Bringing the science of weather to the sport of fishing. I'll discuss how weather affects what the fish are doing and how to catch them!
By: Jim Root , 1:41 AM GMT on June 30, 2014
We normally think of summer as hot, humid, and the cold fronts can be a thing of relief that we welcome. For bass anglers, these drops in temperature can be really demoralizing. When temps that have been hovering in the 90s suddenly drop over night to the 80s and below, this can have a dramatic impact on the bass in your home lake. This can be a really frustrating time, because it normally has meant a really intense feeding period leading up to this change. Marcos from Wisconsin asked "What do you do when a cold front rolls in the morning of a tournament after it's been hot all week?" Well, Marcos, that's a really great question. If I'm targeting smallmouth I'll drag a carolina rig in deep water with an 8 inch Zoom Lizard. If I'm targeting largemouth I like to use a Prowler jig and slow-roll it just outside weed lines in 3-5 feet of water. The fish really haven't moved, so there's no reason to leave the areas you found in practice if you're targeting largemouth. The smallmouth moving can't for sure be a result of this front, as they're elusive by nature and will vanish at any given point.
Thanks for your question, Marcos. I was also fortunate enough to have some input from the 2013 Bassmaster Classic Champ, THE Jersey Boy, and one of the most deadly college anglers on the planet. Here are their points of view.
The beginning of a front can create a very intense feeding period that allows you to be very successful with fast moving reaction baits like crankbaits. Once the front has started to drop the air temperature the bite normally slows, forcing you to do the same. Under these conditions I like to fish lures that offer a slow presentation such as jigs and worms. Fishing these slowly on the bottom in high percentage areas will normally allow you to continue getting good bites!
This can be a great opportunity to catch giant bass! Unlike cold fronts during the winter months, when the water is warm "above 70" bass feed on barometric pressure drops!
During these fronts, I will put the wimpy sticks away, and pull out my Heavy Halo Rods, heavy line, and fast gear ratio reels! It's POWER FISHING TIME. My number one bait during the beginning of the front, and clear through the skies clear out is a 1/2 Zorro Head Knocker Buzzbait with a Reaction Innovations Little Dipper as a trailer. Putting that trailer on your buzzbait not only gives the bait more action, but allows you to skip that buzzbait underneath docks, and over hangs. Another go to bait is a 3/8oz Zorro Long Arm Aggravator Spinnerbait again with a Reaction Innovations Little Dipper as a trailer. These two baits have been a staple in our sport for many years, and when the pressure drops, and the sky starts falling out, burn the bank with these two to catch numbers, and GIANTS!
When a cold front hits and the temperature drops like 10-20 degrees I like to finesse fish. I will throw a drop shot, or a shaky head, and use smaller profile baits. I like to throw these baits around cover or ledges, or skip my shaky head under docks. This can be a deadly tactic until the front passes!
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