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RoLo

CJB's Coldwater Challenge

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Okay, the turkey shoot is over!

We have all chosen a fixed daily pattern in the hope that it might be the winning pattern.

Very well, but now we finally have the opportunity to discuss the winning coldwater pattern.

It would be a shame to dismiss this forum now, before we have identified what we learned.

We should hash out the reasons that we believe made this a winning pattern,

under the existing parameters. I realize that those who founded their pattern on instinct

may be unable to participate (this underscores the versatility & repeatability of Science).

It goes without saying, there's usually more than one working pattern at any given time,

nevertheless, it might be a good idea to confine the discussion to this one pattern.

CBJ, do you agree that this coldwater pattern is worthy of discussion?

CONDITIONS

1. Water Temp: 48-52 degrees

2, Air Temp: 34-52 degrees

3. Mostly cloudy w/intervals of sun around noon

4. Water clarity: 2 - 4 ft.

5. Water release: 27,000 cubic ft/sec (not much)

6. Wind: 5-10mph NE

PATTERN

1. More than halfway back in bays

2. Water Depth: 1-3 ft

3. Relating to "rocks"

4. LV7 Lucky Craft (lipless crank)

5. Hot retrieve (fast)

Roger

hint: trombe wall

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RoLo

I think your right. What can we learn from this exercise? The location did not surprise me, but a fast lipless crank did. I would have thought something slower would work better. My conclusion is that a bass sunning itself in relatively warm water will sometimes react to a fast moving bait, even if the water temp. is less than ideal. I'm sure there is more to learn from this. What do y'all think?

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I'm not sure this was a winning "pattern". If a lure, any lure, runs right past the mouth of a bass, there is a chance she will strike, it's the nature of the species. A slower, deeper presentation in cold water has a higher probability of success.  

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RW

What is interesting is that it was the winning pattern on that day, even though you can bet there were others using deeper, slower presentations. :)

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The location did not surprise me, but a fast lipless crank did.

I would have thought something slower would work better.

K_Mac, I agree

That wouldn't be my pattern of first-choice either. I would expect a fast retrieve to work

during a warming trend, but not when the air temperature never got above the water temperature

and not during a day that was mostly cloudy.

Keep the thoughts coming fellows and don't feel intimidated, it's all in the interest of learning.

Roger

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I'm not sure this was a winning "pattern". If a lure, any lure, runs right past the mouth of a bass, there is a chance she will strike, it's the nature of the species. A slower, deeper presentation in cold water has a higher probability of success.

Another Surprise!

I wasn't expecting to find sour grapes at the tip of an iceberg   JUST KIDDIN' ;D

Roger

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Oops!

After re-reading the original post, I see that four fish were caught (I was thinking there was just one bass caught). That, I agree, is a "pattern".

my mistake!

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The difference in the challenge and actually being there.    You know what your past and present weather has been.   The warming trends if any.   What geographical location?  Kentucky was a guess.  When the normal spawn takes place so you can tell where they should be staging.

We didn't know if this lake had coves or creeks.    There are a ton of patterns that work, and prespawn baits that work.  

Whats the food source, if good supply of crayfish, then jigs or crawls would possiblely work.

Too many unknowns to guess.

Not knowing when the 4 bass are caught, does not mean it was a pattern.

It didn't say when they arrived and when leaving.   4 fish could have been 13 hours of fishing.  

In December and Jan. on Fork, you can count on trap bites as the pattern for 45 out of 60 days.  

Not sure you can classify it a warming trend, it was equal, and not knowing the past days would determine the trend, colder or warmer.  The temps 3 days prior had water in the lower 60's which meant a cooling trend.

The next one that someone does will give more details hopefully.

Thanks for the challenge, It had me waiting for the results.

Hookem

Matt

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Well before this post LBH sent me an email asking me what he should do to catch fish. I told him each year right as soon as the ice is off of this pond I fish I always catch my first fish on a red rattletrap. Water temp cold enough to have half the lake still frozen and I still catch my fish shallow right tight or out 5 ft parallel the bank. As the water warms up this pattern still holds in this pond get you a day in the 50's or water in the 50's you can still catch them speed reeling the same bait. This is in Illinois and your south so why wouldn't it work there.

