October 7, 2009
Water temperature seems to stay in the 70s forever but when
it starts to slide lower it happens quickly. Temperature is now in the 60s.
The temperature drop is associated with the fall season and day length
but it is also due to some cooler than normal weather fronts. It should warm
up once more and sport fish will respond quickly to warmer water.
Christine Vinson - 3 pound largemouth bass
Cooler temperatures may change how fish react. In spring fish wait until water warms before getting active. Expect that same sort of thing as temperatures continue to fall. Morning fishing may be slower after a cold night and improve as the sun warms the water.
The best news now is great bass fishing both on topwater lures and other baits that can be thrown into submerged brush and retrieved. Bass are in and around brush so lures like spinner baits and weedless worms and plastic baits are working well. Drop shot baits can be effective fished straight down around wood. Do not expect drop shot baits to come back if cast out and then retrieved horizontally toward the boat. Some of the largest bass of the season are now vulnerable at the current water temperatures. Unfortunately, thick brush in the backs of the canyons may make it hard to get a big bass in the boat once it is hooked, but he experience is tremendously exciting.
The best pattern going involves shad that are trapped in the trees at the end of the cove. Both bass and stripers stand guard over shad schools waiting for them to try to leave or relocate. Any significant shad movement is intercepted by predators waiting patiently to take advantage of shad in open water. Brush makes it harder for them to feed and protects shad. So shad will likely remain in their brushy strongholds until forced out to deep water when surface water temperatures descend into the 50s. For now, check the back of each canyon and cove for shad activity to find active predators.
Guarding stripers are real suckers for shad spoons. Look for them on the
first break that descends to 30 feet or deeper. Stripers will often be right
on top of the break where they quickly move deeper at the first sign of
trouble. Make sure that bottom depth
is at least 30 feet when spooning. Trees that were covered by rising water
two years ago are now 28 feet deep. There are few tree snags at 30 feet and
deeper while brush is abundant in shallower water. This tip will make
life a lot easier when determining where to drop the spoon.