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Bass Fishing Strategies in Late Fall Rains and Cold Fronts

on January 30, 2024

While many outdoor enthusiasts are occupied with deer stands and duck blinds during late fall, I find myself still out on the lake, embracing the challenges presented by the weather changes such as cold fronts and rainy days. Adapting my fishing patterns and allowing the bass to guide my approach becomes essential during this unpredictable season.

Late fall can be a tricky period for fishermen, especially with the influence of weather conditions. Typically, I focus on transition areas like secondary points and main lake points leading out of feeding zones. However, recent rains have muddied the water, affecting bass visibility. The fish that were actively feeding in these transition spots have become less active due to the change in water clarity, challenging anglers to adjust their strategies.

In these murky conditions, the "Dark Room" analogy becomes pertinent. Much like navigating in the dark, bass in dirty water seek refuge near structures that provide a sense of safety. Shallow waters with vegetation and gradual steps with deeper water behind them become prime locations. While I would usually fish in 8-10 ft. of water, the bass have shifted to around 3-6 ft. To adapt, I've opted for larger lures in dark colors (solid black, black and blue, junebug) and bright colors (chartreuse, pink), reserving natural colors like green pumpkin and watermelon for clearer waters.

Among the lures I've found success with are the Smithwick Suspending Rogue jerkbait in a firetiger color, a pink/bubblegum senko, and a chartreuse Banjo Minnow in a larger size. With colder temperatures, lures with tighter action and fewer appendages prove effective. Mimicking baitfish with a slow retrieve becomes crucial, and the bold colors and larger profiles help bass spot the lures in the cold water.

As temperatures drop, bass tend to conserve energy, making them more inclined to go for larger meals. Using a jerkbait that suspends in the water column keeps it in the strike zone longer, increasing the chances of attracting bass. The Banjo Minnow, with its life-like action during a slow "twitch, twitch, pause" retrieve, has also proven successful, with a majority of bites occurring during the pause.

Embracing the challenges of colder weather, I plan to slow down my approach on the water this winter, targeting big fish with techniques like the Carolina Rig (C-Rig) and a heavy football jig. These techniques have shown promise in the deeper parts of the lake during the winter and early spring. With patience and strategic angling, I hope to share tales of landing my new personal best in the near future. Stay tuned for more exciting fishing adventures!

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