I’m not the type of person who complains much. I strive to keep a positive outlook and focus on the good things in life though occasionally I voice some dissatisfaction with politicians or personal hardships, but rarely in a public forum. That being said I’d like to go on record as saying this has been neither a good nor normal spring. Not that I’m complaining mind you, but May and October are my two favorite months of the year and the May I just lived through was anything but normal or favored. June was an evil twin sister. Excessively frequent and heavy rain, late cold-snaps and an endless procession of nasty thunderstorms trampled much of my normal spring activities and created more than a few personal hardships. The electrocution of a box full of bluebirds in the yard by lighting, the loss of my “Man Cave” surround sound system to same and the announcement by my mechanic that it was time to call in hospice for my pickup truck topped my list of unfortunate occurrences during Spring 2013. However, with all the rain and cool weather my lawn grew beautiful, lush and green. If only my mower hadn’t been in the shop for a month, waiting for back-ordered parts. C’est la vie.
I wouldn’t say fishing has been more difficult than normal this spring but I will say it’s been a challenge to find good fishing at times. Local highland reservoirs along the crest of the Appalachian Mountains received so much rain and runoff they quickly rose to full pool and soon exceeded record levels. In response, TVA opened dam flood gates and downstream rivers became almost continually heavy flows, some roaring floods, of often discolored water. Most free-flowing rivers and streams also ran high and stained much of the time. With many reservoir water levels well into surrounding woodlands and rivers running well above normal, places to enjoy traditional spring fishing were limited. The threat of lightning, high winds and yo-yoing barometric pressure caused by a steady stream of weather changes further complicated planning fishing time. If you’d like to try some challenging fishing that will test your patience and skill, try casting minnow lures into a flooded forest at night for walleyes with the wind blowing 20 mph. At one point, I considered taking up bowling.
Despite the extremes in weather, the fish were still out there doing what they always do during spring. Fish move, feed, spawn and otherwise go about their normal routines based on time of year and water temperature. However, fish move or change their activity during adverse conditions and knowledgeable anglers who want to continue to catch fish change with them. I use two approaches to find good fishing during periods of high, stained water; targeting species that are unaffected by or predictably active in stained conditions or searching for water clarity that is closer to normal. Spring spawners like crappie, bream, large and smallmouth bass are drawn to shallow shorelines when water temperatures approach spawning temps despite water clarity. Anglers who remain confident and make the necessary adjustments in location, lure selection and presentation can continue to enjoy good fishing for these species. Also, catfish, carp and a few others remain active and thrive in high stained conditions. However, my preference is to find places to fish where water levels, flow and clarity are closer to normal. In reservoirs, that means fishing the dam end where conditions are most stable and least affected by heavy runoff. In rivers, it means fishing tail-waters close to a dam where water runs clearest.
Trout fishing in local tail-waters has been an on-again, off-again challenge this spring. Much of the time, generation rates were so high and water so swift that tail-waters were unfishable. However, my friends and I caught some nice rainbows, browns, brookies and a few lake trout by moving further downstream and fishing channel bends, islands and shoreline structures that held eddies or spots with slower current. On those infrequent occasions when generation slowed or stopped, trout became so cooperative it seemed that they’d missed us as much as we’d missed them. Fishing for river smallmouth bass has been much the same. Further down rivers, feeder streams and other sources injected heavy runoff, creating poor and sometimes hazardous conditions. But during those infrequent periods when the water dropped and cleared, smallmouths were active and offered great fishing. So I’ve spent the last two months camped on weather reports and water generation schedules while making frequent scouting trips to local fishing holes to check water condition. When conditions developed that offered good tail-water or river fishing, we did our best to get there and reap the bounty.
Because tail-waters and rivers weren’t often fishable, reservoirs have been my most frequent fishing destination this spring. The lower one-third of most lakes in this area remained clear to moderately clear most of the time although excessive surface debris caused by above-full-pool water levels created hazardous expanses of surface litter in some sections. However, with an ever-watchful eye on wind direction we avoided the worst-affected areas. Where water clarity was acceptable and surface debris light the greatest hindrance to finding good fishing most days was fishing pressure because an army of anxious anglers were pushed into the same limited “fishable” water. So we made one more adjustment and changed our focus to reservoir night fishing. As I said before, it’s been a challenge at times to find good fishing this spring.
