A map is a critical tool to use before traveling to any body of water. It is just as important while you’re on the water as it is to you while you’re off the water. Maps allow you to locate marinas, navigational hazards, damns, jetties, creeks. The list can go on and on. The amount of information a map can provide is limitless as well as priceless.
Applying the basic seasonal movements of bass to these maps will allow you to find fish and acquire confidence long before you head to the lake. I like to associate different color markers with different seasons of the year. This will help you understand the seasonal movements of bass to any particular body of water you may be fishing.
My marker color choices that help me keep it simple are as follows:
- Transition Areas-Black
We all know the basic seasonal movements of bass. The warmer spring temperatures bring bass out of there winter haunts looking for spawning areas. This means the fish will be moving up in the creeks or up on the big flats to spawn. Water temperature usually dictates the fish movement towards the shallows. When the water begins to reach the 50’s, bass will primarily use main points and secondary points as there highways towards the spawning grounds. Water temps around 60 to 65 degrees will position the bass in these shallow protected areas. The males will be the first to move up. The females follow, lay the eggs, and then move back out to deeper water to recover from the pains of birth. The females will position themselves here for a while before heading to deeper waters. The males will stay behind and guard the fry.
As the water temp continues to warm the fish will move deep again. This usually holds true thru-out the summer. Once the water temp begins to drop in the fall, the bass will move back towards the shallows to feed before the winter. The main rule to follow in the fall is BAIT, BAIT, BAIT. Find the bait and you will find the bass!
Once the water temp drops to the 50’s bass will use the same primary and secondary points they used for the spawn movement. While cooler late fall air temperature drops the water temp into the 40’s the bass will move back to deeper water, specifically deep edges. Once they make this move they can become difficult to catch because there metabolism slows so much. But they still can be caught.
I carry every map possible for a single body of water. This helps me cross reference different areas so I can fine tune my planning. Susquehanna Fishing Tackle carries all the top of the line maps. The GMCO Pro series, Fishing Hot Spot, and the newest maps………… Navionics Premium Hot Maps (these maps are incredible!)
So next time you’re planning a trip, whether it be a trip for fun or a big money tournament, make sure you have a good map, and some good markers!