Saturday, May 15, 2010

Goofy Weather, and What To Do About It

Well it's May already, but if you put a blind fold on me, spun me around and then took it off, I would have no idea what time of year it was. Is this spring? Is it winter? How about summer?
And if you think we're confused I can assure the fish are too.

It seems like every week we get good weather with any kind of regularity, Boom! we get a cold front. I mean it's just about the middle of May, and the bass spawn isn't even half over in most places, and Clear Lake hasn't even really started at all. In fact if this keeps up I think we will see a lot of females that look like they might explode if they don't drop those growing eggs soon.

The last time this happened was in 2006 and the result was several fish over 20lbs including a foul hooked toad caught at Dixon Lake weighing in at a jaw dropping 25.11lbs.

Right now, the Marin lakes have both pre-spawn, spawning, and spawned out fish so everyone can fish to their strengths and do equally well.

When weather is unsettled, and the fish are following such a wide variety of behaviors, the best strategy is to start your fishing session by searching out shallow water spawning areas and beds that hold fish. Then, try to get them to bite with baits like white jigs with no trailer, white tubes, white lizards, white beavers and white craws. These baits can be either texas rigged with oversized hooks, or fished on a Shakey Head.

If the beds are empty or the fish are not "locked" on their beds I try to tempt the big females with threatening baits that are a size too big for a small male to attack. Baits like Castaic Platinum Bluegill swim baits, giant sized tora tubes, big bulky jig 'n pig combos, and wake baits like the 6" floating BBZ1's from SPRO.

After targeting these shallowest waters. Begin to work your way out to deeper waters starting with the first drop off away from the spawning flats. These areas can hold both pre-spawn females that are staging to spawn and post spawn females trying to recuperate from the spawn before heading out to deep summer time feeding areas.

In these "transition" areas there are very few tactics that will come anywhere near the effectiveness of a 5" or 6" Yamamoto Senko Worm "dead-sticked" through these areas. If brush or grass lines exist in these transition areas then try a Zoom Super Fluke rigged weightless and twitched tight against the brush or grass.

As you continue to work your way out from shore, start looking for structure elements instead of cover -- pay extra attention to rocks, boulders, break lines and main lake points. Target these areas by fan casting with baits like deep diving crank baits, big c-rigged worms and lizards, football head jigs, and the always-effective drop shot.

These tactics should help you to stick fish no matter where they are in the spawn, and no matter what the weather. That said, this type of transitional pattern will also set you up for the beginning of the summer feeding patterns so you can hit the ground running when summer does arrive.

Good Luck!

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