Water temps and the fall
by Mike Gerry
In the fall, when it gets tough, one thing you can count on to help you find active fish is the change in water temperature. There is no doubt that falling water temps in one area vs. another are good areas to fish. Be observant and look around the areas you are fishing to find the cooling water temperatures to find the productive areas to find active fish.
I know when you are searching for cooler temperatures that you may only find areas where the change is ridiculously small, maybe only a degree or two of change which may seem insignificant. The important thing to remember is that a degree or two can be a big difference maker in the activity of the fish. If you don’t believe this to be true, just turn your air conditioning down two degrees in your home and see what the amount of change only two degrees causes in your house. It’s noticeable, and it’s just as noticeable for the fish when one area of the lake water drops a degree or two. Having the patience to search different depths is profound and will bring you positive results if you take the time and test different areas.
Bass become more active in the fall as the cold weather approaches. Their yearly pattern changes stimulating their need to feed up for the winter. The increased activity level really helps your ability to start using search baits like: swim baits, rattle baits, top water lures and more. Suddenly, you have gone from a methodical, slow, worm-type bite to moving baits that the bass are actively and aggressively pursuing.
Being observant during this time is also another key to finding the active fish and the fall becomes a time where you can visualize bait being pursued and watch them being chased and busted on top.
Combine the slightly lower water temperature in an area, coupled with bait activity, and you have the combination for a great day in an area that has all the elements needed to catch bunches of fish.
Remember, shallow water cools first in the fall. Cool nights cool the water and that is one of the reasons bass move to the shallows as we move into the fall bite.