or deep? Dingy water or clear? Close to cover or out in the open.
fishermen have a lot of questions to answer every time they head
out to fish in late October.
successive cold front leaves the water a bit cooler. Each rain muddies
up a few more acres, even in the big mountain reservoirs.
for fishing also can be affected by the fronts. Anyone operating
a fast bass boat is likely to be wearing a snowmobile suit or insulated
coveralls when starting out in the morning. Many wear shorts, tee
shirts and athletic shoes under the heavy gear in order to adapt
to fishing conditions afternoons.
jogging suit or sweat suit can be the perfect intermediate garment,
over the shorts and under the coveralls. Temperatures can feel like
freezing at 40 miles per hour early in the morning and then like
90 when casting rapidly under a clear afternoon sky.
lures, of course, can be equally tricky. A topwater lure or a heavy
jig may be equally effective on an October day. A plastic worm or
a crank bait can serve well when fish are holding at intermediate
lures can be perfect when bass are spotted surfacing to thrash schools
of baitfish. But crawdad-imitating crank baits may be the best choice
on a portion of the same waterway where shad are scarce but bottom
cover is right for crawdads.
main thing is setting out with an open mind. Conditions change with
the weather. Things that worked a year ago on the same day of the
month might be worthless this year. But even though conditions may
not seem the same there is good reason to give last year's successful
method first shot at doing the job.
neglect bream and crappie this time of year if black bass don't
bite readily. Chances are the big crappie won't be biting shallow
yet, the way they do in winter and early spring. But the small ones
often bite well. And bream fishing also is likely to be good in
late October. The large bream, however, may be deeper than most
Arkansans like to find them.
of us who value fishing for panfish as much as we value fishing
for bass are seldom disappointed in Arkansas waterways, even when
cold weather comes.
docks and other businesses along Arkansas trout streams would like
fishermen to give up on warm-water species early and head to the
Little Red or below-the-dam White River trout water every chance
we get. And many do. But I confess to being a die-hard crappie,
bass and bream fisherman. I won't give up on the warm-water fish
until hunting season draws me to other interests.
however, often cure my cabin fever in winter. Others, however, go
after stripers on the big reservoirs and for both stripers and sauger
below the dams on the Arkansas River in winter.
the worst days of winter should be a reminder that walleye fishing
is about to get good on Lake Ouachita, Greers Ferry and a few other
fishing can be a continuous feast for those who refuse to let the
need for gloves, stocking caps and rainsuits dampen their enthusiasm
today turns out partly cloudy but rainless, I'll likely try to find
some clear, shallow water to check for actively feeding largemouth
bass. Maybe I'll even check out a favorite mountain stream if the
early morning air doesn't scare me off from wading. Hot fishing
action can take the sting out of the cold.