Colorado bass action changes quickly in the fall months. Forage base in October dwindles along with water temperature. Most spawning in lowland lakes has run its course for warm water species and the clouds of fry have been hammered. Shad die off may be present allowing some of the largest fish to gorge on a bounty of easy fish. In fact this time of year is a do or die situation and 90% of everything born this year just flat out won’t make it through fall to see winter. Even less of these creatures will see spring in 2012.
(Above: Right before the camera takes the shot I look up to see someone throw a stick in the water for their dog to go splooshing after. Normally it doesn’t bother me but I hadn’t fish that area yet.)
October is generally the month where the lure retrieve slows way down and I rely on both baitfish and creature presentations depending on the lake. This body of water has sunfish and bluegill but crawdads, frogs or even salamanders are also on the menu this time of year. For this trip I had the 7’ fast action rod working spinnerbaits and crankbaits while the 6’-6” medium heavy was rigged with the jig combo. In this case, a 1/4oz skirted jig with 4” grub trailer was used after getting a light splash of scent spray. Scent spray is something I like to use on the warm water scene when temperatures drop and fish lips get a little frigid as well.
The fish pictured above hit a lazy jig combo that was given a bump, stop-don’t move, wait and then wait some more action on the dirt bottom. This lure received roughly 60% of the hits but the option the larger fish seemed to prefer. The RatL trap in darker colors was second in action but more or less slowed me down with smaller fish. I didn’t expect the spinnerbait in bass\greensunfish to zero out. This was supposed to be my oversize, go-getum pattern but they just weren’t interested. With more patience and experimentation I probably could have worked this out.
(Above: Bluegill and sunfish are moving deeper and getting more difficult to find. Still happy to see them though especially in October. Catching this fish reulted in me throwing a dark green spinnerbait for another hour.)
The weight of the fish also perplexed me as I generally expect to catch fish heavy in the belly this time of year. The fish above was 20-inches in length but only read 3.8lb on the digital scale I almost never use. That is a about a pound shy of where this fish should be and surprising considering the amount of forage available. Without a sufficient buildup of fat a fish may not survive the winter.
Weather for the day was about as good as it gets for this time of year. Wind was stable for a change and didn’t try to push me around too much. I would still find myself up against the tree line or hiding behind ledges that blocked the wind and left slack water behind them. The water was slightly stained which makes the fish less nervous under clear blue skies.
(Above: Probably could have lived without this fish picture in the post but my second largest fish of the day.)
All in all this was a not too shabby bass day. Numbers were good for October even if the fish seemed a bit on the light side. Hopefully they can step up their game and the things I learned on this day help me step up mine. There are a few fat fish in here and with a little more work and patience they just might make the next photo op.
My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.