Cold air invades
Huge blast of cold air has invaded the whole country including the Alabama Gulf coast. This Mobile Bay fishing report is a projection of what to expect behind the rainmaker. Monday 12/4 our weather was stable and water temps as warm as 73 degrees. Today I am not fishing because I am watching it rain and the air temperatures are 38 and dropping. Current water temperature is 56 according to mymobilebay.com. Most of the country is under a blanket of snow and some of which may fall near Mobile Bay.
Stable weather approaching
Yes, its bitterly cold and raining today. However, tomorrow the weather is forecast to be sunny with a morning low of 29 and a daytime high 49. We will be fishing tomorrow. Ice will likely form on the boat deck, reels, and rod guides but that will not stop me from fishing tomorrow. I expect to see water temperatures somewhere between 48-52 when we launch in the morning. This drop will be felt the most on the surface but may not reach depths greater than 10′.
Where to begin
Well, we have been in a rather consistent “fall fishing pattern”. Typical fall fishing conditions are 56-72 degree water temps. These temps need to be consistent to be considered fall pattern. The other thing that is important is that each day is getting shorter. So that’s where we were at the beginning of this week and now we are being forced into “winter pattern”. We left fish biting in all the areas that they should be for this time of year. Dog River, Fowl River, Tensaw River, Bon Secour River, you get the point. If its a river attached to Mobile Bay we should have been able to trick a few fish into biting last week. That is it. You begin where you left off. Go back to the exact locations you caught fish or had a report of fish caught last week. However, if those fish were caught in 10′ of water then fish the closest 10’+ water.
Three Missions in life
Fish are equipped with fins, tails, and scales. They lack the opposable thumb to work a smart phone to check the weather app. Lets not give them more credit than they deserve. They have three missions in life. #1 is to eat, #2 is don’t be eaten, and #3 is procreate. Well, we are very fortunate that this time of year they are not evening thinking about #3. This plays in our favor. When the baby batter is on the brain they need high salinity for optimal results. This means stay in the rivers this time of year. The water was stable from 50′ deep to the surface for the last several weeks which allowed fish to spread out and feed where they wanted and when they wanted. Remember #2 “don’t be eaten”? This plays in our favor as well. As the water cools fish will begin to school even tighter because they have a slower response time to predators. Finally, #1 “fish have to eat”.
Fish have to eat. We decided that this time of year its truly about eating and not being eaten. Thus, fish will be in tighter schools in the more stable water. They have to eat to survive but can go several days without eating when the water is cool or cold. If you find a fish to bite then assume that there are 300 more in the same spot but only 10 more are hungry and want to bite right then. Your job is to present your bait in a way that it stands out to get those few fish that are hungry.
Stay or leave
Well, you went back to where you found fish before the cold and no luck at all. First, before you leave did you slow you baits way down? Be sure to slow down and even downsize your baits to make dang sure the fish you are targeting are not feeding or have moved on. If current is present then its best to present your bait with then current. Make sure you covered the area you caught them on the last trip and the deeper waters near by. If you feel like you did a good job at covering your bases then move up or down stream toward the deeper water and try the same method again. Once you find a bite then stay on it the best you can. Weed through the fish because some might be big and then some might be really small. I will be fishing a tournament tomorrow so I will be looking for the biggest fish to put in my livewell. Good luck tomorrow and let me know how you did.
Captain Patric Garmeson