Strip Mine Report – 2/27

10:06am First 2018 Bass 15″ 1-7 Rapala Shad Rap

Thank you, Mother Nature!

Ain’t been much of a fan of this winter (or any other for that matter) so I was quite excited with the warming trend to end February that wound up producing 60 degree temperatures earlier this week. Throw in some rain followed by some sun and you had the formula for some rare February open water conditions in my neck of the woods. According to my log, the last time I had a chance to chase some February bass was 2012 so I was not about to let this year’s opportunity slip by. In fact, I was so desperate that I even sacrificed a vacation day. Turned out to be the right decision.

Somewhere around 40 years and still rowing strong (and that’s ice at top of the photo)


Date: February 27, 2018
Location: Little John Conservation Club
Time: 9:55am-2:40pm
Weather: Partly cloudy to sunny/windy to very windy
Air Temp: 46-63F
Water Temp: no reading but ice on about a quarter of the lake
Totals: 7 bass
Rapala Shad Rap SR07 (blue) – 6 bass
Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 2-6 Rapala Shad Rap
Top 5 Weight: 7-3 (2-6,1-7,1-5,1-2,0-15)

10:13am Bass #2 13″ 0-15 Rapala Shad Rap

Notes & Nonsense

87 – The number of days between bass catches, 12/2/2017 to 2/27/18. Not positive but believe that is a new personal best.

Rapid Reward – Eleven minutes into the day I had my first 2018 bass in the boat, a decent 1-7 on the Rapala Shad Rap. I’d take having to wait eleven minutes for my first catch any day of the year but on a February day just after ice out, well, that’s certainly some quick feedback. Does wonders for a guy’s confidence, made my day and accomplished my goal. And I still had close to five hours left to fish.

10:42am Top Bass 17″ 2-6 Rapala Shad Rap

Top Bass – With my first bass being a “keeper” (any bass over 12”), it kicked off my Top 5 quest for another year. Only four more to go at that point and seven minutes later bass number two came aboard, adding only 15 ounces to my creel but one fish closer to an early season limit. I had to wait about a half an hour for bass number three but it was worth the wait as it would be my Top Bass of the trip at 2-6. All three of these fish came on the Shad Rap and had me thinking that I may just get that Top 5 completed before I called it a day.

11:25am 13.5″ 1-2 Red Eye Shad

1:00pm 14.5″ 1-5 Rapala Shad Rap (dig this shot with all of the ice in background)

Top 5 –While I was just hoping to get on the board with my first 2018 bass, the fact that I was able to fill out my Top 5 was definitely a bonus. Although the air temps were quite comfortable, that water was still awfully cold. In fact, about a quarter of the lake remained ice covered. Turns out that six of my seven bass met the mark, meaning these early season bass were some overachievers in helping me out. I found it funny upon doing the math at the end of the day that the weight came out to 7-3, the exact same weight as my personal best bass.

Sure feels good to write a fishing report although the Cabin Fever layoff sure could have been a lot worse. Looks like the weekend has some temps in the 50s and I’ve got one boy who is really itching to fish after Mother Nature put a damper on a proposed icefishing outing a couple weeks ago. Stay tuned to see if we get an outing in and stop back by for a Top 5 update and rule recap coming soon. Talk to you later. Troy

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