Bass Fishing in cold weather adds a few obstacles that have to be over come… Well it was tournament day and by the time we launched the temp gauge in the mirror of my truck said 19 degrees. Since I live in Louisiana, the first thing that comes to mind is Why? What am I doing out here when it’s so cold knowing that it will be warmer in just a day or two? Well it’s tournament day, got to man up and get after it.
First obstacle, the ride to the fishing spot. Bundle up as you may, air is hard to breathe when you are traveling at 40 plus miles per hour much less 70. For me, a helmet is the answer; however, I didn’t bring it today, figured my ride was going to be short, and I could make it. Sure wish I had it.
Next obstacle, line freezing in the guides. Well my only fix for this was to dip the rod in the water to unfreeze the guides to make a cast. It wasn’t long before the ice was forming in the line guide of my reel and I sure wasn’t going to dip that in the water. Fortunately I was able to break the ice out of the reel pretty easy.
Here is one I didn’t see coming. I made a few casts with my rattle trap to a grass edge that I like, and it didn’t produce. So I laid the rod on the deck like I always do and picked up my jig rod to swim a jig along the edge of the grass. Well after a few pitches I seen some bait fish moving, and wanted to cast the trap at them. Like I normally do I reached for my trap rod and almost threw it overboard. The trap had frozen to the carpet of the boat, and when I picked up the rod it jerked it back out of my hands. Note to self, next time always put the bait on the reel.
Poor Fishy. My first fish of the day was almost twelve inches, close enough I needed to measure it. Well it was just short. Very next cast I catch another one that I swear is slightly bigger; measured it and short again. I lipped the fish to through it overboard and the ruler came with it. It’s tail had frozen to the board. Had to dip the fish and the board in the water to let it go.
20 minutes of fishing and finally catch a keeper on the trap. And here comes the next lesson. Take your glove off or take your time and be very careful when trying to thumb the fish or you can easily end up with a fish on one end of a trap and your glove on the other.
I had caught another keeper on the trap but the bite was over, and it seemed to be warming up finally but not quite enough. Went back to pitching the jig, and it wasn’t long that my braided line was bringing enough water back to the spool that it was actually freezing together while on the spool. So every pitch was going vertical and slamming into the water. This actually helped me as I put it down and went to my flipping stick as I didn’t need the spool and just started flipping vegetation. Popped a 3.5 right off the bat and then a few pitches later a 5.3.
Well that was it, I could have quit fishing before the freeze was over, didn’t have even another bite that I was aware of the rest of the day? Cussed and fussed for the next 6 hours wondering what happened to the fish, could every fish in the lake be that lock jawed? Apparently so. After getting to weigh in, I find out that no one was able to catch a limit. A couple of us had four but no limits. After all my fussing, I ended up with Big Bass and first place. Now I really wish I would have quit fishing after that last fish. The truck would have been much warmer!
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