Fishing the temperature trends
McClelland remembers how years ago many fishermen wouldn’t get serious about bass fishing until the water temperature reached 50 degrees.
Today, he doesn’t wait that long.
It’s about temperature trends more than the temperature itself, he said.
“If our water temp here at Table Rock bottoms out at 40 degrees and we get a week of warmth, the temp might rise 3 or 4 degrees, and the bass will get active,” McClelland said. “The same thing is true in the fall. When you get that first cooldown, the shad and crawfish will get active, and the bass will sense that it’s time to eat.”
Regardless, the most productive time of the year to work a crankbait is in pre-spawn, when the bass are starting to shake out of their winter doldrums. That’s when McClelland will starting casting to ledges and channel-swing points and banks. He likes to keep his boat in deeper water and grind the shallow, rocky areas until they pass over the dropoffs and ledges. Once the bait no longer has contact with the bottom, the bass often hit.