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Weather fronts can impact fishing

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Local angler Charlie Morris (right) took young Hunter Howard (left) out fishing for perch.

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By Mike Sweeney
Columnist

Friday, August 11, 2017

The heat these past few weeks has been brutal with temps in the mid-90s and high humidity it has been hard to get out and enjoy a day on the water but this past week the wind has switched and some rain has moved our way and that means the fishing will be better.

Cold fronts and afternoon thunder storms can change the way fish move and feed this time of year for a few reasons including falling barometer, falling water temperatures and higher oxygen contents.

In the dog days of summer the water can become stagnant and the algae blooms will begin especially in the creeks. We have all seen it when the water becomes green on the surface and moves with the tide but what you may not know is that the algae is usually a sign that the oxygen levels are low in that particular body of water.

When you see these types of water conditions move down stream till you see it begin to clear then start to fish.

The fish will travel for miles if it means more comfortable water and the bait will also move with them so they need to avoid these water in order to survive.

What the rain will do is help replenish the levels of oxygen with fresh water so it is like coming in from the summer heat into your air conditioner in your house for bass and their forage.

The best times to fish an approaching front is just before it arrives and right after the storm has passed because when it is moving in the barometer is falling which takes the pressure off the swim bladder and basically makes the fish more comfortable.

The more active the fish the better the fishing is for you.

After the storm passes the water is cooler on the surface and is rich with oxygen so the fish tend to move shallow and feed. Top water baits like Pop-Rs, buzz baits and Whopper Ploppers are the go to baits in our rivers.

Look for bends in the rivers and creeks where the current moves close to the bank then look for structure like lay downs and stumps.

Anything that breaks the water movement will hold a bass and try to keep the boat moving into the current. Cast upstream and bring the lure down the bank with the water movement. The fish tend to use the break for ambush spots and if you find a good spot they will come back to that structure time after time.

What’s biting, where...

The offshore fleet was hard at work this week with lots of tuna action for our local captains.

We had limits of yellowfin on a couple of days along with some blackfin and the big eye tuna are still hanging around with one fish almost hitting the 200 mark. The wahoo are also in the mix and some of them are big ones also.

The billfish have shown up in time for the Pirates Cove tournament with good amounts of blues, whites and sails coming to the boats that have been looking for them.

On the beaches and piers it is still a little slow but the water temps are in the mid-70s which usually means good fishing this time of year.

I am sure that if you put in enough time you can find them because some blues and mullet are around. The flounder are here and there in the surf along with the occasional trout but in general it is slow.

Locally we have had better luck with some of the best largemouth fishing we have had in years.

The top water bite is on fire with massive strikes coming from underneath the lures.

Buzz baits, Pop-Rs and Wopper Ploppers are the baits of choice and don’t be afraid to fish them all day because the area has a large amount of dragon flies and a locust hatch going on which keeps the fish looking for surface lures longer than just in the morning.

The white perch are still on fire also with most fish hanging around the drop offs in 5 to 7 feet of water.

Uncle Jessie lures and white Beetle Spins tipped with shrimp have been the payoff lures for these fish.

Local angler Charlie Morris took young Hunter Howard out fishing for perch and Hunter scored big using the Uncle Jessie.

Once you find the fish there seems to be a lot of them so when you get a bite in an area slow down and fish it till you know you have caught them all then move to a similar target. Good work Hunter and keep those reports coming.

If you get out this week make sure you send me some pictures and a report like Hunter did to fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike.

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