As the water temperatures continue to drop with each passing cold front, I try to stay on top of fish and bait movement and location so that when I have clients on board I am both confident in getting them to the fish, and don’t waste their time searching for fish.
My largest white bass on Stillhouse today measured 13.25 inches and the largest of 3 largemouth I boated went 16 1/8 inches.
Instead, I take regular “scouting” trips, typically short in duration, to check areas I suspect should hold fish. I sweep these areas with sonar, catch a few fish to confirm their presence, size, and activity level and then quickly move on to the next area, in essence creating a “milk run” of areas to hit.
Today was such a day…
I started off in shallow water along the topo line running from Area 720 to Area 984 to Area 985. I picked up 11 white bass here. All were very pale and very sluggish, and each struck a slab held nearly still and very close to the bottom. I was almost as if these fish cooled down too fast and were suffering the consequences.
After that I headed to Area 984 and slabbed for 3 much perkier white bass and a solo largemouth.
Next, I made a short stop at Area 987/8/9 (BA: 14T) and picked up 9 white bass after idling around for a good bit trying to figure out where the fish were hiding. These fish like a jigging approach with an extra pause thrown in.
Finally, I fished in the vicinity of Area 990/991 and found fish both suspended in the lower 1/3 of the water column, as well as on the bottom. These fish acted strangely, as they would respond occasionally to a horizontal retrieve, but not to a smoking tactic. So, in order to keep the fish coming over the side I either jigged or cast and allowed the lure to sink on an appropriate countdown to the depth the fish were suspended at. I boated 29 more fish here including 2 additional largemouth bass.
TALLY = 63 FISH, all caught and released.
Start Time: 7:30a
End Time: 12:30p
Air Temp: 41F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: ~54.6F
Wind: Winds were SSE7 the entire trip.
Skies: Skies were greyed over the entire trip.