SML Smallies Edited Fish the Conditions, Not the Calendar

By Will Petty

    Here we are nearing the end of April and in typical years, most of us would be thinking post-spawn and topwaters or finesse presentations. For those of us who have seen the most recent weather trends and water temperatures on our local bodies of water, you would know that we are a good bit behind schedule for the yearly spawning ritual.  But what if you didn’t have access to water temperature readings, you would be surprised how many people fish the same ways at the same times regardless of current conditions each year.
    After a recent conversation in early April that I had with a local tackle shop owner, I found out that the water temperature on the exact same date a year ago was fifteen degrees warmer than this year!  The previous year the fish were right in the middle of the spawn while this year they were nowhere near where they were going to spawn.  I often see people trying to force a certain pattern that should be working under normal weather trends from year to year but are way off base considering the current conditions.  Sometimes that may work but more often then not, you leave the lake scratching your head and wondering what you did wrong.
    Next time you hit the water, make sure you take into consideration all of the variables that you are presented with.  Just because the calendar reads one thing, make sure the conditions match up with them or you might be in for a long day!

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