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RoLo

Year 2006 Experiment

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In a recent thread we all disclosed the conditions that personally intimidate us the most.

Looking over that thread it seems as though two circumstances tend to dominate the nemesis:

> Fishing during the winter

> Fishing during a cold front

I have a hunch that if we took this to the next level we might arrive at an even stronger conclusion.

As we all know, fish are cold-blooded animals and their behavior is dictated by water temperature

and not by their own free will. Regardless, I've always believed that the current TREND

of water temperature may be more important than the "numeric" temperature level. For instance,

even during the wintertime, if the water temperature is rising smartly, you may enjoy fishing

that resembles late spring (it's happened to me more than once). Inversely, it's not uncommon

to experience poor activity during optimal water temperatures in spring. The reason I believe,

is because the water temperature is currently in a downtrend (cold front, etc.). This is usually,

but not always caused by air temperature (e.g. wind seiches, coldwater feeder creeks, et al).

The theory I'm proposing implies that the water temperature trend may have

an even greater impact on fishing activity than calendar season. Since winter is characterized

by falling water temperatures, there'll be fewer good fishing days. Since spring is characterized

by rising water temperatures, there'll be more good fishing days.

I've monitored this theory over the years and have verified it to my own satisfaction,

but that's not good enough. It's difficult if not impossible to factor out personal bias and predisposition.

It would be far more convincing to me and to you if we all kept our eye on the water temperature trend

throughout year 2006. I'd love to hear about the experiences and opinions of the other fishermen next year.

I believe this flirts with the key to bass activity. Just more food for thought.

Roger

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RoLo.....I agree with you 100% The water temp "trends" are very important and I watch that closely.

HH

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I agree with you to a certain degree.  When you have water temps that are in the high 30's or low 40's, seems to me that fishing for the most part is extremely slow no matter what the trend.  Now get the water temp up close to 50 and I think your theory holds true.

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I agree with you to a certain degree. When you have water temps that are in the high 30's or low 40's, seems to me that fishing for the most part is extremely slow no matter what the trend. Now get the water temp up close to 50 and I think your theory holds true.

KU_Bassmaster,

I'm glad you brought that up.

In New Jersey where I used to live, the metabolism of bass was so slow during the winter, that they

were referred to as 'semi-dormant'. It was during the winter in New Jersey when I first suspected

the importance of the water temperature trend. My buddy and I were fishing with water temperatures

in the 40s. It was a bright sunny day, it was mid-afternoon and it was unseasonably warm and mild.

We were about to throw in the towel when my buddy chunked his lure into the shallow stump-line

and hooked a beautiful bass. Though it only lasted about 10 minutes, we caught four big bass

back-to-back from shallow water like it was springtime. The bass were apparently sunning in 3 feet

of water at the ledge of the creek channel that dropped quickly into 15 to 20-foot of water.

Of course I realize that a couple of incidents are not enough to prove a theory, which is why

I'm looking for more input from the fellows to undermine or reinforce my own experience.

Roger

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Ku, I agree with you also, with water temps in the 30's things can be very slow. This last spring a buddy and I had an awesome bite in 42 degree water. It was one of those warm sunny days like Rolo referred to. The fish were caught shallow along the rocks.

Take a look at the link, water temps were low 40's Cold Water Bass

HH

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Hawg_Hunter,

Beautiful bass! Low 40s, phew that's really pushing the envelope.

As you mentioned, "rocks" (and rip-rap) are particularly good in coldwater situations.

During a sunny winter day they accumulate solar gain, much like the trombe wall of a solar home.

For that matter, trombe walls too generally peak in temperature during the late afternoon.

In keeping with both our experiences, I think the influence of water temperature trend

is most useful during the winter months.

Roger

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I know I have a tendency to compare bass fishing with salt water fishing, but the more I look, the more I realize how similar they really are.  Case in point, when out looking for tuna, most captains will get a water temp map to determine where they are going to fish.  These maps are alot like a topographical map, but show trends in water temp rather than altitude.  In most cases, these maps will put you right on the fish, especially when you can properlly read them.  If you follow the right temp gradient, you'll be hooked up all day, if not, you'll probably get skunked (unless you're lucky...).

I suppose this could be applied to bass fishing as well.  When the water is colder, like it is now, I would think the bass would follow the warmest water they can find, and as the day progresses different parts of the water may be a different temp.  A difference of 1 or 2 degrees may not seem like much to you and me, but to a bass it may be like ice water vs. a jacuzzi.

