Posted by jd on September 18, 2002 at 10:56:07:
In Reply to: Re: Winter Fishing posted by Ryno on September 17, 2002 at 19:26:34:
I have probably caught more sauger and white bass on a green, red, or green/red curly tail jig than anything else. To me, colors that make ME fish with confidence seem to work best because I fish harder and make a better presentation. While I have personally seen one color outfish another on occasion, I have more often seen that line size, presentation, equipment, or method is really making the difference. Last year Tony Cooley said people were mad at him one day because he was out of blue sassy shad and the fish would not bite black, and we had caught close to a limit of BIG fish on black that day.
Years ago when I lived in The Grove for a year, I had several good days sauger fishing from the bank, from the dam to the sand bar depending on current, and casting/retreiving 1/4 oz. with about a 2" jig (whatever Tony Cooley sells in the small size) using spinning reel and 8 lb. line. We would also pick up stripers and maybe even a smallmouth from time to time.
If I am drifting in the boat, I really prefer to tip my jig with a minnow. I have yet to fish with those 1 oz. jigs rigged with stinger hooks, but Alex's article and another seasoned veteran's instructions to me have inspired me to spend one of these winters flirting with frostbite in search of one of those deep "jackholes." One old-timer told me about some water that is almost 80 feet deep, but I have never found water that deep on Wheeler. He also said that braided line is a plus because it will not twist on a spinning reel like mono. He made it sound like the fish stack up in DEEP water in really cold weather and you essentially snag them when they suck the minnow off of your hook. I guess I will just have to stick with luck and the occasional good day below the dam in relatively shallow water until I have time to conduct more field research. :)
One of the best catches of sauger that I have ever witnessed (I showed up at someone's house while they were cleaning fish) was caught below the flood gates (they were closed) at g-ville, fishing the bottom with small curly tail jigs tipped with a minnow. As I recall, he said no minnow, no bite. Dead minnow, no bite. They even had a few of those yellow perch, which I have not caught or seen in years!?!? As I recall, the guy was wet because it had rained all day, and it was one of those "warm" rains from the south during the change of seasons in the Fall.
Is all this enough for a conclusion?? When fishing current, you might get away with no minnows. When fishing relatively calm water such as below the flood gates or down river, you will need a minnow to give it some action down on the bottom. Hmmmm... if only it would cool off so that I could test this hypothesis.
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