Several trips to local highland reservoirs produced limited success for walleyes. If you’ve read my book, you know I’m a big fan of nighttime walleye fishing in spring and early summer. But water levels in highland reservoirs in this region remained above full pool so the waterline along which walleyes cruise for spawning baitfish in spring was well into shoreline undergrowth. Dense surface debris and frequent high winds another thousand feet higher in elevation made night-walleye fishing on these lakes difficult work. So, fresh walleye dinners have been infrequent at my house so far this year. However, our search for good fishing produced some exciting encounters with one of my favorite fish; the hybrid striped bass. Hybrids, like striped and white bass, are open-water wanderers that follow alewives, shad and other baitfish throughout reservoirs. In spring, when surface temperatures reach 60-degrees, alewives move to shallow shorelines at night to spawn. As water temperature rises further, shad also begin spawning, producing an extended period of plentiful food along shallow shorelines for hybrids and other game fish. So when reservoir surface temperature reached 60-degrees and rising, we scheduled our first nighttime trip to check on the hybrids.
The first place we found fish was on a steep bluff along a main-lake river channel. Small Red Fins and Jointed ThunderSticks produced jolting surface strikes from hungry hybrids when lures were cast close to the bluff face and retrieved parallel to the edge. Then, one night when the fish didn’t show along the bluff, we moved and found a hybrid mother-load. In each of the next half-dozen trips to this spot, a friend and I caught more than a double limit of hybrids. The fish were mixed sizes ranging from three to seven pounds with an occasional small striped bass mixed in. The times the hybrids arrived and began feeding each night varied between about 10:30 p.m. and midnight depending on when baitfish started surfacing and moving into shallow water. However, there was never any question when the hybrids arrived because baitfish schools would suddenly surface everywhere, accompanied by scattered surface swirls and an occasional explosion. The hungry predators would charge in, feed aggressively for a brief time, scatter the schools of minnows, then everything would become still. Soon after, the hybrids would again push the baitfish into tight schools, herd them back into the shallows and the feeding binge would resume. So when the hybrids first decided it was time to hit the supper table, action became hot for several hours, interspersed with occasional lulls; good times to check line condition, retie or change lures.
Rat-L-Traps are among my most dependable tools for hybrid fishing at night but we caught fish on several others. Topwaters are personal favorites so we tried minnow lures, walk-the-dog baits and surface poppers. Red Fins and Thundersticks continued to attract an occasional strike but larger surface poppers produced best when the hybrids were up and feeding. I always keep a popping lure rigged and ready when fishing for schooling game fish because I believe the sound they make often attracts feeding fish or encourages continued feeding. But without question, the most productive lure we used was one I tried this spring for the first time. I had learned from several good anglers that it was a deadly choice for hybrids and other game fish and knew it was the hottest lure on the bass tournament scene, so hot it had raised much controversy among tournament organizations and state fisheries agencies. Technically, it’s not a lure but an array of lures called the Alabama Rig, aka the A-Rig.
A-Rigs have been around for a long time but until recently were best known by anglers as umbrella rigs; trolling tools for open-water fishing in fresh and saltwater. But when tournament professional Paul Elias used a casting version to win a major FLW event on Lake Guntersville, Alabama it turned the bass fishing world, and traditional perceptions of the umbrella rig, upside down. Anyone who fishes much for large and smallmouth bass knows about the A-Rig. Most have used them, have friends who use them, have read about them or have seen them on television fishing shows. Through many sources, I also had learned about them and become convinced of their effectiveness. After we found that large concentration of hybrids, I remembered a friend had given me a locally made version of an unrigged A-Rig so I decided dig it out, load it with soft plastics and do some testing.
