I fished a half-day morning trip today just to do some experimenting with very deep water fish (45-55 feet) on this day that was forecast to present one of the two toughest sets of winter conditions — that being clear and calm (the other being a wet, NE wind typically generated by cold, low pressure). It’s been my experience that this deep water seems to be an insulator against some of these negative scenarios.
Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 12:10p
Air Temp: 31F at trip’s start with water freezing in my top 2 guides until around 8:15am
Water Surface Temp: ~49F
Wind: Winds were at just barely a puff from the W the entire morning.
Skies: Bright, clear, post-frontal blue skies today.
I got on the water at 7:15 and did a bit of searching with sonar with downriggers down, but had no takers on that fast moving presentation. By 7:30 I found some fish tight to bottom on a bit of a break near Area 093 and worked a slab in a jigging presentation for 3 nice white bass. As the sun cleared the horizon, I moved on to Area 117 (BA: 7HG, 7T) and, over about 40 minutes, picked up 7 more nice white bass. These fish were very reluctant to move upward in the water column for a bait, however, they also would strike multiple times in short order. Things quieted down here very quickly.
I now headed for deep water to do some “tough-condition” experimenting. I hit Area 567 (raised a large school of fish and left due to other anglers too close), Area 569 (BA: 3T, 4 fish), Area 568 (BA: 4T, 10 fish), Area 407 (BA: 3T, 2 fish), and Area 570 (BA, 2T, 3 fish) and found white bass at all of these locations ranging from 38 to 53 feet deep. At all of these areas I could see just one, perhaps two clear arches showing on or just off bottom with sonar, but, once I got a slab down amongst them, they would perk up and a school would seemingly materialize out of nowhere. More often then not, these fish would rise up off bottom as I pulled my slab upward, but would not pursue aggressively enough to take the lure. Most fish I caught were taken on a delayed pause, or were simply “there” when I went to pull up on my jigging stroke. Without fail, hooked fish would always attract schoolmates up off bottom, but, these fish would not turn on, but would instead just settle back to bottom. So, fishing was tough and for just 1-2 fish at a time, but, at least I found them and was catching them when the shallow water bite was shut down hard.
TALLY = 29 FISH, all caught and released