Sunday, August 28, 2011

Squeezing the last drops of August

August in Colorado tends to resemble a typical summer month but signs of fall start to creep in as we draw closer and closer to September. The transition from lush greens to dry browns is slow at first and I feel it sneaking in already. Sure things may still look and feel like July but the subtle changes such as dried grasses and brown leaf edges remind me that summer doesn’t last forever. The clock is ticking and I need to get in those last tastes of summer and look forward to fall.
(Above: Not too shabby bucketmouth swindled off of a patch of August cattails with weightless plastics.)

Bass fishing can change with the season in a few ways. The fish are more educated by the end of August and a large percentage of fish will become wary. On the other hand existing forage such as shad, other baitfish, frogs and even insects will start to drop off. Spawning has stopped for most of these fish and predation will have taken a big chunk out of the equation. Once overnight temperatures fall below 45degrees a lot of smaller fish will die, as their bodies are not developed enough to withstand the fluctuation. Large fish will start to run out of those plentiful summer food options on a lot of Colorado waters by the end of August.

Shallow water this time of year will contain a few baitfish and smaller bass still cruise in and out looking for prey. Larger fish however move to deeper ambush points which was not only the case on this day but more or less the trend on most of the smaller ponds that I fish with consistent shoreline fishing pressure. Cattail sections that are still thick and healthy provide excellent ambush cover as well as oxygen. These are great congregation areas for fish both large and small. It pays to key on these sections casting as close to the edge as possible. For this situation I like a 4” weightless green or dark colored tube jig fipped with a 7’ rod and 6-8lb line.
(Above: Hybrid sunfish\bluegill leaning more to the sunfish side of things with amazing green hues on the body and bright fin markings.)

My late August lure patterns are still the spinnerbait or other baitfish presentations. Baby bass fluke run weightless or Carolina rigged depending on the cover is one of my more reliable backup presentations. Creature baits like crawdad, lizard and stickbait will get more attention as things get colder. One lake is always different than the other so this isn’t exactly written in stone. I find myself experimenting far more in late summer\early fall than any other time of the year simply because the fish have seen a lot of the standard fair.

The key to August in Colorado is getting that last taste of summer and beginning the transition into fall. A lot of things will change as we roll into September and beyond. Not being able to control the seasons I more or less try to roll with whatever comes.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.

4 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

pretty little sunfish X.

i can only hope fall is coming... 106 here still today...

Alvaro said...

Congratulations on the blog.
I love the pictures of the black bass and trout.
Greetings from Sevilla (Spain)

Justin said...

That's a beautiful sunfish. I love those things. It's a green sunfish isn't it?

Coloradocasters said...

@TexWisGirl: Your smiling avatar is always a welcome sight on my blog. Hopefully things cool down in other regions of the country soon. I guess it could be worse and we could be feeling nature’s wrath like the east coast.

@Alvaro: Thanks, Alvaro. I have been blogging for a few years now and hope to take it more seriously some day. You will find that I rely more on content than format tweaks and layout changes. Glad you stopped by.

@Justin: I believe this fish is roughly 80% green sunfish and 20% bluegill. The problem with having both species in the same pond is that they interbreed easily.