CHILLY early, warmer later...

The late “Lunker Bill” Murphy used to say there were only two seasons in Southern California: summer and winter, with a brief time-out for the spawn. When you think of things that way, you don’t get ahead of yourself, trying to track the general fish movement or behavior.

But while our seasons tend to ooze into one another, that doesn’t mean you don’t acknowledge a longer thermometer in September and October, where the mornings can be flat chilly, but the mid afternoons almost like July.

SWEATS TO SHORTS is the fall pattern...

As a rookie frogger, I’ve been interested in the turn from full-on summer to fall. Dean Rojas commented a couple of days ago that the fall transition is an unpredictable time. “In the summer, they bite [the frog] all day long. In the fall, there can be terrific bites and other times they just won’t go.”

He suggests it’s a “timing thing” and a guy might be better served by going to the frog water first thing and if that doesn’t produce, coming back in the afternoon. But he made it clear, it’s unpredictable. Still, unpredictable has potential.

STILL TIME for crushing strikes.

Because the water is cooling, even the insulated water beneath the mats and “cheese,” you don’t know precisely how the fish are reacting. The last two months have been pretty exciting for me on the Bronzeye, but a trip last week with Rick Grover, showed that in the 5 degree cooler water, the more subtle Phat Frog (the Ish Monroe design) could draw some strikes that the harder walker didn’t.  And that’s really not bad news. It means you can’t put all your frog legs in one basket.

Right now the fish know the days are getting shorter for them and their cold-blooded, amphibian food source in the weeds is not as active. This doesn’t mean absolutely that both with be more active (or willing) later in the day, but it sure leaves that door open.

And for one of those jarring, tongue-swallowing strikes, it’s worth checking.