I have been on a couple of largemouth trips in the kayak, and there isn't much of a pattern set up yet. I hit a Shelby County lake with Adam on Christmas Eve. The air temperature was 14°Fwhen we got on the water and 19°F by the time we left. I didn't check the water temperature, but it was quite warm for this time of the year as we were coming off a couple of days with highs in the sixties. I ended up with four largemouth, with the biggest around 16”. All fish were caught quite shallow with deeper water nearby. I caught three on a little tube, and one on a SHO Baits finesse worm on a shakey head jig. This past Saturday I hit the same place with Adam and Yaksushi. Temperatures were in the mid to upper forties. The water temps have cooled quite a bit to the low 40s. There’s still not much of a pattern - we threw a lot at them and didn't have much success. Mark picked up two fish, both on the shakey head set up with a Zoom “Trick Worm”. I boated three largemouth, all on the little tube. It is definitely nice to actually have open water and be able to get out in the kayaks.
I had planned to hit Floyd's Fork to chase some smallmouth with my daughter yesterday to end the month. The rain before the latest cold snap had the creek up, rolling and muddy. So we went to Plan B instead. We decided to hit a couple of the ponds in the Parklands of Floyd's Fork. They are stocked with trout in late October, and my daughter had never caught one before. I have fished them here and there this month with the fly rod and have caught some fish, so I knew they are active. Air temperature was in the mid-20s, and we hit the smaller pond and got into some trout right away. We fished with ultralight tackle and Berkley “Crappie Bites” under a cork. Fishing was steady for about an hour, and then they turned off. I also was able to pick up one decent trout on the fly rod. I am really getting bitten by the fly fishing bug after attending the seminar at the boondoggle in October. I ended up with four trout and a bluegill, and Taylor caught two trout. It was a fun way to spend the day and bring a few home for the freezer. It is a put-and-take lake as the trout will not survive once it warms up in late spring. If you plan to keep trout, be sure to purchase your trout stamp.
Winter fishing can be tricky, but offers some great action with some big fish opportunities. If you go, please practice safety. Don't go alone, wear your PFD, and have dry clothes and a way to start a fire. Be sure to let somebody else know your fishing plan and when you expect to return. Water and cold temperatures should not be taken lightly.
Going forward, my New Year's resolution is to try to do at least two fishing reports a month. Good fishing, and tight lines!