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DDbasser

Water Temp ?????

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Over the past 2 months we've had unusually warm temps here in Oklahoma.

The water temps were starting to climb into the high 40's and low 50's, and some fish were starting to move up to the pre-spawn staging area's.

Now we've recieved about 3"s of snow and ice, it's starting to melt and the temps are supposed to be back into the 60's by Wednsday.

Now, here's my question if the water temps drop by 5 or 6 degree's will this make those fish that had moved up retreat to deeper water??

Or will it take a drop of 10 degree's or more or, will they stay in the area and just not feed as well as they had been???

Thanks

Daren

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I think it will make them change there depth a little.It sounds like the temps are close to 45 degrees.That is the line on my lake that makes them less active and usually causes them to go deeper.At 50 degrees alot of the fish on my lake,especially if it is sunny,may pull up to depths of 5 feet or less,usually a main lake point close to deep water.At 45 degrees,I usually will find them at 15 or deeper.Another thing to consider is the tempature trend.If the water temps are going down I usually have less success,If they are on the rise I usually find fish more active

To answer your question I feel like it will send them deeper,but if it the temps come back up it shouldn't take long for them to go back to the staging areas.Fish move vertically more this time of year.They probally aren't far from where you found them before.

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More important than the magnitude of water temperature change is the rapidity of change.

A mere 2 or 3-degree drop may alter the bass's metabolism if it occurs suddenly.

When bass are shutdown by falling water temperature, they don't necessarily move horizontally,

but can be expected to shift their depth within the same water column. The temperature of the air

however, does not have the same impact on the water temperature of deepwater.

Therefore, bass that are "already" in deep water will be less affected or not affected at all

by atmospheric conditions. You can imagine how this would create the illusion

that the bass have migrated to deep water.

Roger

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I wouldn't call it migration or an illusion.   It depends on the pressure that comes from the front.   If the pressure falls enough, fish will adjust due to bladder pressure by moving 2 inches deeper or 3 ft or more.    The only time most of us have experienced this feeling is when we've flown,  feel the pressure on our ears, this pressure is felt on the bass bladder.  They will adjust accordingly to the pressure they feel, no matter if the water temp dropped 1 or 10 degrees.   A bass can be staged in 7 ft of water and go deeper to 9ft, its not an illusion, or a migration, if no drop offs are in the immediate area, a bass may move out far enough to drop two feet, or their comfort zone at that time, if a bass was suspended in 7ft of water on a tree, she may just drop in the water column 2 ft to 9ft.

Colder water temps may drive their metabolism and feeding habits, but falling barometer pressures positions fish vertical and horizontal.  How much depends on how severe the front is.

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I wouldn't call it migration or an illusion. It depends on the pressure that comes from the front.

The title of this thread is "Water Temp???", so barometric pressure is Off-Topic.

Here's Your Illusion:

As always, bass are scattered in shallow water, while simultaneously grouped on drop-offs.

A mild cold-front moves in and Joe Sixpack can't buy a bass on the shallow 4-foot flat.

Joe shifts his game plan to the 10-foot drop and "Voila", he makes contact!!!!

Quite naturally, Joe tells all his buddies at camp that the bass have migrated from 4-ft to 10-ft of water.

Since he didn't think it through, Joe fell for the illusion. Joe never knew that when he left the shallows

his boat ran over dozens of bass. They were negative bass, hunkered down on the bottom.

He also didn't understand that the bass he found in 10-feet of water were there all month.

Nor did Joe understand that the bass on the drop were catchable today because they were insulated

by a 10-foot layer of water. In fact, the bass in deep water weren't even aware

that a mild cold-front had moved in.

Roger

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Let me clarify my thoughts!!

Our air temp highs have been in the mid 60's to mid 70's with lows in the 40's and 50's.

Then a MAJOR cold front moves in drops 3"s of snow and ice and temps have been in the single digits for lows and only in the low 30's for highs for the last week.

Now, we are starting to warm back up and the snow and ice is melting and running into the lake.

I know that there are always some fish shallow, this is my strength  (shallow fishing), and I know they probably don't move deeper but instead just shut down.

My question should have read will larger fish that have moved up from deeper water up to the pre-spawn staging area's return to deeper water if the water temp drops 5-6 degree's or will it take a more significant decrease?.

Or will they just sit tight and shut down and make you work for them?

Sorry for any confusion and I'm not looking for a debate just some answers for some questions that I have!

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I'll stay with my first answer,yes I think they will move or adjust.I have no scientific explaination.Rolo and Matt-Fly make good points.

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I have found from my own personal experence that they will back off to the first break wheather it is a 6 inch break or a 10 ft break.

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Okay.

Since your major cold front is now history, the new temperature trend should be working in your favor.

