This year is whipping past me like ski traffic on I-70. It seems like only yesterday that I was complaining about summer heat and here we are now dancing between snowstorms. The window of fall bass fishing is closing and targeting the warm weather trends has helped me make the most of the dwindling warm water season.
(Above: My solo shots have seriously taken a turn for the worst. Steep terrain doesn’t help things. Constantly a work in progress.)
Fish are cold-blooded creatures and warm water fish such as bass and sunfish have had to adapt to these high altitude environments further north. Even in the winter months you can find warm water fish feeding but it looks and feels like everything is going in slow motion. Big bass will generally reduce movement as water temperatures drop but those two or even three-day warm spells can spark a hungry bass from its slumber. The action isn’t great but its there. Sometimes.
Getting the lure as close to the fish as possible also helps greatly in the colder water temps. Bass will rarely spend precious energy chasing food this time of year. They more or less try to hibernate near a food source and ambush whatever happens to come by. Even during the warm spells these fish won’t move too far off their wintering areas. This means the spinnerbaits have to practically flutter in the water as slow as possible even bouncing off the bottom most of the time. Texas or Carolina rigged plastics are also a good choice for castability slow presentation. A 4” salamander (watermelon seed) rigged Carolina style with an 1\8oz weight was what I was running for the day. (Started with the plastic tube and then went to the salamander. The lure would be cast out and allowed to sink to the bottom. Then the retrieval would begin that was so slow it tested my patience and was excruciating at times.
(Above: Same fish, different angle. There was snow here just a day or two ago.)
In smaller ponds I will target the deepest areas of water that can be reached with the shore cast. It is even better when those deep areas are at the base of an earthen dam or contains submerged structure points. These points are easier to cover with more precision than a simple blind cast. These structure points are the most consistent during the hottest times of the year as well. Some structure areas you hit every time you are there because it is the best real estate period. This time of year I hit those spots with slow presentations and a lot of patience.
My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.