With the recent cooler weather, along with a decent shot of rain this weekend, look for river bassin' to start picking up around the state. Below is a really nice smallmouth caught by Bart Cantrell recently from the central Indiana area.
Now that the reservoirs around the state are finally getting back toward normal levels, the Army Corps of Engineers have started updating their lake water profiles, and it appears they are trying out a new format. This new format gives you a large graph showing data readings for both water temperature and oxygen profiles. The water temperature is nice to see to be able to follow the presence of a thermocline, but arguably even more important are the oxygen profiles. While the two tend to correlate fairly well, the oxygen profile is usually going to be the limiting factor, for without oxygen you can't have fish life. The critical threshold you want to be looking for is the 2 mg/l (ppm) level. Not much can survive below that level for very long, and most species prefer to have at least a slightly higher level.
Using that information when looking at the updated Lake Monroe profiles, you'll see that critical oxygen value right around the 12'-13' level. In the simplest terms, there is no need to fish any deeper than that depth since no oxygen = no fish. The one thing to keep in mind is that these profiles are taken in a single location on a single date, and water chemistry can change on a daily basis due to a variety of factors including air temperature, wind, rainfall, and a host of other factors. That said, it's one of the quickest ways to help eliminate some water when searching for bass or other gamefish.
This weekend there is a benefit tournament at Sullivan Lake for Bass Unlimited. This is a great organization that is fighting to give us a greater voice in all things Bass Fishing. If you are interested in fishing it please view the attached flier for the details.
Please share with anyone who may be interested.
If you have any questions, Please contact Jim Vanzo at (812) 208-9684
During the fall, bass like to move around from one hump to the other during the day. Find the right hump, and you could have some fantastic bass fishing.
The best humps are in river-run reservoirs where some current is present. Usually, they will be on top of the hump and extremely aggressive during power generation.
When flow subsides, they drop back to the deeper sides and ends and are less likely to hit a bait. These humps are also great places for night fishing.
Flats are another hotspot to fish during the fall. Try the biggest main lake flats and fish the deepest edge right where it drops off into open water. Fall bass will gather on this edge and move up onto the flat to feed but drop back and suspend when a front passes. The absolute best fishing occurs when schools of baitfish gather on these flats.
Fall Crappie Fishing Strategies
You may be thinking about the upcoming hunting season, but don’t forget that fall is also an excellent time for crappie fishing.
As the water cools, crappie will begin to move from their deep water summer hangouts to relatively shallow water at about 6 to 12 feet, and they can be pretty aggressive.
The best time to fish is prior to a major cold front, and you should find them in shallow water, filling up their stomachs for the upcoming winter.
As the front passes, expect them to move back off the bank, possibly back to their deep water dropoffs.
I like to use jigs in the fall, but if you're finding it hard to get them to bite, try minnows. When crappie get tight lipped, you put a minnow in front of their face, and they have a hard time resisting it.
Hunting camp will be even better when you serve up a bunch of golden fried crappie.
Got my hands on the specs for some of the newly introduced or updated product lines of Shimano rods and reels that were debuted at ICAST last month. Most of those pertaining to freshwater bass fishing are highlighted below.
Got a semi-break in the weather Sunday afternoon and decided to hit the lake for a couple hours. I haven't been focusing much on bass lately, but thought with the cloud cover, light breeze and scattered drizzle, it would be a great opportunity to have some fun. Any time I'm catching fish is fun, but to me, putting the trolling motor down and covering tons of water while chunking a buzzbait is right at the top of the list. So that's what I did.
First, the tackle. A 7'4" MH Denali Mark Tyler Multipurpose rod, a great buzzbait and Chatterbait stick which also doubles as a good mid-depth cranking rod, paired with a high-speed Shimano baitcast reel and 16# Toray fluorocarbon line. Lots of people say don't throw topwaters with fluorocarbon line, but I don't see any problem using it with buzzbaits where the line is out of the water much of the time and the bait is in constant motion. The extra abrasion resistance you get with fluoro is a benefit, and I'm not so sure you don't get better hooksets than with mono - at least that's my working hypothesis right now.
The bait was an Accent Fishing "Game Changer" buzzbait in black - small blade. I added a large 4" Ouzu Goby trailer. A couple thoughts here. First, the metal line clip on the Game Changer does a great job of holding soft plastic trailers. Nothing worse than having your trailers constantly slipping down the hook shank on every cast, throwing off the balance of the bait. Some type of good keeper whichever brand you throw, is very important in my eyes from an efficiency standpoint. Having a great squeal right out of the package like this bait does is also a nice bonus. No more time spent tuning buzzers to get the setup dialed in - just like the custom bait I also throw.
Next, trailer or no trailer? I almost always opt for a trailer, and often a large one, especially with dark-colored buzzers. There are several reasons for this. One is added weight for better casting, especially roll casting into tight spots. Another is better profile. An overlooked benefit is added mass. This helps in two areas. It slows the bait down while keeping it from sinking too fast, both positives in my book when chunking buzzers. It also serves to get you better hookups. This is due to the fact that at least part of the time, bass are still using suction feeding to try and eat your buzzbait. With the added mass at the back end where the hook is, the bait is much more likely to end up in the basses mouth when compared to just a skirted bait. When throwing lighter shad colored buzzbaits, I'll often go with a smaller spinnerbait-type trailer due to better profile matching, but it still serves the same purposes.
So the final tally was about 20 bass in just a few hours including a limit of nice chunks over 15". I got a little wet in the effort, but I'll dry out as will the boat - and I had a blast watching a bunch of bass blow up on my buzzbaits - so it's all good.