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RossCo91

How to approach rising water conditions after a drought.

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So I thought I'd pick the brains of some experts. As this is not something I can easily find articles on. 

Scenario. 

Drought conditions brining the lake down to 24%. Droughts lasted two years. Fish are just coming off a post spawn pattern. We have rising condition. 24-27%. With flow into the lake. Not yet flossing vegetation. 

This is mudding up over half the lake. 

This is a very small lake with limited spots on a tournament. It usually fishing as an offshore bite when full. 

How would you approach this. I've been trying to follow fish deeper by with fishing pressure and little to no structure pass 15ft it isn't too Easy. 

The temp is around 73. 

I've tired the river inlet areas which are about 4-8 foot and very muddle with rattle traps and chatter baits without much luck. But want to know if they fish would move to flowing water to eat. 

Side notes. This lake is in South Africa 

 

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I got no experience in South Africa!

My experience says

Raising water tends to scatter bass

Post spawn tends to shut the active bit down for a week or more.

Muddy water calls for highly visible noisy lures.

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Under most circumstances the largemouth bass don't all spawn at the same time meaning there should be spawners and post spawners with 73 degree water temps.

Bass tend to move up with raising water into newly flooded brush areas, consider that first.

If I was fishing this situation target the areas where the bass spawn and where the water changes color, muddy water isn't my first choice. Try using slower moving lures like jigs and T -rigged big worms. Work any staging areas thoroughly in every direction.

Tom

 

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Scattered fish and dirty water I'd put on a chartreuse spinnerbait with gold blades and cover a ton of water. Even if it's usually a deep bite, muddy water will have some fish up shallow, and other people may overlook that.

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In general, I would fish shallow.  There is so much food exposed to the newly flooded area.  Worms will float up,  Bugs under ground will try to escape.  Flooded brush will be full of life trying to escape the rising waters.  This is a feast for bass and all other bait fish in the shallows.  Bass will also follow the bait fish into the shallows. Bass will often be in very shallow water newly flooded spots.  Try to find cleaner areas.

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My home lake is a flood control lake meaning it floods often and fast . Initially the bass dont move up in fast rising water for a day or two  , then they go shallow . Flooded brushy  points are good places . 

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57 minutes ago, scaleface said:

My home lake is a flood control lake meaning it floods often and fast . Initially the bass dont move up in fast rising water for a day or two  , then they go shallow . Flooded brushy  points are good places . 

 

Initially I would fish shallow and cover water using a buzzbait, spinner bait, square bill etc. The fish are probably going to be scattered out but they are in the shallow water to eat. When you run into one it won't be hard to catch. Ditches and cuts running through grassy or brushy flats can be good places as well as the points that scaleface mentioned. I would try to stay in the clearest water I could find. At least for the 1st couple days after it gets trashed. Once the mud quits flowing in and the clearer water starts coming in I would run to the very backs of the creeks as that water back there will be clearing up.  We face this all the time in our Corps lakes as well and it's a pretty consistent pattern

1 hour ago, scaleface said:

My home lake is a flood control lake meaning it floods often and fast . Initially the bass dont move up in fast rising water for a day or two  , then they go shallow . Flooded brushy  points are good places . 

Ok, I just seen scaleface fishes Mark Twain. You need him to give you more details on the subject because he's been through your scenario MANY, MANY times! That lake will come up 5' overnight.

Huh, scaleface?

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39 minutes ago, pawpaw said:

 

Ok, I just seen scaleface fishes Mark Twain. You need him to give you more details on the subject because he's been through your scenario MANY, MANY times! That lake will come up 5' overnight.

Huh, scaleface?

Yes ,   those times  when it rises rapidly the bass will stay put for a couple of days before heading shallow . When Mark Twain floods it also turns muddy .The back of creeks will not hold fish unless it stays flooded for a long period . I fish close to the areas that held fish and follow the structure or  cover shallow . Newly flooded points  ,humps,  ditches, pond dams , saddles , tree lines...  The exact same type of structure that are good at lower levels and the same lures . 

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I would think the locations where the water is coming into the lake, such as creeks, ditches, drains, old canals would be bringing in nutrients and have an effect in the surrounding temperature. I would concentrate my efforts near those locations and focus on flooded bushes, trees, then move out to secondary structure.  Mud lines are also a transition point.  As Catt said, big bright noisy lures. 

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18 minutes ago, Columbia Craw said:

I would think the locations where the water is coming into the lake, such as creeks, ditches, drains, old canals would be bringing in nutrients and have an effect in the surrounding temperature. I would concentrate my efforts near those locations and focus on flooded bushes, trees, then move out to secondary structure.  Mud lines are also a transition point.  As Catt said, big bright noisy lures. 

If it wasn't the seasonal spawning cycle the incoming water would be a good location for all the reasons you suggested. Spawn cycle bass try to avoid water with current, any current can destroy the nest site. Post spawn bass may not migrate away from the spawning areas for a few weeks.

For those reasons targeting pre spawn staging areas for post spawn recovering femal bass with slower moving lures like Senko's worms and jigs should be your high % locations and presentations. Lots of choices and the reason bass fishing is both challenging and fun.

Tom

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Find the baitfish and the bass will be close.

Look for areas where there is a transition of murky/clear water.

Use loud colored lures that create  commotion, such as buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, etc. 

 

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Thank you all, You've given me plenty to think about!

Ill now just have to adapt on the day!

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I fish in nor cal lakes and we have been hit pretty hard in the recent drought. 

Recently we have been blessed enough to receive a quite a bit of rain in these last few weeks.

Right after this happened the bite was tough and left me quite confused. After getting out on the lakes as much as i could i put together a little pattern. That pattern being that the fish went pretty deep. I don't know why they went deep but it may have been from the water clarity with the water being pretty muddy after the rain.

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The OP is from S. Africa it's transitioning to summer there. We are in the cold water period, it's winter here. In CA the majority of the bass population should be 20' to 40'. In a month or so the bass should start thier pre spawn stagging locations as the water level raise.

Tom

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