I'm not sure that this is the case, but I am certainly going to put more thought and evaluation to this theory.

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I keep a very detailed log and I am so in the same boat with Rolo that it just may sink!

I agree 100% that it is much more about whether or not the temp is rising , fallin, or stable as opposed to cold or warm.

This is another situation to back up Rolos New Jersey story.  

Location-  RI, 4 hrs north of Jersey

Conditions-water temps in mid 40's

               Air temp 52

               Fishing a huge rockpile, biggest in the lake, rockpile starts

               at shoreline and slopes down to 30ft.  Fish were found

               around the 5 ft line.  

http://www.zippyvideos.com/2662513712210376/nov13_2005/

I will be tracking temps and will gladly pass on any data you need for comparison.

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I think I agree with Rolo here. I have fished quite a few smaller ponds this winter on days that were unseasonably warm. Started in the morning, the water temp still cool and was catching them deeper as a result. But as the day marched on started catching them in more and more shallow water that only differed by a couple degrees. It seems to me that they just follow the warmth. Towards the end of the day as the sun started dipping they dropped back a little deeper and by close to sunset were back down in their deeper haunts again. Two of the ponds I fished were two that my grandparents own in New Haven, MO. Some of the other ones were on the Busch Wildlife Conservation Area in Saint Charles County in Missouri. Most of the spots I was catching fish on had shallow water close to a steep drop.

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Thanks RoLo, You've just forced a change to my newly minted fishing log spreadsheet. I had vowed to do three things this year, with regards to fishing, that is. Learn to flip/pitch, learn to use a jig and keep a log. I've got a spreadsheet setup to record everything I think I need. So far, what I've included is date, time, air temp, water temp, water clarity, barometric pressure, size, depth and lure. I see that I'm going to have to add deviation columns for temps, clarity and pressures. I think you're on to something here. At the recent Bassmaster U. in St Louis, Jimmy Houston said to find out what the water is "doing". Is it changing temp, changing level, changing clarity, changing PH? Outside the conference room, Gary Klein said that may have been the best 30 seconds worth of information we were going to get. After read this thread, it has now been planted in my mind. I hope I get to fish as much this summer as I did last year. If I do, I should have a considerable amount of data to interpret. Thanks for bringing it home. If you think of any other data that should be included, please pass it on. When I get the spreadsheet set up to my satisfaction, I'd be happy to pass it on.

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I keep a very detailed log and I am so in the same boat with Rolo that it just may sink!

I agree 100% that it is much more about whether or not the temp is rising , fallin, or stable as opposed to cold or warm.

Low_Budget_Hookers,

Your November video is just too Kool! (pun intended)

I'm glad to hear that you and I have witnessed (benefitted from) the same phenomenon.

In a recent thread, What is your weakest time to fish, I stated that mine was when

the air temperature is lower than the water temperature AND the temperature is falling.

I was really shocked that no one else went there, in my book it's the most important variable!

If we look around we see plenty of evidence. The all-time heaviest B.A.S.S five-fish stringer

was set in 2001 by Dean Rojas (45lb, 2oz). Preceding that tournament was a severe cold spell

and Dean Rojas got a water reading of 57 degrees on January 14. Then 3 days later

on January 17, 2001, the first day of the tournament, he got a reading of 62 degrees

(5-degree increase in 3 days). That was the day Dean caught 5 bass averaging 9 pounds each!

It's ironical, everyone seems to understand the negative effects of a cold front,

but no one is talking about warm fronts which is just as influential, only in a positive way.

Roger

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I'm glad to hear that you and I have witnessed (benefitted from) the same phenomenon.

In a recent thread, What is your weakest time to fish, I stated that mine was when

the air temperature is lower than the water temperature AND the temperature is falling.

I was really shocked that no one else went there, in my book it's the most important variable!

That's kind of what I was getting at. I stated that mine was huge cold fronts in the spring. What I mean is when the water temp starts to get about spawning temp. Then one of those huge spring time cold fronts come through and drops the air temps down into the 40's and 50's for a day time high. That's when I really struggle. Bass that were on beds get pushed off and are lock jawed because they are still in the spawn tranze and prespwaners shut off, but are catchable (but extemely tough).

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