Seasons and Tactics
This section of the site is dedicated to talking about our local seasons and what techniques and tactics work within them. Each page will be showing the seasons, temperatures, and fish movement that should be related to them. I will discuss structures and covers, along with techniques that should work in this time of year as well as what to expect from our local lakes. Below I am listing a chart of water temperatures, what baits to concentrate on, and where to fish them. I am not a pro, but this is based on my past experience and research.
45 degrees and below - Primarily this is winter fishing and you are looking for bass in 10-15' in stained water or 20-30' in clear water. The types of structure are ledges, bluff walls, creek channels, or other deep water haunts. Jigs, spoons, carolina rigs, and other slow techniques are the best options. The operative words now are slow and patient.
45-55 degrees - In these water temperatures, bass are migrating, shallow in spring or deep in fall and are located in much the same areas. These are staging areas such a secondary points, shallow and deep ledges, roadbeds, drains, and ditches close to flats used for spawning or chasing shad. My favorites are crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and other reaction baits that come into play now. When fish aren't active jigs, carolina and texas rigged plastics, and shakey heads can be effective as well.
56-75 degrees - Reaction baits should be used when fish are active. Just match up colors and baits with the type of structure or cover you are fishing at this point. Depth of the baits and speeds should be matched up to conditions of the lake. This is a bass's most comfortable time of year when they have these water temperatures. During adverse weather conditions or heavy fishing pressure you may want to switch to plastics or jigs or similar slow methods of fishing . Crankbaits, Swimbaits and Spinnerbaits fished around cover and structure are great choices now and should be matched to the conditions presented. High activity days with low pressures and clouds are optimum times but don't rule them out as a reflex bait on brighter days. Jigs, Worms, and Shakey Heads are really good choices on higher pressure, brighter days that push fish tighter to cover and structure breaks.
75 and above - We are now in water that fish are still very active but may not be as willing to chase in. Slower moving baits and topwaters can now come in to their own. Deeper water also is coming into play and requires some changes and finesse. Topwaters on days with surface activity can be a great start of the day activity near deepwater and grass. Jigs, Carolina Rigs, Deep Crankbaits, and heavy Shakey Heads around ledges, channel banks, and deep points are great choices. Shallow grass with a frog or pitching heavy plastics can be a great technique as well.
These are just some quick rules of thumb that I hope help you in daily decision making. In each of the sections I will go into deeper detail on options and possible techniques to use. I will continue to build on these articles as the year goes on and will try to update the site as often as possible. Keep checking back for more updates!