How Water Temperature Really Affects Bass Fishing
We all know that water temperature affects fishing conditions, but why? We learned in the previous article that warm months create stagnate periods, slowing down the flow of the current. Fish are cold blooded, so like reptiles they struggle to regulate their body temperature. So, the water temperature affects them to a greater extent than the ambient temperatures of humans. Additionally, extreme water temperatures reduce the oxygen level in the water, which restricts their movement and more importantly to the fisherman, where they go. You can read more about where bass go when it gets cold in an article we published last week.
Here is a rule of thumb to follow when fishing: fishing will be more difficult when it’s too hot or too cold. In cold water, present your baits slower and more pragmatically; in warmer water, faster and more aggressively.
UV Rays affect bass movement
Ask any experienced fisherman, and they will tell you that fish prefer sunrise and sunsets to midday sun. Morning sun will warm the shallow waters making it more comfortable for bait and predator fish. This is especially true in the early spring. Because the darker mud bottoms absorb the sunlight quicker than sandy soil bottoms.
Warmer (55F-75F) water temperatures tend to allow for a more active baitfish. But, on hot humid days, these fish will move to cooler, deeper waters to stay contented. Hot conditions make best for shallow and top water lures only in the early morning. Alternatively, early evening (when cooler temperatures and lower light levels) allow for fish to coast the shallow waters for food.
So, in the midday, if your are fishing, because of the decreased surface oxygen and occasional increasing winds cause fish to move deeper, deep fishing baits, rigs are the most appropriate type of presentation.
Variable Weather Conditions
Wind can play a major role in your fishing success; but not just because it requires a more hand-eye coordinated angler. Wind pushes water and surface food to the far shores. Baitfish follows the wind and predator fish follow the baitfish. So, if you’re fishing from shore on a windy day, cast into the wind. This way your lure will move along with, not against the other baitfish. On the other hand, if you are fishing from a boat, cast with the wind on a shore shielded from elements.
Storms and changing weather patterns (fronts) affect fishing conditions tremendously. This is because fish are very tuned to the changes in barometric pressure. Many fish increase their feeding amounts during the hours immediately proceeding a cold front before a cold front and slows down subsequent a storm.
Fishing after a cold front is less likely to have success and will likely continue for up to 48 hours. Inversely, warm fronts cause surface water temperatures to increase shifting fish into an eating mode. Note that this can be particularly true in the winter.
Overcast days improve fishing conditions since the clouds prevent light penetration, reducing the fish’ vision of line or of the boat, or feet. Overcast skies are a good sign to fish, because they cause the fish to cruise for food more than they would during bright days when they tend to hide and stay close to structure. On overcast, cloudy days, fish are less likely to be at specific structure spots or areas and more likely to be scattered throughout a waterway
During light precipitation fishing can also be successful. Rain can help you hide from the fish since the rain breaks up the view a fish has through the water surface. This is true for shore, wade or boat fishing. Rain also washes insects and fishing bait into the water, creating an exotic buffet for predator fish.
I hope these tips help everyone to better understand how the conditions around you affect your probability of catching fish. And I hope that everyone learns that using science and angling combined will give the competitive fisherman a strong edge on your colleagues. Good luck ya’ll!
Fig 1 Image Courtesy of Royal Society of Chemistry