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Paul Roberts

Topwater Temperatures in Fall

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I put em' away when I stop getting bit on them. Usually that's when the water's about 50-55F

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Topwater bite can be tough once it gets below 55* for me. In the 55-60* range it's hit and miss. 60-68* seems to be the golden ticket. 

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I let the fish tell me.,..over here the fronts in fall can stack up once they hit the altlantic and create some freaky weather patterns. You can find a heavily varied surface temp from pond to lake etc. Also with those stacked fronts runoff from heavy rains can be cold water being introduced to the waters and produce funky surface temps that are cold readings, but 4 feet under the surface the temps can vary greatly. 

 So in summary ,...I dont pay much attention to the surface temps in fall at all. Around here it can be quite deceiving, and really throw a angler a curveball if you play into it. Its taken me many years to come to this conclusion.

 In fall I start every trip with a topwater as it "can" produce all day if timing is right, plus,.. its my favorite way to bass fish, so its the first rod I reach for in fall no matter what water Im fishing. Then I will try a jerkbait, or, new to my arsenal last year a squarebill. If conditions are right a spinnerbait will get wet too. Then I will assess whats going on with bait found on my lcr, at what depth, etc.

 If its working why break it? I'll fish a topwater till ice fills in if possible

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  Fall is unpredictable up here  and I have seen days   when bass are busting  shad on top  late in the year .  I posted this before . I got on a good buzzbait bite one time during a heavy snow but that would be a rare occasion . 

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Around 50 is my limit but like scaleface, I've had some big fish on buzzbaits when the snow was falling. 

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I alway's try one, but I usually try to follow the "Rules" out of habit. I have seen fish hit Buzzbaits on Cold Windy days when I would have never tried one, not even for a cast, but sometimes it is worth taking a few casts just to see what happens.

If I hear fish (any Kind) breaking the surface than I figure they are active and will strike anything. I used to think that a Cold front was a big deal, and it can be, but it takes several days for the water to change, you really never know what will work.

That is why you need a minimum of 10 rods ready to go at all times "Just in case".

I consider minnow baits and Slow Floating Risers as topwater, and I use them all year and have had luck with them on many days when everyone else would be fishing a jig or small worm. I like to try a topwater if the Sun comes out in Mid afternoon around the 1:30 Magic time which I never understood.

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Generally for me I stop throwing topwaters when the water temps are below 60. You can still get bit on them down into the low 50s, and I've had a few really good topwater bites with the water just below 60. Keep in mind this is a general rule, not a hard and fast law. In my lakes here in Colorado the water temperatures are now down into the mid 50s in our shallower lakes, and upper 40s in our deeper lakes. The bass are still biting though. Haven't caught fewer than a dozen fish in my last four trips.

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