The water is getting colder, so I hope it runs the fish off the banks. There are a lot of bass still being caught shallow. I consider anything less than 15 feet shallow.

The water is getting colder, so I hope it runs the fish off the banks. There are a lot of bass still being caught shallow. I consider anything less than 15 feet shallow.

Anyone who knows me knows that in winter I drop down to six and eight-pound line. I use Silver Thread Fluorocarbon because it is almost invisible in the water, a little stronger than mono plus it has less stretch and more sensitivity.

It also sinks which keeps it and your bait on or closer to the bottom where I like to fish this time of year.

This past Friday saw Rick Toth and me doing some pre-fishing for the tournament we had coming up Saturday. We caught fish. We lost fish. I broke off two on light line because the drag was set too tight, I got in a hurry, and not retying lost those fish for me. Rick and I both lost fish that pulled off before we could get them in.

We might have caught more fish but Rick was throwing a small anvil Striper Rig a mile and getting hung up a long way from where the boat was. We lost some time going and getting the anvil back. To his credit he caught some fish on it.

Paul Cleveland, a good friend of ours in our bass club, says Rick fishing for stripers has ruined him for bass fishing.

Not wanting to stick anymore fish, we quit around noon. I went home, retied my lures, sharpened the hooks and got ready for a windy Saturday of fishing. Bad luck continued to follow us as we lost several more fish in the tournament that came off: I broke off one on the eight-pound line.

We had our chance at a limit several times before we had to go to weigh-in. It was tough fishing with only three limits.

Mike Corzine and Dale Anderson won with five fish going 18.88 pounds. Dale had big bass with a 6.08-pounder; Second was Paul Cleveland and Rick White with five at 14.32 pounds, third was J.B. Webb and Rick Toth’s four fish at 8.81 pounds, fourth was Shane Allison with at 8.55 pounds and Ellis Campbell and Ed Larkin were fifth with two fish at 4.23 pounds. Everyone else zeroed.

The winning string came on Jigs in brush but Dale said about 10 the bit died. We rode Blakemore 1/4 oz. Road Runners with Marabou bodies and some plain heads with soft plastics to catch our fish. We doused them in YUM Ferocity F2 Attractant Shad spray.

I really count on attractants at two different times. In winter I like shad, spring and in muddy water I go with F2 Crawfish spray. We had bites all day and I believe attractant made the difference. Other teams said their bite died after early morning.

Tuesday Rick and I went fishing again. We caught some fish but it wasn’t as good as it had been. We quit early as Rick had to help wrap presents and I was supposed to help Susan put up Christmas decorations. I just wanted to hang ‘em up and be done she wanted them hung in a certain pattern.

Shortly after I started helping I was fired. Rick had to help wrap presents and haven’t heard from him since. He might have got in more trouble than me.

I made a small dent in my woodpile during the ice age we had. I kept a constant fire going for six days more or less. As I generally get up at least once in the night I just tossed in some more logs. The house was comfortable without being too hot.

Now after two days of breaking fish off and others coming off because of the gentle hook set I use with the six and eight-pound line, I moved up to eight and 10-pound line. I’m going to fish it in our next tournament.

Fishing deep like I was and with bites you could barely feel at times, the Gary Loomis Temple Fork Outfitters Tactical Rods made a difference. The YUM F2 Ferocity Shad attractant Spray seemed to make the fish hold on longer and take the Blakemore Road Runners deeper.

It worked for us: we had bites all day long and some other teams said after the morning bite ended it was over for them. The key for us was to fish deep and slow.