Bass fishers believe that a cold front affects bass fishing and has been used as an excuse for poor catches. This justification has been used by amateurs and recreational fishermen, and those with a lot of expertise and experience.
Many anglers believe that several ways cold fronts affect bass fishing, and professionals insist that low temperature is one of them. According to these pros, a cold front may cause bites to drop off up to 80 percent of the time after it passed. This can last for a day or two or even longer.
However, that is not the only effect a cold front can have on bass fishing; let’s take a look at the ways it may affect it.
Water Temperature Drop
Even if you are fishing in a warm region with temperatures in the 90s, if a cold front passes over, it will have an effect. The fish in the water is used to the high temperatures, and a drop of a few degrees will cause them to react.
This reaction will happen anywhere you are – a change in the water temperature will have an effect on fish. After a cold front, the temperature will usually drop around 10 degrees, causing the bass to move to cover with shade.
Typically when a cold front moves in, it drives the hot temperature in front of it away from your location. This drop in temperature does not immediately affect the bass but only comes the day after the cold front passed.
That is because the water temperature has had some time to drop, causing the bass to become sluggish. As a result, their activity will be lower, and their willingness to chase after the bait will be suppressed. When this happens, the bites will drop off drastically.
The Bass Will Hide
A drop in the water temperature will cause the bass to go lower to the bottom and be tight in the shade. That means that they will start to move towards the cover provided by bushes and trees or any other type of cover.
The bass that generally feed in the shallow water will start to move to the deeper water, where the temperatures are a bit warmer. In essence, you need to start going deeper when the water is cooling down or going to the woods.
When bass start getting cold in the water, they will move closer to the heaviest vegetation they can find and sit tight there. In man-made structures such as reservoirs, they tend to move closer to vertical structures such as bluff walls that provide them with shade.
Another reason why the bass will move closer to structures when the water temperature drops are because of heat coming from it. It is common knowledge that rocks and other structures will hold their heat for a while, and so do the fish.
The Fish Will Slow Down
This point may seem like a repetition of what has been said before. However, the emphasis here is that the fish truly slow down. What this means is if the fish slow down, so must you. You will have to become more patient and persistent.
You can start by moving to the vegetation where they are hiding in the shade and keep on baiting them until you find their hiding place. On reservoirs, it will be easy to pinpoint with mostly the bluff walls that provide shade. You need to find where they are tightening.
By slowing down your fishing method, you can generally find active bass while slower in colder water. The reason why bite drops off is that the fishermen do not adapt to the conditions presented to them.
You will have to relocate to steeper banks close to spawning flats where the fish usually moved to. The colder the water becomes, the deeper the fish will move to the warmer water or closer to structures.
Bass Fishing Is Put in a Standstill
When the cold fronts move in during the spawn, it will shut down bass fishing basically to a standstill with little to no bites. We mentioned that there are different effects on bass fishing in the different seasons, especially during the spawn.
The female will stay close to the spawn flats at this stage, so the colder temperature will cause them to be tight in shades. This will happen in the deeper areas close to the spawn or shallow grassy lakes; they will move closer to the thickest covers.
As a result, the only way you can get bites in these conditions is to use heavy bait in the thick cover areas. This method will work because the thick grass covers hold the heat longer, and the bass will try to concentrate in the regions.
Again, this will also mean that you need to slow down your retrieve and presentations with the heavy bait.
Seasons Change So Learn To Adapt
After a cold front, just after the summer heat wanes, the fish will start to feed more during the fall. In the spring, a cold front usually causes the bass to move off to the beds and move closer to the surface to feed.
So it is not always the same. When you are out fishing and find that no fish are biting, it could be that any of the reasons above are behind it. Once you know why you are having difficulty catching bass, you will be better prepared to do something about it.
But it does ask the fishermen to adapt to the changing conditions and find the best methods. After some time, you will find the right patterns and get used to them to make these cold fronts your ally for better fishing.
How To Fish for Bass After a Cold Front
Now that we have seen how a cold front can affect bass fishing, we can look at how to adapt your fishing methods. We know that you need to start moving away from the usual shallow fishing areas and slow down your presentation.
You do not need to do that immediately after the cold front passes over because the water temperatures are the same. Do not slow down your retrieve yet until the bass shows you that you need to change your tactics and move to deeper waters.
Closer to Structures
When the water gets colder, the fish will start going closer to structures in or on top of the water. But it may also cause the fish to move to deeper water to find some warm areas to stay in.
It is best to try a bit longer after a session of good catching in the shallows right after the cold front. If you find the bites are slowing down, you know the fish moved off to shades or deeper water, and you need to adapt.
The following Youtube video will help get your cold front bass fishing into shape and improve it:
As you can see, cold fronts may heavily affect bass fishing, but you need to find a way to adapt. Adapting can be easily done, so it means you do not need to go through a dry spell after the cold front passes.
That is why the enthusiastic fisherman needs to find out where the bass moved off to when the water temperature dropped too much. Also, see here how different species of bass will react to the after-effects of the cold front.