Friday, September 19, 2014

Seasons Are A Changing

I spent a few hours out on the water yesterday in a effort to do some testing of a new private label shad body I've been working on.
This test secession started out like many others I've done recently but it didn't take long for me to notice the signs of the changing seasons. These signs are sort of bitter sweet.....I am very excited about the fall fishing to come, fall can be the best time for both numbers and size of fish and is surely my favorite time .....but I also know that winter is not to far behind .....I'm not a winter person and the older I get the more I dislike the cold temps.

In some areas along the bank the trees are beginning to show signs of a color change. Some species of tree are starting to drop their leaves. In some of the eddies and slower current areas your starting to see the leaves accumulate on the water. 
The water temps have fallen 10-15 degrees below the summer peak.
With this drop in water temps it has triggered the fall migration of the shad in to the creeks.
Here's  a couple photos of some of the smaller shad schools 

While this shad migration is just beginning, it will build with each coming week until the creek is choked with them.  With the baitfish moving into the creeks, along will come predator fish such as this long nose gar and many other more desirable sport bass, striper, catfish, crappies and sauger just to name a few.

With these signs of the coming fall I had hopes that my new shad might interest some of the creeks resident musky population. But as usual, the muskies were just being muskies,  they disappointed me with their lack of interest but that didn't stop me from continuing my testing.
After a while I came upon a stretch of shoreline that seemed to have biggest concentration of shad of anywhere in the creek. As I continued along fishing my shad in, around, over and through the shad schools .... all of a sudden,  a long cast up the bank the shad exploded in a splash of water and jumping baitfish. The explosion was followed by several large swirls.....then it was over almost as quick as it started. I hurried and got the boat close enough to reach it and repeatedly fished my shad in and around the area where the disturbance had happened...... without success.
A few minutes later it happened again, this time  a little ways down from my position. From the size of the splashes and swirls and from the amount of water these fish were moving I could tell these were some decent sized fish.  Most times you can tell the fish species by the sounds they make when feeding on top.....judging from these sounds these fish were making, I guessed these were probably bass. After the third blowup I put down my musky rod opened the rod box and took out a few bass rods.
 First I tried a small white senko with no luck. This small senko is usually killer on breaking fish.
Then a topwater bait was worked in and around the area, no luck there either.
 Next was a jerkbait same result no action.
By this time there had been several blowups as the fish continued to feed up and back this short stretch of shoreline.
The next bait in the line up was a spinnerbait. I had picked it up made a couple casts with it when the water erupted about 50 feet from the boat. The swirls and splashing was still happening as the spinnerbait landed just past the commotion. Three cranks into the retrieve the rod loaded with weight of a decent fish. After several jumps and a few partially out of the water wallowing head shakes I lead her to the boat and lipped the fish.  I estimated this fish at four to four and a half pounds.
While not the target species I'll never turn down the opportunity to tangle with a bass of this size.

As you can see in the photos the fish was barely hooked and would never have been caught without the use of the trailer hook.
I've had several folks tell me they only add a trailer hook after they miss a fish or two on a spinnerbait.....
Me, I always use a trailer hooks on my bass and musky spinnerbaits.  The only time I don't use one is when the cover I'm fishing forces me to remove it to keep from constant snags.
With a little practice and the right size trailer hook you would be surprised on what you can fish this bait through even with those two hooks.

A great few hours on the water....the new shad body was tested and it swam as designed....caught a decent sized bass.....with the fall process officially started and great fishing to soon follow , I think today was a success.
I look forward to many more great adventures this fall season.

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