With Memorial Day approaching, we are all dreaming of that “picture” perfect day on the water. Blue skies, glass calm water, no wind and of course, stroking the fish. It’s funny how we all have this misconception of what the weather can really do when we get on the water. Since the forecast is calling for cooler temps across the northwest for the summer kickoff, I will take this opportunity to give a few tips on “cold fish.” With a falling barometric pressure “falling temps” the fish that were actively feeding the last few days are now thinking about safety and security. Most fish have a defense mechanism that is triggered by cooler temps or abrupt changes in the weather. Although tougher to catch, there is some sunshine to this cloudy article.
Usually during a cold front fish will become more concentrated and seek deeper water. This is where we have to change up the game to induce a bite from a fish that is thinking security over feeding. For example, picture a field full of kids playing soccer when all of a sudden it starts raining cats and dogs. The kids all run for the nearest shelter and huddle together…this doesn’t mean they won’t still kick the ball it just takes a little enticing…like hot chocolate maybe. What I’m trying to say, is with a little patience and determination you can still have a productive day on the water with “not so perfect” conditions.
Here are a few tips that have worked for us so you can be the hero at the boat ramp this weekend:
1.) SLOW, SLOW, SLOW!!! Cold fronts should be considered early spring (cold water) conditions and fished with a very slow, almost methodical presentation. Rather you’re jigging for walleyes or pitching crank baits for bass, try slowing your presentation way, way down.
2.) Scent is key!!! When fish are sluggish any extra scent additive is a huge plus in my tackle box. How many times have you not been hungry and then walked into a kitchen smelling of something delicious and your stomach starts to growl?
3.) Live bait, in my opinion, will ALWAYS out fish artificial baits during cold fronts.
4.) ATTRACTOR vs. IMITATOR jigs:
There are two different kinds of jigs in the world of jig fishing: Attractor and Imitator.
Attractor jigs are usually brighter in nature and made to call fish from extended distances like the good old “Fire Tiger” pattern. The Imitator jigs are usually made to closely represent and mimic a type of forage like the perch or crayfish patterns.
We have found that during a cold front we have much more success on the natural imitator jigs than the brighter attractor jigs. On a high pressure (good weather) day’s fish become very active and much more ready strikers towards “louder” presentations.
Here is the difference between an attractor and imitator jig:
Kit’s Tackle’s ATTRACTOR JIGS. Big River Series and Micro Glass Series in “Parrot” flavor.
Kit’s Tackle’s IMMATATOR JIGS. Big River Series and Micro Glass Series in the “Supercraw flavor”
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