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Back in the dark ages (1950's) when I was learning how to bass fish seasonal periods were simple, spring, summer, fall and winter.The experts of the era were Jason Lucas and Bob Page editors of national fishing magazines, Sports Afield ans Outdoor Life. Outside of spawning bass behavior was mostly unknown and related to human behavior. The calendar had 12 months January to December and fresh water fishing generally opened on May 1st and closed on November 1st. If you lived in New York and wanted to bass fish in December, you moved to Florida. Today we know more about bass behavior and have expanded the seasonal periods to relate more to how bass behave than humans.
During the 60's my passion for bass fishing was very high and logged information about the how, what, where and when I caught bass. What the water temperature was at the depth the bass we using, what area in the lakes the bass seemed to be most active and what prey types the fish were targeting. After several years it became clear to me that bass behavior was predicable based on water temperature and seasonal periods, just not the same calendar or seasons we related to at that time, regardless of where the bass was located in our country. In 1974 I started sharing this information by doing seminars called "The cosmic Clock and Bass Calendar". The following is a recap of that presentation. I have no way of attaching the chart.
Introduction: A cycle is usually thought of as a measure of time in which something starts ans stops. For example the sun rising to it's next rising is one cycle called a 24 hour period. This circular movement of revolving objects always having a staring point to return and start again is the basic law of the cosmic clock. This tells us that bass will return to the same locations every year of their life cycle. The pace that bass live is called rhythm. This pace is broken into five basic categories; Very active, active, neutral, negative and very negative. The rhythm breaks down into percentages somewhat like this: 70% neutral, 5% very negative, 10% negative,5% very active and 10% active. The basses life cycle is broken down into seasonal categories: Pre Spawn, Spawn, Post Spawn, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. The basses habitate, surrounding environment governs the calendar periods. Water temperature is the most important factor controlling most activity. The condition of the water, including weed growth, clarity, chemistry, dissolved oxygen, thermocline etc., determines their location.
Calendar period can vary depending on the type of bass and water condition, but basically the water temperature is the prime factor: 55 to 62 is Pre Spawn, 62 to 65 is Spawn, 65 to 67 is Post Spawn, 65 to 70 is Spring, 68 to 80 is Summer, 73 to 62 is Fall and 61 to 40 is Winter. Bass tend to school during Pre Spawn, Post Spawn, Fall and Winter. Scatter into small groups during Spring and summer, and into single pairs during spawn. Horizontally migrate during Post Spawn and Summer, vertically migrate during other periods. These are keys to determining calendar periods.
To determine the rhythm or activity of the bass you need to observe water and weather conditions. Are bait fish active chasing insects, birds active feeding on bait fish, bait fish activity usually is an indicator bass activity.
I will post details on each calendar period separately and presentations  that have worked for me over the years for each period.
 

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I like it already. You realize we're gonna want that chart?

Jim
 

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Bring it on Ty, I mean old school, this is what I have been focusing on since you and Jim blew me away with the crankbait color post. I have been spending alot a time at my neighbors pool, running baits and taking pic underwater to see what my color change is during different conditions.
-Joe
 

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Old School, I have read something similar to that info from several books from In-Fisherman. However, their books related strictly to largemouth. I would like to see the same info on spots and smallies, esp. spots. >:D
 

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hi steel basser said:
Old School, I have read something similar to that info from several books from In-Fisherman. However, their books related strictly to largemouth. I would like to see the same info on spots and smallies, esp. spots.  >:D
That is true, I written a few articles for In-Fisherman.
Tom
 

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hi steel basser said:
Where do you live and when can we go fishing together?  :D
I thought that was in the new member post. Southern California. In regards to the Seasonal period post, most of that info is 35 to 45 years old..."Old School". Since that time I have learned a little more about specific habits of both smallies and spots. My plan is to post detailed info on each calendar period to give more detailed presentation for northern LMB, Florida LMB, smallies and spots. There are lots of folks who can add to all that and we should have some good interaction and learn together. Most of my smallie experience is from fishing 30 years with my in laws at Lake of the Woods region in Ontario. We also have smallies and spots in CA.
Tom
 

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Thought I would bump this up and discus rhythm again.
Rhythm or the pace bass live their daily and seasonal life cycles is the most misunderstood factor in fishing.
Think of a pride of lions on the Serengeti plains with prey animals all around them while they lay lazy under the shade of a big tree. The prey animals pay little attention to the lions until one gets up and stretches and looks around. The prey instantly changes their attitude and start to move away from the lions. The lions slowly awaken and start to become more active and interact with each other. Then all the lions are standing up and looking around, becoming more alert to their surroundings.
The lions, like predator bass, are changing their rhythm from negative or lazy laying around to inactive or stretching and looking, to become active and thinking about hunting prey. When the lions were inactive, prey was close by and not concerned. Once the lions became more alert and active, the prey became aware of this behavior change and moved away for survival. Lions are not active all day or night, they become active for short time periods. Bass, like lions, have similar periods of activity; very active, active, neutral and inactive. Bait fish can be seen in close proximity with the bass until the bass shows signs of becoming active and the prey disappears quickly when they are aware of the change rhythm.
As anglers we can't catch bass when they are not active and bass are only active for short time periods.
Tom
 

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As usual we can count on Tom for inspiration and knowledge.

Where did your Cosmic Clock chart get put here? We had it where it could be downloaded. A lot of work went into updating it, hat off to Jared for all that digital work. BTW, I found the original still in the mailer tube. I can't imagine not tending to that! I'll put it in the truck and leave it there, then surely it'll get mailed. :wack:
 

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Ouachita said:
As usual we can count on Tom for inspiration and knowledge.

Where did the big seasonal chart get put here? We had it where it could be downloaded. A lot of work went into updating it. BTW, I found the original still in the mailer tube. I can't imagine not tending to that! I'll put it in the truck and leave it there, then surely it'll get mailed. :wack:
http://www.thebassholes.com/bassin-forums/index.php?topic=8776.0
Good to read a post from you Jim, it's been a long time.
Don't worry about the original, send it when it;s convenient for you and let me know if you need postage.

My pre spawn plans this year went the way of poor hips and spine injury, just now getting back on the water, if I can waggle a kitchen pass. Promised to post some pic's, now I just need to catch something worth a photo!
Tom
 

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There's probably a lot of new members who have not seen the chart. It's full of wisdom of years. Again, thank you Tom for sharing it with us.

I know the pain. I've been getting epidural shots in the spine every other week for three trips 4 rounds a year for sciatic pain in the lower back & hips. When each round wears off I go back on pain meds. All my old fishing buds are having their own growing old problems, but occasionally we manage to go fishing a little. I'm missing out on the spring boat fishing, going after crappie some from the shore, and I'm reading a lot, catching up on recent posts and going back through early days threads here.

Jim
 
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