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Pre-Spawn, Knots And Matching The Hatch

Posted: April 3rd, 2013 by Bill Dance

Whenever one talks spawning periods it is always relative to where the angler fishes. But for much of the South the pre-spawn fishing period for bass will soon be upon us. This time can be shorter than a month in some areas, in others it can last two or more months, which has as much to do with nighttime temperatures as anything else.

Normally during the pre-spawn period you will have more dark hours than bright hours, meaning the nights are colder. Colder water is denser than warm water. So what the warm spring sun does to the water temperature during the shorter daytime period, the darkness of nights chills it back down.

However, once the nights warm into the high 40- to 50-degree range, day temps will normally average 20- to 25 degrees warmer, and that is what triggers bass to start moving shallower.

The timing and length of this period depends on geographic location and other natural influences that affect bass behavior. Remember, fish movement and feeding patterns may not always be predictable, especially during this period. But the more you go, the more you will learn about the pre-spawn stage and what triggers bass to respond to temperatures, certain lures and presentations.

Matching The Hatch Is Not Just A Trout Fisherman’s Term

Yes, I hear bass anglers refer to the term, but I have never been one to believe the theory of matching the hatch. Think about this. Why would you cast a 1 1/2-inch shad-colored crankbait into a school of bass, or even to a single bass, chasing a pod of several hundred 1 1/2-inch shad? The odds against your offering being singled out are simply too great. I want to cast something that looks similar in shape but not size. It needs to be noticeably different, where it can be seen.

Don’t Knock This Knot

It has been estimated that 75 percent of all line failures can be attributed to poor knot tying or inappropriate knot selection.

For everyday fishing, I recommend the Palomar knot. It’s one of the easiest and quickest knots to tie, and offers extremely high break strength.

To tie it, double about 4 inches of line and pass or thread the loop through the hook eye or split ring on your lure. Now, tie an over hand knot in doubled line. Next, pull the loop over your hook or lure. Finally, pull both ends to tighten the tag in your main line. Once snug, cut off excess to tag end.

This is a super knot, especially when fishing lines that are under 30-pound test.

Speaking of Knots—They’re Important

You know, this is a question asked by every angler: What causes a 2-pounder to break 8-pound test in open water with no visible structure around? The answer, most likely, is poor knots. It is estimated that poor knots are the reason for 75 percent of line failures.

What causes a knot to fail? There are several factors to consider. Example, a line that is improperly wrapped or twisted over itself will cut itself due to compression when pulled tight.

Consider this formula. A 20-pound test line improperly wrapped or tied over itself becomes a 10-pound line due to compressive forces. Also, movement within an improperly tied knot will burn and weaken the monofilament.

As always, catch one for me!

Bill Dance



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