Well now, Winter came on good and strong this year didn't it ? There can't be many lakes that don't have an icy lid on at the moment and my local one's are no exception. This has obviously scuppered any fishing lately, which only adds to the disappointing results I was experiencing before the freeze up. We did venture out and break the ice on one of the lakes this weekend, but all the effort was in vain. Mainly because the local match bandits had commandeered the lake we wanted to fish , for an un-scheduled match, so we had to fish another. If not for this, things might have been different.
So we have experienced one icy blast coupled with snow, a short interlude of slightly 'less cold' weather, and now the forecasters are promising more....
It's not that I am bothered by the current climatic conditions, in some ways I relish it, though it can be hard work, It's the prospect of how this will affect the Bass fishing next season, that is playing on my mind, especially early on. Prolonged cold conditions could have a severely detrimental effect on resident fish stocks, those that have not migrated to warmer climes, to over winter and prepare for spawning which I believe the juveniles don't do.
The fact that odd fish are caught throughout the winter seems to back this up.
A harsh winter like the one we experiencing so far would take it's toll and the mortality rate could be high for these hangers-on. It could also delay the start to the season.
There was speculation of this happening early this year due to the harsh conditions we endured late winter, and there was definitely a marked difference in the catches both early and mid season though I believe later on was slightly better for the bait anglers, how it would have been for us fluff flingers I'm not sure, but a couple of October sessions produced some good catches for me but it's inconclusive though I would say that there definitely didn't seem to be the numbers of fish around as the previous year at the same venues.
It is worrying though, if stocks were higher I would be less concerned. The fact is, really all we are fishing for are the left overs, and the few fish, ( relatively speaking ), that the trawlers cannot get to close to the coastline. It's not like places like the channel islands and Ireland where the stocks are protected. Those people lucky enough to live in these places are still taking Bass even now, during this extremely cold period.
All I can do is keep my fingers crossed and hope that my fears are unjustified, of course there will be fish about but will sport be as patchy as it was this year, or worse? I hope not.
As it's looking likely that this will be my last post before Christmas I wish all a happy one and a fish filled New year.