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dotz

What do yall do ????

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I have a hard time catching fish when the lake drops. This past weekend I fished a tourney where the lake dropped 2 ft from the previous weekend and just couldn't find the fish that I was on earlier. Where do yall go and how and what do you fish? Any suggestions would be great, and apprieciated. This is really my weakest point in my fishing game.

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dotz,

Can you tell us is this a natural lake, man made lake (reservoir), or TVA (power generation) or flood controlled lake?  

These different lakes would be a contributing factor on what approach to take when the water receeds.

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It is Kentucky Lake and Barkley. They are TVA lakes. I guess I should have told that sorry.

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It is pretty basic rule that i go by and many pros do to, at least to what i have heard. When water drops fish move offshore and in rising they go into new shallow cover.

Hope this helps.

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Nick I agree with you, I guess it is where to pull out to is my problem. How far will the fish move generally? If you are on shallow fish will they go to 5ft of water or 10-15? I know this is not a set process just curious where to start, and what kinda presentations to make.

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I do most of my fishing on the Tennessee River below Pickwick Dam which is technically Kentucky Lake! So I know a little bit about TVA release and the problems associated with falling water.

You're not going to like the answer, but I have fought the problem many times. Go home....Sorry man, when the water starts dropping the fish stop biting. If they don't cut the water off completely, the activity will pick up a few HOURS after the water flow stabilizes.

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May not be able to help with the lake being a TVA lake but the lake I genrally fish is Texoma in Oklahoma. The Corps of Engineers are always flucuating the water level quite a bit.

If the lake was above normal when the water starts falling then fall back out to the old water line, or the water line where it is when the lakes at normal level. If the lake was at normal level and then started falling I'll drop back to the next significant depth change, such as a steaper sloping point, ledge, etc...

Nick was saying when the water rises the fish move up which is true. One thing here that I've noticed is that when the lake first comes up the fish will nose up on the bank into the new grass and other structures. One thing many people don't realize is why after a few days the fish move off even when the water is staying high. Well talking with a biologist here, he says that the newly flooded grass will sour and the fish will pull out of it. Once it's soured for a while and if it remains underwater the fish will move back into that flooded grass again.

Hope this helps ya some.

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Thanks for the tips guys. Roadwarrior I agree with you, it is just that I was in a tournry and it bit me in the butt. Generally I know if the lake has fallen just go and have fun and enjoy the boat ride, but now that I have started fishing a few tournys I need to figure something out.

Skeeter do you just look for the closest steeper point, ledge, ect or do you look for one with somesort of structure. That may be my problem I am looking to hard for structure and may just need to look for the depth change.

Keep this up guys I am getting more ideas.

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I look for both really. Mainly the first thing is find where the contour of the bottom makes a drastic change. Then I'll fish that and also try and locate structure on the change.

Alot depends of what type of bank is it. If you know its a rocky bank then I just start fishing it. If it's clay or dirt bank I'll look for structure or sometimes try and locate baitfish.

Finding the noticealbe bottom contours is just where to start. After you find those you have to hunt and peck to try and establish a pattern. If you've been on fish in the shallow water. Then start on the contour changes with the same baits and presentations that you were catching them on before the change in water level. Like I say these are your starting points. After that it's up to you to let the fish tell you what they want and how they want it!

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they'll usually take cover in deeper water.  i usually fish it with a crankbait, texas rig, or c-rig.  sometimes i'll even use a drop shot or rat-l-trap.

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This is all good advice for dropping water levels in general, but Kentucky Lake is a river/lake and falling water is both dramatic and immediate. More importantly, falling water indicates either a reduction or the elimination of current in the system. River fish react to this change in their environment bigtime.

After the water level stabilizes, fishing improves somewhat, even without any current, but it 's still not good. If you have success, give us a post, I never have.

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This is an interesting topic. I may be a bit confused, so please correct me.  I have read in many articles that draw downs put the fish on the move.  Maybe this is why some people have issues re-locatig the fish.

One of the many lakes I fish is a reservoir. It is river feed & fluctuates with the power demand. When the flood gates opens the lake will typically drop 1-5 ft. For this particular lake this is what we wait for. It seems to put the bass on the bite due to the forage relocating. We fish deeper points/structures on the downside of the flow. We have found this is where the bass will move to and wait to ambush their prey. Depth typically fished when the reservoir is being drawn down is 10-15ft.

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I try to give you some direction and maybe it will help. I have a lake that I fish that one year the water dropped 10 ft off of the bank. All the rock, weeds and wood was now high and dry. What I did was I abandoned all the water that was 4ft or shallower and tried to find places that dumped off into deep water 10ft or deeper. I found an area that about 20ft off the bank went from 10ft deep and then dumped off into 20+ft of water. To put it in simple terms I looked for places that had sharp breaks. I then positioned my boat out in the deeper water giving myself enough distance so that my bait had enough running room to hit that depth. I fished it with a medium to slow retrieve. Most of the fish where suspended out on that 10ft breakline. I used a bait that ran 14ft deep. When the water drops fish pull back on structure. They feel safe along the deeper drop offs and are able to move up and down with the water level without moving great distances. They do the same thing with standing timber if its in water deep enough.

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fish the creeks that run into the lake....this gives you an oppertunity to also check out the type of cover that was in the water .....so when the water rises back up you have an idea of where to fish..

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