SEASONED COASTAL ANGLERS know from experience just how cold some of November’s nights and mornings can be. And, November anglers know that this means there may very well be some rather chilly boat rides across open water during pre-dawn or late afternoon hours.
At the end of such a day a lot of us look back and think it would’ve been a good idea to have dressed warmer, or to have an extra set of dry clothes to change into. You might discount the idea of carrying extra clothing for a number of reasons: it takes too long to get extra clothes together in the morning, extra clothes take up too much space in the boat, I’ll never need to use them, etc.
What if you slip on a wet boat deck and fall into the water? or trip on a submerged obstacle while wading and inadvertently fill your chest waders with 60-degree water? Incidents like that happen all the time, and it’s not fun when you’re forced to sacrifice comfort for the entire day.
It’s for instances such as this that you should make “adequate and proper clothing” a permanent line item on your daily checklist. Learn to plan ahead by reviewing weather forecasts for the upcoming day and then organize your clothing for the day’s trip accordingly.
If temperatures are going to dip overnight, but then rise again during daylight hours, you should wear a couple layers of lighter clothing beneath your jacket. This promotes proper protection from the elements while also allowing for complete comfort at various temperatures.
On cold, cloudy, windy days layer your clothing by starting with a heavier base layer. Having a lot of clothes on your body at one time often seems cumbersome and can frequently become restrictive to otherwise normal body movements.
However, the very first time you find yourself caught out in miserably cold weather without enough warm clothing will tell you that casting your favorite lure a distance of 20 feet less than normal is a small price to pay for an entire day of comfort.
Now, back to fishing. You can almost always find ample discussion about the feeding habits of speckled trout just prior to, and during, cold weather frontal passages. However, it seems like you hardly ever hear anything about the trout bite at the post-frontal passage stage.
This might be because the weather and water conditions after a cold front passes, projects negativity in the minds of most anglers.
Take this scenario for example: Water conditions and tides couldn’t have been better the past few days, and the fishing has been excellent. However, a cold front is scheduled to arrive tonight.
As you awaken the next morning, you glance outside and hope what you’re seeing is a bad dream. A cold, north wind is blowing, and the water level has dropped a foot. The color of the water has abruptly changed from trout-green conditions to a dismal dirty brown.
The very next question is, “What am I supposed to do now?” Heck, at this point, a lot of folks will simply go back to bed to wait for a better day, but that doesn’t have to be you!
This is the best time in the world for you to consult a good hot spot fishing map. The barometric pressure and water temps often change dramatically during the course of a frontal passage, and the trout tend to search for shelter, warmth, and refuge as a result.
Your top priority on a day like this should be to locate leeward shorelines with deeper water. Additionally, cuts and bayous leading into back lakes hold excellent water conditions after a front has passed. The cuts to look for are between five and seven feet deep and have a warm, soft, mud floor.
Passes running between reefs or islands have also produced great results in these conditions. If you’re throwing artificial baits, remember to work them deep and slow because of the recent temperature drop.
Above all else, don’t give up and wait for a “better” day to go fishing simply because the bay looks bad. Fishing among the challenges of post-frontal conditions will help develop your skills to become an all-around better angler.
Email Chris Martin at [email protected]
or visit bayflatslodge.com