View Full Version : Cant catch fish!!!

01-29-2016, 10:52 PM
Went out today in Tennessee and tried my hand at bringin home some slabs. Air temp was about 45 and water temp ranged from 46-48. So I naturally thought that the fish would be deep. So I started in 16 FOW and varied my spider rig accordingly. Not a single bite. So OK i thought maybe they are deeper. WRONG. went to 20-25 FOW and fished from 12-20 feet deep and struck out once again. At first i just thought it was a bad day but after calling a buddy of mine on the way home. He limited out in only a few hours. He said he was catching them 3-5 foot deep in 8-10 FOW..??? Can they really be that shallow with the water temp still being in the forties this time of year. Im still learning obviously. Any of you guys have any input?

01-29-2016, 10:54 PM
I catch boatloads of them that shallow when the water temps are like that. Go fish shallow wood, brush piles and stumps.

01-30-2016, 10:01 AM
some spots here in texas have shad runs up creeks and rivers in the winter . we have fish in less than 9 feet of water on fire right now up some of the rivers and creeks .i dont know why some fish do what they do or why exactly and i have heard alot of different things ,but i do know the deep fish out in open water this year are flat out not cooperating on many of the traditionally great winter spots.
our water temps are similar to yours right now in most spots as well. it also seems that disappointing trips to the lakes are the norm this winter in our area for most folks .
i am going back to the creek soon myself because i keep hearing reports that make me want to avoid the lakes right now .
blame it on an election year or gas prices or el nino or whatever eases the pain and keep in mind alot of my buds and myself are pretty ok at ketchn crappie and we aint really got whatever is going on here figured out at all either :banghead

01-30-2016, 10:52 AM
Usually when icefishing, there is always clutter on the sonar just under the ice. Several times I have caught crappie within inches of the bottom of the ice, sometimes the clutter is actually fish. Cold makes no difference. Those bugger can hang out anywhere.
May times I have caught crappie thru the ice just a few feet from shore. :scratchhead

01-30-2016, 11:37 AM
Consider that fish are cold blooded, and that the 46-48deg water temps may be the warmest water around. That may partially account for them being shallow, even in the dead of Winter.

I've caught them less than 3ft deep this time of year & under similar water temps ... fishing from the bank, casting a tube jig beside the trunk of a laydown. Like you, I originally thought they'd be deep, so I was casting out to the top/branches of the laydown in 20fow. Not even a sniff, until I happened to work the jig ALL THE WAY up the trunk ... and got the first of several fish that day, just as I was about to lift the jig out of the water and make another cast.

... cp :kewl

01-30-2016, 11:55 AM
I agree with CrappiePappy in that fish will go to where the water is warmest. A good place to start searching is the northwest shorelines, where the sun angle is greatest this time of the year. If there's enough sun, they might be suspended just under the surface too....soaking up the rays! :)

01-30-2016, 12:47 PM
I've always said....day in, day out, the most common mistake people make is fishing under the fish.

01-30-2016, 03:49 PM
Thanks all for the help. I hope to go back out again on monday and i will be pounding the banks and shallow lay downs for sure now.

01-30-2016, 04:25 PM
In Maryland and at that temperature they would rarely be relating to the bottom like that unless a cold front had just past. In most cases they would be in 5 - 10 feet of water and about half way down. It usually takes temps at 40 or below to get them hugging the mud. But even in those cold temps a string of warm days will bring them up, not exactly shallow but suspended near a drop off.

02-01-2016, 08:22 AM
I've always said....day in, day out, the most common mistake people make is fishing under the fish.
real good advice ....the fish were 3 to 4 feet down yesterday in 14 foot of water on the lake ......

02-01-2016, 09:26 AM
Wow, that's a good report. Thanks

02-01-2016, 06:09 PM
Ran into that a few years back at pickwick this time of year. I would have bet money they were deep. Was about to give up and tried some shallow stuff and they were there. Unless your lake is super clear water? In super clear water they could be really deep. We caught them today in a super clear lake 30 to 34 feet deep in around 40 feet of water so it really depends on your lakes conditions.

02-01-2016, 06:16 PM
Unfortunatly mother nature kept me off the lake today and probably tomorrow, but im sure the water will be muddy come wednesday or thursday when i make it out. I cant wait to get out there and feel the thump

02-01-2016, 08:52 PM
One thing you have to remember is fish travel between deep and shallow water during the day. Some days. Not everyday. But probably more often than not.It may be for an hour,or two , or four. So timing is part of the game.

They are usually following the baitfish,looking for a meal that is easier to catch .

By this time of year the difference between deep and shallow water temp may not be that much depending on the body of water. And the surface water warms especially on sunny days and places the bottom is darker colored or the water is darker. Then the wind blows the surface water and "stacks" it a little against the bank.

So a dark bottom with some cover (grass,brush,rocks)and the wind blowing on it has plankton,plankton attract baitfish,baitfish attract predators. Whole thing may only last for a while. You got to be there then.When its over fish may move back out to the deeper water.

Sorta like a when you where a kid ,Mom only made supper at one time,if you weren't there at the right time it's all over but the shouting and your brothers and sisters done ate it all and scattered. Got to wait till Mom is back in the Kitchen LOL.

Cane Pole
02-02-2016, 11:05 AM
I can't catch the either. The older I get, the less tempted I am to go out in the cold, the water is fluctuation, etc. I got "good as the get" excuses.

02-02-2016, 04:32 PM
well at least you can get out.here the ice is marginal,after rain today completely unsafe.and open water is a few weeks out.

Matt Lad
02-02-2016, 06:37 PM
I would give slip bobbers a shot. Put out as many as you're legally allowed at different depths. A double marabou jig rig baited with live minnows got me some fish when nothing else worked. Hope it works for you.

02-02-2016, 08:19 PM
Crappies are always looking for the next meal. At those water temps crappie are still fairly active. In such as following the shad to the shallower parts of lakes,shad not liking the colder temps thats why there in the shallower warmer parts. And the crappie won't be to far behind.

Tucker Reeves
02-02-2016, 09:34 PM
Great information from all! Thanks