February has rolled in and it brought the cold temperatures with it. Last Sunday I had a few hours to kill before the Super Bowl so I loaded up the SUPerFISHal for its first trip of the year and went down to one of my local lakes. Once I got to the lake, however, most of the lake was frozen, with about a 1/4in of ice covering the surface. I could see a patch of open water towards the sunny side of the lake so I went for it. I was dressed head to toe in dry gear, with my Kokatat drytop and lifejacket and I was dressed in layers for warmth. I also had a partner for safety, I never fish alone in cold conditions. Once I launched I quickly found out that the SUPerFISHal makes for a good icebreaker, smoothly breaking through to the thawed out part of the lake. Once I was there I quickly got to work looking for some coldwater bass and pickerel.
The water temp was COLD, never reaching over 38 degrees. I knew that the bass would not be very active, so I stopped throwing my crankbait, and tied on a small 1/16oz. crappie jig with a small curly tail grub. On my first cast near an off-shore brush pile I hooked up on a good-sized pickerel. Even with the cold weather the fish fought fairly good pulling some drag and running under the ice several times. I landed the fish and measured it out to 21.5in.
I kept throwing the small jig on my ultra light set up and rigged a small beetlespin on my other light spinning rig. Both lures caught fish including a few bass up to 16in. Since the water was so cold I had to fish both of these lures as SLOW as possible. Many times I would let the jig sit on the bottom for over 30 seconds before moving it again. I would work the beetlespin the same way, lifting the lure 1-2 feet off the bottom, letting it sink back down, and pausing for a while before started again.
With the cold weather here for awhile, give the small stuff a try. Remember if you do head out on the water, play it safe, dress for the conditions, and fish with a buddy.
|Here are the two baits I threw.....|