The A-Rig I’d been given had five wire arms so the first thing I had to decide was how and where to attach two attractors. In the State of Tennessee, A-Rigs may have only three hooks of any type, though five-arm A-Rigs are legal if two of the arms hold only attractors. A drawing in the state fishing regulations booklet shows a five-arm A-rig in which two arms hold willow-leaf spinner blades. I considered adding blades to my test version but decided it would be easier, and less expensive, to cut the hooks off a couple soft-plastic rigs. So I grabbed a pair of needle-nosed pliers, my tool box of curly-tailed grubs, some jig heads and went to work on my newest fishing tool. I bent the longest arm on my A-Rig at a downward angle and added my primary lure; a heavy-duty, 3/16-ounce pearl/glitter-colored jighead with chartreuse eyes. To the jighead, I added a four-inch pearl-colored curly-tailed grub with a chartreuse tail. Because predators often attack schools of baitfish from behind or below, I wanted this bright-colored bait to be slightly larger, below and behind the “school” I was presenting. This lure was also heaviest, acted as a keel and helped keep the light-weight A-Rig from turning or spinning during the retrieve. I bent the next two arms in opposite directions angled outward, added unpainted 1/8-ounce jigheads and three-inch pearl curly-tailed grubs. I bent the remaining two arms up and outward and added small unpainted 1/16-ounce jigheads to hold my attractors. To these I added white two-inch curly-tailed grubs; slightly more visible in the limited light but smaller. Before mounting these two, I cut the hook points off at the center of the bend then super-glued the grubs in place on the remaining portion of the shank. The first time I pulled the A-Rig through the water at boat-side, I was impressed with what I saw.
The awkward looking A-Rig casts surprising well using a heavy flipping stick, baitcasting reel, and braided line so after a few casts I was comfortable with my newest fishing tool and settled into a routine of long casts followed by a slow, steady retrieve. After less than a dozen casts, a nice hybrid struck hard. When a much larger fish smashed the rig on the next cast and began ripping line from my reel, I was hooked for good on the Alabama Rig. After catching another fish or two, I cut the rig off and handed it to my fishing partner so he could do some testing with his heavy spinning combo. His first hybrid on the A-Rig was a line-screamer that weighed more than six pounds. On several follow-up trips together, we used the same A-rigs and continued to enjoy some productive fishing for one of my favorite fish. Though I missed the great spring night fishing for walleyes this year, and those fabulous walleye dinners, hybrids provided plenty of exciting action and some fine fillets for a few of my favorite fish recipes. Many anglers don’t eat hybrids but they’re missing some fine dining. Bleed the fish you intend to keep as you catch them, then throw them in a cooler or livewell and cover them with ice. Remove all the red flesh from the fillets during cleaning and you’ll be impressed with the firm, beautiful meat. Hybrid fillets are mild-tasting and good choices for grilling, in sauces or any recipe calling for mild, white-fleshed fish.
So it’s been a challenging 2013 fishing season so far but I can’t complain because I’ve caught some nice fish, enjoyed a bounty of fresh fish fillets and added an exciting new tool to my fishing toolbox. And I did finally get my lawnmower repaired and the grass under control so if it stops raining at least one day each week I should be able to keep it looking beautiful. Furthermore, after an extended trial of patience I bought a new boat-hauling vehicle, though it took the dealer two tries to get the correct one brought in from a distant location. It could happen to anyone. I’m convinced the rainfall will moderate soon since we’re already more than 14.75 inches above average on rainfall and approaching the all-time record. When the weather finally returns to normal, tail-water and river fishing will become very good so I’m going to remain patient, retain my positive outlook, repair the rest of my broken fishing equipment and chip away at my Honey-Do list. And I should have plenty of time to get ‘er done because it’s supposed to rain four of the next five days.
I enjoyed a busy holiday season filled with good food and time spent with family and friends. Shopping, book signing events and travel filled most of my remaining time and the heart of winter passed quickly, though a nasty battle with that new strain of flu could have passed more quickly. Here in East Tennessee, we had frequent snow with record rainfall during January and February followed with much of the same. My friends and I enjoyed fine fishing for trout and bass in local rivers and reservoirs before the rain and snow began. But as my schedule filled with Holiday activities, book signings, then midwinter weather restrictions, my time on the water became all too limited. Nevertheless, the many signing events I scheduled kept me from lapsing into fishing withdrawal and provided opportunities to meet many new friends who share my passion for our sport. I enjoyed meeting and talking with them all, from newcomers to seasoned veterans and industry business professionals to fishing celebrities. Also, I was intrigued by many new products I saw including electronics, an array of new lures, other tackle and creative local artwork. However, some people I met left the most memorable impressions.
