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Yimm

Puzzled!!

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I am a relatively new bass fisherman and I am puzzled. I live in San Diego and recently the fish in the lake where I fish have quit biting. Being new, I am trying to understand why. Same location, bait, time of day, etc. In the summer I would get dozens of bites but now if I'm lucky two or three. Is it because the nights are cooler and the water temp cooler or something else. Any suggestions for greater success?? I am just trying to understand what is going on and improve. Thanks!!!

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water temp dropping could have a lot to do with it. bass will move into different patterns throughout the year. changes in pressure can affect how they feed. try fishing slow. grab a bag of senkos rig them up texas style and focus on cover. and fish it from every angle you can. some of the more seasoned guys will chime in im sure. but senkos are one of my go to cold water baits. keep pressing. youll get em! 8-)

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One of the problems is I fish in a private lake and can only fish in two places, so I am very limited. There is very limited cover in these locations as well. But I've always had good success in the past until the last thirty days. Thats why I was curious about water temp, barometric pressure, moon cycles, time of day, etc. Will it get worse as we get farther into the winter(San Diego??) season?? I have also noticed that the blue gill, which the bass feed on, are much less plentiful as well. I'm just trying to learn!!

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That's the only lake you can find to fish on ? The fish are probably out in the deeper water. Try a carolina rig and cast as far out into the lake that you can and see what happens.

You've got to find more lakes to fish.

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Why not post a question with San Diego in the subject line on the Western Bass Fishing sub-forum? Maybe you can get a feel for whether your experience is typical or not for lakes in that area and receive some advice on how to kick-start your (relatively) cold-water fishing.

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Read.

Read, read and read somemore.

That's the secret to fishing during each of the four seasons.

Check out some of the pros' web sites for their winter fishing tips.

Check out the topics on seasonal patterns and winter fishing on this site.

Subscribe to Bassin magazine.  

Join B.A.S.S., or at least visit their website, and get their magazine.

Join FLW and get their magazine.

Both have articles about seasonal patterns, lures and techniques.

Just read, read and read some more this winter.

Now, for your query.  As the water temperature drops, the fish become less active and the digestion time increases.

This means that the bass are "staging" in the deeper water, usually around drop-offs close to the shore for a fast raid on minnows and bait fish.  And anything they eat will take more time to digest.

The bass are looking for nice, big meals that they do not have to expand a lot of energy to capture and eat.

Suggestion:  Throw as far out as you can and fish your baits s-l-o-w on the bottom.  Senkos are great. Try them both Texas rigged and wacky.

Shaky head is super.

Drop shot may do the trick.

Slip shot, the poor man's Carolina rig, may work.

A Carolina rig with a trick worm or a creature bait could produce results.

You may want to throw a crankbait. Either a deep diver to look like a crawfish or one with a big wobble and rattles to attract the bass. Just make sure the crank reaches the bottom to stir up the mud and slop.

Consider a shad color crank or Ghost Minnow. Sexy  or Foxy Shad is a nice selection. If those do not produce any bites, go with a crank with some orange on the bottom.

Rat-L-Traps will work, too, so try both the chrome with either black (cloudy) or blue (sunny) backs or a crawfish colored Rat, the color of the crawfish in your area this time of the year.

If throwing a crawfish crank, be sure the "claws" are close to the body and that the depth is enough to bounce along the bottom stirring up the mud and slop.

Throw the cranks out and retrieve with a rythum, like reel fast, slow down, reel fast, slow down, stop letting it sink or rise, reel, stop, slow down, etc.  Get a rythum and play it in your head like, 1, 2, 1, 1,; or 1, 2, 1 ,2, etc.  A stop and go retrieve may work best.  Just experiment.

And don't forget your flukes.  They look like dieing shad and fish them like a dieing shad.  Cast, wait, move with rod tip, wait, move with rod tip, wait, etc.  You want to minick a dieing shad or bluegill.

Hit the body of water early in the AM and throw topwaters, like buzzbaits or Chugbugs. Do the same in the late evening as the sun goes down.  You may want to try a Mann's Minus-One, too.  Topwaters with "white" bottoms may work best.  But who knows? So experiment.

You are limited and therefore you will be very frustrated.  You will probably not catch anything as the bass are staging in another area that you cannot reach.

But if that is the way it is, then that is the way it is.

Look for another body of water and give it a try.  Some maps show the local ponds and lakes in blue so it is easy to find them.

Good luck and remember to read, read and read.  ;)

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From Sam:

Read.

Read, read and read somemore.

That's the secret to fishing during each of the four seasons.

X10!

There's a lot of good material out there to read. And a lot of possible variables. Although bass are similar across their range, waters are not. If you want to catch bass consistently, you've got your work cut out for you! It should be fun work though. You may need to reign in your expectations some, and not be surprised at being surprised!

Not trying to be funny, or dismiss your question. But, you'll need to know your water a lot better so you can ask a more directly helpful question.

Welcome, btw!

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Read.

Read, read and read somemore.

That's the secret to fishing during each of the four seasons.

I would imagine this web site could help too. http://bassresource.com/fish/bass_fish.html

This site has more info than you can read. That is the operative word here "READ".

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Yimm,

Welcome to your new addiction.  ;)

What you encountering is what keeps us all going back for more. Once you think you've got bass figured out something changes and you feel like you're starting all over again to try and figure out how to catch them.

Sam is right. Read up on them but also talk to people you encounter fishing in your area. You might learn a few neat tricks and you just might meet a new fishing buddy that knows of other areas you can fish.

Good luck and take care.

Tom

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Welcome aboard!  It's probably the water temperature heading downhill.  It always shuts them down around this time.  You can catch fish, just fish slowly.

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