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Well before this post LBH sent me an email asking me what he should do to catch fish. I told him each year right as soon as the ice is off of this pond I fish I always catch my first fish on a red rattletrap. Water temp cold enough to have half the lake still frozen and I still catch my fish shallow right tight or out 5 ft parallel the bank. As the water warms up this pattern still holds in this pond get you a day in the 50's or water in the 50's you can still catch them speed reeling the same bait.

That is wild!

Chris, do you generally find that the bass in this coldwater pattern relate to "rock"?

As I'm sure you well know, like the trombe wall in a solar home, ROCK is a great collector

of solar gain, whether it's ledgerock, bedrock, chunk rock, rip-rap or a dam skirt.

The piece of the puzzle I find most fascinating is that this pattern worked during a mostly cloudy day!

Do you find that "sunshine" and "rock" are usually necessary to trigger this shallow water bite,

or does it occur over soft bottoms sometimes and/or during overcast weather?

This is in Illinois and your south so why wouldn't it work there.

I'll bet that it would, and next year (it's already too late) I intend to give it a try.

It's on my list, which has been growing in leaps-and-bounds since I joined this forum :)

Roger

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Yeah the bank has rock and I figured he was fishing kentucky lake and up on the lake side dam that whole bank is nothing but riprap. I usually catfish under the dam ;)

*I also catch fish year round in shallow rock sun does help. One year we had a mild winter and the lakes didn't freeze up and I caught fish on crankbaits up tight to the bank. The fish either grabbed it on top or after the first few cranks. The second pattern that worked was fipping a 1/8 oz jig with a big pork trailer tight to the bank and if the rock had 3-5 water close to it held bigger groups of fish. Third pattern was fishing points down to 10ft using a fatfree shad.

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Guest ouachitabassangler

Occasionally I take yet another look at the rock heating issue, and think the local fiseries managers are right about rock heat not being what draws bass to rocks. Someof us have dropped a thermometer in water and noted the temperature in clear, in muddy (warmer), and whether proximity to rocks in sunlight warms the water. When the water is this cool the rocks just don't heat it up. Placed right on rock under water there is not a bit of increase. But as the sun gets higher algae on rocks begins to grow again, and that feeds plankton, both phyto and zooplankton, which draw baitfish and other feeders on both algae and the baitfish. Anyway, get a thermometer and see for yourself. It's a good habit to question and challenge things for a better understanding. That's at the heart of science.

About ripping lipless crankbaits under the conditions of the first post, that pattern is #1 here. Beginning about 45 degrees I heard the stores were selling out of Rattle Traps in red splash. I had one so went and got in on the action. They were being ripped parallel to shore along major creeks, following various contour lines that changed each day. My theory is the bass had come up and out of their winter slump, very hungry, though lethargic, hormone-driven to leave comfort and come try to feed up for the spawn. They could have stayed deep conserving energy, but they don't. So what would be available to them in that cool water? Not crawfish, not until around 55. Baitfish! Shad left over from last year, the ones that didn't die off, now soon to secumb due to swimming out into cooler water and concentrating enough to become primary forage in shallow water. They too are relatively sluggish, though faster than bass will be. So bass have only one chance at them, from ambush points around structure and cover in creek arms with enough depth to conceal the bass. From their hidey holes they can dart out and nab fast moving baitfish. Slow swimming? Even in 2-4 feet of visibility they can get a real good look at a slower moving target and won't fall for anythingthat just doesn't seem right. A slow swimming shad would not appear right.  As it warms up and their metabolism cranks up they will get more wreckless just before their turn to spawn.

Jim

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Occasionally I take yet another look at the rock heating issue, and think the local fiseries managers are right about rock heat not being what draws bass to rocks. Someof us have dropped a thermometer in water and noted the temperature in clear, in muddy (warmer), and whether proximity to rocks in sunlight warms the water. When the water is this cool the rocks just don't heat it up. Placed right on rock under water there is not a bit of increase. But as the sun gets higher algae on rocks begins to grow again, and that feeds plankton, both phyto and zooplankton, which draw baitfish and other feeders on both algae and the baitfish. Anyway, get a thermometer and see for yourself. It's a good habit to question and challenge things for a better understanding. That's at the heart of science.

