Jump to content
Chance_Taker4

Is water temp fluctuation bad?

Recommended Posts

One thing my area is known for is the big Walleye spawn. I don't necessarily partake in it but I know that its the first sign of spring. However I was looking on the Coast Guard website at water temps and seen that over the last three weeks the temp was as high as 51 and low as 40 with a 2-3 degree fluctuation almost daily. The only reason I checked was the walleye guys over the weekend said this constant fluctuation is going to kill the spawn and screw the walleye fishing on Erie up this year. I looked at the temp charts of the last three years and notice that the fluctuations this year have been totally sporadic. Will the sporadic changes have an adverse effect on the bass fishing this year as many of the walleye guys think will happen to them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Daily surface temps changes are normal. In spring, when the temps drop over night, the surface will cool a bit then come up as the day warms up. When the days stay warm and the night time temps don't drop too much, the water a couple of feet down gradually warms up which gets the bass in the spawning mood. A continued cold spell with gradually falling water temps definitely shuts down the bite where I fish. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose a decent analogy would be plants and trees budding out in the spring . . . and seeds set outside according to "average last frost/freeze dates," then we have one more hard freeze. Leaves shrivel, young veggies and annual flowers keel over. The trees and bushes thusly affected do come back. We have to replant the annuals. But, nature has perfected a response to unexpected weather events.

 

For fish, in general the perfected response to unusual weather patterns as they relate to the spawns is fish species generally have early, mid and late spawners. LMBs, for example, don't all come up into the shallows at the exact same time or under the same circumstances. Maybe an add-on analogy is older fish, like older people often like their environments warmer, maybe they wait longer. Anyway, the LMB bass spawn here in Texas occurs over several months on many lakes.

 

*** I want to retain my right to use weather as an excuse, though, whenever I have a bad day. It's an angler's prerogative!  Ha!

 

Brad

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was fishing in Maryland this past Saturday and found water temperatures from 39 to 41 degrees. IMHO, as far as the bass are concerned this is still "winter". The bass I located were in the same spots I found them in January.

 

I do not expect the temperature fluctuations to hurt the bass fishing in the long run. It will just delay the arrival of "prespawn feeding" which the bass need to do to get into the "body condition" they need to spawn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find that slow and steady changes are less an issue than sudden changes.  Deeper fish are less affected by changes in surface temps, so depending on the lake, you may want to seek them out if conditional are off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Water temperature are rarely homogeneous or the same top to bottom unless there is current mixing the water, like a river.

In lakes we forget the bottom is the earth with water on top of it. The earth is a giant heat sink with heat down deep the closer to the surface cooler it gets. The ground about 6' down stays around 50-60 degrees year around and warms water on top of it during the winter and cools it during the summer. Where do the bass go when lakes surface water is cold or frozen? Deeper to seek warmer water. When the sun warms the surface water the bass move up to the warmer water and go back down if it cools quickly.

Does extremely cold weather cool the water fast? Only if cold air is mixed with colder water/snow or mixed with current/ wind or the cold air lasts for several days.

Most bass can tolerate about 10 degrees temperature change over 24 hr period, faster water temp changes over 10 degrees can be fatal.

What can kill a year class of eggs or fry is fast water temp drops or water level drops. Keep in mind that storms are normal events during the spawning cycle and bass have evolved over time to survive.

Tom

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Turtle135 said:

I was fishing in Maryland this past Saturday and found water temperatures from 39 to 41 degrees. IMHO, as far as the bass are concerned this is still "winter". The bass I located were in the same spots I found them in January.

 

I do not expect the temperature fluctuations to hurt the bass fishing in the long run. It will just delay the arrival of "prespawn feeding" which the bass need to do to get into the "body condition" they need to spawn.

In the river? lakes and ponds are warmer, and I've been catching them shallow on JBs and square bills in PG, Charles and ST Mary's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have also had some luck with squarebills, flukes, and spinnerbaits this year, but nothing consistent.   I am still catching more trout and pickerel the bass, when that switches over is the end of "winter" for me.  Every warm spell gets my hopes up, but so far it's only been the most windy of days that seems to let me catch bass on reaction baits.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen it a million times in the spring.....go into a really really shallow backwater area on a warm afternoon, that had rising water temps throughout the day, and it's game on.

