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NukeFisher

Of Ice and Men 12-31-17

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I decided to give the last day of 2017 a go.  Went to Melton Hill in the AM and on the second cast my line was mostly frozen.  Bits of ice along the stiffened braid and chunks of ice in the guides.  After looking about some spots made the decision to travel to Fort Loudoun.  There were the gulls.  Not sure which kind but small groups scanning the surface and diving down to collect something. Made a couple of casts and once again the line was frozen with chunks of ice on the guides.  The braided line was terrible.  When the line guide on my casting reel was mostly frozen shut it became clear the last day of 2017 would bear no kindness and there was no choice but to quit.  Looking across the river 2018 still appears idyllic though. 

I hope you all have a great New Year 2018. 

- HereFishyFishyFishy

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Thanks for the post! Gotta use mono when it's super cold. The gulls are ring billed gulls and they are eating mostly threadfin shad that die off when water is below 47 degrees. I saw a tornado of seagulls in the back of lackey creek today also

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We have been looking forward for the shad die-off. Maybe after this, the fish will run out of minnows & start hitting our lures.  For my part, this has been the WORST YEAR for crappie that I can remember.  My boat is fixed & ready, so ,  Now, if it will only warm up-----!  Happy new Year.   dada  1-1-18 9:05 AM

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Braid is not to good for cold weather. I rarely use it but I do think it's a good line for topwater as it floats pretty good.

 

Use to think, much much younger then, that I needed to go for New Years, LOL     Ice in guides requires a lot of sticking rod in water and cast very fast!!

 

Glad you went to remind me why I don't "ice fish"   BWAWAWAWAWA

 

 

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I have found that KVD's Line Conditioner helps with sealing the line from picking up water and freezing to some extent.  I usually spare my guides with Reel Magic to help them shed water too.

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Bourbon works too.  Hold the rod up, butt first, then get someone to pour it down the rod.  Make sure the tip is above your open mouth.  Outcome is that you won't notice the eyelets freezing up. 

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Typically I love braid.  It has been great to me on both casting reels and spinning.  Haven't really fished in the cold like that with it though...

I'm going to go ahead and spool up a couple reels with some mono/copolymer to avoid the ice so I can actually fish...which leads me to:

The shad die-off.  I thought perhaps something like that was going on but I don't know much about it.  Is this an event that takes place over an extended length of time?  I was thinking I might rig up some casting spoons with trailers, like a fluke or Gulp Minnow, and fish some spots with an improvised flutter technique. 

I'm not sure about the bourbon idea.  Maybe tie off a bottle of Jagermeister, toss it in the water to chill, and go from there...

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3 hours ago, NukeFisher said:

Typically I love braid.  It has been great to me on both casting reels and spinning.  Haven't really fished in the cold like that with it though...

I'm going to go ahead and spool up a couple reels with some mono/copolymer to avoid the ice so I can actually fish...which leads me to:

The shad die-off.  I thought perhaps something like that was going on but I don't know much about it.  Is this an event that takes place over an extended length of time?  I was thinking I might rig up some casting spoons with trailers, like a fluke or Gulp Minnow, and fish some spots with an improvised flutter technique. 

I'm not sure about the bourbon idea.  Maybe tie off a bottle of Jagermeister, toss it in the water to chill, and go from there...

Shad kill depends solely on water temp. Below 45-47 threadfins will start dying. Some years it doesn't happen some years it blankets the ground 

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Yes! I hope them fish get real hungry. I use braided fire line a lot in the winter. When the area below the John Sevier power plant was open, I would stand on the bank, cast up stream parallel to the bank and drag a 3/8 jig through the rocks. Braided line was the only thing that would handle being dragged through the rocks. Caught some nice smallies.

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Fished below loudoun dam today and shad kill was pretty heavy. I scooped up dozens for frozen bait. Hundreds of gulls were going bananas 

Edited by rusty50576

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Talked to a buddy duck hunting below Patrick Henry.  Said the river was saturated with dead and dying threadfin.

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