“Turnover time is short but sweet,” said Uncle Homer. “It’s caused by the occurrence of early winter winds. They pound waves against shorelines and chill surface waters to make them heavier. Water reaches its weightiest point at 39.2 degrees.
“When surface waters heavy up,” he continued, “they sink beneath the warmer, lighter waters below, which rise to the surface and replace the entire upper realm. Thus the logical term ‘turnover.’”
Big bass sense this oncoming annual period and instinctively respond.
“Wise old lunkers know their food supply is going to be scarce,” said Uncle Homer, “so they must eat and lay on extra fat to tide them over the scarce-food period ahead. Yet, they also must conserve energy, so exertions are held to a minimum.”
Circle told me catching these bass requires the angler to develop two mind-sets. One is to imagine cruising bass looking for a school of oversize minnows or shad. The other is to picture bass in seclusion after gorging on a belly full of prey.
“For cruising bass, think deep,” he suggested. “Look for dark drop-offs around old creek channels, bluffs, steep points, cliffs and railroad trestles. This calls for lures designed to work at deepest depths.
“For probing dark shores, try deep-running crankbaits, covering a lot of territory to cross paths with crusading lunkers. That failing, try weighted sinking lures like jigheads with various soft-plastic, and hair, bodies. Walk them down steep shorelines, nudging bottom all the way to your boat. Also, bring them in at all levels to see if bass are hanging at certain depths for reasons known only to them … and they aren’t talking!”
For bass in seclusion, Uncle Homer recommended looking for dense weeds, lily pads, brush or other heavy cover abutting dark water, and think “s-l-o-w!” This calls for lures that have do-nothing appeal at idle because a belly-full bass won’t chase them.
“Especially try vertical jigging,” he said. “Rig a soft-plastic crawfish body on a 1/2-ounce jighead. Mosey quietly along deep shoreline covers with a vertical line suspending the lure from top to bottom. Lift and lower it gently, s-l-o-w-l-y, temptingly, to trigger instinctive slurps from non-hungry whoppers. Keep your eyes locked on the line where it kisses the surface.
“At the slightest change in tension, loose or taut, or even a change in feel … set the hook! Turnover time could turn your entire year into a keeper memory. Go for it!”
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