Before the doors opened at the East Tennessee Fishing Show in Knoxville one morning, I bumped into Hank Parker on the show floor as he stood admiring a new boat. I enjoyed the most pleasant, relaxed conversation with him and confirmed he is the likeable down-to-earth gentleman I’d always thought him to be. My most surprising encounter began when I got into a lively discussion with a young man, a tournament angler who I did not recognize, about smallmouth bass. He had an obvious out-of-town accent, from Michigan I learned, as we discussed the differences between longer Tennessee smallmouths and the thick-bodied smallmouths found throughout the great lakes. I’m sure he enjoyed our conversation as much as I did, a discussion born from shared admiration for one of North America’s greatest game fish. We talked until he was called away and I was drawn to others waiting to chat. Later, I learned he was Jonathan VanDam, the hottest rising star in professional bass fishing and nephew of all-time money winner and legendary tournament angler Kevin VanDam. I was most entertained by a fellow fishing fanatic I met less than two weeks ago at a boat dealer open house in Morristown, TN. I recognized him immediately because I’d read about his past tournament success with BASS and enjoyed his humorous antics on television. During our conversations that day, I learned that Fish Fishburne and I share a special interest in catching smallmouth bass in rivers. We once cut up like ten-year-olds as we laughed and talked about setting up a trip to run up a local river we’ve both long wanted to fish in my jet-drive G3 boat; a model similar to one he’d recently sold. I hope we make that trip sometime because anyone with that much energy and such a great sense of humor would make an entertaining companion for a day on the water. So it’s not been a boring winter because I’ve been very busy, studied a variety of new angling tools and talked with many experienced anglers. But with the earliest spring flowers blooming and average air temperatures beginning to rise, my mind has shifted back to the sound of water lapping along a shoreline, cool clean air, and the thought of a sudden bend in a fine graphite rod. It’s time to get back on the water and enjoy some good fishing.
In the last few weeks, area lakes and streams have started clearing and water generation rates have decreased. Trout are one of my preferred target species throughout the cold-water period and a couple visits to the closest tail-water confirmed they’re adapting well to the clearing conditions. Both rainbow and brown trout remain active in cold winter water though the lowest temperatures of the season reduce movement and feeding. Browns have recently finished spawning and should be feeding more frequently to regain strength and body weight. Rainbows are active, will spawn soon and should be at their heaviest weights of the year. However, I found trout fishing a little too slow in the tail-water I checked. There’s no question the recent flooding affected fish location and cold, snow runoff slowed their metabolism but I quickly discovered why they weren’t hitting as well as expected. The winter shad die-off must be peaking because the water I fished was littered with dead and dying shad in various sizes. With so much nutritious food available, trout feed less often because they can quickly fill their stomachs with little effort or movement. I don’t consider that a problem, but a promise of things to come. As the shad kill diminishes and the water begins to warm, the trout will continue to focus on that limited but easy to catch source of protein. So, tail-water fishing will soon be excellent for some beautiful pot-bellied trout using shad-imitating lures and I’ll be there to enjoy it.
A check of the local smallmouth bass population produced better results. A single trip to a highland reservoir confirmed most smallies there were still deep and suspended. After many hours on classic winter structure I caught only one nice bass on a silver buddy and inquiries at the ramp later confirmed fishing was poor with several zeros reported, though one boat reported a few fish caught on Damiki Rigs in fifty-feet of water. However, the river smallmouths I checked were much more cooperative. I fish for river smallmouths throughout winter, focusing on periods of high flow when they’re pushed to shoreline eddies and easier to find. But with the recent drop in water generation and little rainfall the last two weeks, many of my most productive eddy areas were so shallow I could see bottom. I caught a few bass but concluded they were scattered and holding behind larger scattered structure or in deeper holes, sheltered from the cold, swift current. So I replaced my Texas-rigged soft plastics with something I could fish horizontally to cover water; swimbaits.
If you’ve read my book, you know I’m a match-the-hatch kind of angler. Therefore, when fishing for smallmouth bass in rivers I prefer long, slender swimbaits that mimic shiner, chub or darter minnows. So I grabbed several packs of skinny swimbaits, hooks and other gear and went to my favorite local river do some testing on a cold, breezy afternoon. Thirteen smallmouths later, I was convinced I’d found the right formula. A few days later, a friend and I caught sixteen more including several two-pound-plus beauties. I’ve tried several brands, sizes and colors of swimbaits in the last two weeks and found the best choices share some common traits.
