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gravel pit largies

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a set of gravel pits in my area have always been stocked with trout but three have had largemouth introduced somehow and there seems to be a decent population in there, some with size. the ponds average about 10'
1st has a shallow weedy end about 3-8' with good vegetation and slowly drops off and has a couple shoals with theopposite ende being a deep hole.
2nd is all a 10' flat with little structure and one end is a deep 30' hole that has a point and ridge running about 3' under where it and the 3rd pond connect.
the third is basically flat pond with little structure or depth all about 8'

there arent really any largies up here and i would like to try and get one through the ice. i know there are some of size in these ponds and have seen them.
most are about 10-14' but i would just like to catch some.

what do largies tend to do in the winter? all of these ponds are about 60x150yards with fairly clear water.
find most of the bass shallow during open water but tried once and came up empty through the ice

any tips are great!

Two strategies:  live bait, or jigging.  If you can use live minnows in that area, set up some live shiners under tip-ups, about a foot off the bottom.  Otherwise, jigging should work, using a wounded fish pattern early in the day (i.e. chubby darter or similar) and smaller presentations in the afternoon (ratso, tungsten, or nuclear ant, etc.).  LM bass feed all winter, they just slow down.  No reason you shouldn't be able to catch a few.  Nothing more exciting than fighting a hawg on a light action jig stick.  Good luck, and post pics if you get em.

where would you start your search? deepest hole, off the ledge or point, orshallow around structure?

I'd start shallow along the weed line.  Set up tip-ups with minnows along the weeds.  If you're not getting bit, move to the drop off to the deep hole and set up along the edge.  If you still can't find them, try deep in the hole.  It might be warmest down there, so they might hang out in the bottom. You'll just need to find them.  One thing to remember in small shallow ponds is the fact that your sound and appearance can spook the fish.  If you have snow cover it will be easier, but clear ice with no cover could be difficult to get them to bite.  Stay quiet, and move as little as possible.  Set up the tip-ups, and stay still or even head on shore.  If you're jigging, try to be as stealthy as possible when moving between holes.  And it might be best to drill all your holes at once, at the beginning of the day.  Good luck, and let us know if you find them!

make sure bait is lively because bass rarely will hit dead bait


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