I went out fishing with a friend on lake "Y" Sunday ( Northwest side of state). We hit the water at dawn and it was a bit on the cold side with lake fog that iced the boat over. The air temp was about 24 degrees and a very slight breeze, water temp was in the low to mid to high 30's - depending on what part of the lake you were on. The launch area and shallows had some skim ice. The only issue we had was rod guides freezing = keep dipping the rod in the water. By 8:30 to 9:00 am the air temp was about 35 and the sun felt good. We did need to wear one glove and switch back and forth to keep the fingers from freezing.
We both know this lake fairly well and went to a couple of deep water humps. The target was smallies ( no LM in this lake). We started out on a hump that is about 50' across and mostly rock in 25 to 30 feet and is next to 80 to 100 feet of water. I started with a 1/2 oz. silver buddy ( silver color) and Joe started with a Yami 5" twin tail (green pumpkin) on a 1/2 oz jig. Both baits performed just about equally.
The spot we started at showed promise since there was plenty of fish showing on the lowrance. We picked up 5 or 6 smallies in 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 lb ) range and 2 smallies over 2 lbs.
After about 1 1/2 hours, we moved to another hump that is a bit deeper and has a very sharp drop on one side. This spot is also next to very deep water and only comes up to about 35 feet at it's shallow side. We did notice that there was a larger population of fish on the screen and most of them appeared to be on the sharp deep drop off in about 40' of water next to 80 or so..
We tried using the same baits with fair success and then changed to smaller baits. I tied on a 3/8 oz silver buddy ( silver) and Joe tied on a crippled herring jigging spoon ( silver with orange). This time Joe did better and picked up the big fish for the day = 4.59 lb fat smallie. I changed to a gold color silver buddy and began to catch better fish.
After a while and with this knowledge in hand we moved back to the first stop and picked up better quality fish than the first stop. We then started moving to several deep points and picked up a few here and there. While near shallow water at the points we tried to attract some shallow fish but couldn't get arrested. We both wanted to get off the water by 11:00 to 11:30 so we could get home in time to watch the last Winston Race, so we loaded the boat at about 11:15 am.
The end result was about a dozen smallies in the 1 1/2 to 2 lb range,// 4 or 5 between 2 and 3 lbs, // 3 between 3 and 4lbs. // and 2 over 4 with Joe's fat girl at 4.59.
One thing we did notice that stayed consistent is the hits felt like heavy weight with hardly any obvious hard strikes. The fish also wanted slight movement and our best results came from wiggling or vibrating the bait with very little jigging ( up/down) action.
How is everyone else doing on the winter feeding smallies??