Feb 3, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT
I am sure many of our southern readers notched their first bass of the year several weeks ago, but in Minnesota, this is no easy task. Between off the water commitments and family vacation time was a premium for this guy in January. Not to mention with 98% of our water being frozen solid this time of year, you need to have time to drive a little bit and cooperating weather so that you can actually cast a line without it freezing to your rod guides.
The planets finally aligned on the last Sunday of January, well kind of, the weather wasn’t that warm but it was doable. We arrived at the Mississippi river as the sun was about to arrive and the vehicle temperature gauge told us it was about 14 degrees outside and wind chill was estimated near zero. As dumb as it sounds, I put my waders on anyways, grabbed my trusty Dobyns spinning rods, and we shimmied down a steep river bank to a favorite spot of mine.
My buddy caught two smallmouth on his first three casts with a soft plastic stickbait, that made me put my crankbait down in a hurry. I tried a tube for about 10 minutes, no takers either, this is the time you start asking yourself why you do these things to yourselves to catch a fish. I then switched to a 3/16oz shakey head with 3.5” beaver style creature bait and quickly started landing smallmouth. (Check back on previous blog, for more on this rig)
After nearly four hours standing in an ice cold river and not being able to feel my fingers anymore, I caught 15 smallies up to 3 1/2lbs on the shakey beaver and did get one nice smallie on an Ima Square Bill crankbait.
The good news is that as I typed this blog, I almost have full feeling in my finger tips, just in time to drive even farther this weekend to find some willing largemouth this weekend!
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