UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Pickwick Lake

Medicine for a cold front

Medicine for a cold front
FLW Tour pro Tom Redington lands his quarry.

It's hard not to feel snakebitten as a bass fisherman in the spring. Whether you're at a tournament, a film shoot, or just a weekend fun trip, it sure seems like a cold front always shows up when you do. We fishermen always curse our luck, yet I'm not sure why, since cold fronts regularly roll through in the spring every three to five days. Cold fronts are the norm, not the exception. So instead of griping about it, top anglers adapt and still catch them well. Having to stay on bass with new customers every day while guiding on Lake Fork for the past decade, I've found a basic gameplan that might help you get pointed in the right direction on your lake too.

For starters, don't get ahead of the fish. While the air temperature drops quickly after a cold front, the water temp often takes 12 to 48 hours to cool dramatically. If conditions remain cloudy, rainy, or windy, bass often remain in pre-frontal patterns, biting aggressively until the skies clear and the water cools significantly.

Once the front settles in and the barometric pressure starts building is when conditions typically change. Sunny "bluebird" skies and diminishing north or east winds are classic symptoms the day or two after the front, ushering in water temps that are now significantly cooler than before. During warming trends, bass often move up onto shallow flats and roam widely. After the front, bass typically move slightly deeper and tighter to cover than before the weather change. They typically can be found along channel bends in the creeks running through spawning flats or on points at the mouth of a flat. Most bass won't travel very far, moving to the closest available option. Other fish won't move at all, instead burying themselves up in the thickest cover available, be it docks, wood, or weeds. The good news is that once you relocate the fish, they're usually in large groups - and productive spots produce multiple fish. Typically, the longer and more severe the cold front, the farther towards the mouth of the coves and the main lake the bass will move.

FLW Tour pro Tom Redington proudly displays his catch.Post-frontal fishing success depends less upon lure selection than location, so thoroughly seine key spots with a few tried and true choices. My first option is a 3/8- to 1/2-ounce flipping jig trimmed with a trailer in the traditional black-and-blue color scheme. No other lure is better at going into heavy cover and extracting big bass in the springtime than a Lake Fork Trophy Lures jig with a Fork Craw trailer - coupled with my go-to choice of 65-pound braided line. Big stumps along a creek channel bend or the deep edge of submerged hydrilla on points are prime territory for this lure. Pitch your jig precisely to the heaviest cover you can find and work it as slowly as you can possibly stand, making repeated casts to likely areas. Many bites will come when the jig is sitting motionless on the bottom, and only after casting to the same place multiple times. The Dobyns Extreme DX745 rod is the finest jig rod I've ever used, bar none. With the faintest bites of the year, especially by the bigger fish, more sensitive rods truly help you feel more bites and catch more fish. And the Dobyns 745 is as sensitive as I've ever found.

Another great option is suspending hard plastic jerkbaits, especially in areas with less cover. Today's high-tech baits like Pointers are filled with small balls and beads that subtly move the lure even when at rest; and big fish can't seem to resist the illusion of life. Fish these very slowly with a couple slight twitches between pauses of 5 to 60 seconds.

Finally, "yo-yoing" a 1/2-ounce red- or crawfish-colored lipless crankbait provokes reaction strikes from lethargic bass that turn up their noses at even the slowest of finesse presentations. When submerged milfoil, coontail or hydrilla is present, make long casts over the grass beds and let your bait fall into the weeds. Sharply snap your rod upwards, ripping the crankbait free and reel it until the bait catches grass again, followed by another sharp snap of the rod. Repeat this process all the way back to the boat. The rattle of the bait and the fleeing motion as it rips free from the grass triggers a response from bass even on the slowest of days. This can be a chore if not rigged properly, so I go with a well-balanced 8-foot Dobyns 804CB rod that allows me to easily flick the lure free of grass with my wrists. Plus, the extra length helps keep those barely caught treble hook fish buttoned up.

Cold fronts result in slow fishing, at least until you find a concentration of fish. But once you find them, you can really dissect the spot to extract multiple bass. Big schools of bass in small areas after cold fronts can result in some of the hottest fishing of the year, even if the weatherman tells you otherwise.

You can follow Tom Redington's fishing tips and updates at www.facebook.com/tomredingtonfishing and www.twitter.com/Tom_Redington. For fishing articles and videos, check out his website www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com.

Tags: tom-redington  blog 

Renewed Excitement for Super Tournaments

Renewed Excitement for Super Tournaments

Like everyone else, I had concerns about when we would be able to resume our 2020 season on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit. Probably a bigger concern was what the rest of the season would look like. READ MORE »

Why I’m Excited to be Back with FLW

Why I’m Excited to be Back with FLW

This year has been an interesting one, to say the least. For the first time in my pro career, I’ve been home for much of the spring, and while it was great to fish local waters and get some projects done around the house, I’m ready to get back to fishing tournaments. READ MORE »

Big Changes for the Pro Circuit

Big Changes for the Pro Circuit

Recently announced changes to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit have me extremely excited to get the season back under way. Specifically, a good number of the Major League Fishing anglers will be fishing the remaining three Pro Circuit Super Tournament events with increased payouts. This makes these truly the most lucrative five-fish-limit events in the country, with potentially half of the tournament field being paid $10,000 or more. READ MORE »

