I have already mentioned 'weather windows' and this post is not specifically about watching weather patterns and then meeting with success (i'll do that later) but its more about a few ideas as to how. Weather windows exist throughout the season - even in mid winter .One thing is definite however and that is the amount of effort you will need to make at this time of year is considerably greater than the easy fishing of summer and early autumn when fish are more aggressive.
At the time of writing sea water surface temperatures are roughly between 9 and 11 degrees at the moment and this is just above the effective operating temperature for bass fishing. In other words fish should be somewhat active. Again i can only speak out of experiences here at Wexford for the following water temp ranges as described to me some time back by a fisheries biologist as best as i can remember, so generally speaking
At 5 degrees its the minimum acceptable temp for their existence or range
Below 8 degrees they seem to enter a state of suspension - slower metabolism (soft lures, suspended lures - maybe!)
Between 9-10 degrees late winter temps and depending on the day generally soft lures are best
Between 10-12 degrees you can catch them on diving lures and sinking fly lines possibility of surface too
Between 12-15 degrees you can catch them on surface lures and flies and most other lures
Above 16 degrees oxygen starts to becomes an issue and they are not present/ or feed in cooler waters
However winds have been predominantly Northerly and North easterly over the last few weeks and surface temperatures of the sea are a little down. I have a few notes from the archives that indicate my first surface bass fishing wouldnt generally begin with confidence in numbers until early May, and then its time to stop as the season is closed!
Traditional methods of fishing at this time of year involve casting and retrieving - casting and retrieving with lots of different types of lures - tobies, krills, rapalas etc. But what if we were to cast and not retrieve or at least retrieve much more slowly and EFFECTIVELY - it could take us three minutes or more to retrieve our lure. So what are we doing?
We are presenting the opportunity to the fish to strike the lure for much longer periods of time. Rather than casting and pulling lures at speed past slow and often sluggish fish we are giving them the opportunity to take at their operating factors and not ours.
In order to achieve this we can fish with suspending jerk baits. These lures do not float or sink but rather suspend at the depth to which we fish them. We make our cast, tighten into our main line and feel the lure engage - a few deliberately slow turns of the handle will get the lure to swim and dive - and then we stop and wait and.........wait, but maintaining contact with the lure - gently we fish it home. Adding a little speed will drive the lure deeper and as we make the stop again and again the 'active roll' of the lure when suspended is enough to entice a cooler water take.
Then of course there's always soft plastics...coming soon
Next month (May) - fishing ultralight