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Old 11-01-2007, 07:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fall period

I would say spinnerbait time.
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Old 11-02-2007, 03:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fall period

This is my first fall in the south so I don't know how this area will be for fall fishing. Up north, Maine in particular, when the water cooled the bass would school up and chase baitfish to the surface. We would throw any baits(spinnerbaits,topwater,and cranks) that would stay within the top three feet of the water column. Fall was the time to catch some big smallies and also those huge largemouths. All one had to do was watch through out the day and you would see the surface come alive with baitfish.
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Old 08-26-2008, 03:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Wooohoo fall is almost here...in Colorado...can't wait! Some smallies are already starting to susupend in a few lakes here. Shad time!
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Old 09-04-2008, 04:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Tom, I noticed that you use tempature to determine the fall period, do you think that shorter day length might have as much to do with the transition? I've noticed that though the temps here drop 3 or 4 degrees, the grass starts to die off do to reduced light, it also seems that the bass start moving. I know that the bass will move to "cleaner" water, more o2 being available due to vegatation breaking down, I'm wondering if this is also responsable for fish movement. Remember, I'm fishing mostly natural northern lakes.
Rodney
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fall period

Bait fish migration has a lot to do with the type of bait fish in the lake. Pelagic bait fish; shad, herring, smelt, whitefish etc., don't live in the weed or wood cover areas, they just hide there at night. Minnows, sunfish, chubs, etc., are cover fish and stay there as long as possible, migrating only after the green weeds die off.
Shorter days and longer nights single the change to fall. The plants and trees react to shorter day light periods, cooling nights and so does the entire ecosystem, including the fish.
Threadfin shad don't do well up north due to the cold winter water, about 45 degrees is their lower limit. The smelt and herring both do well and have about the same lower water temperature limit as bass, about 40 degrees.
So my guess is the natural northern lakes may have smelt or herring and both of those baitfish like to move towards current areas like river or stream inlets, so that where the bass go following the prey. No pelagic baitfish, then the bass stay near the prey and move out to deeper water breaks that have easy access to the cover areas. Most lakes have a combination of pelagic bait fish and cover oriented bait fish, crawdads, frogs or whatever, so the go to whatever prey source is most abundant.
Yes I watch the water temperature all the time and my sonar unit. The big mistake some fisherman make is thinking the surface water temperature is the key factor, when it's the water temperature at the depth the bass are located in that is the key factor. Your sonar tells you how deep the bait or bass are. The surface water temperature is warmer in the summer and colder in the fall and winter, the bass will locate where the water is confortable for them, or in some lakes survivable.
Tom
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:32 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fall period

Thanks Tom,, I asked because i've noticed that while the water temp, & I measure surface only, only falls off, say, 2-4 degrees, but the length of daylight has changed drastically, 11/2 to 2 hrs, & the weeds have started to die out. The surface temp here can flauctuate 5 or more degrees from day to day, but I have noticed the weeds are what tell the story. Many fish seem to move shallow & become more aggresive, at times from about now to say the end of October, they can be caught in skinny water with reaction baits such as buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, & jerkbaits. Like others, I love the fall season, some of my better catches have come on days that i only had to throw 1 bait all day, my favorite is a buzz bait, love the explosion. I have also caught some of the biggest fish of the year, of course there are days you can throw the whole boat load of baits for naught. That though is what keeps us coming back.
Rodney
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Old 09-07-2008, 12:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fall period

Thanks for the insight oldschool. As the water temps drop, and the "fall migrations" start to occur, do you think time of day plays as big of a factor as it does other times of the year?
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Old 09-07-2008, 01:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fall period

The bass instincts tell them to eat and gain reserves during the cold water winter period ahead, so they are active for longer periods of time when the is bait available. Early morning and afternoons are good because the bait has fewer places to hide and tend to move toward shallow water at night.
As the water gets below 60 degrees, then the afternoons seems to be better and the mid day bite can be good. The colder the water gets the better the afternoon bite usually becomes, IMO. The bass will start to migrate to deeper water as the water cools below 60 degrees and move towards the lower 1/3rd of most lakes where deep water is near the dam area and remain there throughout the winter.
Tom
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Old 10-17-2008, 10:58 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Seasonal transitions can be difficult for most of us to see. The easiest is the transition from pre-spawn to spawn; we can actually see the bass make this transition. The summer to fall transition is similar to the post-spawn transition because like the post spawn period, we have a difficult time realizing the bass are gone from the summer location areas and have transitioned into fall.
The first signs of the fall transition is surface activity where bass are feeding on young of the year bait fish like fingerlength bass, shad and other schooling baitfish. The surface activity stops suddenly as the surface water cools, the bait goes down and moves, the bass follow and the fall is on. If you are still fishing surface lures and looking for surface baitfish activity, you may have missed the transition and the bass migration.
The bass are generally larger this time of year on average, so it is time now to go to larger worms, jigs and crankbaits, fished down hill (spring up & fall down).
Once the baitfish schools establish deeper water locations, the fall period has transitioned into the cold water winter period in most locations. Cold water periods require a transition to slower moving and vertical presented lures like spoons, jigs, drop shot worms and swimbaits. It's a long cold winter until pre spawn arrives and then bass fishing starts it's best seasonal period.
Tom
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:24 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I hope to test the "down hill" premise sunday, it's supposed to be sunny & i would like to make a trip to Canandaigua Lake for some smallies. I haven't been there this year yet, I hope the leaves aren't past peak because my wife is going with me. Spoons, jigs, grubs, tubes & dropsot will be in the boat, also some suspending jerks & spinnerbaits just in case.
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