Itchin' in Rhode Island
We have snow coming once again here in Rhode Island, but I'm looking ahead. Last year was the first time I targeted bass and panfish from my kayak, and I plan to do the same this year. I have a few questions, though.
How early do they start to move to shallower water? Does the activity change in time with increased water temps? If so, what's the lowest temp at which I could reasonably expect to find fish? Should I fish particular flies in the early season?
Happy Sunday, and thanks in advance.
main thing fish always eat so... you can always catch'em just a matter of changing presentation and technique. Right now(IN TEXAS) the fish are already moving up. I caught a couple of small bass yesterday down on the creek. The biggest bass are caught in February here. But you have to fish deep. They stage on drop offs near shallow water first then move up as the water warms up. When over night temps reach 50's it's time. There is no science to this just observation. Panfish, bluegill ect. (not crappie) wait a while after the bass start moving, and crappie go before the bass. Each one has its own timing. There is a ton of info out there on the science of it. Hope this helps. Others will surely add to this. Hope you do well. HOSS
Fish feed all year long, hence ice fishing. They will move into the shallows all year to feed. They don't do it as frequently in the winter but they do still move to feed. I always set a trap when ice fishing leading into the shallows and catch fish on that trap besides the ones in deeper holes.
I have caught fish in RI right after ice out. Just make sure you pick a body of water that isn't stocked by the state for trout. They all close March 1st until the 2nd Saturday in April for all fishing.
Activity does increase with warming water temps but they are still active enough to catch them when the water is cold. In the past when I had more time I would always take my canoe out in March and target bass and sunfish and usually did pretty well once I found a pocket of fish. A sunny day around mid afternoon when the water is at its warmest for the day always seemed best. Some days all it takes is for the water to warm a degree or two to turn the fish "ON". I would look for places that ice out first such as the Northern coves, they usually have the best southern sun exposure and heat up the fastest. Also a place where there is some current moving in or out of a pond with shallow water nearby is a good hot spot for early fish seeing as it is free of ice sooner.
In terms of flies nothing particularly special other than something that looks buggy with lots of built in movement. Small nymphs and streamers for gills and small bass and crappy. Bigger streamers for bigger bass. If you are fishing from a boat a sinking line may be something good to invest in this time of year, but a floater works too so don't completely avoid it. Don't be afraid to vary your presentations. Slow is the normal rule of thumb but fish will hit a fast presentation in cold water with the right trigger.
hit Rodger Williams park. the main pond by the temple of music. taioge (know i spelt it wrong. and the bay for stripers.
Fish do feed all year 'round, In colder waters, fish subsurface flies VERY slowly for bluegill and the like. Retrieves as slow as 1-2 feet per minute might be required. Shallower water exposed to the sun warms up better during the day and so fish will move into shallow, protected, sun-lit bays and inlets. If you can find beds of decaying leaves, try hanging a nymph just over them in pursuit of bluegill. If there are bluegill predators about, that is less likely to work unless there is some structure to protect the panfish or the water is very shallow.
Ice fisherman catch gills, etc all year round but like others have said, you need to have a very slow presentation
These are great ideas! We have another 5 - 8" of snow on the way Monday :mad: but SOME DAY the ice will melt and I'll be out there! Keep the suggestions coming!
You can catch fish on flies if you can find open water. Last winter/spring I got out when the ponds were still 1/2 covered with ice. Caught crappies. Bigger bass hit earlier than the smaller bass. Or maybe its once the smaller bass get active, they just beat the bigger bass to the fly? Bluegills will hit anytime as well. Fish slow for panfish when the water is cold...Using a microjig under an indicator works great. I've actually done well on bass in cold water by using a much more aggressive retrieve....lots of aggressive jerks and twitches, but try to move the fly forward as slowly as possible.