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With the extreme cold weather throughout the state, icy conditions are prevalent. Keep this in mind when launching boats as the ramps are very likely to be icy, particularly if another boat has launched prior to your arrival. Many vehicles have slid into the water due to ice on the ramp. Even with the cold weather coming in throughout the area, anglers should still be able to catch fish. Look for bass to become active on shallow banks dropping off into deeper water. This should happen in the afternoon when the sun has been warming the water on the shallow bank. Sand and gravel banks are best, with dropoffs into 10-15 feet of water. Small, wide wobbling crankbaits, retrieved very slowly, will take the fish. Bring in the bait just fast enough to create a vibration in the rod tip. When the tip stops vibrating, set the hook, as a fish has the bait in it’s mouth, swimming toward the rod tip. At the same time, toss out a dark colored plastic grub, impaled on a small jig head, and allow it to sit undisturbed on the bottom of the drop. Leave the bail open, as bass will pick this up and run with it.
Largemouth bass may still be caught in 3-4 feet of water on Speed Shads and square billed crankbaits. A stop-and-go retrieve is working best.
Crappie are hovering around deep brushpiles. Vertical jigging minnows over the brushpiles will produce the better fish.
Striper fishing is slow, but some fish are being caught at the 25 foot level, over 60 feet of water.