Fall has been anything but normal here

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 19, 2010

Normally we would be enjoying some good late fall fishing and short sleeve shirt weather.

This fall has been anything but normal. One day it’s 72 degrees and the next it’s 40. We’ve had wind so high it would blow you off the water. Water temperatures are about 5 to 8 degrees below normal for the season.

The average surface temperature is about 53 right now. The fish went from a short fall pattern to winter in two weeks.

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In other words, the fishing has been tough on our area lakes. It will get better once the fish (and fishermen) adjust to the lower water temps.

Lake Bruin continues to produce some nice bass. It never gets too cold or too windy to catch fish on this sand bottom landlocked lake. Lake Bruin has good population of 2 to 3 pound bass with an occasional 4 to 5 pound fish.

You can catch the bass on Bruin shallow and deep and all in between. The early bite is better around the deep brush piles. Try heavy jigs and small soft plastics fished behind a heavy slip sinker.

The wind and the depth your fishing should determine the weight you use. If you’re not feeling bottom or the structure this time of year you may not get a bite.

By mid day, if the sun is out, the bass on Lake Bruin move shallow, sometimes. Just target the pier walk ways and inside edge of the boat docks as well as cypress trees and you catch fish on Bruin.

Lake Concordia is a good cold water lake too. You won’t catch the numbers of bass like you do on Bruin but you stand a better shot at a big fish. The same patterns work on Concordia as the patterns for Lake Bruin.

Concordia does not have the depth like Bruin. It’s a rare to catch bass on Concordia holding deeper than 12 feet. There is one pattern I use each winter that’s very time consuming but will produce some bass from depths of 18 to 25 feet on Concordia.

It happens to be my favorite way to catch cold water bass. Try a 1/2 ounce jigging spoon like a Luhr Jenson crippled herring in chrome or chrome/blue or chrome/green. This pattern requires the use of sonar. Try fishing the edges of the big blue hole on Concordia.

There are several very sharp drop-offs a bit off-shore that hold bass all winter. Fish the spoon as near vertical as possible and keep it on bottom. I use my trolling motor to move the lure so one cast could stay down for 10 minutes or longer.

Many people work a spoon too hard to in cold water. The spoon works best on a short hop, maybe a foot off the bottom and follow the lure back down on a semi tight line. I catch many fish when the spoon is laying dead on the bottom.

You can catch several species of fish on the spoon during the winter around the blue hole. My largest fish caught on a spoon is a 36 pound flathead catfish.

I’ve boated many hybrid striped bass in the 8 to 10 pound range and some huge freshwater drum. Spoon fishing is fun but it does take time and patience to be productive with the lure.