Ice Fishing Tips -Check your local regulations! > Bass

Icing bass

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  Hey guys, I am stumped.  I spend alot of time on this site and check out posts from all over the country, and it seems like you guys in the eastern part of the country do really well on bass in the winter.  That just blows me away, cuz here in MN bass fishing in the winter is nonexistant.  Which is weird cuz alot of the lakes I fish in the winter for pike are great bass lakes, I often catch 40-60 bass in the summer, but when I have my tipups out in the winter I very rarely catch a bass, maybe 1 for every 100 hours of pike fishing.  Most of the time I use shiners and suckers in the 5-8" size.  I have had some good luck on bass in one lake one time, I think I caught 15 in about 2 hours, but that was on a #14 marmooshka w/ waxies. 
  My question is this.  Is there any reason why this is happening?  Also, is there any minnesota guys out there that consistently catch bass in the winter?  I think it would be a blast to target them w/ med/light tackle. 

May have something to do with the water temps in MN are much cooler than the water temps on the East Coast....less snow on the East Coast means more sun getting through the ice into the water.... ;D

Fishin is the Mission:
We catch more jigging than on tip-ups.  IMO, Largemouth especially like the bait to be moving.  We catch more Smallies on live shiners, but most come on smaller baits in the 2 - 3 inch range when we target big perch.  Just my observations on my little neck of the woods.  I hope this helps in yours.

I don't think temp has anything to do with it. Under the ice temps are pretty much the same wherever you're at. Temps will drop only so far and the ice actually acts as an insulater relatively speaking. Near freezing to freezing at the surface but it gradually warms up as you go deeper to a max of 39 F. which is the temps water is densest.

My theory is the bass are either using much deeper water slightly warmer, which the lakes you fish may have vs, shallower eastern lakes and/or they are being out competed by other species under the ice that are more active in cold temps. In the east they don't have the northern pike populations, if at all, you do in Minnesota.

That's my theory and I could be wrong.

for me, i target largemouths from 2 to 8 FOW over green weedbeds. i easily catch 5 to 10 largemouths an outing with all the usual pickerel, perch and crappie mixed in. personally, i like a highly active shiner for largemouths, and i'm pretty much moving up to all large shiners to weed out the perch, crappie and small pickerel.

in lakes with pike, i don't catch nearly as many largemouths, but i don't think it has to do with the pike being there, i think it has more to do with the fact that they are highly preassured lakes


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