Question about Pond Smelt in Winter

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Pat
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Location: Olivehurst, CA

Question about Pond Smelt in Winter

Postby Pat » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:52 am

I fish Lake Oroville quite a bit along with Collins Lake and Camp Far West. In the last month or so I have often caught spotted bass that are spitting up pond smelt or even have a mouth full of them. When this has happens I typically use my electronics to search for bait in the water column. Earlier I would sometimes find it and then target the bait pods with a spoon or drop shot. Lately I have not been able to locate obvious pods of bait. So my question is, when the water is cold, do pond smelt die off and end up on the bottom, or do they move tight to the bottom where they are more difficult to locate with sonar? If they are tight to the bottom, what do they look like on a graph?

Thanks for any insight.

Pat

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ash
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Re: Question about Pond Smelt in Winter

Postby ash » Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:20 am

Pat YES thankfully the pond smelt do die off in the winter and they have a tendency to go deep sitting right above the thermocline. This time of year I try to fish the fringes of this bait as bass are not aggressive all day (unless i see spaghetti on the graph) I like fishing smelt balls with sculpin colored Canopy Grenades jigs on the fringes.

Cheers

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Gary Dobyns
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Re: Question about Pond Smelt in Winter

Postby Gary Dobyns » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:24 am

More often than not the smelt go deep but they suspend offshore a lot. Run your graphs way out offshore and you'll pick up a lot of smelt. There's still balls of smelt shallow and by the bank as well. Spots will move around a lot with the smelt but also this time of year they start getting on crawdads well too.

This time of year I fish a lot of points and I don't care if I meter fish or not. I also fish the back of creeks if the water is running good. When the creeks quit running the spots will pull back out of them. The one thing you must realize is spots move around a lot.


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