“Who moved my cheese”. It was a pretty popular short book back about 20 years ago. It’s been described as a motivational business fable involving two mice and two little people and their ways of dealing with the change of periodically moving a pile of cheese in a maze. Just like in the book, this week I felt like my cheese had been moved but I kept going back to the old cheese location instead of looking for a new cheese pile. Highly recommended reading.
Transition is a hard time for me and it usually happens around the turnover. There comes a time when the cheese pile gets moved and I have to accept the fact that the cheese is gone and I need to move on. My topwater bite left town yesterday afternoon when that big striper tore off with my last Z Dog walking bait in the YouTube video below so late this week I needed to find a new confidence bait or confidence pattern. The popper isn’t the best choice for me right now and about all I can get with the popper is a couple swirls and a blowup or two. Just a week ago I was slaying the bass with the popper and I’m sure that bite will return as it always does in October but it’s about time for me to move on…..
When it comes to the turnover period on Lanier, remember two things to make it simple; 1st, turnover does not happen all at once on the lake, the back half of the creeks could be in turnover but the main lake hasn’t got to that change yet. Secondly, when the water turns over so do the fish. By this I mean that the fishes primary focus is no longer what’s above them for their food supply and they start looking below them. That’s why beating the bank with things like a crankbait, jig or shaky head become very popular after the turnover in late fall/early winter. Just keep that in mind and make the transition from one pattern to another early instead of late. Go find the fish or the new cheese pile and don’t be like me and return to the old area of cheese hoping more cheese will show up. Another thing to keep in mind this time of year is lake level. We just had a significant rise in the water level and if there is one thing I know about Lanier and these spotted bass, they move with water level changes. When the water rises some fish come to the shoreline in search of new foraging grounds that may be rich in crawfish and baitfish feeding in the shallows, so anytime the lake rises it’s a good time to check the shoreline and rocky areas for foraging bass or “Meat Eaters” as I like to call them. I copied an excerpt from the fable below and if you replace the word “cheese” with “pattern” it’s pretty sound advice when it comes to transitioning bass.
Change Happens: They Keep Moving The Cheese
Anticipate Change: Get Ready For The Cheese To Move
Monitor Change: Test The Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old
Adapt To Change Quickly: The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese Change
Move With The Cheese: Enjoy Change! Savor The Adventure And Enjoy The Taste Of New Cheese!
Not to change the subject but I certainly wish I had the ability to take more photos back when I was running the marshes in Louisiana, but 30 years ago taking a picture was a little different than today. A selfie would take a week and $20 to develop the film only to find out it was out of focus and not centered. I guess my point is that if I were able to take pictures back then there would have been hundreds of pictures of me catching speckled trout by the dozens right now in the marsh. This is the time of early fall when the trout migrate into the marshes and I loved to catch trout in October in the marsh. The possession limit was 25 and speckled trout are delicious as table fare. Here’s one picture from an October marsh trip with my friend Eric some 25 years ago.
Every time I went out on the lake this week my mind kept going back to the Louisiana marshes and catching trout with a sparkle beetle under a popping cork. If you have never experienced speckled trout fishing in the fall in Louisiana I highly recommend making a trip and loading a cooler with trout and redfish in late October.
The lake level is about 1.5 feet above full pool, water temps in the mid to upper 70’s and the corps is pulling water a few hours a day. I figure they may start a more frequent generation soon to draw the lake down. Hopefully my topwater bite will return soon but I may be looking for a new cheese pile next week.
Here’s a little video from the last few hours of my last Z Dog. Z Dog….you served me well my friend.