Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

November 15, 2013


Adjusting To Changing Fall Conditions

Jerry Miller
Jacksonville Daily Progress


Every fall is different. The weather patterns change and so do the bass. This year the weather remained warmer than usual and the bass were slow to respond. This kept them in a summer pattern longer.

This week the temperatures plummeted to the freezing mark. All this and other factors make the bass more unpredictable.

The last two weeks of bass fishing have been tough. The bass seemed to be more scattered and harder to pattern. I went fishing one day on Jacksonville and fished for four hours. Half of the fish I caught were deep (approximately 20 feet) and half of them shallow.

John Long and I fished Lake Nacogdoches last Monday and only caught 7 bass. It was tough fishing. Of course, it didn’t help that we were facing a clear sky with no wind. The bass got incredibly spooky. Whenever I would cast a weedless swim bait to a moss patch the bass would streak off before the lure hit the water. I think there were a lot of good bass near the surface, but they were uncatchable because of the calm surface.

Most of the bass we caught on Nacogdoches were in the hydrilla in about 8 to 10 feet of water. We caught our bass on watermelon lizards and French Fries. Long used a Texas rig and I stayed with the Carolina rig. I predict that after this recent cold front that a lot of bass will soon go into a winter pattern, which means they will go deep.

The bass we were finding were scattered. We would catch two bass out of an area and then have to relocate to get bit again.

Normally at this time of year you can find bass by spotting the cranes bunched up in pockets on the main lake. This year most of the bait fish remained deep and so did a lot of bass.

Frank Lusk and Mike Smith fished Lake Athens last Monday and had about the same luck that we had on Nacogdoches. Lusk said the bass fishing was very slow due to the slick water conditions and fall turnover. Lusk said he believes the lake is turning over because the water looked funky. The only clear water they saw was around the bridge in shallow water. Once they moved out to the deeper water the clarity changed to a dirty look.

Lusk said that the bait fish were really stacked up in the deeper water (18 to 25 feet) and were holding right on the bottom.

It may take a week or so for the water to clear up. Once the water stabilizes you should be able to catch bass around the island in deep water. The recent front will probably push the surface temperature way down from 63 degrees F. to about 55 degrees F. This may stun some of the bait fish, making jigging spoons your go-to bait.

Now through winter I will have a Nichols’ Hologram, Mojo spoon tied on. This bait really shines in cold water. Fall fishing has really been unusual this year. Most of the bass remained deep and didn’t move to the back of creeks in most of our lakes.

Winter fishing is not far off. Once surface temperatures drop below about 55 degrees F. bass should move deep and bunch up. This is one of the times when you can really catch a lot of bass in a small area.


Jerry Miller can be contacted at: gonefishing2@suddenlink.net