Lakecaster Online

by John Plumb


As the temperature rises, we find ourselves less willing to be on the lake during the times we should be, during prime feed times. Those times havenít changed. They are still dictated by the same things, i.e., the moon phase, water clarity, and of course, weather. However, the exception to the rule is lake water temperature. It plays a big part in where the fish will be located during a given part of the day. When you can be afloat will dictate where you look.

During hot times, folks tend to be out early and late, because of the heat. It affects us all, and those of us who have 50+ summers under our belts, it can be rough to handle. Hence the early and late trips. At times, the fish are active, and some degree of success can be enjoyed, especially if you have a handle on things. What you have to remember is that the fish are in the same boat so to speak, in that they are also seeking their ìcomfort zoneî. Where this zone is will change on a regular basis.

Now, the fish will still show up in their regular haunts to feed, but due to the lack of oxygen in the water, they will only visit for short periods. As the water gets warmer on regular structure points, oxygen is released, and becomes basically void. Faced with this condition, the fish return to a more desirable environment with life sustaining ìairî to breathe, cooler temperatures, and relative safety. During these short periods, one can mop up if youíre quick. During these times, you can look for the fish to use the surface or shallow areas for 2-4 percent of their day. Youíre looking at 12 to 20 minutes of activity.

What to do? Look where the fish go when you canít find them in their regular places. Where is that? One word. Deeper. Normally, somewhere adjacent to their preferred feeding ground, is deep water. Thatís where they go. Look in deep water close to structure for them suspended in 5-10 feet deeper than the structure you were on. This is where your depthfinder earns its keep. What you see is whatís there. Now, what to do when you find them.

If the fish are inactive, or basically not actively feeding, they can still be caught. When depth has been established, working a slab slowly in that depth will work. A jighead with a plastic shad will work. A rattletrap will work. Nearly any bait will work if presented in the correct way. Unlike schooling fish, they are more lethargic and require a slower presentation. Great success can be had once you figure this method out.

Now, Iím not saying some regular places wonít work with the normal approach. The hump on the south end has been real good, but itís deeper than mid-lake structure, so it falls into that middle of the road area where the conditions are more favorable to the fish. Close to the dam, the water is moving a bit more, and the deep water adjacent to the area is their safety net. The south end holds many such areas, and can be quite productive.

Basically, whatís going on is look deeper than youíd think normal. I have loaded up in 35 feet of water, fishing on bottom. Many of us, including myself, thought for years that was too deep. I learned the hard way, of course. It opened my eyes to a different method of doing the same thing. Be flexible. The fish have their own mind. They donít read the same stuff we do.

This may be the one time when trolling can pay off for those who pursue that sort of thing, although the time it takes to make a swing into an area may be your worst enemy. The fish are always moving, and likely will move away before you can nab off too many. Normally, during these conditions, they are very, very spooky, and will not hang for long. Stealth and QUIET will be your best weapon.

Try the river close to structure, or any other water 30 ft. or more, and depend on your depthfinder to tell you if you are in the right area. Keep looking and donít give up. Somewhere out there, youíll find them. They have not moved away. See you, out ON THE LAKE!!!!

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