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ffmedic147

Scenario!

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Here is a scenario for everyone to reply to. I will try to be as detailed as i can but if you guys and gals have any questions feel free to ask.

I was fishing a lake in southern VA today and the water temp. at 09:00hrs was 71 -72 degrees. In the summer time the temp can reach 84-86 and the temp. two weeks ago was 74 -76. the thermocline was marked at 20 feet on my sonar. The lake has a few creeks and is more like a river at the southern end and a lake at the northern. The creeks have a few trees lay downs and some rock bluffs. The main part of the lake has alot or rock bluffs dropping to 30 to 40 feet. I went into one of the bigger creeks looking for shad and saw 3 big schools about 2 times the size of my bass boat. The water color is stained with visibility of arouond three feet.  

Any other questions just ask.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

My personnal questions.

What water tempature guidelines should i watch for to know when the fall patterns to start?

Should i just keep my summer pattern and wait for the water temp to drop?

Since i am seeing schools of shad does that mean they are spawning? Or is to early?

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Generally, you want to fish the drops leading to the creeks and channels and not necessarily the creeks themselves.  If the bass are getting into fall mode, they will be in "ambush" mode where they can swoop down into those cuts to eat bait fish.  Find the slope on your fish finder, and try to get the best drift along that ridge.  If the drift isn't conducive to the bottom contours, then throw the anchor and work the area fully before moving on.

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Where ever the bait is, the bass won't be far.     Spoons, crankbaits and swimbaits are good methods for persuing bass when they are in chase mode.

Fall means changing weather patterns and fish are doing the same.   One day they are on a mainlake point, and the next day they are two miles up the creek.

If you are graphing bait, look for top water action in the same areas to start soon, specially mornings and late evenings.

Late fall, warm fronts may push bait  into the backs of the creeks, and cold fronts may push them back to the mouths of creeks and coves.    consecutive warm days, I fish mid way to the backs, and on colder days, I fish mid to the mouths.      Once the water cools way down, flats on warming days next to deep water may hold lots of fish.    Traps and such maybe the ticket, if that don't work, jerk baits and jigs will catch some fish.    

I like spoons for the suspended fish over humps and creek channels and similar contours/structures.     A spoon, tail kicker like a little george,  if fished properly can boat fish all fall and winter.    For those fish closer to the bottom, drop shot and C-rig do the trick.

Matt

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Thanks for all the input. Is there anything else? Possibly how long will it be befroe i can exspect for these bass to move shallow. I fishied all day the next day Throwing rattle traps with nothing. Finally picked up a three pounder flipping some wood. Stuck with that the rest of the day and caught nothing else. But this fish was on the main channel.

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If the creeks have the shad in them you need to follow the bait. Weather conditions will dictate where the bass will be and whether they will chase a bait. I would start fishing the points at the mouth of the creeks and work back paying paticular attention to the secondary points. Also, the creeks will be different. It resembles the spawn in the southwest where the northern part of the lake(creeks) are usually ahead of the southern sections as too the patterns at certain times of the year.  If you think the fish are moving back you will need to fish a lot of different creeks. Water clarity, depth, bait in each creek will make a lot of difference. I have fished as many as 8-10 creeks in a day finding fish in only 1 or two at times. It should be fairly easy to develope a pattern if you will pay attention to the characteristics of each area you are searching. Bright days the fish will tend to have a small strike zone and generally be tight to cover. Cloudy days can be tough as the fish tend to scatter; however, many anglers tend to catch more fish at this time due to their fishing patterns of throwing fast moving baits(rattletraps, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, etc., and covering a lot of water). We have alot of topped out grass down here and like the bright days as this moves the better fish up under the grass where we can punch through it with a heavy jig or worm.

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1. Follow the bait, the mouths of creeks and coves with a crank. This pattern might not start though untill you have had a week or so of cold nights and mornings that effect the surface temp or if the water temp. just starts dropping real fast over the span of a few days. IMP I think the fish realize that winter and the cold temps are coming after a few cold mornings, and then they start feeding. Atleast, that is what I have come to realize on my usual lakes.

2. I would still pitch the deadfalls and such in that "river section" no matter what time of year. But I can be thick-headed when it comes to that. If I see a tree or something I HAVE to try a jig on it.

 

  If you have any bridges in the area where you have seen those schools of baitfish try fishing them with flukes on a sworming hornet head or a rat-l-trap.

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