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ballhagen

water temp question?

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OK i have a tourny this weekend and i went to the lake today and the water was around 48 degrees give or take a degree in spots. the next two days the temp is going to be in the 70's and then the tournament is saturday. how much do you think this warm weather will make the water warm up. and how do you think it will effect the fish?

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OK i have a tourny this weekend and i went to the lake today and the water was around 48 degrees give or take a degree in spots. the next two days the temp is going to be in the 70's and then the tournament is saturday. how much do you think this warm weather will make the water warm up. and how do you think it will effect the fish?

And water in the 48-50 degree mark is what you will have.

If I were you I would fish for 48 degree water

Look for the fish where they are when the water is 48 degrees

Choose my baits for 48 degree water

Dress for 70 degree.

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Make a mental note that the north-western bays and creeks will warm first with the sun rising from the south-east. I would hit these first and probably be fishing top water in the morning if you see any bait balls surfacing. See where the bait balls are now and work that pattern.

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To answer your question, it depends alot on the lake you are going to. If its a reservoir and flowing slightly its going to take alot longer to heat up. If you are fishing a lake that is not flowing its going to depend on size and depth of the lake. Shallow areas and areas on the north end of the lake will warm up substantially faster than the rest of the lake.

As far as how I would fish that, I'd be concentrating all shallow! The bass won't be able to resist a sharp warm up like that. The baitfish will activate on a 2 or 3 degree temperature rise and the bass will turn on if that happens. If they aren't shallow they're going to be on the first main break next to the shallow water staging for spawn. Look for a point or creek channel. You want to find a "highway" for the bass to the spawning ground - provided they aren't feeding on warmed up baitfish.

Where you live might be helpful to know to get an idea of what stage your fish are at as far as the spawn goes as well.

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Good replies here. I like Raul's advice -on a big lake. I like XcoM274's advice, since you didn't mention anything about your water. Since it's a T my guess is it's big water.

Now if it were a pond, I'd take XcoM274's advice and keep tabs on shallow temps. Or, if the lake is shallow or with large shallow areas the shallows might develop. It's very lake dependent.

It takes awhile for water to heat, esp as days are still short. And it's direct sun that does the heating. The sun is getting higher each day and night's shorter though, but my guess here is that it's still early.

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Like what's been said so far, I wouldn't look for it to warm up too much but you may get a degree or two in the bays that are directly in the sun the longest. The afternoon bite, in theory, should be better than the morning.

When the temps at night quit dropping into the teens and 20's is when you'll get a better warming water trend. Right now, the temps are right on that fine line where I am and the fishing is feast or famine. You either whack 'em, or you don't get a sniff. It's that simple. Once the temps stabilize at 48-49, (day and night) is when things get good.

I'd like to know where you're located also...it may help you get the most precise answers.

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Like 5BL said it will be great or awful...

I would concentrate on the shallows (points specifically)because if you are going to whack them, thats where it will happen imo. You will find fish roaming in small groups in the shallows in search of warm and food.

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I like what's been mentioned but I wouldn't go to shallow instead I would search main lake points 8-12' with lipless crank baits a couple of feet below the surface and bounce it off wood. I would also throw Carolina Rigged Lizards, Centipedes, or Soft Jerk baits around any available vegetation

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That temp senario happened in Va. three weeks ago. The 70 degree air temp warmed the morning 43 degree surface water up 9 degrees during the day. I was catching them just under the surface with Traps, and Chatterbaits above vegetation. I don't fish the bottom of the water column when the water is warming up this time of year.

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Wind is something to keep track of too. If a front follows this warm trend you could get wind.

Good Wind:

If it's a light wind warm water, since it floats, can be pushed by the wind and there may be places that collect it. Warm water is less dense so it tends not to hold wavelets look for slick calm water stacked in a good cove or shoreline (near fish of course).

Bad wind:

But, strong wind can really kill things by rolling up cold subsurface waters, destroying heating. Don't go lookin' for something that just isn't going to happen.

A few degrees may help, but if you can find something approaching a 10 degree increase through the day, on top of fish, BE THERE! You can plan ahead for this too, if you know your lake. The MOST intense heating occurs with direct sun on calm water -thus those "protected bays" you read about in spring fishing articles.

If you know your water, or have time to do some exploring, watch for such places that can warm substantially, and keep your eye on the sky.

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thanks for all the info guys keep it coming. went out today and did a little fishing. caught a couple fish. i live in tennessee for those that ask. this is a tough tournament to win. the past few years it has taken in the upper 20's in weight to win. the water on the northwest side of the lake was warmer like yall said. just by a little bit. it was bad windy today also. it is supposed to rain sunday so maybe the fish will be turned on saturday.

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Tennessee! Must be a big lake to be that cold. I'd keep my eyes on the shallows; you must be in pre-spawn. We're only a month away here in N CO (I'm a bit stricter in my definitions than some). The main bodies of my shallow ponds are still in the mid to lower 40s, (with heated areas just about to hit 55), but that will be changing fast. Things peak here when heated areas hit 60, and the subsurface waters are in the low 50s.

Good luck. Let us know what you find.

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Here in NC we are just hitting the very tip of the prespawn. Fish are starting to school a little in the northern coves of the lake. I would look for large 10 foot (+or -) flats and coves in the northern part of the lake that are near a deeper part of the lake. (creek channel and river channel.) I have been catching lots of bass on slow big swimbaits on the flats, and lots of cove bass oncranks.) Look for anytype of seabird (seagulls for example) if they are diving head over there and fish anytype of natural baitfish imitation and see what you get. GOOD LUCK.

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Welcome herefishy! :)

this time of year water temp is everything

I don't want to put you on the spot, esp with your being new here, but I do want to call attention to a potential misconception -that temp is everything. Hope you're OK with my expanding on your comment.

Temperature is very important. But, it's just a facet of fishing and it can really focus the action. But...there are fish to be caught in colder water too.

During early spring bass are acclimatized to cold water. Higher temps are only skin deep then though, and are often welcome (or better!) but not necessary.

I see a direct correlation between temp, bluegills and bass in early spring in my ponds. When early spring temps don't set up appropriately though, it doesn't mean there's no fishing to be had. But consolidated heat sure can make the fishing more predictable, and easier. Wind can destroy that scenario, but doesn't mean there aren't other options on that water body, and especially so on other water bodies.

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