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Giving the cold water largemouth a shot

Every year, I try to make one or two late season trips to fish for largemouth in either Zoar or Lillinonah when the water gets into the low forties. I had a short window open to fish on Saturday, and the weather forecast was certainly amicable, so I gave Jimfish a shout and set it up for Zoar.

At right around 47 degrees, the water temp wasn’t quite where I had hoped it would be, but it wasn’t all that far off. We headed for my prime late season area. I had 3 rods rigged: A big jig (1 oz head, heavy black & green skirt, 4″ black trailer); a drop shot (You shouldn’t have to ask. It’s always a 4.5″ Motor Oil Pepper Ribster); And a smoke Grubster on a 1/4 oz head. Jimfish had two heavy jigs and a drop shot setup.

First pass through the area, neither of us threw anything but the heavy jigs. I may have had 3 bites, but one of them was a ‘maybe’ that I swung on without coming up heavy. The other two produced fish in the 1-1/2 to 2 pound range. The first from about 35 feet of water, the other from about 20. Glad to get bit, but those aren’t the kind of bass I was looking for.

Lost my heavy jig to the lure-eating-est tree in the lake. I know it’s there. I know that when I cast into into it, the most likely outcome is a hopelessly snagged jig.

But the second most likely outcome is to get bit and come out of the tree with the kind of fish I was out here hoping for.

So I cast into the tree.

My big jig became newest among the many permanent limb decorations that I have donated to that particular arrangement of timber over the years.

After a whole lot of years of fishing it, the tree at the right of the WiFish image from my Dragonfly probably has a bigger and better assortment of my 1 ounce jigs buried in its limbs than I have in my tackle bag!

After a whole lot of years of fishing it, the tree at the right of the WiFish image from my Dragonfly probably has a bigger and better assortment of my 1 ounce jigs buried in its limbs than I have in my tackle bag!

The new jig I tied on just didn’t look right to me. Skirt too short. Trailer too stiff. I fished it some, but soon put that rod down. Just too lazy and stubborn to dig out another jig and retie it again, after just a few casts with it. Picked up the drop shot and proceeded to catch three barely keeper sized largemouth and a short on it in pretty short order.

So I guess I caught a 5 fish limit, but all 5 together didn’t weigh as much as one of what I was hoping to catch.  The pics below have nothing to do with the fishing on Saturday, other than to remind me why I prowl that same few hundred yards of drop-off most every November/December.

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