 

Come back the next morning after a clear cold night, or after a hard cold rain, and water temps have dropped...it's a ghost town. And they won't be back until another stable warming trend, with mild nights. And depending on water temps on the main lake, they might not come back at all if it's starting to get to their liking out there.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had a really cold late fall. Then we had a warm December. A really cold January, followed by a very warm February. Fish started cruising shallows in late Feb. Then we had a cold snap. I went to a friend's pond yesterday and the water was uncomfortably cold. But there's pollen on the water and some leaves are already breaking out. Cherries are blossoming. Pear trees already shed their blooms. The signals are really mixed this early spring/late winter. Well there were 5 beds and a bass on one. I caught it. Usually, that's almost an entirely April thing around here. I guess the takeaway from that is that water temp is only one piece of the puzzle. The temps we had in Feb were so warm for so long, I think some fish reached a point where they found it difficult to turn back. Others turned back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, reason said:

In the river? lakes and ponds are warmer, and I've been catching them shallow on JBs and square bills in PG, Charles and ST Mary's.

I foolishly decided to fish the upper end of Rocky Gorge on Saturday. Water running down the river was 38 degrees.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Turtle135 said:

I foolishly decided to fish the upper end of Rocky Gorge on Saturday. Water running down the river was 38 degrees.

Gotcha, yeah, big water is still cold. Anything flowing in from the NW is going to be frosty for a bit. Found some big crappie shallow local, so its almost slow roll big spinnerbait time. Hope this storm doesn't disrupt the ones I've found too much, but, hey , that's part of the fun, right? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I caught two trout on a dropshot yesterday, did not even see a bass.  I did see a lot of baitfish schooling up shallow at all three ponds I hit, which makes me hopeful.  

 

I want to get my kayak out quite badly, but the dry suit is put away and I know we are so close to being able to not worry about it.  I have to get off my butt and get my suit back to the manufacturer for some tailoring, I think if it were more comfortable I would be more inclined to use it.  Either that or I need to find some waders with a zipper.  But in any case, I am not spending another winter stuck on the bank, if I am going to be cold out there I atleast want to be able to catch something.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Debating what drives bass to spawn; water temps vs photoperiod I have always been on the water temp side.

While photoperiod is the length of time the sun is out over 24 hrs and does warm the water, bass are not plants, they are cold blooded animals  and body temps controll activities like eating and spawning.

That fact water warms and reaches 62 degrees about the same time period some plants blossom are often tied together.  If the photoperiod causes plants to bloom early or cold water causes the bass to spawn later, the photoperiod therory falls apart.

In SoCal we had a early spawn do to very warm January and the major spawn was over before most anglers realized it. Normal years the spawn start about now instead of ending.

The plants however are just now starting to bloom.

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We recently received heavy cold rains which not only dropped water temperatures it also muddy the waters.

 

Bass continued moving up & continued pre-spawn feeding, as mater of fact the bite was better in the coldest muddiest water.

 

Once y'all learn to quite depending on water temperatures for clues of pre-spawn the more & bigger bass you'll catch!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well said Catt!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Catt said:

We recently received heavy cold rains which not only dropped water temperatures it also muddy the waters.

 

Bass continued moving up & continued pre-spawn feeding, as mater of fact the bite was better in the coldest muddiest water.

 

Once y'all learn to quite depending on water temperatures for clues of pre-spawn the more & bigger bass you'll catch!

 

We definitely overthink this stuff sometimes.  Sometimes you just have to get out and fish!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, scbassin said:

Well said Catt!

 

6 hours ago, senile1 said:

 

We definitely overthink this stuff sometimes.  Sometimes you just have to get out and fish!

 

Everyone tries to put pre-spawn, spawn, & post spawn in a box, on a chart, or a clock.

 

Sometimes the bass doesn't react we think they should, we're looking at the water from above the surface, they're looking at it from under the surface!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have fished all over the east coast all the way up to lake Erie.  I have lived in South Florida for 45 years now.  Florida Strain Bass are much more sensitive to sudden fronts then their northern cousins.  When a front is coming they usually put the feed bag on until the front hits.  After a strong front, you can expect several slow days until they adjust to the temp changes.  With post front conditions, and blue bird sky's things are going to be real tough for a while.  Find some very thick MATS, they act like blankets for the big old girls.  They will get some radiational heat from the sun on the thick mats from blue bird sky's.  In winter head for the north side of the lake after a front.  North side is sheltered from the north winds that follow, and the angle of the sun is longer, and more intense, on the north side, during winter.   Severe cold fronts can skunk even the best, when it comes to Florida Strain Bass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×