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It Is Officially Winter In Orange County

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With apologies to you members who currently need an auger to fish, the winter bass season has officially begun in Orange County, California (by my standards). When I went out today, the following criteria was met:

1) Water surface temps dropped below 60 degrees. Started out at 58 in the morning and despite the afternoon sunshine, only climbed to 59. Air temps weren't much higher, I had to wear gloves with hothand packets shoved into them & my socks (thin California blood).

2) Jerkbaits are now a go to bait. Every bass I caught on them hit them on the pause (5 seconds or so).

3) The waterfowl turnover is complete. All of the Canadian geese on my lake have gone south, won't be back until late February. The lone cormorant that visits every winter is here, spending much of his time going back & forth between 2 lighted buoys (I have fished the heck out of those two thinking he knows something, he must think I am a telemarketer & is just messing with me). The coots have stopped fighting and now are one big happy (crapping) flock.

4) No turtles. Usually I see a few turtles sunning or swimming around every trip. Apparently they hitched a ride with the geese.

So it looks like I am going to suffer through 5 or 6 weeks of these frigid temps before some prespawn activity begins to stir. In other words, our winter is as long as the NFL playoffs :)

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Considering it was 80 on Tuesday while I was visiting you must need a parka to be out on the water.

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So you got to see our only weather phenomena, the Santa Ana winds. 

 

For those of you outside the area, our normal wind pattern is an on shore breeze from the ocean (west to east), which keeps our temperatures moderate.  However, during the fall, when high pressure builds over Utah, Southern California gets hammered by winds that come from a East/NorthEast direction.  They build up speed through Nevada, the deserts & the local mountains and then hammer us with wind that is coming from the complete opposite direction.  our airport has to switch the direction of takeoffs & landings.  The wind is hot (hence why our temperatures at the start of the week spiked into the 80's), gusty & swirly.  Humidity drops down to nothing & raises the fire danger tenfold.  Nothing close to a hurricane, tornado or N'Easter, but it is the only odd weather we nearly ever get.

 

Once that Santa Ana condition (Devil winds) ended at the end of the week, our temps dropped to lows in the 40's & highs in the 60's.  You are correct, until the sun began to beat down mid morning, I indeed was wearing a parka.  Once the temps reached the 60's, I stripped down to my thermal shirt & undershirt.  I wouldn't last very long in real weather... :)

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Winter, shoot wishing I had a popper yesterday.  Water temps @ 57 but the bass were busting on spots of shad.  Yep, it's tough when winter water temps are considered cold at 56-59. Did have some followers on the 8" swimbait.  

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Grew up in San Diego and having a little fun with ya. Now in kitsap and the high for tomorrow will be 35. That's not to bad but 60 would be heavenly.

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Sunny and highs in the 60's and you're having to wear a under shirt and a thermal on top? I guess you're right, you wouldn't last long in a real winter. Woke up to come to work this morning and it was 11 below zero. I think the winter bass season started here a while ago haha. 

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36 and clear last night down here a little farther south.  Had to pull up another blanket on the bed and drain the water out of my solar panels.  SoCal is tough!  Also our football team will not have to suffer any of those cold temps in the east. :(

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Orange County is now in the dead of winter.  Snow down to 1200 ft. on the local hills, people stranded in cars in nearby San Bernardino, it looks like a scene from the movie "The Day After Tomorrow".  I think they are going to cancel the Rose Parade due to coldness.  We have to endure a few more days of this wicked frost, I'm not sure our community is going to make it.  I need to hold on until the weekend, when 70 degree temperatures return, signaling the end of this winter nightmare...

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It looks like winter is over, at least in this neck of the woods. Water temps have climbed back to 60 degrees, air temps in the mid 70's with the same forecast for the next 10 days. The bass were definitely more active today, still out deeper, but beginning to move closer to their prespawn staging areas. It is unlikely we will see water temps back in the 50's until December.

I really love a short winter...

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