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fishing after a cold front


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#1 Senkoman12

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Posted June 27 2010 - 07:05 PM

i have a tournament on tuesday night on a small lake in central new york called onondaga lake, it is small and quite thick with heavy weeds there is about 6"-12" of open water from the weed tops and the surface, there tons of structure like old barges and sunken factory equipment i hate this lake, i never do well on it, to make things worse there is a cold front coming through and i can never do ok after a cold front i wonder what should i look for the fish and what do you think i should fish i was thinking about before i saw the weather report plastics on a punch rig, spinnerbaits, and yum money minnows, but now im lost please help
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#2 Bass_Akwards

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Posted June 27 2010 - 11:30 PM

I have an idea. 

For starters,  how about starting out with a little, or <cough cough> a lot better attitude bro? 

It doesn't matter what bait you throw, or if a cold front moves through.  The fact is,  if you have a cruddy attitude,  you're going to struggle in your tourney. 

If the little voice in your head is constantly saying "I hate this lake. " or  "I never do good on it." you're just giving yourself an excuse to lose before you even make your first cast. 

Don't even plant that seed in your head.  It leads to lack of confidence and once that enters your head, you're done. Confidence and fishing go hand in hand.  When you're confident you're going to put more fish in the boat in the long haul. 

This goes for most things in life.  If you walk around with a lousy attitude, you're going to get lousy results in your life.  If you think you're going to stink at something, chances are you'll find a way to stink at it.

After changing your attitude a little, realize that pretty much everyone hates fishing after a cold front.  If/When you aren't catching anything, understand that lots of opther anglers are probably not catching anything either. Let THEM be the ones who worry about YOU catching bass or not catching bass. Not the other way around.  Let THEM be the ones who spend the energy freaking out about how tough the bite is today, not the other way around.

IN GENERAL, when fishing after a cold front you're going to want to down size your offerings and you're going to have to SLOOOOOOW DOOOWN.  You can try to start out fast to see if somehow the bass are on a faster bite by throwing spinner baits on the tip tops of the weeds you were talking about(especially if theres some wind) and hucking deep diving cranks into that killer structure but if they're not on a fast bite, pick apart that awesome structure like the barges and factory equip with jigs and t/rigged plastics with some weight on them.  Once you get your limit, heck, start throwing some big ole swim baits on those barges and try to get a tourney busting 7 pounder and cull a nice 4 pounder!

Do some research too.  Find out what's been working lately.  Talk to locals and see what they catch 'em on after a cold front.  Find out what has won tournaments in the past for others on this lake.

Read some articles by the pro's on how to fish after a cold front .  You say you can "never do ok after a cold front."  Well if that's true, you should have googled "How to bass fish after a cold front" after the first couple times you did poorly after fishing a cold front.   :D
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#3 Crestliner2008

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Posted June 28 2010 - 06:32 AM

Excellent response, Bass_Akwards!
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#4 fishfordollars

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Posted June 28 2010 - 07:53 AM

You are allready beat. Refocus or just stay at the house.

After a cold front look for the fish to be in the heaviest cover you can find. Fish slow and deliberate. Now that I've said that you never know how it will really affect them. Be ready to try any and everything.

Good luck.
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#5 NateFollmer

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Posted June 28 2010 - 08:27 AM

I know this has been said before, but change the attitude. Confidence is your number 1 tool! A lake is a lake, all 'rules' hold true no matter what the lake, so you shouldn't hate any body of water with fish in it!

Anyway, I could type all of my post cold front tips here, but I'll just quote the article I wrote in my WFN Ambassador page:

After nearly 5 straight days of rain, I thought this would be the best time to share my techniques for enticing post cold front bass to bite.

There are actually a few different factors to consider when a cold front moves through:

Did the cold front drop the water temperature considerably?
Did the cold front affect only the air and water pressure?
Temperature Drops After Cold Fronts
If a cold front has just come through and brought cold rain and air temperatures with it, you can bet that this will have a dramatic effect on the water temperature. When the water cools considerably, the fish will become less active. Their strike zone will also shrink, so you will have to bring your offering closer to the fish. You'll have your best chance at finding bass along rocks, as rocks retain heat and are usually warmer.

It may be a good time to note that in the fall months, the above point has a much different effect. During the fall months, these cold fronts remind the fish that winter is coming and this will put them into a feeding frenzy. They need to gorge themselves with baitfish to prepare for the cold and dormant winters ahead.

