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Lake zumbro was a cold beast and i felt it

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Went out on lake zumbro this morning for 2 hours. Boy was it cold riding into the wind. Especially when the sleet started coming down. Didn't get any bites. Of course I've never caught crappies successfully on zumbro. Marked fish both thick and thin. Tried jigging and useing a bobber but no takers.

On a more positive note however, tried out my trolling motor that I have spent my free time over the last several weeks installing. Worked awesome. min kota 70lb autopilot/copilot. Even with the wind blowing hard, the autopilot feature kept me moving in the direction i wanted. very nice.

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that i was. I was slowly motoring around looking for marked fish and trying out my trolling motor. I saw some people shore fishing. that you?

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You are not kidding about COLD. The water temp this morning was at 43 degrees on the top with most of the waters tested at only a few degrees more at 8 feet. I found one spot where the water did hold 50 degrees at 8 feet, but the surface was only 47.

The fish were being marked today, but darned few crappies came to the boat. What I did find a good plenty of today was smallmouth bass. Not just a couple, but about 10 of them and all from one stretch of shoreline with some deep water breaks. These were all about the same size ranging from 13 to 15 inches. The hits looked like crappies but the reply to the hookset brought about some activity not shown by many crappies. They were a riot to catch. Orange and white JRs Stub Grub paddletail today was their color. Crappies, the few that were caught today, came to blue/chartreuse in the same grub.

I got one good pic of one of the bass and hope to get it up here today yet.

Of note....the water is quite clean right now and actually about 6 inches low for this time of year. We need some rain to fill the lake again and it would be nice to see that happen BEFORE the crappies stage. Last year's spawn, remember, was shot in the kiester by high water after they had begun to nest and spawn.

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Tom's smallie...


Good Fishin,

Matt Johnson

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better be careful posting those pics tom! might give away your secret smallie location :-) jk.

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Andy and I went this morning and we ran into the same thing. Crappies were off, smallies were on. One largemouth came to visit too. Andy can tell you what his catch of the day was.

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were you fishing under a bobber or on a jig? I went out and never got a nibble. I'm planning on taking the kids out on sunday on zumbro. Can you give me any tips to try to help the kids catch some crappies versus sunnies? I have the black/chart and junebug/chart paddletails. Should I target deep water or shallow? anchor and pitch or drift with wind? throw a jig versus under a slip bobber?

I'd like to have them catch some fish so they don't get bored.

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First off Carl, don't fish under a slip-float with paddletails. A fixed float can be fished down to about 5 feet by most people without trouble. If you need to get deepr than that, simply fish the jig by casting it, counting it down to the depth you want using a foot per second drop rate to count it down. Then just a very slow retrieve.

The water is still cold at all levels so the fish are still being tight lipped. If we can hold onto some sun for a couple days yet, you may see temps in the water warm enough to find fish along the shores and back along the bays where the warm water can collect. Shores where the water is being blown into them will contain fish quickerthan sheltered ,out-of-the-wind spots.

I'd wait until mid day so the water has a chance to warm and then find the shore where the wind is hitting and start to fish there. The Ryans Bay area is always a prime starting spot early on like this. The high banks across from there too. This are will offer everything from shallow water to deep with a relatively small area so you are not out running instead of fishing.

Right now, today included, the fish are tight lipped because of the cold. The cold front which lasted two weeks, the now colder water, all have a negative on the fish in this lake. The only cure-all I have ever found comes in two parts....getting some heat in the water and sticking it out.

For as many times as you have fished the lake, I don'tthink you are off the mark with what you are doing or in your persistance. The cold however is your nemisis and you have no control over it, so hang in there. Six more degrees thru thewater column and you will be right on the money.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Kettle
    • Leroyboyisthatu
      Was out the last 2 days. Saw some Crappies caught in warmer bays. Not much action outside the mouths of bays today. Hoping it picks up this week. Trying to learn this lake over the summer.
    • Rick G
      The creek is still very high and dirty. Prespawn smallies don't seem to mind😁 Morning bite has been very consistent this last week.
    • MikeG3Boat
      Any new reports from this past weekend?  Heading up Thursday for a long Memorial Day weekend. Looking for a place to start. Going out of Bayview RV resort. First year fishing vermilion. 
    • CigarGuy
      Looks like your neighbors old pontoon is in some trouble, only a couple inches of the motor is above the water.  
    • Mtnman
      Nice fish, but sad for the property owners.  
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
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    • Shulsebus
      We will be up for our yearly trip June 4-11.  Just seeing if it's the usual baits so far fishing.  Anyone bobber fishing?  Lindy rig?  I'm assuming the water is told cold at this point for Leeches. Thank fellas. 
    • Better Than Working!
      I spent last week on Kabetogama and the conditions are hard to believe. Water keeps rising. The forecast was for another foot rise. We stay at Northern Lights Resort and they went over and above for the guests. Built bridges to the floating docks! Fishing was amazing! Hard to catch small enough fish to keep! People up there are battling to protect and save what they can. 
    • Mtnman
      I'm not getting any good reports on the lake conditions there. Friends on Ash River have water in their cabin. Hope all losses are at a minimum.🙏
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