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Well, last weekend I went to Cooper River, which is a coastal lowlands tidal river, and the air temps were in the mid to upper 80s. As a matter of fact the past couple weeks have been the same weather.. air temps low80s to upper 80s.. even low 90s a piece here and there.

Water temps last weekend on Cooper River were in the low 60s.

Last night and today we have started to get some storms and some rain and tonight the temps are supposed to drop out and Thursday, Friday and Saturday the highs are suppose to be in the low 60s and they are calling for lows in the mid to upper 30's.

I cant help but wonder how it will affect the fish in the river Saturday.

Part of me thinks this way:
With Saturday being the 3rd day of lower air temps, the fish should be adjusted by then so it should be business as
usual.

AND

It's a river and it's tidal so the weather will not affect the fish anywhere near as much as it would were they in a lake. Tidal is the greatest dictator in their life.

AND

My fish should be right where i left them, living their life with the current and tide.


Now the other part of me thinks:
CRAP CRAP CRAP! LOL!!! The fishing is gonna be all messed up and my fish I found will be long gone!

Honestly I dont know which part of me should win the battle. What do yall think? All thoughts, advice and tips would be greatly appreciated
 

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We had this debate around the water cooler yesterday also. While we were not dealing with a tidal situation we are dealing with a severe cold front that is going to hang on. Believe me Jared its coming. It was 29 this morning and 67 yesterday morning. The main thought amongst us amateurs was that the fish will pull back but not be totally lost. No one could really get them going and I say its because they knew it wasn't time to let it fly. This is more than likely the last of a long hard winter and now we can get down to seasonal patterns here in the midwest. We have been 2 weeks early all march but the fish and wildlife haven't. Keep the faith in your plan I think those fish will be close by. Good luck Jared! Drew
 
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In pre spawn when fish have been moving in shallow to spawn and cold fronts come in and lower the water and or muddy it up with rain bass will not leave these areas but will just pull back slightly. They know they are going to spawn soon so believe me when I tell you that fish are still there.

Also, if you guys are not throwing red traps you are really missing out. There is not a better time of the year to be tossing them then right now. Honestly, I can't think of a better lure to use during cold fronts, muddy water from rain, & high pressure post frontal days then lipless cranks, especially if windy. I wish I could be still in pre spawn mode but our fish are done down here. I thouroughly enjoyed the pre spawn mode here with lipless and caught the crap out of fish here on them. Point is, you northern boys can do the same thing.

When I hear people say I tried lipless cranks and didn't catch anything. What I know happens is that they tried it for all of 10 minutes and since it didn't produce they went back to something else. Trust me, stick with it. Sometimes I throw them for an hour without a bite. Then I hit a school of them and it is crazy action.

Jared, in tidal rivers where water is somewhat muddy, red traps in 60 degree water is hard to beat. St. John's river up in Jacksonville provided me with allot of good action on red traps and even chartreuse or fire tiger colored ones. Give it a try and keep throwing it and don't let yourself stop. It will put allot of fish in the boat for you.
 

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95% of Keith's post are advocating the red trap. If Bill Lewis doesn't hire this guy he is missing the boat! LOL!
Just funnin with you Keith. You pegged me with your analysis of most people with the red trap.
 

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The single most significant factor about tidal rivers is that those differ from others mostly by the effects of the tidal forces. Weather enters in but over a season-long period, the daily changes having very little effect compared to the tides. It takes a lot of cold air a lot of days to chill river water past the first foot of depth. It takes a lot of dynamics to warm a body of water, especially a river. Current works against both warming and cooling. An overnight cold front doesn't change much about any river with decent depth in the spring. I'd say the bass will remain on schedule, on a daily basis close to where they were yesterday, maybe a little deeper and closer to structure than to shallow cover, if in fact the water temperature dropped a couple degrees. I don't put much thinking into the surface cooling down while deeper water remains stable. I carry a simple pool thermometer on a string to compare temps at various depths.

Jim
 

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I'm a believer in the red trap too. I've recommended it countless times while fishing, but not many figure out how to fish it. Cranking it the same way every trip won't help catch fish consistently. It has to get in front of the bass and must be attractive to them. Keeping a steady rattle on a steady retrieve doesn't do much for the surprise factor, important for a reaction bite. Sometimes I'd rather swim it barely enough to keep it out of trouble then sweep it suddenly to get a burst of rattle. I use many variations of retrieves, bumping the tips of plants, pausing and ripping, using a variety of speeds and trying several depths. A long rod helps alter the Trap's course, ripping it from my right then from my left. Anyway, it's like any other lure, we need to exploit all possible ways of presenting it. The more presentations you can do, the fewer types of lures needed in the boat.

That brings me to another thing. While I might not NEED one of every kind of lure, multiplying the effectiveness of a few favorites by the factor of presentations, I carry a lot of lures of every type yet know a lot of presentations. If you have one lure but know 5 presentations, you effectively have 5 lures. If you can figure out ways to get that lure deep as well as shallow, multiply that 5 by 2 for 10 lures. What really gets my goat is to run across boaters coming by holding up THE hot lure of the day that is just slaughtering the bass, but they can't spare one and of course I don't have. The day several fishermen came up recommending a brown Lazy Ike (which I didn't have) several years ago was the day I decided I would have at least one of all. It doesn't hurt if there's room to store a few of all types in the boat. The only confusing part is figuring out where a particular lure is hiding.

Jim
 
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Drew, soon you will not hear anymore posts about red traps with me :) however, I feel like a broken record right now because it is a tremendous strategy this time of year. Yet, I keep reading posts where people are struggling and or catching only a fish or two. I know if they had stuck with a good trap all day they would have put more fish in their boat or even bigger ones.

In a month all you will hear about are gold, chrome and painted ones :tongue2: So you will have that to look forward to.

Nice posts Jim. I agree 100%.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Keith, I will definitely toss a red trap for atleast an hour on Saturday due to your persistant recommendation. I too am the "throw 10 minutes and change quick" type of guy when it comes to them.


So it sounds like my first instinct of "My fish should be right where i left them, living their life with the current and tide." is pretty much correct. I am glad to have that agreed with. (atleast I think it was agreed with lol)
 
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Good man Jared ;) If you see fish following your bait and not biting it change the color. Try a Gold one. If the water is really nasty looking try a red with a yellow belly. In that hour try different type retrieves. Start with a steady slow retrieve and everytime it makes contact or bumps something snap it quick with your wrist hard see if that works. It helps to do this with braid. Sometimes that is my best retrieve. If not, try a yo yo retireve like you would a jig off the bottom. That flutter down is a great trigger for bass. Or sometimes reeling it in as fast as possible get's it done at times.
 
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