(Dean Rojas set the B.A.S.S. record stringer during a warm front following a severe cold front)

Regardless of the water temperature though, your bass will most likely be posturing

for the traditional shallow-pattern of spring. Normally, bass in spring will be found

on both the deeper staging slopes AND the sun-warmed shallows, at the same time.

During a temperature downtrend it's usually better to focus on the bass on the staging slopes,

but during a temperature uptrend it's always better to focus on the bass on the flats.

Without a doubt, water temperature is the key to bass disposition (active / inactive), but contrary

to conventional wisdom, it's not the Holy Grail for spawning. Actually water temperature is a symptom

rather than a cause. I'll give you an example, here in Florida there are many waters that are

72-degrees "year-round". Obviously the spawn could not hinge on water temperature but is dictated

unerringly every spring by "photoperiod", a higher power.

Based on your current situation, you'd probably do well to look shallow, real shallow.

The shallows are most quickly affected by water temperature change, where a monkey wrench

may be a feeder creek spilling cold water caused by melted snow, but that won't last but a day or two.

It's a rather complex question, so if I skirted the answer you're looking for, don't hesitate to put it out there again.

Roger

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Rolo,

I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking for, not really an answer to my question but more along the lines of general information.

I've been fishing as long as I can remember, but it was just go to the lake and start casting.

As I have gotten into fishing tournaments, the informational side of fishing has became more important than just going out and casting blindly, it's no longer enough to catch fish, now I want to know why I caught that fish and how can I repeat it.

All the replies have been great so far!!!

The main reason I posted this question is that I have a tournament Saturday on a lake that we have been fishing almost every weekend for 6 weeks, I know that this snow and ice has affected the water temp but not sure how it has affected the fish, and with my work schedule there is no way that I can get on the water before the tournament.

Thanks and keep the replies coming, I'm soaking it all in.  

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A little further south...

We have had a very warm winter. That same front blasted its way through here.

We were seeing bedding start last month. Water temps had not even made it to below 60. Beds, beds, everywhere.

Then the front. Where there were bass last Wednesday on beds, none this weekend. They had moved to "deeper" water from say 1-2ft to 6-8ft. Water temp dropped to 54. but it was mostly due to the cold rain than air temps.

Today, a buddy is heading out and with the air temps back into the 60s warming the shallows, bet they are back makin whoopie.

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it's no longer enough to catch fish, now I want to know why I caught that fish

and how can I repeat it.

Boy, I'm in your court with both feet!

On more than one occasion when I was wished "luck", I anti-socially replied,

"that's really not what I'm looking for". Differently put, our job as anglers

is to factor out as much luck as possible.

DDbasser, if you learn anything during your tournament, please fill us in.

At the risk of sounding ambiguous, the Best of Luck :)

Roger

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DD,what lake or water system will you be fishing on Saturday?What kind of structure does it have and how deep is it?I'm not saying I have the cure for your sitiuation,but you may get some good replies if you could be more detailed about the whole sitiuation.

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Over the past 2 months we've had unusually warm temps here in Oklahoma.

The water temps were starting to climb into the high 40's and low 50's, and some fish were starting to move up to the pre-spawn staging area's.

Now we've received about 3"s of snow and ice, it's starting to melt and the temps are supposed to be back into the 60's by Wednesday

Now, here's my question if the water temps drop by 5 or 6 degree's will this make those fish that had moved up retreat to deeper water??

If you found them on the bank they might drop back to 5ft or 10ft of water if there is a drop that is near the shallow area they will move to it. If the area is protected they might not move at all. A lot depends on water volume of the lake and if it has current or is protected. If it is a large lake a bass might just need to make a slight adjustment for warmer water. If the area has a lot of sun the areas that hold heat will also hold bass. If your fishing a bluff they might drop down some same with a point or reposition to the to the side that has a sharp drop on either side of the point. If your fishing a cove they might move back to the mouth but if it has overhead cover in it they will move to it. On some lakes they will just head for heavy shallow cover or any depression.

Or will it take a drop of 10 degree's or more or, will they stay in the area and just not feed as well as they had been???

A 10 degree drop the fish might do the same thing as the 5 degree drop but the shallow fish will be super tight to cover and not want to feed. (fish super slow and dead stick alot) Your deep fish will bite lures that are on the bottom and would be more active. The fish that are on point's, bluff's, near a drop would be what I would target because it would be a short adjustment to warm water. Fish that where on the flats will move out and stage and might be hard to find and get to bite. I use the three day rule and it has worked for me. If I get three days of stable weather or temps then that should give the fish enough time to adjust to the change in temp. This could mean that I get 2 weeks of 60 degree temps then overnight the temp drops to 50 degree's after three days of temps around 50 degree's the bass would adjust to the temp and become active again.

