If there is one thing I hate the most in fishing it’s just when water temperatures are staying warmer and the bass are moving to make beds, some major cold front plows through and the water temperatures drop 16 degrees over 7 days. When this happens the patterns and tactics change overnight and everything that was producing fish doesn’t even get looked at. Here are some tips and tactics to turn Post cold front conditions into fun days on the water.
Tip #1 – Downsize your bait
This time of year, my number one bait is a wacky rig Senko style bait fished on the drop offs and sloping banks near spawning flats. When the temperatures drop and the bass move a little deeper and are less active I will switch from a 5 inch stick, to a 3 inch stick and adjust my casts to focus on the deeper sections of the same areas rather than the shallow section of the ledges.
Tip #2 – Slow your presentation
The Bass have been incredibly aggressive feeding for the spawning period, but the rise in Barometric pressure and drop in temperature will turn bass into opportunistic feeders rather than active hunters. They are more likely to attack a bait that is a Success win considering Effort vs Energy. If they must expend a lot of effort to attack and consume the bait they are less likely to eat during these periods than if they just have to inhale the bait moving slowly through the water. However, I have noticed this doesn’t always mean throw a bigger bait, as noted above I have consistently caught more fish while throwing smaller baits post cold front than larger ones. Whether this is because they think they could have to work harder for the larger bait or it is more likely to evade them I am not sure.
Tip #3 – Structure is everything
Structure is the number one constant during post cold front conditions, or high pressure in general. The fish will hold as tight to the structure as they can, but some areas lack hard structure such as logs, man-made objects and brush piles. When your water body lacks structure these fish will almost certainly orient themselves on the bottom or very near the bottom on drop offs and sloping banks. These will mainly consist of the fish holding on channel ledges, bends in the creek or river beds, or sharp sloping banks on the shoreline.
Tip #4 – They will be back
After a cold front your blue bird skies and cold temperatures will last a few days and up to a week, but when the skies darken and the pressure noticeably starts moving back down the fish will start feeding actively again and that is the time to get back on the water. Some of the best pre-spawn days are going to be wet, cold and rainy. This is mainly because these fish were in full pre spawn feeding modes then shut down for the rise in pressure, and now are right back to where they left off, the biggest difference is they will be oriented deeper than they were previously, but they will be extremely active.
Thanks for reading this week’s short post on Spring time cold fronts , Tomorrow I will be posting live updates and photos from the Yak-a-Fish opening tournament in Chesapeake Va. If you would like to get look ins and updates don’t forget to like us on Facebook and Instagram.