Well, the ice is gone, tears have been shed, but now it's time to take advantage of the early spring open water bite.
Most people in the Northeast, are out chasing trout, but I personally do not like shoulder to shoulder fishing in a tiny stream, so ponds and lakes is where you will find me out chasing panfish and bass.
Pre spawn can be a “hero or zero” time of year, but when you put all the pieces together it is awesome.
Our first stop this weekend was a 20 or so acre pond that only allows car top launching, no trailer boats. My friend Carroll has a 12 foot aluminum flat bottom boat that has been sitting behind his house for years, so we figured it would be just the ticket.
The pond has some big crappies, perch and bass, so we grabbed a few things and headed out. The boat was a lot less stable than we had thought but it seemed to float...at least for a little bit until a rivet popped out and a steady stream of water decided to start filling the boat!
Nothing a Maki plastic Mino XL couldn't fix, turns out it's the perfect size so back to searching we went.
While using my Vexilar FLX28 and hanging the transducer over the side, we were able to mark a lot of fish suspended around 11 fow over 25 fow, but we could not get them to bite, guessing those were the crappies we were after, but we did find some nice yellow perch so the day was not a loss.
Sunday it was off to a much bigger lake in a much bigger boat with my son Brandon with the target species being bass and trout. The water was 41 degrees, which in this area means 1/8th oz black marabou jigs.
We targeted classic pre-spawn points and staging areas with not much luck, however, the fish we did get were quality fish. A 5.60lb largemouth was first up to bat, then a 3.20lb smallie and a few trout. By using the Navionics app on my phone, we were able to find the perfect spots much quicker.
When the water is this cold, look for 45 degree banks that end up in 20 or so fow. The idea is to barely shake the jig and let it swing down just ticking bottom as you go, when you do get a bite, it is generally just weight on your line or a slight "tick" on your line.
Any color will work as long as it's black! The more beat up the jig is the better. This technique works the best when the water is 48-51 degrees. Pre-spawn is one of the best times to catch a personal best, but don't overlook small presentations...after all, elephants eat peanuts!