Boy, this year’s weather is something, isn’t it? How has it impacted on your fishing this year?
Have you done better or worse? What should you be doing, because of the weather, that you haven’t been doing, to catch more fish? Simple questions with a very difficult answers, wouldn’t you agree?
This year almost every lake in Central Texas has regained enough water to bring it back to full pool or greater. After spending the last several years at well below pool and then getting all that fresh water, what impact has that had on our fish and their overall health?
If you talk to the “experts,” they say this year was great for the fish because it gave them more water in which they can explore and hunt for food, spawn and rear their young. It is predicted to be the best spawn in years which, of course, means more little fishes. More little fishes mean more forage, which means more to eat for the bass, which should also equate to a larger and faster growth rate.
The mild winter that we had last year also helped in this growth rate and population increase as well. So that should mean everyone is catching more and bigger fish. Are you?
Well, sometimes nature has a way of stumping us humans.
With all the additional terrain in which we can now fish that was high and dry last year, we have a lot more water surface area in which to dip our baits, and a lot more surface area in which the elusive bass can hunt for prey.
Stump No. 1. Last year I caught a large bass in about 3 feet of water next to a tree in the back end of a cove on Stillhouse. This year that same tree is under water in about 12 feet of water. The Cove is no longer a cove but a bay of deeper water surrounded by 3 to 4 feet shallows.
Also because of the changing weather it has made the water temperatures go up and down all spring and only now are they starting to stabilize. These temperatures have made all of us move in and out trying to find the optimal surface temp for fishing for Mr. Bass.
Stump No. 2. January temps were in the 40s near the shore. February was 45-50s in the same place, March went up and down between the high 50s and mid 60s depending on the day and weather. In April, it was mid-60s to -70s, again depending on the rains.
As we all know Mr. Bass’s metabolism is driven based on temperature and barometric pressure.
This year, the barometer has been going up and down like a yoyo.
If you don’t have one on your back porch you need to get one, it’s a valuable tool.
Stump No. 3. We are still getting torrential rains that come in and out and dump even more water into our favorite lakes making them even higher and causing the Corps of Engineers to go crazy dumping water so the lakes don’t flood the surrounding areas, thus the water levels are up and down consistently.
Stump No. 4. Lake Waco was our last tourney. Prefished and caught fish with no problem. Fished the tourney and the water level had dropped about two feet in as many days and the fish caught lock jaw.
Because of all the changes, we humans are also susceptible to cases of the problems where we don’t put our brains in gear to assess the impact of what’s happening around us before we start throwing our baits.
Stump No. 5. Perfect example is what happened to me at Waco. I should have realized that if the water went down 2 feet overnight that the fish would have been anticipating an even further drop and moved out further to make sure of their safety and following the forage as it moved out. The fish that were caught were caught on the first deeper drop in about 4 to 5 feet of water. “Brain lock” on my part.
Now we are expected to have between 5-6 inches of rain in the next few days, so this means more of the same stumps on our next trip to the water.
So what to do? Slow down and read the water and weather, and assess its impact on the fish before you even begin the days fishing. We all have to be able to take our mental “chain saw” and saw off each of these stumps before we can logically approach a successful day of fishing.
So go break out the “Chain Saw,” “Bar Oil,” and “Brain Juice” and go have a great day on the water. I have to do the SAME.
Your comments and questions are encouraged, as well as your Pictures of your “big ’un.” Send them to Hook_up@yahoo.com.
Catch a big ’un.
Jasper Johnson is the Copperas Cove Bass Club secretary. To contact him about the club or for any questions, call 318-218-0358 or email Hook_up@yahoo.com.