Air and Water Pressure After Cold Fronts
Another environmental effect on bass is the air and water pressure. It's not the cold front itself that kills the feeding for bass; it's the rising pressure that comes after the cold front. It is suspected that this rising pressure has adverse affects on the bass's swim bladder and causes them to have a hard time staying upright in the water.

Rising pressure is going to push these fish deep and put them tight against cover. The change in pressure isn't as great in the deep water, so that is why shallow fish will move.

It should also be noted that a change in pressure doesn't seem to affect big bass as much as a cooling effect does. Recent studies have shown that big bass usually remain in the same area during a rising pressure effect, but tend to move away from cooling waters (again, this isn't true in the fall months).

So how can these fish be caught after a cold front rolls through? There are a few things you need to change to get these fish to bite.

The first thing I change after a cold front is the size of my lures.

For example, under normal conditions, I usually throw a 3/8 oz jig with a 3 ½ inch trailer (Usually a 'Strike King 3x Chunk'). After a cold front, I drop down to a 3/16 oz Bitsy Bug jig with a 2 ½ trailer (Rage Tail Chunks work great, as well as 'Yum' CrawBugs).

For worms, I normally throw a 5 3/8 inch BPS Stick-o-Worm on a Texas rig or a Luck 'E' Strike 4 inch ring worm. After the cold front, I switch the Stick-o-Worm to a 3 inch size on a whacky rig. For the ring worm, I'll switch to a Luck 'E' Strike 4 inch Razor Worm, but I'll cut about an inch off the front, making it a 3 inch worm, and throw it on a Texas rig with a 1/16 oz. bullet weight (don't be afraid to snip some plastic, sometimes you can get better results with a shorter profile). You can also cut the head off of the ring worm, giving it a smaller profile in the water, but I find the razor worm works better in some situations.

Downsizing is just the first piece of the puzzle; you also have to change how you fish these baits.

Typically after a cold front, the bass are going to move deeper and get very tight to cover. You have to remember this when your choosing your fishing spots. The first thing you want to do is flip that bait INTO the cover, not around it, not in front of it… INTO the cover. You may lose a few jigs or worms until you get the hang of it, but this is the best way to get these fish to bite.

Another great way to catch fish involves finding a very specific area. In this area, you're looking for shallow water with cover (weeds or a brush pile) that has a quick transition to deeper water. Put yourself on the shallow side of this set up and throw your offering into the deep water. Slowly skip the bait up the bank (maintain bottom contact!) toward the shallow side and the cover. This is a great tactic to find exactly where those fish are holding in the water column.

I hope these tips help you find some nice post cold front bass. Don't let those cloudless skies scare you away from the water. Those fish will bite; you just have to give them what they want!




#6 Wayne P.

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Posted June 28 2010 - 11:29 AM

I find post frontal conditions locate the bass in predictable locations and in groups. That makes them easier to find and easier to catch. Ever heard of the phrase, "a fish won't turn down a meal in a crowd" ?

#7 Senkoman12

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Posted June 28 2010 - 03:20 PM

thanks for the advice, btw, my attitude changed after i read Bass_Awkwards and Nate Follmer's posts, i feel more confident now, i think i will try shakey heads where i can and 1/4oz spinnerbaits tomorrow and also thought this was cool but i guess there is rumor that there is a sunken airplane in there, i know a guy who is trying to find it with his structure scan
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#8 NateFollmer

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Posted June 28 2010 - 03:54 PM

How big is this lake? If it was a big plane and wasn't very deep, it should show up on satellite view on google maps HAHA.

Don't let a cold front scare you, just slow down and downsize and you'll be fine!

#9 Senkoman12

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Posted June 28 2010 - 07:29 PM

the lake is preety small, i dont know the exact size bur im pretty sure the plane was a little single engine plane and also the lake is pretty deep with an average depth of 12-15 ft deep
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#10 Senkoman12

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Posted June 29 2010 - 08:50 PM

update:the tournement was tough, i started it with confidence and the advice you guys gave me. The wind was abd and i eventually just went into the river, i got 3 hits the whole time, 3 good hits but no fish. it was tough. only 2 legal fish were caught. i wasted my time on the lake and should of just went into the river but hey thats fishing
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#11 skey44

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Posted July 02 2010 - 01:46 PM

How does a cold front, and storms rolling through the night before fishing usually pan out in the summer? The temps were getting way up there in this early summer heat wave we were into, but last night the temps dropped down to the 60's for the first time in a while, and barely made it to 80 by 2 pm. There was heavy cloud cover all morning... actually until 2:00 and I didn't get hit all morning! Kinda weird. Usually folks seem to be talking about cold fronts in fall, just wandering how it affected summer time bassin?