It's Cold out there and I can't fish so I guess I'll talk about fishing! I'll start with the most current information water temp is in the upper 30's and some ice is forming in the shallow water areas. This is going to be the time of year where we bottom out for our water temperatures. This lake can freeze but it usually does not freeze solid. It's a very, very large lake compared to many of the lakes around Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska. I stay on top of the fish year round. Even in January I had several guide trips that were very successful. In fact I was recently saying how this time of the year many of the bass are somewhat predictable because they are all doing the same thing. In the Spring and fall you have some fish shallow, some deep, many in between on top of that you have lots of competition from the fishing tournaments. Right now when I find a group of bass they stay there for a few weeks usually. A Bomb (Alabama rigs, a rigs) have been awesome this year. I throw them every year but I'm really using them a lot lately. They get hung up a ton which is frustrating but they catch 4 pounders easier than anything else in the winter. I just got a new a rig rod from Fenwick which is awesome, it's a 7'9'' heavy action Techna. I run 20 pound Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon (not a big Braid fan for this technique). Tackle HD swimmers are the most common swimbaits I put on them. Chuck this whole thing out there in deep water and slow roll it back. Easy as that, a lot of guys over think it. Finesse jigs are working too in fact I imagine water temps with get a touch colder but then we are going to have a warming trend mid to late February. That's really going to help the jig/ned bite. The lake level hasn't fallen much yet. That will be happening soon too. The Jerkbait bite has been ok. I have had certain days here lately where it's been the dominate lure but it hasn't been nearly as consistent as it usually is a big player this time of year. I think I'm just in love with the a rig/Livescope to throw other baits.
Speaking of Livescope the best crappie bite of the whole year is coming up later in February. The term "Corking" is a technique to suspend a crappie jig a few feet below a small bobber and slowly twitch it without reeling it so it stays in there strike zone longer. No doubt it's my favorite way to catch them, way cooler than the spawn or shooting docks, spider rigging, trolling or anything. I use a spinning rod like you would for bass to throw the jig/bobber with my Livescope to show us where the big black crappie are. Sometimes it's near the edge of the ice, most of the time it's near a shallow point. Technology like these forward looking transducers has changed my game a lot. I started guiding in 2003, and I started working in the fishing business in 97, okay I fished tournaments the whole time and have stayed on the cusp of all the new techniques over the last 25 years, this stuff changed the game 2 years ago. We use it differently than some guys do in shallower lakes but the idea is the same. Look a direction under the water for fish, structure, bait whatever and then cast. Covid has also changed things. I have never liked taking 3 person trips but have always done it to appease my customers. and the reason is somebody is always hung up. Imagine 3-4 people casting as a dock corner or brushpile. Okay we don't fish open water all the time, well the first of second cast is probably going to catch that fish. The third or fourth cast is going to get hung. Plus having that many people in a bass boat is a mess. Customers have snagged me, that's not cool. Well with Covid taking over the last year I just haven't been taking hardly any three person trips. My father in law just passed away due to Covid. 6feet separation is close to possible if I take 2 people. Impossible if I take 3.
We're looking to have another busy year here at the lake. Everything is open. real estate is booming, plus many people are working from their lake home. Try to book your trips during the week as this makes a big difference. Follow me on Facebook as I do not update this website very often. Facebook has fresh pictures every few weeks.