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Which side of the pond would you fish on this time of year if you were going out in the mid afternoon looking for bass or trout?

I have never done much early season fishing in Colorado and was wondering if anyone has a preference. What types of conditions do you specifically look for? What are the things you look for this time of year before you throw your line in the water?

Say the pond is pretty big, something that would take you 20 mins or so to walk around.

Edited to add: you are fishing from shore using a spinning rod or baitcaster.
 

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I always start on the windy side of the lake.... early season you should fish slow (there are always exceptions) Jerky bait, jig n pig, and weightless worm are my favorites. Structure next to deep water is your best bet, if the pond is bowl shaped like most ponds in Colorado then any type of structure will do. Work the structure at different depths and speeds and work them slow. I dead stick alot for 30 secs to a min, if I am not getting any bites I usually start moving faster but for the majority I work it slow. If you are switching up patterns and retrieves try to remember what it was that you got the bite on, and duplicate.

I havent mastered the complexities of the baitcaster so I usually use a spincast or spinning rod. Thats a goal this year, to learn the baitcaster better. Maybe 1 birds nest an hour instead of every other cast. :p
 

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The first thing I do is check the water temp. Research and know your favorite species activity due to water temp, this should give you a guide on how to proceed. Like epic said, I typically look for something near deep water. then try different retrieves over the structure from the deep to the shallow. I also cover a lot of ground until I find some fish.

Also like epic said...slow retreives are a good idea. let your lure sink to the depths before you start your retrieve. I like to use a slow retireve with pauses for bass and usually a slow and steady retrieve for trout but experiment to find out what the particular fish are looking for that day.

I also will have 2 rods rigged so that I can switch off instantly to try something new...I keep my second rod stuck in my waders out of the way. For bass I like to keep one rod (spinning) rigged with something like a senko and the other ( baitcast) with a jerkbait during early season. For trout I may have one with a panther martin and the other with a spoon or countdown rapala.

Also, keep in mind that you can tell a lot about structure underwater by how the land slopes into the water. shore slopes typically continue under water and you can make an educated guess as to what the structure looks like under water.

also...if the pond has an inlet, I always try that and especially nearby deep water first.
 

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While the water is still very cold -- and it is -- I look for shallower water on the theory that it will warm up sooner. But it needs to be close to deep water so the fish can easily migrate back and forth between them. If you just fish a wide shallow flat it's pretty much like hunting rabbits in a desert.

The Boyd Lake pump house channel is a prime example of this principle right now. The channel is 24-25 fow but catching fish in it is like pulling teeth. But if you fish just outside the edge of the channel where it's about 7 fow you can get all kinds of hits from nice sized trout hanging about 6 ft deep. However, if the deep channel wasn't there, the fish wouldn't be there at the shallow edge, either.

Bass are a harder problem when it's this cold, but like ePiC says, you have to fish low and slow. If the trout are hitting, it's hard for me to exercise the patience I need to catch bass at this time of year. I'd rather wait for another 10-15 deg. of temp. in the water and then clean up on them.
 
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