The winter season is in full force. Water levels are low and water clarity is quite good in most areas. So far we’ve had a fairly cold season with at least two major cold fronts knocking the water temps into the forty degree range.
The good news here is once the water temperatures rise into the upper fifties again the fish typically go on a feeding binge! I try to time my starting time to allow us to start fishing as near this threshold as possible. If our timing is right and we find fish right away we can expect a good trip.
Starting a bit too early is not necessarily a bad thing. If you’ve managed to find an area holding fish that won’t bite it’s fairly easy to wait them out. It’s amazing at times what an extra degree or two does to a cold fish’s mood…
Think small, especially in clear water. I keep a rod rigged with a three inch Z-Man Minnowz and another rigged with an EZ Shrimpz. Unless we’re in an area with lots of dead grass on the bottom they’ll be rigged on 1/6 ounce Headlockz jig-heads. If dead grass is an issue I’ll rig them in weedless fashion using EZ Keeperz hooks. Lead your target by several feet and manipulate the lure slowly into your targets path. Even in the cold water the bite is often vicious!