My Line-Thru Addiction

My Line-Thru Addiction

Pollen is in the air, on the water and covers my boat on a daily basis. When this happens, it means one thing to me – the bass are on the bed. Now, most people are all giddy about sight-fishing, but that’s not my deal. I can count on two hands how many fish I’ve caught truly sight-fishing. What comes to my mind during this time is swimbait fishing, but more specifically, one kind of swimbait in particular – a line-thru swimbait. READ MORE »

Making the Most of Quarantine

Making the Most of Quarantine

At the beginning of this year I was excited about the opportunity to fish the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and the Bassmaster Elite Series. I was most excited about fishing the spawn in March and April on some of my favorite lakes. When the schedules for both circuits were first released I was feeling very confident about doing some sight-fishing on Santee Cooper, Eufaula and Lake Hartwell. READ MORE »

The Real Reason I love Spring

The Real Reason I love Spring

Fishing for a living is awesome, but when spring comes it can be tough. April is always a busy month for tournaments – and the fishing is usually fantastic – but I really love to turkey hunt and tournaments can put a damper on that. READ MORE »

A Silver Lining

A Silver Lining

From spending some quality time with my wife, Katie, and my dog, Doppler, to organizing my life and fun fishing, there are numerous ways that I have been able to take advantage of our current social responsibility to participate in “social distancing.” READ MORE »

Encouraging the Next Generation

Encouraging the Next Generation

Growing up in the city of Chicago, I didn’t have the outlet to the outdoors that a lot of our youth enjoy while growing up. It often takes hours to travel out of the city due to traffic, and there were no lakes within walking distance from my house. So it’s not like I could swing by the pond after school. READ MORE »

Picking out a New Favorite Rod

Picking out a New Favorite Rod

When selecting a new rod, I consider several elements: action, power, length and components.  Different rods will fit the role, depending on the type of lure, cover and fish species you are targeting. READ MORE »

Always Go Down Swinging

Always Go Down Swinging

Greg Bohannan's late father, Kenny, taught his sons to never take a third strike looking. "If you take the pitch and don't swing, you never give yourself a chance," he'd say. With that lesson in mind, Greg took his cuts at Lake Martin and gave himself a shot to win. Even though it didn't work out, he knows that at least he went down swinging. READ MORE »

How to Catch Your New PB

How to Catch Your New PB

Out of the five biggest fish I have caught in my life, four have come on a ChatterBait, including my personal best – a 9-pounder I caught this year on Sam Rayburn during the first Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event. READ MORE »

Why You Should Reel with Both Hands

Why You Should Reel with Both Hands

Without a doubt, during a tournament day I always get a question from my Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Marshal about why I have both left- and right-handed Abu Garcia baitcast reels. I get comments about the same thing from multiple social media followers if I post a picture that shows my reels. The remarks originally surprised me, but not any longer because of how frequently I see them. READ MORE »

Carrying Momentum into Florida

Carrying Momentum into Florida

Despite the solid start to the year, and the confidence that comes with overcoming adversity, Miles Burghoff knows very well how a good start to a season can either create positive momentum, or open the door to complacency, which often can result in a loss of motivation and focus. With the Harris Chain event kicking off this week, he's determined to keep that focus and motivation. READ MORE »

New Year, Same Feel

New Year, Same Feel

Ending 2019 on a bad note wasn’t how I pictured last season going. I was in contention to qualify for the FLW Cup going into the last FLW Tour event on Lake Champlain, but after coming in 97th at the finale I finished the season 51st in the Angler of the Year points and missed my chance for the Cup. Not going to lie, it stung a little bit and made for a LONG drive home, but it also made me hungry for 2020. READ MORE »

Vlog: Rayburn Recap, Practice to Pattern

Vlog: Rayburn Recap, Practice to Pattern

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Josh Douglas and his wife, Bri, created this baller recap video from Sam Rayburn and the first Pro Circuit event of 2020. In the video, which includes footage from practice and the tournament, Josh dishes on how he used his practice time to eventually uncover a productive trap pattern that helped him earn a 42nd-place finish, which is a big improvement on the 114th he posted at Rayburn in the 2019 FLW Tour event. READ MORE »

Why You Shouldn’t Second-Guess Your Gut

Why You Shouldn’t Second-Guess Your Gut

In tournament fishing, you can beat yourself up for days with the “what if” scenarios that cause you to second-guess your gut. Well, in this case, I guessed wrong. I finished the Lake Champlain event in 145th place. It knocked me all the way down to 60th in points and out of Cup contention. READ MORE »

More Fishing, More Focus in 2020

More Fishing, More Focus in 2020

People talk a lot about the offseason in professional bass fishing, but when you do this for a living you pretty quickly realize there really isn’t much of an offseason anymore. READ MORE »

New Challenges, New Opportunities

New Challenges, New Opportunities

Now with 2019 in the rear-view mirror, 2020 is in the crosshairs, and I look forward to the challenges ahead. With the rebranding of the Tour to the new FLW Pro Circuit, there are some great new opportunities that both fans and competitors will benefit from. READ MORE »

Why I Chose FLW

Why I Chose FLW

My name is Richard Dunham, but most people know me as Dicky D. I currently live in Palm Harbor Florida where I work for the Folsom Corporation, one of the largest fishing distributors in the country. In 2020 I am fishing as a boater in Southern Division of the FLW Series. READ MORE »

Prepping for the 2020 Fishing Season

Prepping for the 2020 Fishing Season

This is one of my favorite times of the year, the (not so) calm before the storm before the tournament season kicks off down south in January. READ MORE »