Water Temp Changes
It can be winter, summer, or like now in the fall, the one thing you can count on is the bass react differently to falling water temperatures. I have seen the effects of water temperature for many years now, and understanding it is key. Cold months like March with temperatures dropping are different than cooling temperatures in the fall. There is a significant difference from the cooling drop to the drastic drop in temperatures in water. Look for the slow drop days to be successful.
Cooling from 82 degrees to 75 degrees in October can really turn the bite on! We are seeing the temperatures start to fall, and the changes should be noticeable for the next few months as we progress toward winter.
To me, this has not only been my experience in the fall and winter but also in the middle of summer. I have seen times when we had 90-degree water, and we were catching fish on top water all day long, and suddenly, a cold front comes through, drops the water temperature a few degrees, and we are struggling for a bite. It’s like a shock to their system, and a perfectly good few days on the water becomes a struggle. Knowing this can happen and preparing for it can make your fishing day much better.
The real question is what happens and what you can do to find active fish.
I believe to find them under these conditions you must first understand what happened. So now we can relate to the issue and the result, and the truthful answer is the fish need to be hand-fed while the water temperature stabilizes or comes back up. This is an ideal time to really go slow moving and precise fishing, like working a jig or a worm, a shaky head or even a Carolina rig very slowly around the edges and drops extremely near the areas you were catching fish the day before. This also is a perfect time to go to a suspending bait to let the bait rock and entice a bass while its body is recovering from the shock of the temperature change. Jerk baits can be deadly.
Dropping water temperature means activity slows, cooling temperatures can help!
-Captain Mike Gerry