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· Luck O' the Irish to ya!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Boy the cold season has really set in upon us. As i type, its about 22 degrees outside here in Litchfield county, and the howling wind has managed to drop a pair of nice branches on my wifes new car , tear a cover off of one of my small boats, and blow every small business sign in Thomaston into the road, or clear across the street. Spring looks about 3 lifetimes away, and in between making meals, i managed a 3 hour nap to hasten the passing of the long 4 month stretch that defines who we are and how we live in New England.


Feeling better after a bit of a chest cold, Rich and i made arrangements to get an early start despite the frigid temps out on the lake. I think we managed 25 degrees from 745 til about 930, but with very little wind and decent cold gear, it wasnt the worst day ive ever fished. However, frozen guides and iced up reels made casting a chore, and i managed to snap off a keitech within a half hour from some icy rod tips.

We targeted bronze, of course, but managed a handfull of perch and a few surprize rock bass right away, including some short smallmouths before Rich stuck a really nice bass on the hair jig. A few head shakes in, the fish came unbuttoned and left us scratching our heads as to why, but thats fishing! I had steady action on smaller fish just shy of legal size on a 3/4 ounce silver blade, but we finally managed a double of keeper bass at about 815 that ran about 2 pounds each.

Targeting about 30 feet of water early on i had the hot hand, and managed another small keeper bass and about a half dozen 11 inch fish, some more perch including a nice 10 inch fatty. Im fishing the blade like a man named Scott Dobson, who is a top guide and well known tournament angler on Lake St. Claire and Lake Erie. The man fishes blades for a much larger portion of the year than we every will utilizing the bait in warm water often as well. His approach involves a very small and stead lift, not a snap, of about 5-6 inches; just enough to make the blade shake 2-3 vibrations. Fish hit on the fall or while the bait returns to rest on the bottom nearly 100% of the time. Most hits are simply just weight upon re-lifting the bait. Anything heavy? SET THE HOOK! I'd reccomend changing out any and all bronnze wire hooks, or beaked hooks (curved points) on blades you buy. Inferior hooks this time of year will result in a lost big fish, and most blades come with shoddy hooks.

About 930, i had a few smaller keepers in the boat while fishing another humps steeop edge, when my rod got heavy after a lift. Set, and the rod loads up with a fish i know is a slob from the hookset. Colder water always has better visability, and after a few moments of head shakes and a fish just sitting there not moving, i got a glimpse of a tank smallmouth about 10-12 feet below the surface. I immediately looked for the net for Rich to assist, but had it stored away and locked down (idiot!) and told him id go for the thumb... like a man!

It was nerve racking, and i almost stuck myself in the thumb on those trebles when she shook her head boatside, but 1 jump and 3 runs later, i hoisted this 21 inch smallmouth over the rail. I knew it was gonna be VERY close to the magic mark....

WOOOOOOOOO! My third 5 pound + smallmouth in my life, and my second one THIS SEASON! Its the reason i fish the cold days of late fall and winter. These big fsh stack up, and if you are willing to suffer the cold and wind, and a lot of time between bites often, the rewards are very high.

After that, i managed a few more fish, and hooked and lost ANOTHER fish that i feel would have been about the same size. Knowing we were on a good pod, we moved for a while and let the spot reload. Fished another hump with a few small bites, and after 2 hours returned to our hump to see if they returned.

Off on the deep side, Rich put on a CLINIC with a 3/8 ounce hair jig like he so often does. He had some fish, but up til that point it was mostly me. Richy put a half dozen keepers in the boat in about 30 minutes, 2 of which were a 4 even and a 4lb 5 ounce fish we BOTH though was gonna be his first 5, but he called it: too short only 19.5 inches but SOOOO fat!

Rich found his fish quite a bit deeper this time though, couting that little jig down through an agonizing 44 feet. id make 3 casts in the time he made one, but the difference was his casts would come back with a nice fish on it! I had just one bite on the keitech all day but we totaled 25 fish in the boat, about 15 of which were keepers from 1-5 pounds. our best 5 would have been decent, around 18 lbs. Had we both landed our 2 lost monsters we'd be looking at over 20; all in all a bunch of steady action, some really nice fish in the mix, and decent weather. This was easily the best trip ive had in the last 2 months, and im hoping that after this cold snap, we have enough time to target the fish as they really bunch up on deeper water spots.

find some time gents, and tight lines. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

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