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What should you do when the bass are transitioning from one calendar period to another? For example the winter period transition to pre spawn, pre spawn to spawn, spawn to post spawn, post spawn to spring, spring to summer, summer to fall. To answer that think about what the bass are physically doing. From the cold water periods to the warming water periods the bass are moving up from deeper water to shallower water to finally reach the protected shallow coves where they can spawn. During that period of time the bass are physically moving up hill and so should your lure presentations, because the bass are looking for prey moving the same direction they are and tight to cover.
After spawning the bass move horizontally to find and establish a post spawn resting place and your lures should move slowly horizontally along with the bass. After resting a few weeks the bass start to establish spring to summer feeding zones and relocate to areas that have prey that suites there specific needs. You need to use search lures during this transition period. During the summer the bass have established home zones and will generally migrate horizontally within that zone to ambush sites and may move up to shallow water during night feeding periods. Your summer presentations need to be reaction lures that are presented as an opportunity to the bass or in their face slow moving target at the same depth the bass is holding in, tight to cover or structure. Summer to fall the bass start to follow the prey fish parallel to breaklines, banks, creek channels as the water cools and everything starts to go deeper, seeking warmer water. Your lures need to run parallel at the depth the bass are traveling. Winter cold water the bass are staying close the bait fish schools or easy meals without exerting effort and your lures need to look like bait fish or an easy meal of opportunity, not moving too fast and at the same depth the bass are holding.
Tom
 

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I would have never thought of moving my lures up hill,outa deeper water to shallower,makes sence if thats the wat the bait is moving so should my lures :wack:
thanks tom
rich
 

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Thanks, Tom. I have a hard time asking questions or adding statements to your posts. Once again, you have covered the topic thoroughly. If you want more responses to your posts, just write half of them and let us try to dig the other half out of you. ;) The only thing I have to say is that I always thought the big females headed for deep water very shortly after the spawn, and the males stayed shallow to guard the eggs. This particular time of year intrigues me above all others, especially because the fish let you know in a hurry when you figure it out, but the actual figuring out can be pretty tough. BTW, Rich, I love to move my lures uphill, esp. in the summer. The main reason I've done it so much is just to let the bass see a different presentation fro what they are used to. Most guys are beating the bank, but my boat is shallow on a point, bouncing a lure up the hill.
 

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I almost always go paralell. If not it's downhill, staying way off the points or other structure.will have to try sittin on top once in awhile.
rich
 

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Well, try packing this one in too. When transitioning (to the extreme twice a year) the bass pass by all sorts of structures on their way. They stop off to feed and rest like tourists do traveling an interstate. When they do that on main lake points the fishing can be fabulous for many days. But all it takes is a few "wrong way" lure draggers to ruin a rest stop for you. This is an idea not well received or talked up, but it matters anyway. On a point the bass will stage around places they would have chosen on any other point, like a stump or boulder. They often try to find the ultimate ambush spot that allows them to hover away from the point bottom, under something. That allows them to watch a large space of a point. They want to pin baitfish against the point's bottom soil or rock, trapping numbers of them. They DON'T hang out in schools out in open water over points waiting to ambush.

So along comes Joe "the Bass" Gideaux (not our Joe G). Casting to the point he drags his lures out into deep water. Numbers of bass follow, a few keep him real interested. He casts 50 times. Joe has just led at least 50 potential keeper bass out into deep water, disoriented, no longer relating to the point, scattered all over the place out away from the point. It takes at least 20-30 minutes for the bass to simmer down and get back on post, sort of like wasps when a kid slaps the nest a few times. They always come back eventually. I would prefer to occupy that point a half hour after Joe leaves. But, someone else gets on it right on his tail. The solution? Probably none. Everyone ought to think about what they are doing. Can you help fix it a little? Yep. Cast over a point and draw outside bass onto it and keep them relating to it while you are there. If you cast at enough angles far enough you will draw bass and they will more likely strike by the minute. You know, I can't even guess the times some boater has pulled right up fishing to that same point from out there in the "Normals" casting stage.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #6
One of theses days Jared will get around to copying the Horizontal Jigging articles, until then look at "Jigging submitted by Tom" in Tips & Tactics. Take notice of the figure shown on how to approach a major point. I call this "inside out" meaning approaching the point like you would if walking the back and casting out onto the point and working around it. This makes you fish up hill and parallel, plus the bass are not spooked off and see the lure coming up out of deeper water in a natural approach. Small things like this can make a big difference.
Tom
 

