Water Temperature Matters...
Bass are a creature of their habitat and are much more comfortable in water temperatures that are between 60 degrees and 75 degrees. In water colder the 60 degrees they become sluggish and mostly inactive. They will feed but not nearly as much as they do in the optimum temperature ranges. In water higher then 75 degrees the oxygen in the water dissolves, they become stressed and do not feed as much again. Water temperature will affect the bass much more then any other factor. The water depth plays a key role in this temperature change problem. Shallow water is much more apt to change temperature then deeper water. This is the main reason bass school up in deeper water during the warm weather months.
Once the water temperature reaches 75 degrees or higher in the shallows, most bass will move off shore to deeper water. It is for this reason that in the warmer weather months if you find a fish in deeper water, chances are there are more there. In my experience, once a deep water fish is caught I slow down and fish the area very thoroughly. This is how you locate schools of fish. It is also important to realize that most of the time bass school up in size groups. It may seem strange but if you catch a 3 pound fish there are going to be more like that in the area. In the same sense, if you catch a 1 pound fish there will be more like that down there. There is nothing like locating that school of pigs because during this time frame those fish will hold an area for days and sometimes weeks.
Bass like to relate to some type of cover. That cover may be the bottom, a weed line, a brush pile or a rock pile. Pay close attention to where you casted when you catch that first nice fish. More time then not, there is something down there that has attracted that fish to that spot. In tournament fishing you often times hear the term “spot on the spot”, this just refers to where the fish are hanging on any particular piece of structure. There may be one big boulder down there or something of that nature that has gotten that fish to that spot. I have seen times where there is one of these spot on the spot type situation where if you do not hit a very small target you do not get bitten. It pays to keep an eye on what you are doing in the deep water. I know it is easy to just cast all over the area but it may be a very small spot that produces your fish.
Bass use these deep water areas for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they are seeking food. The bass will lie in wait for prey. The bass is a predator and they like their food live. Many people believe that baitfish are the primary food source of the bass but it is actually the crayfish that they really desire. Find the crawfish and you will find the bass. Secondly, bass use these areas for protection. There are many other fish that would love a nice meal of bass. So when they are looking for prey, they are also hiding from becoming the prey for another bigger fish.
Pay attention to the water temperature and use this to your advantage to locate schools of fish. Once the school is located, stick with it and you may just find one of these gold mine “spots on the spot”.
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