Fish more active before cold front

Published 12:01 am Sunday, November 2, 2014

November certainly announced its arrival with a blast of cold air.

We had a low of a chilly but dry 36 degrees yesterday morning. This is exactly what we needed to get this warm water to cool water transition for the game fish to cast off. The water temp will certainly drop a few more degrees.

Before this cold front, the lakes averaged about 75. We might see 69 degrees of water or less today, maybe. The bass and white perch will become more predictable as the water approaches the 65 degree range.

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The exception to this are the many cold fronts that will pass. I have said it a thousand times. The fish are more active and feeding just before and during the passage of a cold front than behind a cold front.

Everybody that fishes a lot knows this, or should by now. Just after a front, air pressure rises, and the fish become somewhat inactive. There is a way to catch fish during post frontal conditions, and catch them good on certain lakes. The first thing you have to do is get off the trolling motor. Slow down. You can’t run and gun during post frontal conditions and expect to catch a lot of fish. If you know where the fish are laid up, just sit tight.

When the water temperature is below 70 degrees, you can make inactive fish eat fake bait (aka lures). It is also a quiet game. The oldest rule in fishing, “Sit down and be quiet.” You don’t have to sit because many bass fishermen don’t, so stand and be quiet. You need to fish not totally vertical right now, but as near vertical as you can.

I say right now because I would not expect a lot to be going on deeper than 20 feet, yet. I fish the 10-14 feet range with a near vertical presentation while trying to stay off the trolling motor and do not drop anything in the boat or walk around. That will spook the fish big time.

If the water clarity is not that great you can get away with fishing closer to vertical in the mid depth range of 8- to 14-feet or so. As far as lures, use whatever bottom lure you have confidence in. Some are better than others. They don’t hang up as bad and have a better drop.

Jigs with a plastic trailer will rule, but you can’t rule out lures I don’t use like the many small plastics. I may be on Lake Bruin this morning fishing with a local club tournament. When the weather gets like this Lake Bruin just makes me want to fish.

The lake is deeper than any of the landlocked oxbows and offers many offshore line opportunities. Never rule out the cypress on Lake Bruin not matter what the weather is doing.

It is time consuming, but the winners of the tournaments on Bruin fish it all from 3 feet of water around a cypress to a brush pile in 26 feet of water and all in-between.


Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at