This week was pretty typical for an early winter warming trend, and I played it perfectly. The west wind we saw all week followed by very warm temps brought some good fish to the bank. This time of year, a small population of bass will migrate to the shore for one of two reasons: first being rises in the water level will put fish on the bank in search of a meal in new submerged shoreline and the second reason they come to the bank is for the warmth of the sun.
When the water cools these fish have a metabolism that slows as their body temperature drops. The fish is much more lethargic and not very aggressive when it comes to eating and they tend to take on a paler coloration in the deeper water. These fish tend to stay in the comfort of the deep ditch and gorge on the massive schools of bait that seek the same comfort of the depth of the ditch. They spend all day chowing down on the schools bluebacks with a high fat and adequate protein diet with little exercise because of that slower metabolism, these bass are my “Keto Bass” of Lake Lanier.
This week I found a massive school of bass in the creek, just chilling on a 40-50 creek channel bottom. These fish were in 5-10 fish wolfpacks and were just lying on the bottom for the most part. When clouds of bluebacks would drift by the fish would feed on the school and then go right back down to the bottom. Some of the wolfpacks were moving around looking for bait and some were just lying on the bottom in wait. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I had my way with these fish and boated a bunch of the deeper bass. Most of the bass were in the 1-3lb range and pulling them out of the depths with my little chrome or white spoon did the trick either casting or dropping the spoon vertically. Each day I was fishing the area I could tell the population of both bass and bait was dwindling and each day the temps were getting warmer. I figured that the bait and the fish were migrating as the temps got warmer. When Thursday morning came, and I went to my little deep water honey hole only to find the hole had been compromised by a boat that had passed through and seen me the day before. It was bound to happen eventually, but it was fun while it lasted. I did make a little video of some of the spooning technique I was using for the Keto Bass.
The cool part about the compromised location is that it got me to thinking about an alternate plan and it didn’t take me long to figure out that the west wind that was kicking up, outside air temps approaching 70 degrees with abundant sunshine meant the meat-eaters would be out on the rocks. The meat-eaters are the fish that seek the warmth of the sun to boost their metabolism into predator bass in search of the steak and lobster diet up on the rocks. These bass are revved up and looking to eat the crawfish that are out in the sun and going through their spawning rituals. They are also looking for bream and gizzard shad to add to their foraging diet. These fish are much stronger than the lethargic keto bass and these bass tend to take on darker, richer colorations in the warmer water. I chose to spend the rest of my Thursday pursuing the Meat-eater bass up on the sunny wind-blown rocky areas.
There are 2 baits I use on the windy rocky banks and that’s a crankbait or a worm. There are an assortment of crankbaits that will work as these meat-eater bass are up on the rocks for one reason and that is to eat just about anything that moves. Crankbaits rattle and the crawfish clicks and rattles when they spawn so the crankbait on the rocks is a no brainer, especially when the wind blows.
When it comes to worms, I prefer the shaky head worms, but I’ve also had tremendous luck using Texas rigged worms also. On Thursday I chose the shaky head as I’ve got more confidence in the bait plus I just love to feel the bite when it comes to the shaky head. In just about every instance, I can expect to catch larger fish when targeting the areas where the meat-eaters show up.
About lunchtime on Thursday the wind was blowing at a pretty good clip so I started pounding the wind-blown rocks with the worm using spot-lock and my fan casting method. On my second cast up into less that 3 feet of water this bass pictured below just smoked my worm and the fight was on. I knew that it was going to be a good afternoon for the worm when I got this fish to the boat. A true meat-eater.
After This fish it was just a matter of bouncing from rocky area to rocky area and I even found a bonus of larger fish hanging around the docks so I was able to whack a few more very nice fish with the shaky head on deeper docks as well as sunny shallow docks. I ended my week Thursday and it was definitely a fun week of Keto and Meat-eaters. Water temps are in the mid to upper 50’s right now and the lake is down about a foot and a half. The corps is generating off and on and the lake level is slowly falling. Here are a few of my memorable fish from the week.