About ripping lipless crankbaits under the conditions of the first post, that pattern is #1 here. Beginning about 45 degrees I heard the stores were selling out of Rattle Traps in red splash. I had one so went and got in on the action. They were being ripped parallel to shore along major creeks, following various contour lines that changed each day. My theory is the bass had come up and out of their winter slump, very hungry, though lethargic, hormone-driven to leave comfort and come try to feed up for the spawn. They could have stayed deep conserving energy, but they don't. So what would be available to them in that cool water? Not crawfish, not until around 55. Baitfish! Shad left over from last year, the ones that didn't die off, now soon to secumb due to swimming out into cooler water and concentrating enough to become primary forage in shallow water. They too are relatively sluggish, though faster than bass will be. So bass have only one chance at them, from ambush points around structure and cover in creek arms with enough depth to conceal the bass. From their hidey holes they can dart out and nab fast moving baitfish. Slow swimming? Even in 2-4 feet of visibility they can get a real good look at a slower moving target and won't fall for anythingthat just doesn't seem right. A slow swimming shad would not appear right. As it warms up and their metabolism cranks up they will get more wreckless just before their turn to spawn.

Jim

All that "book learnin" you got seems to have paid off. Great post :)

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Guest ouachitabassangler

;D  The "book learnin" was WAY back, not sayin HOW far back  :-X, and the real stuff came from working on and in the water and fishing when I got off work. I've learned a ton of good stuff from sampling fish various months of the years and other activities you get into in fisheries/wetlands management. THE teacher is TOW, time on the water, and observing nature. It isn't always enough to just hook up the boat on weekends and wet lines all day, but some unlike me have become excellent anglers doing just that. I do highly recommend learning all you can about all the critters in a lake, not just bass. Otherwise you are like a general who only knows about an opposing general, but not the skills of enemy soldiers and their resources. We all need to know what species of shad are present, when they spawn, where they go in winter and summer, what they feed on, how their food moves around, and how bass relate to them. Same for crawfish, panfish, newts, salamanders, water snakes, mice, baby birds learnin to fly on water  ::)...all of what a bass will eat. On top of that we all need to be expert in use of our electronics. Angling pressure will, if not already, force us all to gather all the facts more each year.

Jim

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Occasionally I take yet another look at the rock heating issue, and think the local fiseries managers are right about rock heat not being what draws bass to rocks. Someof us have dropped a thermometer in water and noted the temperature in clear, in muddy (warmer), and whether proximity to rocks in sunlight warms the water. When the water is this cool the rocks just don't heat it up. Placed right on rock under water there is not a bit of increase. But as the sun gets higher algae on rocks begins to grow again, and that feeds plankton, both phyto and zooplankton, which draw baitfish and other feeders on both algae and the baitfish. Anyway, get a thermometer and see for yourself. It's a good habit to question and challenge things for a better understanding. That's at the heart of science.

About ripping lipless crankbaits under the conditions of the first post, that pattern is #1 here. Beginning about 45 degrees I heard the stores were selling out of Rattle Traps in red splash. I had one so went and got in on the action. They were being ripped parallel to shore along major creeks, following various contour lines that changed each day. My theory is the bass had come up and out of their winter slump, very hungry, though lethargic, hormone-driven to leave comfort and come try to feed up for the spawn. They could have stayed deep conserving energy, but they don't. So what would be available to them in that cool water? Not crawfish, not until around 55. Baitfish! Shad left over from last year, the ones that didn't die off, now soon to secumb due to swimming out into cooler water and concentrating enough to become primary forage in shallow water. They too are relatively sluggish, though faster than bass will be. So bass have only one chance at them, from ambush points around structure and cover in creek arms with enough depth to conceal the bass. From their hidey holes they can dart out and nab fast moving baitfish. Slow swimming? Even in 2-4 feet of visibility they can get a real good look at a slower moving target and won't fall for anythingthat just doesn't seem right. A slow swimming shad would not appear right. As it warms up and their metabolism cranks up they will get more wreckless just before their turn to spawn.

Jim

All that "book learnin" you got seems to have paid off. Great post :)

Jim,first let me say WELCOME! Secondly I say good posts so far.Lots of valuable info in what you typed.

I've been fishing a few hours the past few days and the bite is extremely SLOW.Water is anywhere from 45-48.5 for the most part,in the creeks and on the channel.I agree about the heat/rocks theory......we've had 3 straight days of at least 66 air temps and today was upper 70's and tomorrow upper 70's and I havent caught the first fish near a rock.Every fish I've caught has been on top of or right beside a point,at least 12 ft and as deep as 22.

