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Brian_Reeves

Fall Fishing??

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Around what water temperature or other weather conditions to the fish and baitfish start moving shallower on reservoirs? Thanks ahead of time.

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Here on the smaller lakes I fish in GA I am already seeing a movement start shallower by shad and bass since the water temps are down from the high eighties and lower ninties and some of the lakes have a shallow themocline. Night temps in the sixties have started this movement. I dont call it fall but more of a late summer early fall movement. I dont think there is a temp you can go by in fall like you do in Spring that applies to all lakes. All the lakes are different that I fish since on a couple of lakes that I fish the fish stay shallow all summer and on a couple most of the fish stay deep through fall and dont move very shallow. You may want to reask the question about a specific lake since fall and the turnover period are different on different lakes and in different parts of the country.

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Guest ouachitabassangler

For the last several days shad have begun schooling up and running into pockets along main creek channels close to the main lake for the night, then streaming back out before good sun-up. Bass are intercepting at the creek mouths on main lake points at the mouth. We're on the verge of the Fall roundup when shad stay up in the creeks, bass following, until winter weather. Nights are cooling down really nice in the high 60's, water temp down to 84 and falling daily a little at a time. When it drops to 80 I figure the action will pick up and it'll be the fall bass season. It seems like once it hits 80 it begins dropping quickly, I think it's a matter of total heat energy stored in the lake that has to dissipate. At night we're still sweating over the water while campers are huddled around campfires. The heat rises like a sauna until about 4 AM.

Jim

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And that rough 80 degree mark applies to reservoirs too?  The gin clear reservoir that I fish doesn't seem to have many feeder creeks, but has plenty of coves with creek channels in them.  Is that where I should start watching for shad and perch activity or should I focus more on the open water grassbeds and points?

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Just a ponder,would photoperiod have anything to do with it?

Right now on Ky.Lake(a large river resevoir),baitfish are everywhere.Lot's of them getting nailed in the shallows,lot's of them still hanging around the main lake.I guess it would have something to do with the species,but I am seeing the same size threadfins flippin' everywhere.Another thing I have noticed that in the last 3 or 4 days some baitfish have dropped down in the water column.Yet there is still thoughs balls of threadfins on the surface scattered from the creeks to the main lake.There has been a low pressure system haunting us for a few days now.

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Two main things to think about,

1) Photoperiod - less daylight hours has affect on most of God's creatures. Bass, and all of nature, react to the subtle changes in amount of sunlight seen over time as fall and winter approach.

 

2) We all tend to think about baitfish, however even more so we need to consider the food source of the baitfish ----- phytoplankton ( the green coloration of water is caused by these microscopic organisms ), then zooplankton, primary food source of shad. Since phytoplankton is consumed by zooplankton and phytoplanton populations drop as the amount of sunlight decreases, the shad migrate to back of creeks late in fall in search of more futile water which still has the inflow of nutrients aids the population of phytoplankton. Follow the food chain, current, wave action move these microscopic organisms in the water, shad move in to feed and the bass follow.

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Guest ouachitabassangler

I was describing Lake Ouachita, and it's mostly gin clear, indicating low fertility and suspect very little plankton. I avoid the clearest water, looking for the green water Rangerman mentioned. I watch the sonar until I get a lot of "surface clutter" most folks think is wave disturbance. If I stop and it's still there, it's the vital upper section of the food chain. If I see stuff in the water, especially green, I look for minnows, shad, etc. If all the food is there I look for the best structure a the best depth of feeding activity, then turn it off and fish it. I determine the feeding depth as soon as I launch, noting the lowest feeding depth, which should hold true over a lot of a lake.

We don't have flowing creeks most of the time, just coves a hundred feet long to miles long. The old creek channels get current when we get rain. It's at the mouth of those coves that I find the most activity right now.

Jim

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AintTexan,

I fish Belton and with our high temps, I have been seeing the normal summer pattern of big schools of shad in deep water. I fished this morning  trying shallower and didn't have any luck. I did see whites and hybrids feeding on the surface in the middle of the lake (40+ ft). I was expectng to pick up a LM in the shallows due to the overcast, but didn't find any. The water temp has only droppped 1 degree on Belton this week.

There are some huge shad out there as well. Some looked to be 9 or 10". I wouldn't expect them to do anything different for a month if the weather stays the same. Just so you know, sometimes the lakes won't turn over here until December. I don't think there was much of a shad die off last winter due to the mild temps.

Just take note of your surface temps now and guage when they start to drop alot.

Be prepared for some awesome fishing coming soon.

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Around what water temperature or other weather conditions to the fish and baitfish start moving shallower on reservoirs? Thanks ahead of time.

PRESENTLY IN OUR RESERVOIRS THE WATER IS AROUND 80. WE ARE FISHING ALL ACCESSIBLE SHALLOW COVES A WEEK NOW WITHOUT MUCH SUCCESS. BIG BASS ARE STILL DEEP IN MY OPINION.

CHECKING MY LAST YEAR'S LOG THE GOOD SHALLOW ACTION STARTED WHEN THE WATER TEMP WAS AT THE MID 70s

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Around here, one more month and it will be on for sure. With that being said however, in the morning I am seeing the smaller bass busting the shad up!

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I am with the Rangerman, even if temps don't come down due to late summer heat waves, the temps will drop due to less sunshine and more darkness, longer nights and less day light.

This signals to all creatures fall is coming even wtih higher temps than normal.

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Fall, in TEXAS ?......that 's a new one.

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A friend of mine in Houston told me they had three seasons : July, August and summer.

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Guest JoshKeller

I'm still catching bass on main and secondary points, tank dams, and other mainlake structure in 15 - 25 feet. When the water temp drops another 10 degrees, I'll start moving shallower - I usually drive over the structure and try to graph up baitfish or bass - Generally if I sacrifice one area early, and drive over it 4 or 5 times, I can get a feel for what depth most of the fish in the lake are using.

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