You plan a fishing trip months in advance. You pay your deposit to the fishing guide and take a few days off of work. You start watching the forecast as the trip gets closer and closer. Stable temperatures, chance of rain in the next few days.
Five days before your trip, the forecast changes and calls for a drop in temperature as a cold front is coming through. You start to read online about strategies for dealing with post-cold front conditions and it doesn’t look good. You read about all the anglers singing the blues about getting skunked in a cold front shut down.
You tell yourself, it’ll be good just to get out there because a day of fishing is better than a day of work…
We all know this is true, but, a good day of catching still is better than a slow day of fishing
So now that the trip is here, the cold front has come through, how do you get bit?
Cold Front Smallies
Fall smallmouth bass seem to be less sensitive to the effects of a cold front than largemouth bass do. This is true in rivers and lakes. And as Stephen Headrick explains, the opposite effect is often seen. Smallmouth bass are sometimes triggered to put their feed bag on to get ready for winter.
His favorite baits this time of year are jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs.
I always have a jerkbait tied on this time of year and prefer the larger profile bait to start with such as the Realis 120SP, Rapala X Rap or Lucky Craft Pointer
It’s important to keep your jerkbait moving. Slow pulls and long pauses are usually not the ticket in October and early November. Short, sharp jerks followed by very short pauses are much better. These are feeding fish. There’s no reason to tease them. Force them to make a decision. Source
Do you think Dave Mercer agrees?
With regards to spinnerbaits, try fishing them first when the water is stained or a little high. Retrieve at moderate pace and every once in a while change the direction, speed or briefly stop your retrieve to trigger a strike.
If either of these options aren’t working for you, go for the tube or creature bait on a 1/8 to 1/4 ounce jig head.
Focus on areas where bass will be feeding and if you see balls of bait fish on your electronics, get your bait in the water.
If you have other suggestions for our readers, feel free to post them in the comments section below.