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With the nice weather the past week I had to get back to my, now 4 year long, goal of a 7+lb largemouth from my local waters. I started last Sunday by going to my favorite local lake for big bass, which just happens to ice out before any other lakes in the area, although it was still half frozen. I didn't catch any fish that night, but saw some bass chasing the holdover trout, from previous springs, around sunset. I decided to go back around sunset on Monday, skunked again but I saw fish in the same area doing the same thing. I decided to switch from my 8" baits to a 6" trout imitation in order to "finesse" a bite the next day. This finally worked, creeping the bait at around 10 minutes per cast I got bit as the bait began to climb up the rocky shore. Swing, miss, kill the bait and THUMP, swing and connect. I got the fish into a few inches of water and she swung her head and threw the bait, good fish too, somewhere between 5 and 6lbs, I wasn't too bummed since I felt that I had something figured out, I kept fishing until dark with no luck. Although I didn't catch any fish it was beautiful outside and I got some nice pictures of the lake. 

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I went back again Wednesday in the rain, skunked again, didn't even see a fish. I did get to spend some time exploring the "bog" (it's actually a fen) in the park, which was super cool, especially in the fog and rain.

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On Thursday I decided to take the kayak out for the first time of the year, hoping that the lake I had in mind would be open. Although the lake I had been going to was fully open, it doesn't allow personal craft until mid-April. The lake of choice is usually the 2nd to open in the area so I was confident that it would have at least some open water after all the sun and warm weather. I packed up the kayak and made the drive over, seeing an almost fully iced lake when I arrived, luckily there was about 5' of open water at the ramp leading to a larger area where the major creek flows in. I had confidence that I could catch some fish as I had done well at this lake in similar conditions in the past. 2 hours later after hitting all of the good spots and taking a trip up the creek, I had no bites and hadn't even seen a fish, I started to think that maybe I should've gone back to the other lake.

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Making my way back to the ramp along the ice edge I got a bite, a small 15" fish but my first bass of the season. I casted in the area again, smack! missed it, threw back again pulling the bait under the ice and my line went slack, a very solid 3lb 1oz 18.75" fish.

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I continued fishing the line and a few casts later slack again, a 3lb 6oz 18" fish, again respectable.

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I fished another 3 hours afterwards and didn't get a single other bite, not even from the many pickerel which are usually more than willing to bite this time of year. Regardless of the size I was extremely happy with those 3 fish as I was about 20 hours in with one bite and no fish caught, which isn't irregular for swimbait fishing. Although I did toss the big stuff in the kayak, all of the fish fell for a 4.25" weedless shad, which is quite small for me. I plan on being back out in the kayak on Tuesday, the lake should be much more open, and hopefully I can find some big fish with the big baits.

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