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Tom, can't you post a few of those promised features then let Jared move them later? I'd like to see that one. I first learned about it from Rich Tauber at a Bassmaster University. He hit lightly on it without giving details about what the bass do. He just said try it. It took me a few years just to try it. I haven't seen or heard another mention of protecting points since then.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I mailed Jared the original magazines to scan because I don't have the knowledge or scanner to that at home and need to learn soon. Looking back I should of sent the magazines to you with Jared new job and boat taking up his time. Maybe Jared can forward you the old In-Fisherman magazines I sent to him. Good stuff on weeds, rivers, reservoir classification and a few of my articles.
Tom
note, as you know the bass tend to leave the shallow water zones on a point when something threatens them like a lure splashing down on top of them or a shadow flying over head or a boat running up fast and stopping. If you noisily approach from outside deep water straight off the point, the bass more than likely are swimming by under the boat by the time you are casting a lure up the shallow water they just vacated. It just makes more sense to approach quietly from a different angle.
The problem today is the new fisherman see you making a quite round about approach and zoom past stopping on top of the point you are trying to approach.
They then pound the area running the trolling motor at high speeds, fire up the big motor and zoom on down the lake without catching anything, putting down the bass for a few hours and leaving you fumming.Bass fishing can be sooo much fun at times.
Tom
 

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I wish I'd subscribed to In-Fisherman years ago. I've heard more about that one than any other. Do you know of any archived on-line?

Jim
 
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So Tom you go past the point and to the bank and then slowly troll back up to the point casting as if you where walking the bank casting out? Is that what you are saying? I am having a hard time visualizing that unless it is what I just described.

I am way out of practice working points as most of the lakes around me are devoid of them. Garcia for instance is a huge rectangle lake. However, it does have a few points here and there caused by levees and some even end into a pit area. That one in particular I have fished several times without ever catching a fish on it. Yet the grass edges next to it have produced for me. I tell ya, these Florida bass are different then the ones you guys have in your lakes. They just do things differently here.

Tom, one thing I personally would like is if you can post reports of your fishing outings. I would like to read about what you did out on the lake. Even if you have to omit the lake name to protect your holes heck no need to even describe where in the lake you caught fish. Maybe just your day on how you patterned them or made adjustments etc would be fine.
 

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I'd read those "Day on the Lake with Tom Young" articles too.

Back in the 1960s to mid 70s the points here were mostly where bass got caught. It was important to fish them smartly. You either busted the point or mined it.

I always look first for the windward side. Plankton and baitfish following plankton are wind-driven into pockets held by points. That can be out in the lake where a long point becomes a shallow ridge with water barely bubbling over it. I'll say for now this point sticks out northward with a little pocket on the west side, the shoreline generally sloping to 50 ft about 150 ft out, and open lake on the east side. Wind is from the west, blew to the east all night. If there's dry land covering the point separating the two waters I'll mess with the lee side as I boat into it. I'll cast away from the point drawing any loose bass toward the point shoreline, trying to catch one to get current information. Any following bass are likely to swim on to the point, having deep escape water from which they might have just come. If I have learned anything vital about the bass, like what they are feeding on, I will change lures to match. I'll cast some to the point and fish from shallow to deep, again intersecting any wandering bass. That keeps them moving. They will be backed up to the shoreline and watching down contour, but mindful they are sitting in lean hunting grounds. If they are at ten feet they will look for forage from ten feet following the shoreline. Once done there I'll go to the point end. If the point is short enough, I'll cast to my right into open water toward the NNE, retrieving deep to shallow onto the point. If the biting bass on the other side were at 10 ft, that's where I'll start on the windward (west) side. Casting again I'll move the cast angle a few degrees more N, then NNW, then NW, deep to shallow, and on around until I am casting parallel to the point shoreline from west to east. That keeps bass in the feeding area, in this case 10 ft, not out over 40 ft of lake looking for whatever they missed swimming by. If the feeding zone is a little different than expected I'll adjust and re-cast the angles fished too shallow or deep.