The heat/rock theory (as most people believe it to be) can be misleading.Alot of people think just because the air temps get up a few days in a row,the fish say to themselves,"dang,air is 70,water has warmed 1.5 degrees over a weeks time,lets all go shallow".It doesnt happen like that.Sure you will have a few fish move shallow and snoop around for short periods,but for the most part,the fish need the water temps to rise and stabilize before they fully commit to "move up".

Now,once the craws get going,like you said around 55 deg.,thats when the rock pattern really turns on.

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Ouachitabassangler,

Welcome aboard and thanks for your thought-provoking input.

Though it's hard to come by, that's the stuff I love to see in a forum.

Roger

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Guest ouachitabassangler

I agree, It takes a LONG time for air temps to change water temps. We had it right here in February, air temps 70's in a row ending with 80 trhe last day before a front, water temp 45 consistently. It felt good to me to be in it, but that din't help the bass. They were barely turned off the river interstate onto major creek "state highways", hugging steep channel slopes making their way slowly towards points jutting out to the main creeks. Anyone fishing shallow got skunked. Those of us drop shotting and vertical jigging 40 feet of water in the channels did well.

Jim

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Guest ouachitabassangler

Thanks, RoLo. I've been here a couple days and have already read more thoughtful and MORE fishing posts than found anywhere else. Good fish talk isn't as hard to come by here as it is anywhere else. I have a trail of paid memberships, Silver this, Platinum or Gold that,  in places I gave up on because of too much chit chat about anything but fishing. Some of them are as bad as a Yahoo Group talking about a movie star.  >:(

Jim

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ouchita,that's interesting info.I have never explored the subject of rocks and the issue of them heating the water.I do know that rocks have been the best structure to fish since October of last year.

The pattern of the challenge is supposed to be working still.I don't believe it is the only pattern going or was the only pattern going at the time my friend fished.I don't know for fact that it was the best pattern.I do know that the fish that are supposed to be on the primary points aren't doing their thing yet.I have heard of fish in the 7-8 lb. class being caught out of shallow water.I am going to see for myself tomorrow.I am "going in blind"on an open tourney.Do you think I am going to use science or instinct?huh...LOL!I am going to be fishing ,what little of a butt I do have,off!Where am I going to start?Aprimary point(my most productive one).Then if I can't get that going I am heading to 2nd points,then the shallows.

I apologize for not being descriptive enough in my challenge.I wish I would of put more time into it.

Rolo,the one thing about the pattern is these fish are early to the shallows.This time last year and years before most quality fish were on primary points.Last year they stayed there till about the 1st week or so of April.It is a wonder.One thing I read in Chris's post is that the fish will make up their own rules sometimes.I really believe that.

Well there is alot more I would like to say but I gotta get in bed.Thanks CJ

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Another thing real quick.Its cool how other facts and theories can evolve from a thread. :)

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Guest ouachitabassangler

The next time you get around some shoreline rocks, reach down and feel them. They are slick with algae, growing whenever sunlight hits them. But even when not growing there are usually several species of animals crawling in the algae feeding on it, and some small fish eat it. So the rock pattern will hold up whenever the water is warm enough and has enough dissovled oxygen. But I'm a firm believer there is usually more than one pattern on any given day. For instance, now on Ouachita LMBs are biting jerkbaits in shallow moss flats, crankbaits on main lake and secondary points dropping off into main and secondary creek channels at various contour depths threough the day, and swim jigs pulled through standing timber at 8-12 feet. Take your pick of patterns. If that isn't enough you could try spoons around brush-piles, something I discovered going after crappie. The way I see patterns, if bass will bite in one of those scenarios, finding a similar scenario elsewhere will get continued bss bites. You could hop around between brush piles at a particular depth and ignore the points. Or work the points if they produce quality bass, ignoring a temptation to try jigging timber. I think the smartest route is to fish a scenario that calls for a lure you are best at using. If jgs is it for you, then by all means jig the timber. But if your confidence is in fishing the rocks, stick to it if they are biting there. But if that isn't producing, switch to another pattern even if that calls for a bait that isn't one of your strengths.

Jim

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