As you read this today, the forecast is for overnight thunderstorms to give way to a strong wind out of the north after another cold front has come through the Texomaland region.
You know, another front in the endless procession of cold fronts that have made their way through the region on a regular basis so far this spring.
In all honesty, fishing is probably off limits today since the local lakes will be white capping severely, a condition that will make any adventure away from the boat ramp a dangerous one at best.
Fishing success this weekend seems in doubt too, since Florida-strain largemouth bass can develop a serious case of lockjaw after the wind shifts to the north.
What’s an aspiring angler to do this weekend if they want to catch a few springtime bass? Well, after going through a few old boxes of notes in the garage, I uncovered a treasure trove of advice from Tom Bean resident Steve Hollensed, a longtime Orvis endorsed fly fishing guide on Lake Texoma.
With years of bass fishing experience — and a lengthy run as a tournament angler on the conventional tackle side of things back in the 1980s and 1990s — Hollensed has battled his way through spring cold fronts for years.
From Sam Rayburn to Ray Roberts to Texoma, the Flywater Angling Adventures guide (www.flywaterangling.com; 903- 546-6237) says that one of the first things to realize is that spring bass seldom move very far when a frontal passage occurs. Some largemouths will simply suspend tight to cover while others will retreat a few yards away from shallow water, often settling on the first main breakline off the bank.
Because of that, you’ll want to adjust your target areas after a spring front. And you’ll want to fish slower moving lures that can cozy up tight to cover. If you do that, bass often can’t help themselves from making a reactionary strike, even with the wind blowing out of the north.
Next, realize that because of cool overnight periods that can put a temporary chill back into the water — like tonight when temperatures drop into the mid-40s again — realize that the afternoon shift is often better than the morning one following a frontal passage. In other words, sleep in, grab an extra cup of coffee and let the sun do its springtime magic for a few hours.
Last, keep in mind that while a frontal passage in the spring can certainly slow fishing down for a couple of days, that doesn’t mean that an angler can’t get a big bite.
I witnessed that firsthand years ago when Hollensed and yours truly made a summertime trip to Ray Roberts. That particular year had been plagued by regular cold fronts and we found ourselves staring a north wind down and putting on light jackets despite an outing that happened on July 1.
True to form, we didn’t catch a lot of largemouths that day, one that felt more like mid-spring than early summer. But Hollensed put his guiding words into practice, pitching a lure tight to cover that afternoon…and landing an 8.5-pound largemouth bass a few moments later.
Proof positive that while cold fronts at this time of year can slow the action for a few days, they don’t stop it either.
Especially when you put a lure right in front of a lunker largemouth’s nose, making them an offer that they simply can’t refuse.
No matter which direction the wind is blowing from.