seasonal pattern change dilemma

Discussion in 'SOUTH CAROLINA RIVERS TALK' started by Bill in SC, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    <The fall is the most productive fishing time of the year but you wont necessarily catch your fish in the same area that they have been with the higher water temps. If you can find them they will be stacked up together especially he flatheads. Dont give up or get discouraged you won't get them every time. Keep at them and figure out the fall pattern.>

    < You gotta try shallow verses deep and day verses night>

    I HAVE tried day versus night. I HAVE tried shallow versus deep, drop offs, channels, in the snags, ahead of the snags, behind the snags, ahead of the rock bars, sand bars, and just about any place they could be holding. I am finding fish on the sonar, but can't coax them to bite. I am experiencing the same problem I had late last winter when I couldn't catch anything much. I KNOW that the fish have to eat, and I just have to figure out some technique to coax them to do so. I'm beginning to wonder if their diet changes this time of year from the live and cut bream I have been using, and if so, what are they eating? The water temperature isn't cool enough for the bite to turn on as they make their last efforts to put on weight for the winter. I also want to learn how to catch them when the water gets COLD and the fish become lethargic and don't eat much. Once again, IF and when we figure out this dilemma, this will be what separates us from "average" fishermen. I do NOT accept defeat easily, and don't worry, I'm not becoming discouraged. I'm already unhappy that I turned all my bait loose as they too are becoming harder to catch with the falling temperatures. I have a few ideas that I want to try real soon. I want to get up in some snags and fish one rod, and jig the bait up and down amongst the snags. Maybe the jigging action will get their attention. I've also wondered if a large spinner ahead of the bait might get their attention. I also want to learn to drift fish the river to cover large amounts of ground. The only problem with drifting the river is that the depth changes so much constantly, with the rock and sand bars. You would have to drift with the bait suspended rather than with the bait dragging the bottom like lake drifting. One encouraging thing is that I am not the only one not catching fish on the river right now. WE are the BOC, and it seems like as large as our numbers are, WE could figure out a solution. I am going to work diligently to try everything I can think of to catch fish when these patterns change. That being said, it cost me $30+ EVERY time I go to the river, and my family, rightfully, doesn't understand how I can keep fishin' and not producing. I either have to figure out the slow seasons, or only fish the seasons where the bite is on. I prefer to figure this out! :confused2:
    Bill in SC
    BTW: When I joined the BOC, I got an abundant amount of info that totally changed my fishing strategy, and my catches improved ten fold. Now, y'all don't hold back any of your seasonal change info!!!!!! If ya got it, share it!! :)
     
  2. BassMassey

    BassMassey Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,883
    State:
    Oconee
    I hear ya bill, the bite's been slow all around the southeast reagion it seems from looking at reports on here. I think it's more of a weather pattern right now than a seasonal pattern. I know we've had crystal clear blue sky's for the past week since that cold front came through. I caught a good size blue the day before the front came in. From what they say the flats really get hot when the water temps. get down to around the mid to low 60's, so I think we're really still a couple to few weeks away. As far as catching bait, this is the time of year where I put my bream poles in the garage and just use the ol' castnet. As far as bait selection goes there's a whole thread with some good opinions on that. I know you ain't giving up now bill.......don't let someone else tell ya the bite is picking up, you wanna be the one to tell everyone else the bite is getting hot....
     

  3. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    <don't let someone else tell ya the bite is picking up, you wanna be the one to tell everyone else the bite is getting hot....>

    I hear ya, man! It's not so much as figuring out when the bite is hot. That info will be readily available here immediately as it starts. I want to learn some technique to have relative success when the bite is off. One thing sticks in my craw to this day. One cold morning late last winter, or early spring, me and Peg put in at Society Hill. Some guys in a 24 foot Sea Ark or similar boat were just leaving. We looked in their fish box and it was full of big fresh glistening blues. Me and Peg fished all day, with few to no bites. There ARE strategies, techniques, or gimmicks that a few rare folks know that set them apart from the rest. For example, there's a few folks here in town that can go out and catch a mess of bream YEAR round, even on the coldest days of the year! Etc etc. I don't know, maybe my goals and expectations are set too high versus reality that fish don't always bite. I have never been geared for failure, and not catchin' fish when fishin' just doesn't set right with me. It puts me in foul humor. I know it shouldn't but it does. I want to go fishin' RIGHT NOW to redeem myself and restore my self confidence, but like an idiot, I threw all my live bait in the river, in disgust! :big_smile:
     
  4. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    James just called to calm me down! Thanks, James! :big_smile:
    Bill in SC
     
  5. Flattiestalker

    Flattiestalker New Member

    Messages:
    48
    State:
    Indiana
    Geez Bill, you remind me of drpepper... shoot you could darn near have copied and pasted on of his :)roll_eyes:) post(s) LOL.
    Hey, I understand the panic, ya know I do! I'm tellin' ya, JUST USE WALLEYES- lmao!
     
