Warm Winter Could Decrease Flounder, Hasten Bass Spawn

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A trophy is what the angler, or hunter, considers it to be.

While looking through some of my notes a few years back I came across a story I wrote in in 2014 called “Implications of a Cold Winter”.

That year it was brutally cold (for TX at least) and this year things are radically different. We had one strong cold spell and I suspect we will get more but I believe it was worth looking at the implications of a warm winter.

#Spawn Time: A couple of January’s back I fished with Bassmaster Elite Series pro Kieth Combs on Lake Conroe and he said if the warm trend continued some of those fish would move up to spawn. The water temperature on Conroe was already up to 64 in the afternoons there.

A trophy is what the angler, or hunter, considers it to be.

Many anglers do not realize the largest bass spawn first and during warm winters we get bass that spawn as early as late January.

February is typically our coldest month and let’s say we only get one cold snap and the rest of the month ranges from the upper 50s to the high 70s as it has recently. That could set up a scenario where many of the bass spawn earlier than normal.

That does not mean there will not be any spawn during the typical March-April period but that possibly some of the fish, maybe even a decent portion of them will be spawned out.

#Flounder Trouble: Some anglers noticed the impact of a lack of cold weather on flounder with a very short “flounder run”.

Warm conditions could also spell trouble down the road as flounder spawning in the Gulf tends to be less successful when water temperatures are high. In 2016 I wrote  we would see problems a few years down the road and we are. Higher temperatures equal low spawning success for flounder.

#Snake Encounters: Texas outdoors lovers have been surprised to encounter snakes over the last few weeks. Snakes are not true hibernators and here in Southeast Texas I have personally encountered cottonmouths when the temperatures were in the upper 30s.

If you find yourselves in the woods or swamps be careful where you step and put your hands. Snakes are typically calmer in cool weather due to their cold nature but they can still bite. They are not out to get you so if you use common sense in their habitat chances of a bite are extremely low.

Chester Moore, Jr.

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