Slender plastics in three-and-three-quarter to four-inch lengths have been equally attractive to smallmouths. Natural minnow colors with grey, light-brown or green backs and white or pearl bellies have all caught fish. Silver, gold or other colors of fleck in the plastic added flash to the bait’s lifelike appearance though I’m not convinced the fish showed a preference. Also, I’ve tried various rigging methods including Owner Ultrahead Bullet Rigs and weighted EWG hooks in 1/16 and 1/8 ounce models and found all equally effective, and weedless, when properly matched to the size plastic used and water depth. I’m sure screw-lock or other similar weighted, weedless hook designs will also work well; I simply haven’t tried them. Finally, I always use an attractant or masking scent when presenting slow-moving plastic lures. When my friend and I went, he used Yum F2 Spray in Shad and I used Berkley Gulp Attractant in Shad, and we each caught eight nice bass. But the most crucial variable common to all the lures we tried and places we fished was the need for a painfully slow, steady retrieve. Get a little excited over the chunky fish you’d just released, increase retrieve speed and you’d quickly go from hero to zero. With the proper choice in hook weight, the lure should tap bottom frequently during the retrieve. When the lure starts dragging bottom, lift the rod tip to raise the bait but continue the same slow, steady rate of retrieve. If you live close to a river that offers good smallmouth bass fishing during summer, don’t wait, grab some skinny swimbaits and weedless hooks and go catch some nice fish. But remember; use a slow and steady retrieve speed to catch river smallmouth bass in cold water.
Soon, good fishing will be available everywhere. As longer periods of daylight begin warming the shallows, bass and crappie will move to sheltered shorelines to begin their prespawn ritual and offer good fishing. And rivers will soon fill with white, striped bass and other river spawners; walleyes are already there and scheduled next on my list for a visit. So if you haven’t prepared for early-spring fishing, it’s time to get your boat out of storage, spool up with fresh line and get tackle ready to go because we’re about to begin another promising new fishing season!
The fall period offers some of the best fishing of the year because most game fish feed heavily as day length decreases, many in shallow water where baitfish are attracted to cooling surface temperatures. However, finding good fishing is rarely that easy. Weather patterns, water temperature and condition are still important considerations when deciding when and where to fish. Ignore any of these factors and you may drive by great fishing on the way to a long day of poor results.
The impact of weather on fish activity during fall is similar to that in spring, though the effect of high-pressure systems and accompanying lower temperatures is less intense because falling water temperatures won’t drop below the preferred range of most game fish until late in the season. Nonetheless, most shallow water feeding activity decreases with clearing skies so anglers must make adjustments in time-of-day, location and presentations to enjoy good fishing success as weather patterns change. I monitor barometric pressure to help me decide when and where to fish and what species I’ll fish for based on whether the barometer is rising, falling or stable. Stable or falling pressure often supports the best shallow-water fishing but changes in location and target species can keep you catching fish when the barometer is rising and skies are clear and blue.
Fishing for largemouth bass moves to the top of my preference list this time of year. When surface temperatures begin falling and baitfish move shallow in October, I grab my tool box of largemouth lures and go to work. As water levels drop in reservoirs during fall, many bass move and feed closer to deep water along main-lake shorelines so shallow coves and smaller tributaries that produced good catches during spring often hold few fish. Because the best bass fishing occurs most around shallow structure, I have many lures that fish well through heavy cover so scattered floating leaves are little deterrent when choosing places to fish, though I avoid places where the surface is covered with mats of fallen leaves. In heavily fished waters, I use lures with natural finishes and actions like swimbaits, soft-plastic stickbaits and topwaters to fool educated fish conditioned by fishing pressure. Where floating leaves are present, I use weedless versions of these or similar lures. When deciding when to fish for largemouths, weather patterns must always be considered. Rising barometric pressure and bright clear skies offer poor conditions for largemouth fishing in shallow, open water anytime so I schedule my fishing time during periods when the barometer is falling or stable. Also, a major moon phase or lunar feeding period during time spent fishing for bass can make the difference between a good day and great day of fishing. Water temperature isn’t an important consideration for shallow-water largemouths during fall until surface temperatures begin dipping below about sixty degrees. Bass remain active and shallow in these and lower temperatures but deeper water and slower presentations begin to shine in cooler water. Also, as in spring, the colder the water the more likely the best fishing will occur in mid-afternoon when surface water temperature and the fish’s metabolism peaks.
