we're on to location.

Philf

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I haven't tried topwater yet, but I can think of a bunch of times when I could see smallies sitting in a foot of water and other times when I couldn't see them but they would just appear out of nowhere in extremely shallow water ( 39 degress and colder) . Bottom line might be if it's an eddie cast to it no matter how shallow it looks. Making casts parallel to the bank before moving down might help. I still might stick to a 1/16 oz tube but I really don't see why they wouldn't hit a topwater when they're that shallow.

Philf

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