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The temp had been 62-65 degrees for several weeks and the fish were starting to move into the backs of coves in fairly shallow water last weekend.On Sunday,the temp was down to 54 degrees and I caught 7 bucks toward the mouth of the cove with a SK 3/8 ounce chartreuse with tandem gold willowleaf blades.Strangely,this is the coldest water temps that I've recorded all Winter(of course,I haven't really fished as much as I'd wanted).

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Heres my opinion on this subject and one thing that I think that the average personn over looks.  Water is a fluid source.  I know that sounds stupid but what I mean is its is fluid so it will take on the properties of a fluid.  Just because your water temps climbed up to the low 50's b/c of  extended water days, then it for a week you had extremely cold weather and your water has droped to the 40's.  This doesn't mean that 8 feet down has droped or changed much at all or even at all. B/c it takes a lot of energy to warm a fluid up.  In the same breath it takes a lot of energy to cool a fluid down.   So just b/c you had on week of realy cold weather doesn't mean that you had enough cold energy to change that water temp below just the surface.  I would say if you start to have warm weather the water surface will start to warm up quick.  I believe the fish will pull out to to depth that changes the least in water temp.  As you go down in the water colum you ussually have the water warming up to a certain temp the it will start to cool down again.   This happens after any cold front.  The longer the cold front and the colder it is the deeper the change and the more dramatic the change.  This is do to the fact that the cold energy is in direct contact with the surface and that is were it will be afected the least and the deeper you go the less effect the front has on the water.  

I'm not sure if this will answer you question directly but i hope with your knowledge of your body of water you may be able to put the facts how a fluid acts under the change of energy.  

Good luck fishing

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Thanks Hook'em

Let us know what he found!!!

They were back on their beds. The bigger fish he caught were still a little deeper than the previous trip but were moving up to shallow water.

The temp gauge on the DF said it was 62. The pool thermometer said it was 63 but at 5ft it was 60 and at 10ft it was 58.

Small white lizard was the trick.

Another cold front for this weekend but not as bad as the last. I'll be there flippin to big momma. ;)

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it's no longer enough to catch fish, now I want to know why I caught that fish

and how can I repeat it.

Boy, I'm in your court with both feet!

On more than one occasion when I was wished "luck", I anti-socially replied,

"that's really not what I'm looking for". Differently put, our job as anglers

is to factor out as much luck as possible.

DDbasser, if you learn anything during your tournament, please fill us in.

At the risk of sounding ambiguous, the Best of Luck :)

Thanks Roger,

I used to say I'd rather be lucky than good!!

But not any more, I'd rather be good than lucky!!

CJ

Pick any lake , I'm not looking for specific lake information just general

information.

I was wondering whether or not the melting ice and snow running into the lake would drop the water temperature a quite a bit more than if it hadn't snowed and the colder air temps had been the only variable.

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That's a good point DD.I think the air temps probally are going to drop the temps more than anything.The melting snow and ice makes since that it would cool it off some too.I was told today that Ky lake dropped 15 degrees.Wether that is true or not I don't know.We had 3 days of extremely cold weather.Before the cold front some anglers were starting to catch fish on main lake points in about 5-10 ft. of water(staging areas).If I were to go out on Saturday I would simply return to main lake points but my first thirty minutes I would be fishing deep(on the bottom of the break and out around it)especially in the morning.I would probally also try a jerkbait out over the deep.As the day warmed up,as it is suposed to, I would probally start looking for the fish to move up on the points to warm up.I fish points this time of year that have alot or isolated chunk rock on them.Rocks have been key structure for me this time of year all the way though atleast until the water warms enough the fish go shallow.

Rolo also made a good point,that if the water temps start going back up the fish may get in a more positive feeding mode.

I don't know if I'm any help to you or not.The most important thing I would be observing is the water temp.I guess you know that or you wouldn't have been post ing the question.Good Luck!  CJ

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Man you guys are great!!!!!

There are a lot of good points and some real good information flowing here!!!

This is the kind of stuff I was looking for.

Now, this is kind of a bummer!!!!

I talked to my partner yesterday evening, and instead of fishing the jackpot that we've been fishing we are going to go fish an open tournament on a lake that I have never even seen before and that he hasn't been on in 2 years.

We have a club tournament on it in 2 weeks and this coming weekend is the only time that we will be able to fish it.

The good new is that it is real similar to the lake that we have been fishing and after looking at the map I picked up yesterday, I see a lot of structure that is laid out very much like the spots that we have been fishing.

The other good thing is that it's a little further south and they didn't get the snow and ice that we did and they warmed up a few days earlier too!!

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Good Luck DD,go get em'!

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