Water temperature matters! From early spring until late fall, and beyond, anglers need to be aware of possibly the greatest factor that affects us from either catching or not catching gamefish. Early spring yields the quick warm ups which may act as a possitive or negative factor in bass fishing. Quick water warm-ups will put the bass into a shock mode where they are confused and not acclimated to the fast change in their enviornment. But a slower warm up will trigger them into a spring feeding frenzy that can arguably be the best time of they year to catch bass in the shallows. On the opposite side of the spectum, fall fishing can be greatly affected by rapid temperature drops. Gradually falling water temperature with days of stability in the weather can trigger the best action of they year for those who are patient enough to wait out the bad days to search for the areas that will be incredible when the water temperature is perfect. Water temp that falls into the mid to lower 50’s will equal the best bass fishing of the year, but even with a slight dip below that majic number, the bass can shut off and suspend which creates the most frustrating situation a bass angler can experience. Unfortunately, in the northern areas of the United States, once the water temp dips below 50, it is rare that conditions would favor or hold long enough to bring the temp back up, and almost never be long enough to retain for stability. This weather situation creates a very narrow window to capitalize on and the avid angler must be aware of the area’s water temp by constant monitoring to determine the right days to be there. A couple recent trips (in perfect conditions) have yielded some of the best fall fishing action I have seen in years. With the water temperature holding in the lower 50’s range for several days, the largemouth bass were grouped up on channel ledges and holding off the stumps near weedy points. For three days straight, in these perfect conditions, the educated angler could catch bass on nearly every cast with multiple fish in the 4 to 5 lb range! Search baits (cranks), jigs, creature baits, etc… in these conditions it’s not so much about bait or color, as much as where you are fishing. Doing your homework ahead of time and knowing where the fish are grouping up is key to having the time of your life on the water when the temperature stabalizes to “perfect”. After a three day feeding frenzy, the water temperature dropped to the high 40’s… subsequently, the bass shut off, suspended, and all but disappeared from the area’s in which they were so very concentrated on just days prior. Once the bass become lathargic in their 40’s mode, the use of suspending jerkbaits becomes the bread and butter. Although still tough, these somewhat dormant creatures will still hit… but for my money, I still dream of the “perfect” days when the water temperature dictates the best bass action of the year… www.skinard.com

News Reporter

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