Largemouth Movement Through The Water Column.
Posted February 26 2012 - 10:53 AM
Posted February 26 2012 - 11:48 AM
In the heat of mid-day in the summer the bass are all about the creek channels.(7 to 10ft deep) They hang out either with their belly on the bottom of the channel or just out of the current on something that breaks up the current. I catch them by dragging jigs or soft plastics down the channel or working a spinnerbait or crankbait along the outside edge of the channel. Then when the sun starts to get low. (about two hours before sundown) the bite stops. What is happening is the bass are beginning their migration to shallower water to feed for the evening. So I start to pitch to the spots where the bass go to when they are moving up. The spots are brush piles, stumps, or ends of points that are on the edge of the channel. I'll fish these spots for about a half our to 45 minutes. Then I start noticing a little surface action. That's when I grab a frog or buzzbait and go to work till dark.
Posted February 27 2012 - 05:28 AM
As far as fishermen many believe that the fish move up and down because they catch fish in the middle of the day deep and in the afternoon shallow. Many bait fish like threadfin shad don't have the same limitations that a bass does. Threadfin have no swimbladder so they make fast movements up and down throughout the day. They form tight bait balls under bright conditions and scatter more in low light conditions as a general rule. The bait movement, not the movement of the bass, causes the good shallow bite in the am and afternoon and the better deepwater conditions through out the day.
I was never taught to bass fish by anyone other then what I saw on TV way back 20-30 years ago which wasn't much back then to lean from. So I came up with my own system and beliefs from overservation and what I learned on the water catching fish. I figured out the horizonal movement of bass in clear water lakes and have used it for probably around 20 years to catch fish. Many of my biggest fish have been caught suspended over deeper water midday after locating the bass shallow earlier in the day or week. I have also reversed it and found the fish with my depthfinder suspended over deep water and caught them when they moved into shallower water later at the same depth they were suspended at. So my whole system of fishing that I use is based on horizonal movements of fish and my belief that LM don't usually make large daily movements up or down.
Posted February 27 2012 - 05:26 PM
Posted February 27 2012 - 09:26 PM
Posted February 27 2012 - 11:59 PM
John Hope who wrote "Trackin' Trophies" says there are 3 types of bass. Shallow water, Mid Depth and Deep water fish. According to his studies, I believe it was 16 years or more of tracking fish he said when a fish picks the depth range they are going to live at they don't leave it, except for the spawn each year. According to him this is the only time Largemouth will venture out of their normal range. For example, mid depth 8-12 feet.
Also according to John when there are extreme changes in temperature, unlike what most anglers think, the bass don't move from shallow to deep or deep to shallow. They simply stay closer to cover and become harder to catch because their strike zone can shrink down from 10ft to 10 inches.
I hear a lot now that spring is coming, and the ice is just starting to melt, that fish will come into shallow flats that are blocked by the wind and get sunshine all day. If we follow what John says this must be only the shallow range fish (who are most affected by weather changes), unless the bass are "fooled" into spawning conditions. The Mid and Deep water fish follow their same depth all year and feed along their horizontal "routes".
It's an interesting subject and I feel John is one of the most trusted researchers. I see no reason not to agree with what he's found.
Posted February 28 2012 - 08:25 AM
Posted February 28 2012 - 09:20 AM
Posted February 28 2012 - 11:39 AM
I guess "picks" was a bad choice of words. The point is non the less that once a Largemouth ends up in its "homerange" depth wise it stays in that range.
So is that what they mean when you hear the talk about using the contour lines as migration routes or roads for the fish to move around basically? I know contour lines dont exist in nature like on a map but you get what I mean. A deep water fish finds that path that stays on the same depth and follows off a point back in to a cut or tributary something like that. This is all very interesting I am enjoying the discussion.
Posted February 28 2012 - 01:05 PM
Attached is an image of what he was talking about. In this he says the fish won't go over the hump as a shortcut, it will always follow it's path along it.