Bass Fishing and Cold Fronts
We often hear anglers talking about cold fronts and how this will shut down the bite. Much of North America is currently experiencing a cold front that not only dropped the temperature but also caused a rise in many rivers and reservoirs; Let us keep out thoughts and prayers for those on the east coast that are having to deal with the effects of the recent storm. Fall weather changes rapidly and the waves of cold fronts are usually not a good thing for most bass anglers. What is a cold front? What are the affect s they have on the bass? How do you catch bass during this type of weather change?
First of all, what is a cold front? A cold front is the edge of a cold air mass that pushes in and underneath warm air. This change can result in severe weather usually lasting only a short while. A cold front is characterized by hard, fast moving thunderstorms often with large amounts of rain and wind that are followed by clear blue skies and rapidly dropping temperature. Barometric pressure will fluctuate rapidly, then rise dramatically as high pressure builds.
What affect does this have on bass? Usually the bass will move away from their normal feeding conditions and usually to deeper water and submerged cover. Activity can be as varied as the weather, from a short feeding binge to not feeding at all.
So where can fish be caught following a cold front? Transition areas or paths bass follow where they move back and forth between feeding areas and deeper cover and structure. Common transition areas include channels between coves and islands, old riverbeds, and manmade structures such as submerged roadbeds and railroad beds. Other transition zones can include areas between shallow weed beds and submerged weed lines, or along the sides of sloping 45 degree banks, points and drop offs.
What tactics can I use to catch these transitioning bass? Use bass attention getters or attracting lures such as rattling crankbaits and large, bright spinnerbaits. Once the bass are located, you can then cover transition areas thoroughly with slow moving jigs, plastic worms, spoons, spinners and slow crankbaits. Scent is also effective in cold water, and seems to work more for smallmouth. Don’t be disappointed if your creel is reduced, the bass are becoming lethargic as the water temperature drops but chances are the bass you will catch will be large.
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