Hybrid striped bass are another favorite target species during fall, and for good reason. Catching big fish on topwater lures is an adrenaline-pumping experience and hybrids offer some of the most exciting topwater fishing of the year throughout the fall period. In reservoirs where they’re present, you can find hybrids in places that hold the highest concentrations of baitfish in mid-lake sections or where large tributaries join the main lake. Dense baitfish concentrations always attract schools of game fish so be prepared to cover water with your depth finder on until you find them. Feeding hybrids are voracious predators that often circle and drive baitfish against the water’s surface before attacking. When feeding begins, it’s hard to miss jumping baitfish as they try to escape the onslaught among the splashes of feeding predators. My first choice in lures for surfacing hybrids is a Super Pop R or other popping lure. Zara Spooks are another good choice and similar rubber-bodied weedless versions work well where the water’s surface is littered with leaves. When surface feeding stops, it’s hard to beat a 1/2-ounce rattling lure like a Rat-L-Trap with a chrome finish. You can cast these lures a mile, cover water at various depths and they’ll attract strikes from many species of shallow-feeding game fish. Hybrids have a tendency to stay close to the dinner table so unless conditions change they frequently stay in the same area for extended periods and often becoming predictable in their feeding habits. If you see them smashing baitfish between five and seven o’clock in the evening, be in the same spot the next day by four-thirty with fresh line, sharp hooks and high expectations because the same scenario is likely to repeat. But hybrids, like largemouths, respond negatively to weather changes that bring clearing skies and a rising barometer. When this weather pattern develops, you may find some surface activity but feeding usually shifts into deeper water with less intensity.
So under stable weather, or when the barometer is falling, I prefer fishing in reservoirs with good populations of largemouth bass and hybrids during fall. I choose lake sections with the highest concentrations of baitfish and cast to main-lake flats, points and fallen trees for bass while I watch for signs of surface feeding along the main river channel. Fish this setup under stable weather or an approaching front and you’ll often find good mixed-bag fishing for bass, hybrids and other shallow feeding predators. But as in spring, the arrival of cold fronts is common so high blue-bird skies, falling temperatures and rising pressure are frequent visitors. When this weather pattern arrives I shift from shallow-feeding predators in still water to those in moving water. Smallmouth bass fishing in rivers is a good choice if you use lures weedless enough to fish through the plentiful fallen leaves and other floating vegetation. Leave lures with exposed hooks at home, pack your most reliable weedless soft plastics and you can enjoy good fishing for smallmouth bass in rivers throughout fall when water clarity is normal. However, when skies are clear and blue, I prefer to move to cleaner water in tail-waters where trout are plentiful and active.
Trout fishing in tail-waters is a more reliable choice during cold-front conditions when most shallow water fishing is poor. Moving water negates some of the affect of clear skies and rising pressure and trout are less affected by clearing conditions because of their feeding habits. So when a high-pressure system moves in during fall, I start checking generation schedules below local dams to find the right combination of water flow and time of day. When generators are off or flow is lowest I fish for trout during low-light periods in early morning or the last few hours before dark. Under these conditions, thin low-visibility lines and small lures are the best choice in tackle and trolling is the best approach for covering water to find feeding fish. When generation is moderate to high, I move to swift water closer to the dam and cast to current edges with larger lures and heavier tackle. In high swift water rainbows and browns may feed all day under the clearest skies though periods of low light often produce the most and largest fish, especially big browns. Hard-bodied minnow lures in natural baitfish colors are top choices for tail-water trout throughout fall if you match lure size to the rate of flow. Smaller sizes fool feeding fish in slow current where visibility is best; larger sizes often run better in swift current and are easier for trout to see in turbulent water. Where floating leaves are present, swimbaits rigged weedless in similar sizes and colors are good choices. Tail-water trout fishing remains good well into winter because these fish prefer a lower range of temperatures than most game fish. Then, as water temperatures continue to fall, tail-water trout become a more reliable choice for good fishing.
So weather patterns, water temperature and condition are important factors to consider when deciding where and when to fish as well as which species to target. Make the correct decisions and adjustments in tackle and lure selection and you’ll catch more fish during this beautiful season of change. If you’d like to learn more about how I apply changing weather, water temperature and other environmental factors to my seasonal fishing game plan, pick up a copy of book and refer to Chapter 4: Peak Fishing Periods. With a basic understanding of how various fish react to changes in their environment, you’ll enjoy greater fishing success.