  6. Pacman

    Pacman New Member

    Messages:
    141
    State:
    South Carolina
    Bill, my luck has been so rotten this year it's bound to be due for a change soon, so maybe you can go with me again soon. Reckon if we fish with a rabbits foot it might work??
     
  7. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    Lemme catch some more bait, Dewayne! It's doable!
    BB in SC
     
  8. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    I feel like that's one of the big holes in my flathead fishing right now! I didn't grow up around here, so maybe that's part of it, but I need some brim catching training! Don't get me wrong, I catch lots of brim - with either a little beetle spin or a bit of worm, but there are times when I have trouble, and I know I just need to learn more tactics.

    As far as weather and water temps go, I think there's something else we need to remember. Water temp is not an absolute number, like "at 65 degrees they bite like crazy." We dropped from 85 to just above 70 in a very short amount of time. If the weather will stabilize for a couple of weeks so the water temp gets a chance to stabilize, so the fish get used to it, then I believe they will start feeding well. That sharp drop was likely a bit of a shock to them. Personally, I love to be on the Edisto when the water's about 65 to 70, AFTER WE HAVE MILD STABLE WEATHER FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS.

    I know, though, that that doesn't answer your burning question of how to get fish to bite when they are turned off. Two things I would bring up. 1) Just because you mark fish, they may not be cats, so there could still be a location issue. and B) I suspect that getting cats to bite when they are off is a matter of tweaking the bait or presentation. When the bass guys bite is off, they go to the finesse techniques. Maybe smaller hooks, smaller baits, something with good irresistible blood? And, get it right in their face. I suspect that they will not more far when "off."

    On the subject of finding cats on a depth finder: only one time do I think I definitely found cats on sonar, and those were small blues that were suspended up off the bottom in deep holes. When fishing small to medium rivers with lots of bottom structure (logs, trees, branches), how do you see cats on sonar? Is my unit just not good enough, or am I too "conservative" in interpreting the display? (I never leave the little fish symbols turned on, etc.)
     
  9. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    <I know, though, that that doesn't answer your burning question of how to get fish to bite when they are turned off. Two things I would bring up. 1) Just because you mark fish, they may not be cats, so there could still be a location issue. and B) I suspect that getting cats to bite when they are off is a matter of tweaking the bait or presentation. When the bass guys bite is off, they go to the finesse techniques. Maybe smaller hooks, smaller baits, something with good irresistible blood? And, get it right in their face. I suspect that they will not more far when "off."

    On the subject of finding cats on a depth finder: only one time do I think I definitely found cats on sonar, and those were small blues that were suspended up off the bottom in deep holes. When fishing small to medium rivers with lots of bottom structure (logs, trees, branches), how do you see cats on sonar? Is my unit just not good enough, or am I too "conservative" in interpreting the display? (I never leave the little fish symbols turned on, etc.)>

    You are correct that ALL the fish symbols I am seeing may not be cats, but I assure you that the majority of the symbols that I interpret to be so, are. That being said, I use a very INexpensive Eagle 320. Even though an inexpensive unit, it shows the bottom structure perfectly. I trust it 100% and have caught MANY fish, placing bait where the unit said they were. When using the unit, if you see a trough, or dip, with a large fish symbol down inside that dip, it's usually a catfish. Once again, I rely heavily on the sonar, and it aids me immensely. My fishing pard at our last tournament was AMAZED when I would locate fish on the unit, throw bait in the spot, and pull the fish out. He said I made a believer out of him with the sonar. Interesting question you had though. I think I will get my camera and take pics of the fish symbols on the sonar, in the structure, correct to where they would normally be holding. A photo tutorial might give folks some insight as to what/where to look for, correctly. I interpret many fish symbols to be nothing more than a sonar misinterpretation, but I have found it easy to distinguish between the two.
    As for the finesse issue during slow bite times, I REALLY think this IS the KEY. I have some ideas to try, and hopefully will be successful. When I start catchin' fish while others are scratchin' their heads, I will feel like a success. Until then, I am just an unsatisfied, "average Joe". I don't relish second place as that is just the first loser. From a term taken from the USA PBR bull riders on their event at Mexico this year, "We're in it, to win it." :wink:
    Bill in SC
     
  10. South Grand Laker

    South Grand Laker New Member

    Messages:
    723
    State:
    Oklahoma