Decided to take a mid-week trip with Bobby. After some scouting around the area and getting iced out at a few places, we found some open water in the Natick area.
The day started off with some mechanical issues as my finder wouldn't work. Oh well, time to just go fishing. Then I lost the handle nut cover to my Abu Garcia Revo Premier. The water still had ice in a few spots and needless to say, was freezing. After failing at a few of the usual spots, we moved into a shallower area when the sun came up. The water was a little warmer and we finally got a pattern going. Bobby had them dialed in with shallow running jerkbaits and lipless crankbaits so we ended up cranking in the 2-5' range most of the day.
The fishing was slow for the most part but you can't ask for a lot this time of year with ice still on the water. We ended up with something like 6 bass and only 2 slime darts. Bobby caught a lean lunker with a big head. The day ended with me telling him how I never catch anything on this one dock...Then I pitch to it and hook into a decent fish only to have him shake off right near the surface. So it's still true.
Great day when the wind wasn't howling and nice to finally catch the first keepers of the year and get a limit. Jon boat courtesy of team Beaver Fever.
Edit: after seeing dhutch's review, i thought it would be useful to add some more details. you could tell the fish we found in the shallow area had moved up. they weren't up there early but only when the sun was up and warmed the water a bit. it wasn't just bass but also the bait which you could see.
after bobby's flurry, everything disappeared. we moved back out a little and we caught some more fish. again, you could tell they started moving out deeper as it got cooler. after that they were completely gone and moved out deeper for sure. this is where not having the finder hurt since we couldn't find dropoffs, bait, or mark bass.
as for lures and technique, bobby was mostly yo-yoing the lipless and ripping it off of the sparse weeds. i was deflecting cranks off of weeds and any random sticks or structure in the water. that's when they bit.
i'm usually not insane about lure colors but i do know that i have the most success at this place this time of year using something that's mostly white or silver / translucent. maybe it's coincidence but we caught our fish on lures with these colors. worst case is that the color just gave us confidence but it's great using these small things to put a pattern together in tough conditions.
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