Once mining the point I leave for an hour then repeat. Another interesting thing my family has noted many times is when starting on that back pocket, some bass will show interest, but most seem to get a dinner bell ringing and want to join their cousins on the windward side. We thought for years we were spooking them around the point. I think drawing them out of the deep hole on the lee side indicated a general movement of baitfish toward the windward side where baitfish would feed on wind-driven plankton. They would instinctively know the pickings would be much easier over there, so would leave the deep bream hole. They are greeted with my lure coming to the point from the NNE out in the lake. That would fit the shad pattern coming to a point from open lake to feed.

I think that's what Tom is describing.

If he's talking about a point that doesn't technically separate two waters, then I'd be casting (in the above scenario), right over the point instead of taking up one position on the point end. I'd be careful with that because bringing bass from deep to shallow will drive baitfish through the ankle deep water into the lee waters, bass following. It all gets messed up then.

On a very long point I'd take up succeeding set up spots from the point end westward, fan casting first from deep to shallow, swinging each cast arch southward. I find boat control easier to face the wind, and I won't be intruding suddenly onto some prized action. I can let a bow anchor out and let the boat swing towards shore to enable lots of fan casting. Lures out to be swimming down current anyway, whether wind current or in a river current.

Jim
 
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Very good "points" Jim ;) I think I have the "point" you are making now. :D

Thanks.
 

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I see the point of your post, that you got my point. We don't like pointless posts, another point I wanted to make today. :wack:

Jim
 

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imonembad said:
It makes it so much pleasanter for the reader. :lmao:
And your raggin on me ?????????????????????
my mind just goes faster then my fingers
:rofl1: :rofl1:
pleasanter thats funny right there :lmao:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Pondered where to put this and settled with transitional periods. We all know about the bass spawn and sometimes forget that other fish in the pond are also spawning and making transitions. Mother nature has worked things out fairly well for each group of fish so that everyone is provided for and a balance of sorts prevails. Since we are targeting bass we need to remember what bass like to eat during the post spawn to early summer transition. With all those baby bass and smaller prey fish spawning, the shallows are filled with tiny baitfish. Bass will key on those smaller baitfish for a few weeks and be up tight to the weed line or shallow break line.
Think small like 1" to 3" baitfish and use smaller lures. In line spinners, ever use those? they are great for representing small baitfish. Small 1/4 oz Bushmaster spinnerbaits, underspins with tiny flukes and small shallow running crank baits or jerk baits, shallow drop shot or slipshot rigged 3" to 5" finesse worms all work well in colors that represent the baitfish the bass are targeting.
Tom
http://www.basscatcher.com/bush.html
note; years ago I was fishing at Lower Otay and taking a break from serious morning bass fishing when some school bass started crashing some bait fish against the bank. All I had with me that was small was a rod rigged with a Mepps Aila #2 spinner that had a rubber minnow, so I cast that into the feeding bass. What I caught was the then lake record 16 lb 4 oz FLMB. You never know what is really pushing up those baitfish.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I noticed my friends at BASS are now using the term "transitions" instead of seasonal changes, we must be on the same wave length.
It's maybe a good idea to read the summer to fall and fall to winter posts. It's getting hard to remember what is on this site. The jig posts are good to read as bass tend to target jigs during the cooler to cold water periods because they are bite size high protein meals.
Tom
 

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Tom, I know you meant transitions to be seasonal changes, but could we broaden it to also be changes of depth, hard to soft bottom or the reverse, rock to gravel, coontail to cabbage etc? Or would you rather that be a seperate thread?
Rodney
 
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