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Cold falling water

1272 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  oldschool
I am needing some pointers about how to fish cold falling water on the upper end of a river system lake. I have a tourney this weekend on the Osage river of the lake of the Ozarks. They have dropped the lake a foot and a half in four days to make room for all the ice melt run off. I am guessing the inside bends of the river and the first couple of docks off of the points because of the current. The current really shuts down the crappies. I am guessing that it will do the same to the bass, being that the water is so cold (39-41degrees). Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Peace out! Drew
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Is this a river or a lake? Is there normally current in this water? If so, Look for any sand bars that rise up off the bottom a few feet. Bass will sit behind these sand bars to avoid the current and wait for passing food to come over them. In this cold of water I would look for any eddies or any slower water next to some current and fish with jigs or CR's.

If there is normally no current and now there is, then you are screwed haha. Sorry man. Had to inject some humor. But you know that if there is normally no current and suddenly there is current then fish do react to this. But just stay out of shallow water as fish will instinctively pull out of shallow water in fear of being stranded. So they back out to deeper water presumeably on breaklines.

Fish the first breakline or the second breakline to determine which one the fish are using. These are drop offs that occur faster then the rest of the bank. If the bank is 2-5 feet deep for a distance of say 50 feet then goes from 5 feet to 8 feet in a distance of say 10 feet then you have found the first breakline. Then look for the next breakline where the deeper water falls into even deeper water fairly quick.

Fish those areas with jigs, worms, CR's. Jigs are good bets in cold water. I heard Bill Dance this weekend answer a question about which bait is best in cold water. His reply the jig. I am not an accomplished jig fishermen but I can tell you that I have had better luck with them in cold water then in any other time of the year.

Another tactic that I have employed in cold water is fishing with slabs in deep water. Look for breaklines or channels or road beds basically any structure out in deep water. Vertically drop the slab and experiment with slowly raising the slab up a few inches to one foot and letting it fall back down slowly to ripping it up one foot then letting it fall back down. In colder water like you have, the slow approach is probably best. I have caught bass in Texas doing this.

In Florida we never have these issues so I never get to practice these techniques much out here anymore.

Good luck I hope this helps you a little.
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It is a lake created by damming up a river, so the upper end has a lot of current when they make electricity or pull the lake down. As you get farther down the lake goes off into big creek arms and coves so it is easier to get out of the current or harder to get into it. In the summer the big bite is always up the river especially when they are generating electricity. Thanks for the input.
Jim is your best source on this issue.
If I was fishing moving cold water, 41 degrees, my plan would be to go to the opposite end where the dam is and start looking for deep water bass on breaks and target them. Use small 3" to 4" drop shot worms, dark color jigs, structure spoons etc. You might also check on the back end of a shallow flat to see if any bass are up looking for warmer water on the sunny side of the lake. If you find some of those, try a slow soft jerk bait.
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